Optimizing Your E-Commerce Website for Conversions

All things considered, starting an e-commerce business is easy. It’s the driving sales part that’s often an uphill battle.

You can easily create an online presence with the help of any number of popular website builders. Setting it loose on the world wide web, however, is only one small piece of the e-commerce puzzle.

Once live, you need to get people to your site. Then with the traffic trickling in, you need to get visitors to buy. And unfortunately, a large, red “Buy” button doesn’t always do the trick.

What Are Website Conversions?

In order to optimize, it’s helpful to understand the basics of conversion. Typically, this action on your website is measured and defined as your conversion rate. It looks at the percentage of visitors that complete desired actions when visiting your e-commerce site.

Desired actions for an e-commerce website may include:

  • An online sale
  • Visitors adding products to their cart
  • Email newsletter signups
  • Content downloads
  • Social media shares

You are essentially measuring how likely it is that someone is going to buy from or engage with your brand when visiting your website. With this understanding in mind, here are some ways to go about optimizing your e-commerce site for conversions.

A/B Test

You don’t know what you don’t know. Luckily, there are tools you can use to better understand website performance through A/B testing.

Set up different landing page tests around everything from color to call-to-action. You can also try out limited time deals and promotions, like free shipping or seasonal discounts. Put back end data to work for your e-commerce business in analyzing what does and does not resonate with customers over time.

Set Up Tracking for Retargeting

You want to make the most of every single visitor that comes across your site. Even if they don’t make a purchase right away, that doesn’t mean they won’t in the future.

Equip your website with tracking pixels for retargeting visitors through online advertising. You may also want to set up automatic abandon cart emails for immediate reengagement with visitors that add items to their carts and then leave.

Use High-Quality Photos and Video

If you want to convince visitors to purchase what you have to sell, make sure your product pages work to do just that. This means providing clear and enticing descriptions, as well as quality visuals.

Especially for first-time visitors, seeing is believing. Paint a literal picture of what your products have to offer with photos and/or videos that help bring them to life.

Link to Relevant Products

Make the most of your product page real estate with breadcrumbs that lead visitors through a hierarchy of relevant information. You want to simplify navigation in a way that helps potential customers find exactly what they’re looking for—or what they didn’t know they were looking for.

Highlight relevant products on shopping pages to further engage consumers. Bringing attention to positive customer reviews can also be helpful in pushing them towards that shopping cart.

Don’t Forget Mobile

If you build a website for desktop compatibility only, you’re drastically limiting your potential to connect with customers. People are making purchases nowadays whether at their desk or on-the-go, so it’s important to prioritize mobile functionality.

The speed of your website across all devices can also help or hinder conversion rates. The longer someone has to wait for a page to load, the more likely their attention is to wander elsewhere.

Simplify the Checkout Process

The last thing you want to do at checkout is to make potential customers jump through hoops in order to purchase. Make it fast and easy.

Keep required fields short and sweet, auto-populate billing and shipping information where relevant, and be inclusive of different payment options. You may even want to explore offering customers interest-free installment payments for the sake of driving more conversions and higher overall order values.

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