The days turn into nights. We are burning the midnight oil to craft the perfect online sales platform. This could change the game.
Finally, launch day has arrived. Everything has panned out. It looks fantastic. You are ready for the orders to start pouring in. Let us get moving.
Watching the traffic trickle in; someone is checking out your favorite product too, someone else is adding to cart, a third just visited the space. How exciting!
What isn’t exciting, is watching this pattern happen time and time again. Wondering why, after perusing through the carefully put together shopping experience, they click off without so much as a purchase. How is this happening?
The nuances of ecommerce retailing are critical to understanding how an end-user or prospective client tackles the journey from visiting the virtual space to completing a transaction. These could be both small scale and large scale components that help craft a fulfilling and easy to navigate experience.
As the proprietor of your digital retail platform, it becomes important to assess your store front objectively. Spend time perusing competitors and front runners of varying fields, understanding what you liked and didn’t like about your buying experience. Disintegrating the process your customers go through will offer perspective as to why transactions can be propelled to success and others are held back.
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Questions to ask yourself
Understanding where the dissonance between virtual traffic and sales comes from, begins with understanding the process itself. As the brains behind your ecommerce store, have you been able to map through the purchasing process yourself from start to finish?
Your answer at this point should be a firm “Yes”.
The following series of questions will help break down the importance of every element and interaction prospective customers encounter and whether it aids or breaks down the process;
- Is the navigation from page to page and element to element simple to use and understand?
- Do you offer any information that doesn’t assist with the buying process on any pages?
- In comparison to competitors, how distinct and professional is your choice of branding?
- Are the instructions from logging on to the page till “Order Placed Successfully” crystal clear?
- Is your website mobile device friendly?
- How are customers interacting with your website? What are they clicking, searching, reading and lingering on?
- Is the wording, colors and superficial elements on the portal speaking to your target audience successfully?
- Are shoppers adding products to their cards? Are they simply leaving them in the cart and logging off?
- Do the pricing structures and payment options compete with your competitors?
- Are there other factors that haven’t been considered?
Where are you stuck? Lingering customers?
Observing the trajectory of incoming traffic can demystify how to get more sales online. When clients log onto the purchasing portal, where do they go? Are there any obstacles they reach when trying to access pages they would like to visit? Are they lingering on an element on a page in particular?
When customers are stagnant on an element chances are they are either very interested, or very confused. Look through your purchasing process from start to finish. Are you able to clearly understand every piece of information shared. Is anything raising a question mark? Are there any delays between simple actions such as “add to cart” and “view cart” or lack of sizing options and details?
It is of paramount importance to understand where customers tend to be led astray in order to fix what is impeding their shopping experience.
Employing social media promotion directives is a great way to broaden brand visibility. Facebook advertisements and Instagram boosting widens your scope of reach and offers an interactive advertising platform. Prospective customers click to view something they are actually interested in.
Ensuring your customers are taken to pertinent information upon their first interaction with your brand is critical to building credibility and encouraging customers to initiate the purchasing process to successful completion.
Improve your ecommerce website by ensuring your site is easy to navigate. Eradicating complicated processes or the need for assistance to execute simple commands will prevent the breakdown of interest to proceed further.
Delaying the gratification of the shopping experience is enough reason for a customer to terminate the same and look for something easier. Ensuring the products available on your website are curated, easy to find, clean, verified and detailed helps customers move through the purchasing process seamlessly.
Key components that comprise of every product page include;
- Multiple high quality images that show the product sold as is, and where possible, use cases.
- Clear, concise titles that offer valid introductions to the products.
- Descriptions need to offer product information but also be easy to understand.
- Review areas offer security and comfort, knowing that a like minded individual has purchased the product and validated all the online information accompanying it.
- Stock and Call to Action indicators encourage prospective clients to purchase. Customers are more likely to purchase if availability is scarce or a discount code pops up.
First impressions matter. With the never ending stream of ecommerce platforms offered, are you distinctive?
Build an online ecommerce store that represents what you stand for and the niche you are trying to carve out for yourself. Keeping elements clean, crisp and in line with your brand identity offer a sense of professional identity.
