The E-commerce business is continuing to explode. The competition is immense and fierce, but don’t worry. Whether you sell toys or power tools, we are here to help you stay ahead of the competition. Here are seven overarching tips to apply to any E-commerce business you run.
1. Quick Loading Time
Fast loading times are essential for the preservation of your E-commerce business. The biggest reason why the loading time matters is this: bounce rate. A bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who enter the site and then leave (“bounce”) rather than coming to view other pages within the same site.
There is nothing worse in the E-commerce business than to finally reach the point where you organically drive traffic, only to have those viewers leave because your website will not load.
Simply put, that is money walking out the door.
Additionally, having optimal loading speed can help you maintain a high SEO ranking. So, not only does speed help you keep clients on your site, it also drives clients to your site. The reason is twofold: keeping traffic on your site while driving traffic to your site.
Here are some ways to get your website up to speed.
Before you go and invest a ton of time into these tips, you should probably find out the status of your web page speed to begin with. Using tools such as Pingdom and GTmetrix will help you figure out the current state of your loading speed. Moreover, these tools will help you understand where exactly you are falling short.
The first area you should consider examining is your webhost. Your host should have a reliable reputation for having quick loading times. It is possible that the reason your website takes so long to load is due to your hosting. If this is the case, you may want to switch. There are many blogs post reviewing and rating the best webhosts. A simple google search can guide you to the one that is right for your business.
Once your Webhosting is either cleared up or switched, you may consider utilizing a CDN (Content Delivery Network). This tool comes in handy if you have costumers who are extremely far away from your server. If you have a lot of Global costumers, getting a CDN set up is worth the effort. This will allow your web page to function at a quick speed, regardless of the user’s location.
Consider image sizes on your page. Images can naturally take up a lot of space. Therefore, it will take images longer to load. Compressing or using plugins to help compress the images into smaller files will help. Lazy loading of images is a setup that requires that images only load once the user scrolls down to the photo’s location. The summation of these techniques can eliminate image loading issues and in turn improve your site.
Finally, one of the most basic ways to keep a web page’s speed up to par is using catches. If you are using WordPress, then this task is a lot easier. There are several WordPress plugins that will get the job done for you.
2. Mobile Friendly
It is becoming common knowledge for those in the web business that half of internet traffic is through mobile phones. What does this mean for you? Making sure your E-com site is user-friendly for those using their iPhones and Androids is imperative. If you fail to recognize this, you could be missing out on the other half of your consumer base. Additionally, poor attention to mobile users will drop your SEO rank.
Here are some ways to go about this.
First, you need to understand if your site is mobile responsive. To test this, simply grab the corner of your website’s screen and push it in. If it adjusts accordingly, you are good to go. Another way to check is by using Google’s Search Console.
If you seem to be falling short in this area, it’s time to call up your web team or a third-party developer to assist you. This is going to save you a big headache in the long run.
If you are truly trying to scale, it only makes sense to make your web page as mobile-friendly as possible. A mobile-friendly website is what google wants on the top of their search results.
3. Intuitive design
Make sure all your content is laid out properly for your consumers. Group your categories well. You don’t want someone frustrated that they can’t get to the men’s section. In the realm of fashion, some stores have the screen divided between men and women the moment you open the website. Allowing them to quickly decide and get to shopping.
A way to see how intuitive a site is for someone is to see how people in real-time interact with the layout. Ask people on your team if they have time to participate in a user design test. Take note of how fast and quickly they go through the process to get what they need. Even help the testing by saying they are a certain customer looking for a certain product.
4. Quality Photos
Costumers value quality photos of the products they are buying. It is important that the photos are high resolution and that there are a few angles to view the item from. This gives the consumer peace of mind. Hire a professional photographer with solid recommendations.
If you decide to do it yourself there are a few options. Assuming you have invested in a good camera, it might be worthwhile to set up a little photography studio where you work. Setting up a studio can be a huge upside if your site requires photos constantly.
If you only need photos occasionally, consider booking a professional studio in your area for the day to get all the photos you need.
5. Social Media
It is important to take note of the fact that building customer trust and brand awareness is an effective way to build your consumer base. It is one thing to have an E-commerce store, it is another thing to have an e-commerce store that continually has traffic.
Utilizing social platforms to show off costumers using your products and announcing discounts can be a way to develop a sort of fan base. This can be extremely useful in the long run.
Running targeted Facebook and Instagram ads can help with your brand’s awareness and potentially drive sales. Try using hashtags related to your content and jump into those conversations. Directly offer those individuals a discount to your store.
Make sure your Instagram and Facebook feed resembles your brand. Incorporate brand colors and tone. Do your best to make it as interesting as possible. You want to keep your potential customer scrolling through the feed until they are convinced that you are selling great items.
Make sure to include clickable links in your bio. This allows a customer to get to your site right away and view your store. Remember, the less effort they go through to get to your site and view the products they want to see, the more likely they are to make a purchase.
6. Simplified Checkout
Speaking of simplicity, the checkout process is an area that should not be complicated. It should be a very narrow and focused pathway for the consumer to click the confirm order button. That is the end goal.
While many shops want you to make an account or add information before continuing to the checkout process, this can be problematic in many ways for the consumers. This is a significant reason why cart abandonment happens so often.
A couple steps to consider:
Make sure the add to cart button is clearly displayed and especially present when something is in the cart. Some sites have the order summary displayed on the sidebar with “continue to checkout” in order to press for the purchase.
Once the user has collected all the items and has clicked checkout, immediately bring them to the checkout page
Try to confine the checkout area into 3 pages. For example, Product overview and address, payment, and thank you page. Make these pages simple with proper labels and very little distractions. This not a solid industry rule, but it follows the principle of getting the customer to quickly and easily confirm their order.
Collecting info should come second and never be forced. It is better to have a customer buy something and then be willing to give you their info. On the contrary, when info is forced it leads to the potential buyer leaving the site altogether.
7. Payment Gateway
Finally, what every great E-commerce site has is an effective payment gateway. A payment gateway is essentially what allows customers to securely put in their credit card information, run it through a payment processor, and then confirm that the store owner has received the payment.
Payment gateways should be quick and intuitive for your customers to use. Most importantly they should be secure.
What you really want to watch for as a merchant is the processing fee. There are many payment processing giants who charge a flat rate for everything. Sounds simple, right? That is because it is! However, it comes at a cost. With flat-rate pricing, the actual cost of the transaction the processing company pays is much, much lower on average than what they are charging you
The catch is your paying that high fee for every single transaction. You lose a lot of money that way.
However, there is another model called the “Interchange” model. Interchange is far better for the merchant. It looks at each transaction case-by-case and then applies the correct charge set by the card network. Therefore, you are saving money by not paying the high flat rate every time.
Unfortunately, if you are using Paypal or Stripe, you are paying way too much. Veterans in the E-com business know that this is a very important area to have control. You have worked hard to get your daily transactions. You should be keeping as much of your hard-earned money as possible with each transaction.
If you’re curious about how to keep more of your money, fill out the form below!