If you’re like lots of other entrepreneurs around the globe these days who have identified the big trend in online sales, you may have been building your own e-commerce store recently or are planning to launch one soon. If so, you’ll be happy to know that the growth in e-commerce is set to keep on increasing. In fact, according to August 2016 information released by the Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce, the combined U.S. retail online sales for the second quarter of 2016 came to $97.3 billion. This figure is a 4.5 percent increase from the first quarter of the year.
While this growth sector is a booming one though, joining it does also mean that you face plenty of competition. You aren’t up against just other U.S. companies either, but also other businesses from across the globe. As a result, if you want to achieve all the goals you dream of with your venture, you must look for ways to be smarter and more effective than your competitors.
One way to go about doing this is to ensure that you get as many sales as possible every day. While there are many elements to increasing this figure, one important one is the conversion rate on your website — that is, how many people who put things in their virtual shopping basket actually complete the transaction. If you’re keen to help your revenue and customer base grow significantly in 2017, read on for three key tips you can follow today.
Design a Customer-Friendly Website
The first thing you need to do if you want to enjoy a good conversation rate is make sure that your website, particularly the checkout, works well for your customers. After all, if people can’t find what they’re looking for straight away, they’ll typically just click away to another site. As a result, you need to design your site in a way that makes the whole process of shopping easy for consumers. They should be able to find products quickly and not have any trouble adding them to their cart, and then also find it a cinch to check out and make payment when they’re ready.
When considering site design and how to make things quick and seamless for shoppers, you should firstly make the “Add to Cart” and “Checkout Now” buttons large enough, and in a visible spot on the page, so that customers don’t have to search for them.
One of the most important elements, though, of good website design for e-commerce stores is the checkout. When shoppers arrive at this area, they should not have to sign up for an account, choose a password, or have to input any unnecessary information or answer non-essential questions. If you make people have to spend too long and go through too many “pain points” to finalize their transaction, they’re much more likely to simply abandon the cart all together.
One way of making things easier for people is to utilize pre-fill form functionality. Once this is done, the checkout will be set up so that it automatically pre-fills particular sections of the checkout. This way, customers won’t have to type in every single detail. For example, often when billing address information is inputted, the same data can be automatically transferred to the delivery address field.
Provide Multiple Payment Options
Next, make sure that you give shoppers variety when it comes to the payment options they can choose from. These days, most consumers expect to have numerous payment choices presented to them when they get to a checkout and will be very disappointed (and more likely to not complete their transaction) if they can only pay via a Visa or MasterCard.
If you want to increase your conversion rate then, think about expanding the types of payments you accept. It is a good idea to take debit cards and the less common credit cards (such as Diners Club and American Express), as well as PayPal and Apple Pay transactions.
Furthermore, consider adding other options such as gift cards, reward points, over-the-phone payments, direct debits, BPAY, ACH payment processing, electronic checks, and various other mobile wallets. Keep in mind that the more transaction types you make available for shoppers, the more likely it is that they will find the payment choice they’re keen to use, and that they will also recommend your store to others and return for future purchases.
Tailor Processes for Your Specific Buyer Type
Lastly, you will tend to always see your conversion rate rise if you design your website processes in a way that is tailored specifically for the shoppers you are targeting. Be aware that the ideal process for your store’s specific buyer type is likely not going to the one that is the most affordable, quickest, or easiest for you to implement. However, a little extra time, effort and cost on your end can make a significant difference to your conversion rate and be absolutely worth it.
To design shopping and payment processes in a way that suit your customers, think about the type(s) of people who will be using your site and how and when they like to shop. Consider things such as:
- Which devices they will use to browse and buy
- Smaller mobile devices
- Larger desktop computers
- When they typically do their shopping
- On-the-go during the work day
- At lunch
- Late at night when the kids have gone to sleep
- Or another time
Once you’re clear about these kinds of details, you will be able to design the layout, navigation, checkout, and other features of your store to suit your buyers’ needs and wants. This will in turn make the process easier for them, and result in more finalized transactions.