As consumer behaviour continues to shift towards the internet, engaging in e-commerce has become a prerequisite for any business to thrive. Online stores are now the norm when it comes to buying and selling products or services.
With this change in the business landscape, some of the strategies business owners use in retail stores may no longer apply online. If you run an online store, you have to find new ways to stand out and pique the consumers’ interest.
This is where e-commerce website optimization comes in.
Improving Shopping Experience
Anything can happen from the time visitors land on your pages to the time they check out with their purchases, and they can easily abandon their pursuit of your product or service anywhere in between. To increase your chances of converting them into paying customers, you have to give them the best user experience possible. Here’s how:
- Seamless Navigation
When it comes to online shopping, you have to understand that the consumer’s patience is not infinite. After all, convenience is the main reason why they opt to shop online. With this in mind, your website’s navigation is one of the first things you must look at. Make it easy for them to find what they need or want by making your menu user-friendly.
For instance, if your drop-down menu is too long, consider streamlining it by redirecting to a separate menu page. If important details are left out because of this optimization, adding a fat footer is an excellent solution. Another feature you can add is a floating or sticky “buy button,” so users won’t have to scroll through an entire page before they can proceed to the checkout.
- Fast and Responsive Site Search
Along the same vein as the first example, making your website fast and responsive will increase your chances of making a sale before the potential customer decides to abandon the purchase.
One simple way you can facilitate this is by giving your search box prime real estate on your web page and making it smarter. Users who already have an idea what they want would find it faster with a helpful search box at hand.
- Product View
One of the biggest concerns for newbie and even experienced online shoppers is having a realistic impression of the products, but it is something a rich product view can give. Use high-quality photos that can still depict the product texture when zoomed.
- Omnichannel Capability
Potential customers are everywhere, and the trick is engaging them where they are. Having the ability to provide a personalized user experience across many channels increases your chances of reaching more users and ultimately converting them.
- Checkout Experience
This may come as a surprise to some online store owners, but checkout experience is critical to most buyers. A staggering 69% of online shoppers abandon their cart during the checkout process for various reasons. If you make your checkout process faster and easier to use, this can increase your conversion rate significantly.
Boosting Trust Signals
A website’s credibility is one of the most important considerations for online shoppers and for a good reason. It can be difficult for any shopper to trust a brand without seeing a physical store or talking to an actual salesperson. Still, there are ways to give online shoppers the assurance that they need:
- Seller Ratings and Customer Reviews
Ratings and reviews give online shoppers an important insight into the quality of the product. The ratings help them compare one product to another, while reviews give users an impartial opinion they can relate to.
- Contact and CommunicationIn lieu of a physical store, posting verifiable contact details prominently on your website can help assure online shoppers that your business is legitimate. This is helpful if they have questions or concerns about a product or service they want to purchase.
- Payment Assurance
For customers to be willing to part with their money, you have to assure them that they will get what they pay for. This is the point where customers are most vulnerable to cart abandonment.
Displaying badges and certifications from independent security organizations go a long way in building trust among customers, especially if the logos or icons are familiar to them.
Increasing Visibility to Search Engines
Grabbing the attention of potential customers is only half the battle. Getting your website in their line of sight is the other. Even if you have the best website in the world, it will do you no good if your target customers could not find it in search engine results pages.
- Optimize Your Web Pages
To increase your ranking from search engines, you must optimize your pages, especially those that drive the most traffic to your website. Make full use of available keyword tools to be competitive in your target keywords. Make sure you apply all SEO practices to your home page, product pages, category pages, and blog section.
- Internal Linking
Strategic internal linking is another way to provide value to your visitors and receive a better ranking from search engines. For instance, you can link related products to popular blog pages on your website.
Optimizing your e-commerce website makes it visible to search engines and accessible to more potential customers. It is one of the most cost-efficient ways to take your brand to the next level in today’s competitive business landscape.