When it comes to getting the upper hand over your competition, the world of ecommerce can be a confusing realm to battle in. What’s more, the web is littered with companies willing to eat up your budget with false promises of ‘supercharging your sales’ or increasing your conversions — all for a hefty price.
Unwilling to pay through the nose in hope of boosting your ecommerce store? Unable to dedicate the hours needed to master technical aspects like SEO or UI design? Well, fear not — you can still improve your store, and we’re here to show you how. Below, we’ll provide you with a few of our favourite low effort tips and tricks to improve your ecommerce store.
Create A Sense Of Urgency
Nothing gets a customer’s heart racing faster than phrases like ‘sale ends today’, ‘only 3 left’ or ‘last chance to buy’ — and as a business owner, it’s your job to capitalise on this. Here’s the bottom line: if a customer believes this really is their last chance to grab something they want at an appealingly-low price, it’s far more likely they’ll commit to the purchase. Also consider that the perceived value of an item rises when it’s viewed as scarce.
It’s an incredibly simple tactic to employ. A timer placed next to an item (in red for an added sense of urgency) can work well, but if you’d prefer a less forceful way of doing business, offering free shipping for a limited time is a viable option too.
And while you should always be honest about product features or purchase terms, you can play fast and loose with the truth when it comes to sale and discount parameters. There’s little harm in cycling a timer counting down ‘7 days until sale ends’ for a month-long sale, having it restart four times along the way. Unscrupulous? Mildly, perhaps. But it works.
Provide Multiple Payment Options
In general, you should aim to offer as many payment methods as you can, but your choices should also be informed by your target market. Paypal is highly favoured in the UK — accounting for 20% of all digital wallet payments. Furthermore, digital wallet payments are forecast to grow by 60% by 2026 worldwide. Apple Pay, Google Pay and Amazon Pay are all popular choices due to their ease of use, speed, and security.
In addition to covering these more modern payment methods, you must also make sure you cater to those who haven’t made the move to digital wallets, as the traditional debit/credit card is still hugely important in this arena. Visa and Mastercard acceptance is essential, but your site can rise above the competition by offering up the ability to pay through Amex, too.
It’s also worth setting up a quick survey to find out which options are preferable for your customers — you might find yourself surprised by the number of conversions you’re missing out on due to a lack of suitable payment methods.
Increase Your Site’s Speed
Site optimisation is a thorny matter for the novice site owner. It’s now common for people with limited technical expertise to move into the ecommerce world, and though it largely doesn’t cause any issues due to the existence of hyper-intuitive store-building tools, it does hold them back from making tweaks. This is tough because tweaks are vital for performance.
Consider that 70% of consumers acknowledge that page loading speed influences their purchasing decisions. Given that a minor technical adjustment could plausibly shave a vital second off your site’s initial load, this is crucial. And then there’s the extent to which page speed shapes your search ranking. Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool can give you insight into how Google’s crawlers might view your store.
Once you’ve formed an idea of how quickly your site is loading, you can decide whether it’s in need of a tune-up (if you’re lucky, you might already meet performance expectations). Notably, carrying out such a tune-up doesn’t generally require a great deal of technical expertise. There are plenty of things even a technical novice can do.
If you feature many high-resolution images on your store, for instance, you may benefit hugely from compressing them using a tool like Squoosh. This will make the image files smaller without heavily reducing image quality, allowing your pages to load more quickly, and it supports variable settings so you can decide exactly how much quality you’re willing to sacrifice. Caching (storing and distributing copies of key resources) is another key concern. If you’re using WordPress (as is fairly likely), W3 Total Cache will drive caching for free.
You may find that no amount of tweaking will achieve the results you need, though. If that’s the case, the issue is all but certain to be with your hosting provider. Switching to dedicated ecommerce hosting, ideally in the cloud, can make a huge difference. As things currently stand, it’s worth first looking into Cloudways as an option: its recent integration of Cloudflare protection paired with its free first-time migration make it an excellent fit, though be mindful to do extensive research before committing. Even the easiest migration can be a tough.
Optimise For Mobile
Shoppers are increasingly using their smartphones to buy goods. In fact, almost 40% of all eCommerce purchases during the 2018 US holiday season were made through smart devices. And while it’s true that desktop users are more likely to follow through on purchases, conversion rates for mobile users are on the rise too.
Hot on the heels of the current desktop conversion rate of 3.9%, the current mobile device conversion rate stands at 3.5%. So if your store doesn’t look pixel-perfect on smaller screens, you need to address it as a matter of great urgency. You also need to look at any speed discrepancies between desktop and mobile rendering. Is it slower on smartphones?
In truth, the present and future of web development is mobile-first design. By first ensuring that websites look great on mobile devices then expanding them to suit desktop screens, developers can make the best possible use of the space available to them. So if you ever get around to launching a second version of your website, keep this in mind.
Proudly Display Your Reviews
One of the biggest factors for a shopper deciding whether to pull the trigger on purchasing something is how many people have already opted to buy it. Note that 92% of shoppers report reading testimonials when they’re considering whether to buy, so it’s a wise decision to make sure your customers are easily able to read the experiences of previous buyers.
We’re all familiar with review services like Trustpilot, so there’s no excuse for not taking advantage of them. Implementing a well-regarded review system on your ecommerce store should provide a confusion-free way for your customers to leave relevant feedback, lending your store a vital air of credibility and authenticity.
No matter how you collect the reviews, it’s well worth letting your customers do the talking for you. Include their words in promotional emails, product ads, and website copy. This should result in your time to buy decreasing, with the social proof provided by a stack of 5-star reviews telling each soon-to-be customer that they’re making the right decision.
As you can see, boosting your ecommerce store’s success needn’t be time-consuming or costly. Hopefully, the tips above will help you optimise your site and earn more all-important conversions.