8 Essential eCommerce Conversion Drivers

Despite being one of the most important components of ecommerce operations, conversion optimization tends to go under the radar. With a focus mainly on product offering, market segment penetration and order fulfillment – attention to the user experience can get left behind. While the majority of ecommerce operators know their intended customer, it’s more of a retail minded knowledge base. Getting to know the psychology of a web user and getting into the ins and outs of their online journey – is quite another prospect.

Overlooking the understanding of one’s user can be a costly mistake. Putting good money before bad, site owners sink investments into SEO, banner ads, social media campaigns and so on, driving users to a site that isn’t optimized for their visit. For an ecommerce site to even have a chance at survival, it must do much more than just look pretty. It must function far beyond first impressions and serve the user by being highly functional, trustworthy, experiential and don’t forget – purchase driven.

Understand Your Conversion

Unless you know what your end goal is, you can’t drive your customers there. Establish current and future goals to develop a strategy to meet the milestones set forth. Whether it’s customer acquisition or dollar amount, work back to determine what has to be done to achieve the outcome. If possible include a video or high-quality imagery that can be zoomed in on.

Product Details

It’s likely the customer hasn’t ever seen the product they are purchasing in person. Make their life easier by offering detailed product descriptions that leave nothing to the imagination. The customer should know exactly what they are getting which will enable a happier customer and less instance of returns.

Customer Reviews & Testimonials

Think about the last time you bought a product online without a review – been awhile, if ever, right? Exactly. This is an unspoken requirement of doing business online in today’s marketplace.

Guest Checkout

Not everyone wants commitment. Whether they’re afraid of receiving a barrage of email spam or they simply don’t want to take the time to setup a password or set preferences, giving the customer an option for a one-time guest purchase can vastly improve chances of a conversion.

Easy to Use Navigation

A user will not endure going through a maze to get what they need. They will leave the site and find what they need somewhere else. Categories should be easy to find, well organized and in simple terms. Keeping the same language and being consistent throughout the site is key.

Mobile Accessibility

An ecommerce store must to work on a mobile device, period. Drop rates are rampant for sites that are not mobile-friendly equating to money left on the table for a business that has chosen not to optimize. The average consumer is highly technologically versed, and this means that a smaller screen will not suffice. Purchasing from multiple screens, the user demands a seamless experience which can only be delivered through Responsive Design (RWD).

Load Time

Faster load time can (and will) lead to reduced bounce rates and increased time spent on pages. In these cases, a site is viewed as being more engaging, bringing more value to the user – all of these aspects bring the SEO of a site further up the ranks. As a result, with faster load speed, indexation is improved. This optimization of the index aspect is beneficial for ecommerce sites with many products, resulting in better visibility for a wide variety of products.

Security & Verification

Increasingly, customers simply will not become engaged with a business that will not extend a level of commitment to them. Building rapport with users through a defined attention to their true identity through service based offerings such as heightened customer service, a secure site verification (Secure Socket Layer, SSL), community building, live chat, special offers and transparent business practices will ensure a higher rate of return customers.

In addition to the mentioned UI strategies for eCommerce, a site owner is encouraged to conduct ongoing analysis to determine what implementations are working and what improvements remain. From bounce rate, cart abandonment, session duration and click through – nowhere are these analytics and continuous optimization more critical than in the eCommerce arena.

Vanessa Petersen

As Executive Director of Brand Strategy based in ArtVersion’s Portland office, Vanessa manages both national and West Coast accounts. She brings with her a passion for strategy with extensive experience in creative marketing, brand growth and development. She is a true advocate of storytelling and brand building from the inside out, and her keen knowledge of the marketplace, trend patterns and usability lead her to identify opportunities that can inspire powerful design strategies.

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