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Ecommerce Best Practices: 12 Simple Ways to Boost Your Holiday Sales (2018)

Updated on  13th September

5 Min Read
ecommerce best practices
Reading Time: 5 minutes

Ecommerce has become a challenging industry. Due to saturated markets and the mass availability of goods, successfully capturing a larger audience has become less about the products and more about the customer experience. It’s easy to distinguish a mediocre online store from a quality online store. But what makes online stores successful?

In this blog, we will highlight several ecommerce best practices that will keep your customers happy and improve your sales.

 

1. Is Your Website Trustworthy?

Unless you are a well-established brand, most customers won’t know what your brand is about. They might have not even heard of it before. So, why would they trust you? They have every reason not to, unless you give one to them. Here’re some suggestions you can add to your website and elevate the trust level:

  • Trust Badges
  • Positive Press Coverage
  • Reviews/Testimonials
  • Contact Numbers
  • Physical Address

2. Attractive and Beautiful Images

According to Jeff Bullas – a content marketing influencer and social media strategist, 67% of online shoppers agree that the images of any product are more important than customer reviews or product descriptions. That’s why it’s essential to choose the most attractive images and grab your customer’s attention.

To ensure the best quality of the pictures, stick to your own style and create your own content instead of relying on third-party images. Since the customers cannot physically touch your product, high quality images help them to imagine owning the product. It improves your conversion rate drastically.

3. Cover FAQs on Your Website Effectively

Since you’re not available physically to answer customer questions, it is essential that you provide every single piece of information that will allow your customers to make a decision. Don’t overestimate what your customers know. Lay out everything as much as you can for them.

From Frequently Asked Questions to Return Policies, and from Shipping Dates to your Shipping Policies, be clear and transparent in your conversations and transactions with them, and your customers will begin naturally trust and love you.

4. Add Live Chat Support

The difference between traditional marketing and an online store is that an offline salesman can answer customer queries on the spot, which often results in a sale. When it comes to ecommerce, you don’t even know why customers keep bouncing away from your web shop. You are unable to address their on-the-spot concerns or objections.

So, our next ecommerce best practice is you should create customer valued personalized interactions. 75% of customers consider calls as the most effective method to get a quick response about any product. It is time to leverage live chat. By installing it on your web shop, you allow your visitors to ask for queries concerning your products. It will allow you to close them on the spot.

5. Improve Your Website’s Loading Speed

According to KissMetrics, 47% of customers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. A simple 1-second delay can result in a 7% reduction in your conversion rate. It can potentially cost a $100,000/day ecommerce site to lose $2.5 million in sales every year.

I’m sure you’ve experienced the frustration when a particular website you’re trying to visit takes forever to load. Your visitors tend to face that same frustration if your website loading speed is slow. You should look at these elements:

  • Minimize HTTP requests
  • Reduce server response time
  • Enable compression
  • Enable browser caching
  • Minify resources
  • Optimize images
  • Optimize CSS delivery
  • Prioritize above-the-fold content
  • Reduce number of plugins
  • Reduce redirects

Cognitive load is the mental effort required to process and learn new information. Similarly, cognitive load in user experience is the amount of mental processing power required to use your website.

The higher the cognitive load, the tougher it is for the users to find what they want. Thence, they will bounce off your website and never come back. That’s why it is important for you to simplify your navigation bar. Make it easy for the visitor to direct to where they want to go.

According to eConsultancy, 30% of customers use internal search. Visitors who use search bars convert better than those who don’t.

That’s why it’s important to get your internal website search right. Make your search bar obvious. Why make your visitors search for your search bar?

8. Create Scarcity

Customers are attracted to things that are hard to find and are exclusive. If things are rare, they think that they are more valuable. It becomes urgent. Something we desperately want. This is why creating scarcity or urgency of the product or a service, tends to be one of the most effective conversion optimization strategies.

Why give your customers time to think over their decisions? Enforce scarcity! There are plenty of examples available on how to implement scarcity to achieve profitable results. By creating a sense of urgency you can encourage your customers to act right away. This is a commonly used tactic in booking websites. They often highlight the word “Selling Out!” to get you buy faster.

There are many ways to enforce scarcity. It’s up to you to test and decide which is more effective for your online store. For starters, here are some suggestions for this best practice:

  • Flash Sales
  • Last Day Offers
  • While Stocks Last
  • Limited Release

9.  Declare Free Shipping

eConsultancy declares that 55% of customers abandon their carts because of shipping costs. An E-tailing group study shows that 70% of customers identify “free shipping” as critical to their purchase. A Forrester research study showed that shipping charges is the top reason behind cart abandonment.

Free shipping works like a charm. In fact, in an experiment done on NuFace – a facial lifting ecommerce store, their orders increased by 90%. Furthermore, their Average Order Value also increased by 7.32%. If you can afford it, make sure you test free shipping with your offers.

10. Make Your Products Easy to Find

There are customers who hop on to your online store because they already know what they want. But for the rest, they have no clue. Consider it as the online version of window shopping. They want to see what you’ve got. And that’s why product filters are important.

Product filters sort your products. Filtering mechanism helps visitors focus on the items that match their desire. Think about what is important to your visitors and create filters that are relevant to them.

According to Smashing Magazine, 42% of ecommerce websites don’t use category specific filters, not even for their core products. If you do this correctly, you’ll certainly be ahead of the curve.

11. Write Great Product Descriptions

Product descriptions are important. Great copies can are the difference between a sky-high conversion rate and a normal one. They are the reason why people promote your brand or why they don’t even remember you.

According to the Nielsen Group, on a full Amazon page, only 18% of the time was spent on viewing photos. The remaining time was spent on the text. Not optimizing your product descriptions is similar to flushing your money down the drain. While most of your competitors are lazy and rely on copy-pasting descriptions, this is your perfect chance to stand out.

How? Tell a story about the product. Humans love stories. We pass on information from one person to another through stories. In fact, telling a story around your product will increase its value for your customers, thus encouraging higher conversion rates.

12. Make Your Checkout Process Distraction-Free

Do you know that 68.63% of customers abandon shopping carts. Some of them do so due to indecisiveness or lack of interest. However, a lot of customers do so because of a complicated checkout process. Reduce your cart abandonment rate by making the check out process easier for the customer. Here are some tips:

  • Reduce distraction from the checkout page. Just let the customer checkout.
  • Educate your customers about the number of steps that are required to finish the checkout process.
  • Do not force them to create accounts. Instead let them check out as guests.

To Sum Up!

Although there are various other ecommerce best practices that should also be considered by entrepreneurs, however, if you incorporate the above-mentioned practices, your web shop will begin to experience profitable results.

Evaluate your conversion rates timely and improvise your strategies accordingly. Remember, what may work for one brand may not work for you. Therefore, don’t worry. Just continue being unique and your customers will give you the loyalty you seek.

Share your opinion in the comment section. COMMENT NOW

Sharjeel Ashraf

Sharjeel loves to write about startups and ecommerce. In his free time, he is on the road or working on some cool project in his den.

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