It is no surprise that in the last one decade the world of E-commerce has taken several brands by storm. In the year 2013 alone there were more than 130 M million shoppers online and the numbers are increasing at an aggressive pace. Even the Forrester report predicts by the year 2018 the E-commerce market in India is all set to boom over 57 % of what is it today. However, at the pace we are going, we won’t be wrong to predict a percentage much higher than this.

Whether your brand is an online store with a handful of products or a mega store with over 10,000 products, I’d like to share my thoughts on how you can spruce the growth of your e-commerce store to convert those online visitors to customers.

What to remember?

While there are infinite ways you can optimize your e-commerce site and its several dynamic components, I feel there steps that apply to any situation in general

  • Optimizing page images and content
  • Optimizing site navigation
  • Optimizing shopping pipe
  • Introducing sales and specials
  • Tracking your conversion

Optimizing Site Images and Content

If you have a large E-commerce site, it may take a little effort to include relevant images customized to the product, to identify design that is scientific yet vibrant, optimize product names, descriptions and images. These steps might appear simple and small. However, they are also extremely integral to your E-commerce site. Taking the time to customize your product goes a long way in perception and reflection of your e-store. Hopefully you have a CMS like Magento and Hybris that support your web template system and provides customizations.

Page image and content

Once you’ve got the list and order of pages in place, I’d like to suggest a list of optimizations you might want to keep in mind

  • Include image tags and descriptive title tags with focus on keywords
  • Include focus keywords in the URL of your page
  • External links to relevant sources
  • Internal links to sub-categorize products
  • Page content should be crisp and relevant to the product
  • Use high quality product images
  • Product images and good but videos are definitely the future

Optimizing Navigation

Creating smooth and effortless navigation is the first step to having a great e-commerce store. Having a haphazard e-commerce store could lead to high bounce rates and detour potential customers from actually buying their product from your store. Consider adding exciting features that includes customizing products to understand trends among your customers while you giving them a sense of ownership. Majority of customers interact with the top left button on their first interaction with your site. Also, the more choice you provide the harder it is to choose something. Include a filter to make finding suitable products easy.

Navigation

Here are few things you would like to consider:

  • Include top trending products on your top most panel
  • A static banner generally works better when compared to a rotating banner
  • Have clear progress indicators with numbered lists
  • Cart abandonment is a result of too many steps prior to check-out
  • Clear big call to action buttons lead to a smooth user interaction with your page
  • Show contact info and offer a live chat

Optimizing the Shopping Pipe

Optimizing the shopping pipe cannot get easier than reducing the number of steps it takes to complete purchase. For example keep registration optional. The guest check-out option keeps the shopper at ease and avoids the shopping funnel from abandoned. Another popular method is to offer incentives to complete the purchase. This can include loyalty programs or providing them with similar products.

Shopping funnel

When we created an online e-store for our client, here is what we thought worked for them:

  • Search is crucial to E-commerce. People need to find products and quick
  • Offer multiple payment options. Adding options like paypal will help you win customers a great deal
  • Decode the credit card data. People may be tech-friendly but not necessarily savvy.
  • Promote shopping cart content.  The best solution is a perpetual shopping cart.
  • Product reviews are great ways to catalyze purchase
  • Upselling and cross-selling will boost your average purchase
  • Charging for shipping is a conversion killer.

Introduce Sales and Specials

Sales_special-1

Everybody loves discounts. It’s a small thing but a great way to boost conversions and get customers to return. Several brands have identified that more than 60% of customers shopped a lot more during discount and sales season while 52% admitted keeping an eye out for sales and festive seasons.

The discount seeking trend is definitely here to stay. Naturally, keep what’s good for your brand. But it would be a useful experiment to host a perpetual sale section on your site.

Tracking your conversion increase

The only thing left to do is benchmark your ROI and compare your conversation rate on an ongoing basis. The point is to get relevant traffic to your product pages that has better probability of converting into repeat customers.

shorter tail

Hopefully after following my recommendations you will notice a greater percentage of your online visitors becoming customers. I would love to here your feedback on these suggestions.