Imagine walking into a store and seeing unclean floors, uncategorized purchasing options and a broken register that accepts “cash only”. Now imagine, a “how can we help you?” upon entry into sparkling displays and inviting arrangements. Everything is sparkling including the sign telling you everything including your e-Wallet and pet are accepted here.
Key elements to ensure credibility include;
- A strong and professional logo.
- Distinguishable visual elements e.g. colors, fonts consistent with your brand identity.
- Clear, crisp, non-pixelated images/pictures.
- Easy to read and print text
If you are not offering an enjoyable shopping experience filled with colors, patterns and excitement, why should clients be shopping from you? Better yet, would you patron your establishment?
What are you Saying? Your words matter
Grow commerce sales by saying what you mean, and meaning what you say. A 100% proven ecommerce growth strategy lies in the wording of any information distributed from you (the verified source) to the world (prospective customers).
The information available on your website tells customers everything they need to know about you. Your choice of information, the words, the tone and the grammar all play a role in establishing the care taken to build your business.
Ensuring the customer has an answer to any question they might have through the incorporation of contact information, frequently asked questions, shipping, size guides and company information builds credibility and expresses care for customer needs.
Wording the information is just as critical as offering it. Trying to reach out to a target demographic of ages 50+ with millennial slang will not work. The same way keeping information static and dull will not draw in a younger audience, if that is your aim.
Your target audience dictates how you need to frame any material on an online shopping store.
“If your homepage copy tries to speak to everyone, then it speaks to no-one”.
Check-out process and policies
Back to the “cash only” registers, with the growing amount of payment options why would you limit your customers options?
Incorporating as many payment options into a clean, secure payment console allows customers the ability to do what is convenient for themselves. Convenience is a crucial part of the ecommerce revolution. Ensuring various methods of payment act as further incentive to purchase from your store.
The same diversity needs to reflect in your policies. Terms and conditions, while lengthy and often unread, are crucial when establishing the stipulations of every transaction between your company and client.
On a more user friendly scale, the information stored in your “About Us” page and within product details MUST be transparent.
Social media links help reinforce the directives you explain within your website as a further element of validation.
As an educated consumer, how many times do you investigate a brand and get irked by a lack(ing/lustre) social media presence? A brands social media presence explains their willingness to understand their clients from a ground level, while offering direct and verified communication channels.
The information relayed between the establishment and the clients must be updated frequently, must be honest and, in line with the times, hold a valid and verifiable social media presence.
What you might not be considering..
There may be a number of other factors not being considered that affect the purchasing capabilities of your platform;
- Let’s talk about pricing. Ecommerce pricing strategies depend heavily on competitors. If your branding, your platform and your advertising are great but your pricing is higher, you could lose your customer. Boost commerce by ensuring all round competitive rates and translatable costs e.g. shipping, customs, taxes.
- Your target demographic, have you identified them? Do your resources cater towards bringing them in as prospective clients? A uniform message helps create brand identity and offers your targeted clients a vision they can get behind.
- Communicating with your customers (prospective or existing) is crucial as well. Mailers with discounts or notifying them of new stock could provide additional incentive for purchase from you.
- Asking for feedback could also help understand where roadblocks are arising. Ensuring fluid communication with your customer base can be done through multiple channels today; social media, email, phone calls, messaging services, etc. Make sure you have maximum availability to your customer. As they say “customer is king”
Ensuring an ease of navigation not only for the customer, but for you, the proprietor is just as important. If you are unable to build, customize, or edit your retailing portal to adjust your users shopping experience, you need a change.
Have you met VARStreet?
What if we told you, a simple solution was just a click away? VARStreet offers a comprehensive service enabling any of your online retailing needs. Adding the distinguishable details has never been easier!
Integrate the softwares you are comfortable with into an even easier to maneuver solution. VARStreet provides the latest in ecommerce platform building and design. Customize even the most niche requirements into a surprisingly flexible system.
Incorporate your customer relationship management, payment portals, analytics, online support and any other critical element to the success of your online store into one consolidated unit. Easy to understand dashboards offer information as micro or macro as required.
Ecommerce does not need to be a complicated endeavor, click here for the answer to all your online retail platform building questions.