Did you know that by 2040 it is expected that 95% of purchases will be facilitated by e-commerce according to Nasdaq? Or how about the fact that 54% of shoppers will purchase products left in shopping carts, if those products are offered at a lower price?
A lot goes into setting up and growing an e-Commerce business.
First, you have to decide what to sell.
Next, you have to figure out how to source your products, establish a business entity, set up your store, and drive traffic to that store.
So once you have traffic, you’re in the clear, right?
If that traffic doesn’t convert to sales, it’s essentially worthless.
Conversions don’t just happen either – you need to build your store in a way that’s designed to convert visitors into customers.
Here are some things you can do in 2019 that will help improve conversion rates for your e-Commerce store.
Personalise your product recommendations
When people visit a website, the more pages they have to click to find what they’re looking for, the less likely they are to make a purchase.
This is why it’s important to personalise how you present your products to your visitors as much as possible.
Here are a few e-commerce personalisation techniques you can implement for your store to improve conversion rates, increase return visits, and reduce your bounce rate.
- Product recommendations – personalising your product recommendations is one of the best ways to create a unique experience for your shoppers and reduce the bounce rate of your e-commerce store. For new shoppers, show off your best-selling products on the homepage. When returning customers come back to your website, showing them exactly what they’re looking for with some additional recommendations based on their browsing history can help increase your conversion rate and order size.
- Personalised emails – Emails are a great way to keep in touch with potential customers. However, if your emails are irrelevant to their needs, they’ll be easily ignored. Instead of sending out emails with general sales messages, target your emails towards your customers’ interests. This can be achieved by recommending additional products based on a recent purchase, alerting them of price drops based on their browsing history in your store, or offering them deals on their birthday.
- Push notifications – Like email, push notifications are a great way to bring people back to your store. These can be sent to your customer through their web browser or a native mobile app. Using push notifications, you can recommend new products to customers who made a recent purchase, send sale alerts based on their browsing history, or invite those with an empty cart back to your store to finish shopping.
When making product recommendations, it’s important that you continue to analyse your performance and adapt based on the behavior of your customers. It’s also important that your product descriptions are relevant to the needs of your customers. This goes for running your own e-Commerce store, or selling products on a marketplace.
Make your website faster
Website speed isn’t just something search engines look at to improve rankings, but it also has a strong influence on your conversion rates.
Amazon found that for every 100 milliseconds slower their site is, there is a 1% drop in sales.
It’s not just Amazon who recognises the importance of speed. Google found an increase in page load time of just .5 second decrease traffic by 20%.
Clearly, website speed is very important to users.
So, how do you make your website faster? Here are a few tips to increase the speed of your e-Commerce site.
- Reduce the size of the page – Page sizes are measured in kilobytes. This includes everything that needs to load in order to make a page display in a web browser. Unless you need rich graphics to generate sales, you can easily reduce the number of images to help with this.
- Use a content delivery network – If you have customers all around the world, this is a great way to increase the speed of your website locally. Basically, with a content delivery network, you’re hosting your website on local servers so that international users don’t have to wait for data to be sent to them from the U.S., for example.
- Specify image dimensions – By specifying the height and width of your images, the browser knows what to expect instead of loading the entire image and then sizing it.
- Avoid redirects – Each redirect is a separate request to the server, meaning they can cause a small increase in page loading speed.
Tweak your checkout flow
Optimising your checkout flow is one of the best ways to increase your conversion rates and reduce shopping cart abandonments.
About 75% of shoppers abandon their cart, and most of this is during the checkout process. Of those 75%, here are a few of the most common stages at which people abandon their shopping cart according to 2016 BI Intelligence report, and what you can do to remedy these issues.
- At the payment stage – 46.1% of abandonments – To reduce payment stage dropouts, reduce the number of required form fields. Be sure to organize the form fields in a clean, organised layout so they don’t intimidate your users.
- At checkout login – 37.4% of abandonments – You can remedy this by offering guest checkout, but this might hurt your ability to create customer loyalty through email marketing. By having a signup form and remembering login info, you can also make checkout much easier for return customers, which can improve overall sales.
- After seeing shipping costs – 35.7% of abandonments – The best course of action here is to offer free shipping, but this isn’t always profitable. Instead, why not offer free shipping at certain tiers? For example, if they spend over $50, they get free shipping. By offering customers a way out of the shipping costs, you can save your conversion rates and increase sales. You can even pair this with product recommendations that will bring them up to the required tier. If their shopping cart is $40 and you have a $50 free shipping tier, include some recommendations of $10 products to help them out. You can even use popups to help with this before they see the shipping cost.
- When a customer needs to enter their billing address – 20.9% of abandonments – Unless absolutely necessary, instead of asking for the whole address, just ask for the zip code. Alternatively, you can use the shipping address as the billing address by default so your customers don’t need to fill out the extra fields unless necessary.
- When the user needs to enter their shipping address – 20% of abandonments – If you need to ship a product, there’s not much you can do about this one. You can try using the users IP address to get their location and auto-fill the fields for their city, state, and zip code, but this can be prone to error.
Use personalised remarketing
Personalised remarketing is one of the most effective ways to increase sales on your e-Commerce store.
This can be achieved through email marketing and retargeted online advertising.
If someone is subscribed to your email list, make sure you’re tracking their page views. This way, if someone is viewing a product or category, you can send targeted emails featuring the products they’ve viewed as a small push to influence a purchase.
Additionally, you can make product recommendations to email list subscribers based on their category viewing habits.
You can use retargeting ads to accomplish a similar outcome. Install tracking code on your website so that when someone views a product on your site, they see ads all over the internet featuring that product encouraging them to purchase it from your site.
Another newer remarketing tactic you can make use of is push notifications. These are SMS-like messages that you see in apps and web browsers, and can be effective at bringing people back to your site if they’re properly implemented.
Implement exit-intent popups
Have you ever noticed that when you move your mouse towards the X on your browser, you see a popup on your screen?
Rather than using these to promote a product, for e-Commerce purposes, it’s best to promote an offer.
Ask the user if they’d like to subscribe to your email list for a 10% off coupon, for example. Once you have their email address, you can then promote targeted offers to them based on the pages they visited while they were on your site.
Nick Rubright is the digital marketing specialist at SaleFreaks, a dropshipping automation service that helps dropshippers make use of Amazon as a supplier for their dropshipping needs.