Your new e-commerce website is up and running but not attracting enough visitors? Dreaming of growing your six-figure online business but still to make that first sale? Perhaps a few tweaks are all that is needed to get your e-commerce business off the ground! Sunny Agarwal, who consults for an uber-successful e-commerce business selling graduation gowns, shares five great tips on improving your online store and helping you launch quickly.
1.) Get Feedback On Your Design:
Your online store might just not be as user-friendly, attractive or intuitive as you imagine it to be. Sometimes, just re-positioning a button, or changing one header image might make a world of difference – provided you do it right. Once you have a basic design up and running, find some friends and family members to give your website a test run. Try to get input from 8-10 people and note down which are favourite features and what just isn’t working for them. You don’t have to re-invent the wheel. Sticking to popular design principles throughout the site might be smarter than trying out something innovative that just doesn’t click.
Few ways to collect high-quality feedback include:
- Try to get friends or family members who fit your target audience profile to review your site. For example, if you are planning to sell purses to professional women in their thirties, try to get one to test the design!
- Have a handy question list (or survey form) for them to fill out so that you can collect data more systematically. A tool like Survey Monkey has enough free features to help you assess your design.
- Ask detailed questions – For example:
- Is the website design leading you to the Buy Now button?
- Is additional information needed to prompt you to make a purchase?
- Are the shipping terms and shipping calculator easy to find?
- Are the product photographs sufficient, clear and enlarged?
- Are key product features described or is any detail missing?
- Is the search tool helping you discover what you need and more?
- Which features of the Home Page did you like the most? Why?
2.) Be Meticulous About Your SEO:
It is incredible how so many e-commerce sites are still not taking full advantage of SEO to increase website traffic. You want to make sure your site makes it to the top for search terms that matter to your audience. This requires some initial effort and ongoing maintenance. But ultimately results in a continuous stream of sales, even while you sleep!
Sunny’s top tips for SEO include:
- Identify your top 4 or 5 target keywords. Including location information has more impact – For example – “premium purses Melbourne” will get you higher quality search results than just premium purses. ‘Long tail keywords,’ i.e. those with 7-8 words per term get better results.
- Make sure your keywords are included in all your web page descriptions and metadata like alt text for images.
- Write sufficient unique content throughout your site that uses those keywords repeatedly.
- Using your keywords frequently, publish regular and relevant content on your site. This may require some content management strategies on your part.
3.) Give Good Deals Often:
Everyone likes a bargain (or the perception of one), and this traditional commerce practice is valid in e-commerce too. Does your website let you provide discount codes and coupons that automatically adjust product price at check out? Make sure your website makes it easy to set up and highlight deals and discounts to visitors. Crossed out prices, stars, highlighted products and other such UI features will make it easy for customers to find great bargains.
Another critical aspect is shipping. How can you give the best deals for shipping on your site? Does your website make it easy and intuitive for customers to calculate shipping costs?
Some features to include on your site:
- Flat rate shipping or free shipping if a certain threshold purchase amount is reached.
- Shipping calculator that lets customers estimate shipping before final checkout.
- Ability to quickly (or automatically) set up a daily deal or clearance price on specific products.
- Lower product pricing for bulk purchase of single products.
4.) Automation Is Your Friend:
Look at your e-commerce process from end-to-end and note down what tasks are you doing manually. Do you send an email out to customers manually once the item is shipped? Do you send an email out to your supplier when things are out of stock? These are the processes that can be automated – so that you are free to focus on marketing, content generation or simply your life! An automated e-commerce business leaves you free to pursue your hobbies and interests while making you money all the time! A few of the processes we have automated at Gowning Street include:
- Sending emails to customers when they place an order or once their order is shipped. Tracking details are included in the shipping email.
- Sending emails to our shipping partner once an order is placed.
- Sending emails to our supplier when products are out of stock.
- Facebook advertisements are published automatically around typical graduation dates.
Such automation can be achieved by ensuring your e-commerce website uses the right platform (like Shopify, WooCommerce etc.) or has the right plugins enabled in WordPress.
5.) Use Analytics To Lift Your Game:
Analytics can help you optimise underperforming pages and find hidden weaknesses. Going that extra mile to learn about the detailed data a good analytics tool provides and more importantly how to use that information can make a huge difference to your e-commerce site. Some quick tips Sunny uses at Gowning Street include:
- Use a tool like Click Fog to understand user click patterns. The ‘click’ map (similar to a heat map) that this tool generates can help you reposition buttons, links and other action prompts.
- Use Google analytics to measure bounce rate. A higher bounce rate is a big red flag –it indicates that visitors are leaving quickly and you need more engaging content.
- Note entry and exit pages of your visitors. Keep improving popular pages till they go viral.
Use these 5 strategies to improve your e-commerce website and take your business to the next level!