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Why is my online shop not making more sales?

~ by Lidia V

Generally, a good conversion rate for an ecommerce site is one that is better than you have right now. As there are so many variables which affect conversions, it’s tough to compare sites using the apples to apples approach. The quality of your site traffic has a lot to do with your conversion rate and on average a 1% to 2% is considered good. My latest module which covers Ecommerce selling elements through the CXL Institute provides some useful perspectives on how to drive sales and increase the probability of customers checking out and completing their purchases.

Good quality images and great product descriptions

Good quality images and great product descriptions are vital when it comes to ecommerce. The more images you have of a product, and the better the functionality such as being able to zoom or to depict different angles, the more convincing you will be.

Basically, you will need to work twice as hard to make your products come alive through professional photography and graphics. Another useful tip is to provide context to your images as well as uses. When it comes to product descriptions, the idea is to provide consumers with sufficient information to convince them that the product is suitable for them. Also, ensure your copy is concise without any hype. Be clear!

If you are able to produce product videos which are even more engaging and persuasive, test it out to see if it makes a difference.

Free shipping

A huge majority of customers expect free shipping. Examine whether you can offer free shipping for orders over a certain amount and see whether your conversion rate goes up.

Sales and promotions

Offering discounted items is a hugely appealing trend, especially as the precedent was set by many collective buying sites such as Hyperli and Groupon back in the day. A dedicated sales section on your site might work well and help customers to find discounted products easier.

Decreasing shopping cart abandonment

When customers drop off your site during the checkout process, you lose them for many unknown reasons. Research shows that as shoppers become more sophisticated with online shopping trends, they compare shop even as they move towards the checkout process. Here are some helpful reasons as to why shoppers abandon the checkout process:

Price point. If your product is priced the same or similarly to competitors, people will make their decision based on price. If your price is the most competitive, make it known and make sure it’s true. If you choose to compete on value instead of price, ensure you communicate this clearly.

Inconvenience. Are you asking for too much information and forcing customers to register?

Address uncertainty. Will it fit me? Can I return it? Use a live chat widget to address any queries or comments the customer might have. Also, make a list of the most common objections or doubts and address them on product pages and in the shopping cart. Explain to customers what your return policy is.

Slow site. Ensure your site loading speed is fast.

Provide clear progress indicators

People like to be in control and informed. When going through an arduous checkout process, it’s good to provide progress indicators – you can do this by outlining the length of the process by showing a timeline chart of steps to complete right at the beginning or provide ticks as they complete each required field.

Better search component

Search is crucial to online shopping as it helps consumers to quickly find what they need. Around 50% of visitors to an online shop navigate ecommerce sites using search. It’s also good practice to use autosuggest to product matches as users type in their search queries.

Choice paradox

If you have a big selection on your site, it makes it more difficult for users to choose something. For this reason, it’s good to provide filters. The more variety there is, the more and better the filters you provide need to be. A great example could be a wine site where you can filter wines based on varieties to help streamline the selection -whites, sparking, reds, rose’s, etc.

Short forms and simple credit card input

At some point, users will add items to their cart and head over to checkout. The success rate of getting them to complete their checkout process to the end will depend on forms. The more fields they have to fill in, the less motivated they may feel with having to complete all the fields. Try to make the process of filling out forms as brief as possible and only ask for the essentials. One must have feature is to have a box: “shipping address same as the billing address”.

Product reviews

We all know how powerful product reviews are. Ensure you are gathering and showcasing reviews on your site. Also, don’t delete negative reviews – they actually help to sell more product.

Strategic upselling

Upselling and cross-selling will boost your average order size but only if you stick to the basic rule. Only offer related complementary products and the product needs to be 60% cheaper than the main product someone just added. If they are purchasing a jacket, upsell a scarf or some jewellery. Don’t try to upsell while the customer is in the checkout process. It doesn’t work online.

Don’t copy big ecommerce brands

The bigger ecommerce competitors have an advantage over you. They are well-known and already have the customer’s trust. People are confident that they will receive their products on time or exchange something if need be.

Ensure you have big clear calls-to-actions

A user should never have to look for something. If shoppers need to search for “Add to Cart” or “Checkout” then something is horribly wrong. These are the two most important buttons in your store. You want to ensure they are big and bold. Also, stay away from text links. Bigger buttons are also generally better.

User testing

This is your best friend in helping you find problems with your interface that you might be unaware of. Provide the users who are testing your site with some tasks to complete and ask them to provide feedback as they are completing the task on the fly. Testing a single target is better than testing none at all.

“Solving niche challenges founders face”.

Illustrator: Lisa Williams (Instagram: @artist_llw)


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