December 12, 2021
So you’ve made the decision to sell your products on an e-commerce website.
That’s smart thinking!
Studies have shown that e-commerce was on a steady rise prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, but now, e-commerce is becoming the new standard. B2C sales on Amazon got things kicked off, and B2B e-commerce sales are following suit.
But are you having success selling your products in an e-commerce marketplace?
According to a Unilog Corp study, half of companies that operate an e-commerce website reached 10 percent of their overall sales from digital sources.
Are you having that kind of success? If not, there may be several reasons why, and if your e-commerce store is not optimized, then you could be missing out on a lot of money.
Conversions are the measure of success for an e-commerce website, and are measured by a customer making a purchase. On average, in 2020, the US conversion rate for all e-commerce sites was 2.86%.
That’s pretty low, which makes it necessary to make constant optimizations to address inadequacies.
But how do you know what’s working and what’s not?
This is where it comes in handy to have a professional digital marketing agency do the handy work, as there are many pieces of data that will point to what needs to be fixed.
Collecting core Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) can shed light on product pages that aren’t up to snuff, or a poor user experience. If a user is spending very little time on a product page, and leaves the website after viewing that page (this KPI is known as “bounce rate”), you can bet there’s a problem with that page, and it requires closer inspection.
There are several methods you can use to optimize your e-commerce website, but there’s a few things that you’ll want ready when you make the changes. Each step in the process requires data, and a team of experts to put changes into action.
The first step has already been touched on a bit, as you’ll want to assess what you currently have. Once you’ve collected your core KPIs, you can identify which pages need to be better. But before you go optimizing individual pages, it’s important to look at the performance overall with certain functionalities, such as mobile.
Your e-commerce website is optimized for mobile use, right?
It better be!
Studies have shown that m-commerce (mobile-commerce) will be responsible for nearly 73% of all e-commerce sales.
This is a part of the market that you cannot ignore, and it means that your e-commerce website has to be optimized for mobile use. Professional designers and developers will go a long way in making your m-commerce site user friendly.
Paying attention to these issues and having dedicated professionals to combat them will ensure that your online store operates smoothly and with a friendly user experience.
It’s important to keep up with current design and browsing trends. Your competition is moving online in increasing numbers, and a cookie cutter approach to your e-commerce site just won’t cut it.
And everyone’s industry should have a different approach, whether you’re an electrical supply distributor, or sell robotic equipment to factories. Trends in industries need to be paid attention to, as your customers are visiting several of your competitor’s sites prior to landing on yours.
E-commerce storefronts that appear outdated, generic or uninspiring are doomed to tank your conversion rates, and leave your ROI in the red. But having customized designs will not only create a better customer experience, but it will also make you stand out from your competition.
Your brand is important, and deserves to be well represented and give a professional feeling. Seasoned designers will start with your brand, and show how things like color schemes can improve aesthetics.
Each e-commerce website has it’s pros and cons, and will fit certain industries better than others. B2B companies may be surprised to learn that Amazon has e-commerce for you. Amazon Business is a fantastic e-commerce storefront for B2B sales, and there’s several more that work for both B2C, and B2B sellers.
Shopify is one of the most popular e-commerce platforms. Shopify is known for an easy user experience, and provides highly customizable templates that will enable you to set your storefront apart from your competitors.
Shopify is not for the faint of heart, as it takes a developer with very good coding skills to bring out all of the customizable features. But they do offer 24/7 support, and a very reliable mobile experience.
WooCommerce is from WordPress, and is their version of an e-commerce platform. WooCommerce is even more customizable than Shopify, and therefore, requires a professional team of developers to operate your store.
Choose WooCommerce if you want more control over every aspect of your user’s experience. You can make changes as the result of any core KPI that you’ve captured, from changing navigation, or the shopping cart and checkout experience.
Amazon Business provides an e-commerce platform that’s good for nearly every industry, and is very easy to use. It doesn’t have as many customizable features or plugins as the aforementioned platforms, but it does have some valuable tools.
The Amazon Business Sales Dashboard has several great features that provide valuable information. The Sales Dashboard will not only give recommendations on which products you should promote further, but it will also give you competitor analysis on similar products.
Now we finally get to the methods that you can use right now to improve your e-commerce site. Ideally, one of these optimization methods addresses a core KPI that’s lacking, and making the change will increase conversions.
One method that’s very effective in improving user experience is to leave “breadcrumbs.” This means having a visible path for the user to see what category they’re in, and how the current product page relates to it. By showing this, you’re creating a user experience that makes it easier for them to navigate through your site, and find other products that you offer.
Images of your products need to be crisp and professional, and if you can provide a video of your product in use, then you’re providing the user with a lot of information. Product descriptions need to be fleshed out by SEO experts, who can pick the most popular search terms that customers use to find your products.
When it comes to pricing, the first step is to look at your Call To Action (CTA): Does it ask the user to buy your product?
If the answer is “no,” then that’s your first problem. Any salesman will tell you that you have to ask for a client’s business if they’re going to purchase your products or services, and operating an e-commerce store is no different.
Another optimization method is your pricing itself. Of course, competitor analysis should be conducted ahead of offering your product. But you should also split test pricing to see which ones are more effective. There’s evidence that charm pricing -- ending a price in “9,” so “$9.99 instead of “$10” -- can double your conversions.
Did we mention that the mobile experience is important for the overall success of your e-commerce store?
We thought so!
But methodology is a different beast altogether. The first thing to pay attention to is speed. Not many users will put up with three second loading times, and when it comes to mobile, users are even less patient.
Most people have it in their brains that their mobile device should be just as functional, or even more functional than their PCs or laptops. That means that videos need to load fast and not buffer, pages need to load lightning quick and users need to be able to find your products.
Upselling has long been a sales tactic, and it’s a great opportunity to capture more business from a motivated buyer. Find out what products are likely bought together, and offer a deal for the other product on the product page, during checkout or after checkout.
A flash sale operates a bit differently, as these are used to make a customer feel a sense of urgency. It’s important to convey that this sale will not last, and users must hurry if they are to take advantage of it.
This can be accomplished in a few different ways, such as showing the competition for an offer, or by displaying reduced stock levels.
Cart abandonment is the kryptonite of the e-commerce experience, as many sites experience as high as 70% cart abandonment. That’s extremely high, and if you don’t want to accept that as a reality of e-commerce, then there’s a few things you can do to make sure your abandonment rates are much lower.
We have the technology now to know when a user is likely to leave the website, and if those behaviors are detected -- such as hovering over the back button -- that can trigger a pop up deal that incentivizes the user to stay and complete the purchase.
You should also be upfront about any upcharges that occur for things like tax and shipping and handling. Users don’t like surprises that tell them the price has changed for the worse. Be transparent, which also includes keeping the shopping cart always accessible and visible on every page as users shop.
These are just five methods of optimizing your e-commerce website, and given how intricate e-commerce platforms are getting, there’s a whole lot more you can do. Operating an e-commerce store is far different than running a website, and if you want to take advantage of all the optimization techniques available, it’s best to work with professionals who can maximize every opportunity to convert your users into customers.
Get the support you need to grow your Wholesale business online. Get in the ring with Main Event Digital.