In what is quickly becoming a buyer’s market, being able to make yourself stand out of the crowd and impress first-time visitors to your online store is a big plus. There are a lot of eCommerce websites out there, making for a situation where if your website doesn’t give a user what they want straight away, they’re onto the next one. So it’s more important than ever to get things right across the board, and win over visitors as soon as they step through the virtual door.
Here’s just a few of the ways you can do just that.
1. Make good images a priority
The power of good images online should not be understated; they immediately draw in people’s attention no matter what the purpose of website is. The fact that there are social media platforms solely based around the concept of sharing images goes to show just how important images are to our online experience.
Too often, businesses selling online neglect product images and stress over providing minute details about the product itself. Obviously the more detail for your products the better, but for many businesses, product images are the most effective tool to get the customer over the line and buying, or at the very least sparking that initial interest.
Investing in professional photography is a smart move, as high definition product images are more or less mandatory if you’re serious about having a successful online business. Having products set on a white background with multiple angles and the ability to zoom in is a winning and proven formula.
2. Convey personality
Being in the social media age allows businesses of all types to convey a personality to their customer base like never before. And ultimately this is what consumers want these days – a brand that tells a story and has an identity of some kind. A good online store can do this as well as any other kind of business, not just via social media but on the website as well.
Don’t be afraid to reveal who you are, where your inspiration comes from and what your business is about. Share fun photos and videos, and allow potential customers to associate your brand with something other than just the products they are buying from you. Tell a story in your About Us page, and put faces and names to the business. This can allow you to build a stronger, more loyal customer base over time.
3. Include an intuitive onsite search
For all online stores, but particularly those with a large number of products, an onsite search option is essential. Not only does it improve the shopping experience for visitors considerably, but statistically speaking, those that use it are more likely to buy. If a visitor is searching for a specific kind of product, chances are they are at a later stage of the buying process and tend to be more ready to make a purchase. In fact, on average conversion rates from search pages are 50% higher than those of other pages on the website.
But keep in mind, there are onsite searches and then there are onsite searches. When you consider the fact that 30% of your website visitors will use the search function, it’s crucial that you get it right and ensure they find what they are after. And there are many features within a search function that can ensure this happens. Your search system should:
- Have an autocomplete function, which provides suggestions when a few characters are entered into the search box.
- Neither produce too few entries or too many. If someone searches for something and hundreds or even thousands of results appear, they are more likely to be confused and bounce from the page. If they only have zero or only 1-2 page entries to choose from, this obviously isn’t ideal. However, customers hitting zero results pages can actually be helpful for website owners; if these pages can be tracked via analytics, you have a good idea of what your customers are looking for and what new products might be worth adding to your catalogue.
- Produce results according to relevance to the search query. Synonyms also need to be countered for, rather than only exact-match search phrases coming up. For example, if someone searches for ‘underpants’, ideally the system would deliver results such as ‘undies’, ‘briefs’, ‘boxers’, etc.
4. Make sure your content is written for page scanning
You may think that content is less important on an eCommerce website; indeed, visitors aren’t there for information, they’re just wanting to browse and buy the products they’re looking for. But the importance of well written content goes a long way, both in terms of the direct value it brings as far as search engine results go, and also its effect on the overall experience for site visitors.
Good content is one of those things you often don’t even notice, but you come away from the page within a few short seconds with the information you need. No one is reading from top to bottom when browsing websites. Instead, eyes tend to dart around the page in an F shape, scanning the top horizontal part of the page, a few of the lines below it and then moving vertically down the left side.
The key point here is that visitors won’t read your content throughly on the home, category, product or even policy pages, which suggests the importance of using headings, bullet points and paragraphs cleverly. The trick is to write your content and then comes into the website as if you were browsing it yourself. Does a quick scan of the page give you the info your after and make you want to continue exploring the website?
There are many pieces to the puzzle that is eCommerce strategy and the points discussed here cover a few of the more important ones that can certainly make a difference!
For more information, get in touch with one of the friendly team at WebCommander and find out how we can help you on your eCommerce journey.