We have a large range of clients at Trademark from small static websites to complex e-commerce and custom software applications. While all of these websites have an equal opportunity to generate income, it seems that our most proactive and constantly involved clients are all larger online stores.
My theory behind this is that our clients whose sites are an online store physically see the results of our work several times a day…every time they receive an order. This hypothesis is further backed up by the fact that the busier the particular e-commerce clients is, the more we are in contact with them.
The truth of the matter is that sites that are not e-commerce stores or are smaller e-commerce stores could see the same results as our larger e-commerce clients if they were as proactive. We could generate them just as much business, be able to track the ROI for our efforts and measure every bit of it. BUT, they choose not to invest as much time or money in their website because they are not physically seeing the thousand or $10,000 in orders coming through their website everyday…if they only knew.
But enough of my observations and online investment hypotheses, let’s talk about e-commerce optimization and why a lot of e-commerce stores (even some of our DIY clients) get it wrong. If you don’t have an e-commerce site, keep reading and you might still learn some things that are relevant to your website.
If you’re already one of our clients and you find some points in this article that aren’t happening on your website, you should contact us. Isn’t it about time you took your site to the next level? BE PROACTIVE! WE CAN HELP!
Alright! Let’s get to it!
First of all, this article is not about Search Engine Optimization, its about e-commerce optimization. You have an online store. How do you increase sales and improve the user experience to…increase sales? If you want to check out a great article on Search Engine Optimization, check out Dwight’s post, SEO: Not just Keyword & Meta Description Tags or come back in a week or so and check out my next post which will be about e-commerce keyword discovery and selection.
Having a Site Search on your e-commerce isn’t just a nifty tool, IT IS A REQUIREMENT. Believe it or not, not everyone thinks like we do or calls your products the same names that we do. If you want to increase sales, you MUST have a site search on your site so that your customers can find the product they’re looking for.
Another great benefit of having a site search on your website is that (if you have a good piece of e-commerce software) you can see what people are searching for, the keywords and keyword phrases they’re searching for and how your customers use your website. You can then adjust your site’s meta data accordingly and make sure that you putting the most desired products right in people’s face.
Gain Your Customer’s Trust
While a lot of people are coming around, many are still scared to shop online. Its important that you establish trust with your clients online. Especially when selling them a product and asking for sensitive financial information.
There are several ways to gain customer’s trust on your online store.
- A good way to start this is to tell them about you – Tell them how long you’ve been in business, where you’re located, why you do what you do, GET PERSONAL and tell them about your love for your product.
- Keep your site verified and secure and most importantly, SHOW IT – Have an SSL? Show the logo and link showing that your site is secure. Been verified by HackerSafe? Show it!
- Show credit card logos and payment gateway options – Show your customers what credit cards you accept, other payment options and what payment gateway you use on every page of your website.
- Make your customers confident in your business –
- Guarantee customer satisfaction and use terms like “100% Satisfaction Guaranteed” and back it up.
- Reinforce how secure and safe your website is.
- Inform them of your shipping policies
Have a Great Checkout Process
One of the best improvements that you can make to your e-commerce website is to make the checkout process of your online store very easy to use.
- You want to eliminate any last minute distractions by eliminating your sidebar ads or other links that might take them somewhere else, except to keep shopping.
- Show your customers their progress as they go through the checkout process.
- Make sure that you have proper error messages that are easily recognizable and that look good.
- Reduce shopping cart abandonment by simplifying the process and reiterating your shipping, privacy, and security. Also make sure that your software has an Abandoned Cart module installed so that you can reengage any customer who has left your site with items in their carts.
- Pay attention to detail. You’ve got them in the checkout lane and they’re ready to give you their hard earned money. Make sure the “cashier flashes them a smile”â„¢.
It’s Not Over Yet!
They’ve purchased your product and given you their money, WOO HOO! First, make sure that you’ve done everything that you said you are going to do. Ship their product on time and keep their information private. Be as protective of your clients private information as you would be of your teenaged daughter. “It’s not getting out of my house.”
On the checkout confirmation page, keep them engaged and loving you. THANK them, reinforce what you’re going to send to them and when. Ask them what they thought of your site and if there was anything they couldn’t find. Ask them what other products they might want to see. Offer them a “special deal” for being such a great customer. Make them come back!
There is a lot more that we could cover discussing e-commerce or online store optimization. I have a lot of other tricks and tidbits of information up my sleeve. Maybe I will find the time to write another blog post about them? Or maybe you should come in and talk to us to find out what you’re doing wrong and how you can do better. We are always here to help. Please contact us at anytime for consulting or e-commerce optimization help.