More than a billion people buy online each year. As a result, plenty of entrepreneurs want in on the act and launch ecommerce startups. While there is plenty of growth still left in the market, the lowered barriers to entry and the increased numbers of competitors also mean it can be tricky to create an online store that gets the sales you need for long-term success.
To counteract this, it’s important to continually look for ways to convert more leads into sales. Read on for some key tips for doing this in your ecommerce store today.
Have an Effective Website
One of the key parts of online trading success is having a good website. Remember: It’s not enough to have a site that looks good (though this is important); you also need it to work well and be easy for your customers to use.
Shoppers must be able to find what they’re after quickly, or else they’ll simply click away and look elsewhere. Your navigation needs to be user-friendly, so browsers can easily see what they should do next to complete their goals. Additionally, provide enough information about products and other factors involved in online shopping, such as delivery details, payment options, guarantee information etc., that people have their questions answered and don’t have to go looking for info.
The checkout, in particular, needs to be set up well for customers. It should be easy for people to see how to add items to their cart, how to keep shopping and how to checkout when they’re ready. You want to have large, noticeable “Add to Cart” and “Checkout Now” buttons in prominent places on your webpages, for example.
Once people are in the cart, you don’t want them to be forced to sign up for an account to complete their transaction. This kind of rigmarole turns a lot of shoppers off. By all means, have an option for people to sign up, but it shouldn’t be a requirement. The added time and hassle of inputting a password or answering non-essential questions can be enough to turn people off. Typically, the longer people have to spend fighting against “pain points” when they try to finalize their transaction, the more likely it is that they’ll just abandon the cart altogether.
Provide Payment Choices
It’s hard to enjoy the level of sales you’d like on your online store without giving customers a wide variety of payment choices to select from. These days, shoppers are used to being able to pick the transaction type that suits them and may not complete their purchase or return to your store again if they can’t find the payment option they prefer.
As such, while it’s important to have a credit card terminal built into your cart that can handle Visa and MasterCard transactions, you also want it to be able to accept other card types, like American Express and Discover. In addition, consumers are keen to pay using PayPal and Apple Pay, BPAY, direct debits (for recurring payments, for things like monthly memberships or auto-renew products), loyalty reward points, gift cards and electronic checks.
Build Trust with Shoppers
To convert more sales, look for ways to build trust with shoppers. Online, they can’t speak face-to-face with retail assistants or touch products to get an idea of what they’re like in person. You need to ensure your website conveys to people that your business is real, professional, legitimate, secure and going to be around for the long term.
You can build trust by highlighting any particular industry groups or other key associations you’re part of, such as the “Google Trusted” program, BBB Accredited Business group or relevant industry or Chamber of Commerce–type associations. Add the logos of these organizations to your website.
In addition, display site seals and logos of trusted companies you work with in your business, especially when it comes to transacting orders. For example, show shoppers you utilize well-known payment gateways and other merchant systems (like Visa, MasterCard, American Express, PayPal, eBay and Shopify), and indicate which SSL providers you use in your store to keep transactions secure, such as GeoTrust or Thawte.
Furthermore, always add any excellent feedback you have received from past customers onto your site as this helps to make shoppers feel more comfortable. Upload positive testimonials about your business in general, as well as reviews of the products you sell.