When going out on a dinner date with that someone “special”, you would have this as a checklist (not exactly, but sort of):
- Nicely pressed shirt
- Wrinkle free trousers
- Fresh jacket to match
Planning your next vacation at the beach? A little sunscreen, some dark shades and cool trousers will come in handy for you. Your next business meeting would require you to have classy power suit with a tie and shining shoes.
Where Am I Actually Going with All This??
Clothes make a good man (or woman) look great. Likewise, great elements on a website that are handled properly make an ecommerce store look great! Assuming, you are running short on time, you would want to buy all these aforementioned clothing from an online store, only if it is made to your liking.
Therefore, do you think your ecommerce site have what it takes to convert a visitor into a customer? You can use the following checklist to find out!
1. Instinctive Navigation
I believe one of the biggest conversion factors for any ecommerce site is a great navigation. Around 70% of visitors that come and stay on your site, use navigation to browse through it.
Navigation acts like a filter. It helps your users to find the products they are looking for. Take my word for it: You will be doing your site a favor when you create broken down product categories into logical sub categories; for example,
Electronics >> Consumer Electronics >> Mobiles and Tablets >> iOS
When you have made a logical breakdown of the categories, you need to make sure that the navigation bar or product categories are clearly visible to the visitor. If a visitor has to hunt down an item he or she needs, then the chances of that visitor bouncing off your store increases.
2. In-Site Smart Search Bar
If your site navigation fails to touch the expected benchmark, then you can still save your customer by providing an in-site search function that offers results that are quick and relevant. In-site Search function also serves as a great starting point for knowledgeable users who know what they are looking for and what specifications they have in mind for their product.
Big ecommerce sites like Amazon, Walmart, BestBuy, have search bars in a prominent spot on the website, usually in the top center, right above the main navigation bar. Be careful about the size of the bar. You need to have a large enough search bar that can house longer queries involving product specification and filters.
3. Easy Checkout
One of the major reasons why customers move to online shopping is to avoid the long waiting times that customers have to suffer because of long queues at the cash register. Do not make the mistake of replicating their misery at your ecommerce website by complicating the checkout method.
Try and keep the checkout method as simple as possible, with minimal fields in the checkout forms requesting only the most essential information that you need. Take it a notch up by including the option of Guest Checkouts, as customers usually don’t find it friendly to register before checking out from a site. You should offer guest checkouts to all your new users to make them comfortable with your store. The best practice for an optimized checkout process is that it is free from any distractions (no pop up ads, banners, site navigation bar etc.) and allows a user to complete the transaction with ease.
4. Multitude Payment Options
Customers have multitude options to pay for when shopping in the real world, including cash, credit and debit cards, coupons, gift cards, checks, store credit, NFC and more. Unluckily, such is not the case when we move to the online world. Ecommerce companies, or the Online Community, have not been able to adopt a variety of payment options for transaction mechanisms.
Online retailers around the world are switching to alternate methods for payments, specially after rising incidences of major security breaches concerning leading retail chains. To mitigate the risks, online shoppers are moving towards different payment methods e.g. PayPal, Bitcoin, prepaid vouchers. Most developing countries also offer the option of cash on delivery payments and it is the most used in some South Asian countries as well. More advanced payment methods are also available like the Google Wallet and Apple Pay, which allows you to sync your cards by using a single application. Users can use a POS system at a retail store by using their mobile phone without taking out their wallets.
5. Trust Factors
The world is getting more connected and people are now more concerned about guarding their online privacy. This consumer trait has spilled over to their financial data as well. Some visitors on your website, afraid of receiving spam emails and messages or having their private data sold to a third party, will not be willing to part with their emails or phone numbers.
When a customer is paying with a credit or a debit card, they need to be rest assured that their financial information will not be mistreated and the website is safe to shop at. Therefore, it is the job of the owner of the ecommerce site to build faith in its visitors by offering subtle trust cues across the website. When asking the users to fill out form with private information, you need to clarify that the data will not be misused and will never be sold to a third party. You can do this by using a microcopy beneath the various data driven fields during your checkout processes.
Go a step further and place popular security measures that help prevent data misuse. Place verified logo like Verisign and McAfee, which assure the users that their data will be handled with care.
Even if I make a new blog site, I would not be able to cover the list of all the essential elements that make up a successful ecommerce site. However, for the coming holiday season, you can use these five tips to optimize your ecommerce store and I promise you that your results will make you come back for more tips and trick on how to win with ecommerce during the 2015 holiday season. Rest assured, we won’t disappoint you. Just like Cloudways never ceases to disappoint when it comes to managed hosting services! Don’t believe me? See for yourself with a FREE Trial for 3 Days!
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