Shopping online is becoming the norm for just about everything these days. With so many websites available selling similar, if not the same items, how can you optimize the process so that the customer completes the purchase on your site?
There are a few steps you can take:
SEO/Ads – obviously the shopper needs to find your site. While this is a blog post of itself, the first step for the potential customer is to find your site.
Onsite optimizing – this is where tweaking your site really comes into play. It’s one thing for the customer to find your site, navigate to the right product, add to the cart but then they have to make the purchase, so removing barriers of any kind are important. Lets look at a few tips here.
Clear navigation – mega menu. I installed a mega menu on a site and page views dropped drastically, bounce rate and time on site stayed level, sales went up. People were finding what they wanted sooner and checked out more quickly.
Sensible categorization of inventory – don’t add every product to every category, no one will find anything. It might help to have all those keywords on every page for SEO but you have to think about the human coming to make the purchase, those keywords are overload and could frustrate the potential customer.
Add to cart button and button colour. This is one of the most interesting areas for me, you want the button up top near the price and description so it’s obvious and then which colour is more likely to entice a click, they can’t buy it if they don’t click the button. Removing any kind of hesitation, indecision in this critical moment is crucial. I’ve tried 4 buttons colours using other sites as a guide. So far an Amazon style yellow button has worked the best. Remember – the button colour has to fit with you site’s colour scheme.
Ok, so they’ve clicked the button. They’re on the cart page. Now what? If you’re shipping physical products, in my opinion, it’s always good to have a “calculate shipping cost” option to show the true total. Many items ship free these days but recent shipping changes have meant that some companies are now charging for shipping or have free shipping over a certain threshold. Make it clear that checkout is with a secure service, either via SSL on your site or with a payment gateway like PayPal.
The checkout page – this page you want to be free of any distractions. Let them checkout via a social login to speed things up, don’t force them to create an account, people have too many accounts already. A one-page design offered by WooCommerce works well. No need to input info before you can move to the next step. Yes, there are benefits to capturing an email via a multi step process or creating an account before they finalise a purchase (so you can remarket to them if they abandon their cart) but many people prefer an easy seamless checkout where they don’t feel like they’ll be tied into anything down the line.
Many of these tips and tweaks have been implemented in my pet project, Green Water Sports, sellers of inflatable stand up paddle boards such as Red Paddle Co, Naish and Starboard. Mega menu, calculate shipping option, trimmed down checkout page with no menu or footer.