How to ensure your website is ready for smooth sales

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There are huge numbers of really great products and services nobody buys. Why so? Because the eCommerce websites they are sold on are not great.

What are the main reasons the visitors leave these online shops and never come back?

  • Long loading time
  • Slow response
  • Bad performance on mobile devices
  • Lack of convenient means of payment, etc.

Is your eCommerce shop among these mishaps? Here are some tips on how to make sure your website sells!

There are thousands of websites offering nearly the same functionality, yet merely a handful of them achieve success. Facebook, Uber, Airbnb… Why do they come to mind as the exemplars of their categories? Because they ignite EMOTIONS, provide unforgettable USER EXPERIENCES and do solve their main task better than any of the competitors!

This is the staple rule of web design for any website, be it for eCommerce or not. Aside from helping the customers accomplish their primary goals, your online shop should deliver good user experience and sweet memories, inspiring the customers to come back for more. A well-structured and quickly operating website with good UI/UX is of utmost importance for business, as it helps drive sales and reap the benefits of well-planned sales strategy and marketing campaigns.

The main obstacles on the way to having such a site are inconvenient page navigation, lack of information about the company services, bad customer support, website bugs

, lack of convenient payment gateways, long loading times, bad UI/UX, and many more. Below we describe how to overcome these issues and increase the numbers of sales.

Website navigation should be intuitive

There are some best practices that ensure the best navigation. People are used to having a search bar atop the site to the right and the list of dropdown menus atop or to the left. If your eCommerce website offers a multitude of products in various categories, they must be grouped the following way:

  • Drop-down menus — clickable menus with many items that allow precise filtering. For example, Accessories->Bags-> should lead to the list of Prada clutches you sell
  • Mega menus — dropdowns that include textual descriptions or images of the item category
  • Flyout menus — dropdowns that are located on the left side. This might be especially useful for mobile-friendly websites.

The most popular eCommerce website sections, like the Customer Profile, Shopping Cart or Order Tracking should have shortcuts, usually placed at the top right corner of the page.

Appropriate and appealing layout

There are products for brutal men and slender girls, for loving moms and caring dads. Build your website layout to cater the expectations of your target audience. Tender pink or blue might suit the online shop for nursing moms, green backgrounds are suitable for eco-friendly products or selling the real estate property and country houses, and deep blue or metal grey fits perfectly for websites that specialize in bodybuilding equipment or nutrition.

These are just the examples, but the idea should be clear. In addition, people like illustrations much more than texts. Try to minimize the amount of text on your landing pages and fill them with visual descriptions of the goods instead. When the customers can grasp the content of the category in just a couple of images, this appeals to them greatly.

In-depth product descriptions

In order to boost sales your product descriptions should answer as many customer questions as possible and be supplied with numerous photos of the merchandise. Just don’t be lazy — copying the descriptions from other sites will impair your website ranking greatly. Write the original content! The other must-haves for the product descriptions include the following:

  • HD-photos with 360-degree perspective
  • Lists of sizes and colors available for every product
  • Item availability checkers
  • Supplementary product sections (protective glasses, casings, chargers and headphones for smartphones, etc.)
  • Customer review section

The last part is one of the most important, as reading through unbiased reviews from other customers can be an essential push towards purchase for many consumers. Just don’t try to fill your website with pre-written feedback, this is a bad business practice. Besides, true and relevant feedback from your customers is one of the best drivers of improvement for the UI/UX of your website.

User-friendly interface and user experience

The customer must make as little clicks as possible from the main page to adding the item to the shopping cart. Check the performance of all features and item categories regularly from multiple browsers and OS’s to ensure the users experience no problems with it. This is especially important when some new feature is implemented — make sure it does not break the existing functionality! A/B testing is a great way to check if the new changes work well for your customers.

Devoted customer support works wonders

Customer interactions begin long before the payment and last long afterward it. If you treat your customers as annoying additions to the payment checks, they will soon leave to the greener pastures. There should be no problem too small and no promise should be left unfulfilled.

If the item was damaged during transportation — do not put the blame on the delivery company, send a replacement through another delivery service along with your sincere apologies and a complimentary gift. Going an extra mile for a customer makes a huge difference in their attitude and ignites word of mouth advocacy for your brand.

Your website should be clear: get rid of all bugs, stat!

QA is one of the cornerstones of an efficient website. Where are multiple online tools for performing quality assurance of website pages, or you can hire experienced specialists for fine-tuning your website, the choice is up to you. The main point is — come on, the year is 2018, do you expect the customers to buy anything from a buggy website?

It doesn’t matter if the products are great if the website loads slow

Millennials are used to fast-loading websites. 50% of Internet users expect the main page to load in 2–3 seconds and nearly 80% will leave for good if a website loads slow.

Here are the steps you can make to improve the page load speed:

  • Use Google Webmaster Tools, Page Speed Online and Yoast Google Analytics Plugin for WordPress sites to check your website speed
  • Compress the images using TinyPNG or similar web services
  • Use Gzip to compress your HTML, CSS and JS, which shortens the website load pages 3–4 times
  • Leverage the CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) like Amazon CloudFront to ensure every customer has rapid access to the geographically nearest server with your content
  • Deploy your CSS and JS files to external sources, so the visitor’s browser caches them once instead of loading them each time

Conclusions on how to make sure your website is ready for smooth sales

These tips are just the top of the iceberg, as website optimization is a continuous process and you should always pay attention to it. However, dealing with these main points will ensure your customers have great user experience browsing a rapidly-loading website with clean and appealing web design, informative product descriptions and caring customer support. This approach is sure to drive the sales up!

Did we miss any important point? Or do you have any questions regarding the tips listed? Please let us know in the comments below!
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