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Posts tagged ‘Ecommerce’

5 must-do’s to improve site conversion

January 21, 2019

jessonline

A few key things you need to know about improving site conversion:

  • It’s about what NOT to do, as much as it is about what TO do.
  • You have to know who you are (as a brand), and what your customer wants.
  • You give it to them.

Sound simple? It is. Some of the most fundamental things you can do to improve conversion are the simplest. And yet, so many brands are missing out on fixing these key friction points in the shopping process. Here are the five key areas of focus you should get right before you consider anything else:

1. Navigation: This is where you need to take off your marketing hat, and put on your customer’s. Shop your own site. Make sure everyone on your team is doing it. Get feedback from everyone- especially real customers. A few must haves for your checklist:

  • A prominent search box, with predictive results.
  • Top navigation categories that are easy for a new customer to understand.
  • Refinements and filters, to allow a customer to quickly drill down to what they want.
  • Inspiration, by way of content, new products and/or solutions on your homepage to inspire the ‘browsing’ shopper .

2. Site speed: If your site is slow, it will hurt performance both from a conversion perspective (high bounce & exit rates), and from an organic perspective- a slow load time will affect your Google ranking, especially if your site is slow on mobile.  A few checkpoints:

  • Check your mobile site speed using Google’s free tool, here. It will tell you your average load time for mobile- and your estimated visitor loss based on load time. Now see how your competitors stack up.
  • Use your analytics tools to see page load time for key landing pages, and look at your top exit pages. This will give you some priorities for where to start.
  • Work with your developers to optimize clunky code, pixels and functionality to improve.

3. Product info: There’s a time and place for everything. Provide the right info, in the right steps along the shopping path, to enable the next click. A few for your checklist:

  • Crisp images, with zoom and alternate views.
  • Thorough product descriptions, with practical info about how to wear, how it fits, how to choose a size, how to use and care for.
  • Links to ‘live chat’ and ‘shipping’ info.
  • Price: clear sale or promo info.
  • Prompts to remind customer of value-propositions that will inspire confidence, i.e. “Fast, free shipping” or “Our guarantee” or “Easy returns”.

4. Shipping: Free and fast. Don’t give your customers a reason to buy it on Amazon. Enough said.

5. Checkout: Don’t get in your own way. Take a look at the metrics around your shopping funnel to see which pages of checkout are seeing the most attrition. Consider:

  • Clear, uncluttered first page of checkout that offers Guest Checkout as well as Registered user checkout.
  • Mobile payments: if the customer has to get out their wallet while shopping on a mobile device- you’ll lose momentum- and potentially the sale.
  • Standard, fast, and faster delivery options showing cost and expected delivery dates.
  • A minimum of interference- don’t get in the way of a customer’s intent to checkout. If you’re up-selling services or products- keep it simple, and keep it outside of the customer’s focused path.

Keeping your shopping path frictionless will take on-going care and vigilance. If you’re highly focused on these, you’ll be more likely to capture new customer sales- and less likely to annoy your loyal repeat customers. The rewards are great- for everyone. Improving the shopping experience will always serve you, and your customers well.

 

Oh, the things you can buy

November 30, 2011

jessonline

Did you know you could buy paper towels on Amazon.com? Bottled water? Laundry detergent? I do now. My sister showed me the mom’s club, where you can subscribe for automatic replenishment to get discounts on things like diapers or laundry detergent. She buys everything online- diapers, cleaning products, hair products- the works. And with free shipping, why not save the trip?

subscriptions for savings

Subscribe to the mom's club on Amazon.com for savings on replenishment products

Until now, I haven’t had much interest in buying groceries online. I dabbled with it during the initial launch of all the online grocer sites, years ago. I couldn’t stand the waste involved with all of the packaging: the laundry detergent came wrapped tightly in cellophane, sunk into a huge box four times it’s size, with loads of those foam peanuts. I ordered two grocery bags worth of stuff, and had enough recycling and garbage to make the garage look like the week after Christmas. Not to mention the size issue. I had never paid much attention to the number of ounces in the average cereal or cracker box- so I ended up with sizes ranging from Brooklyn-corner-store-tiny, to Costco sized gigantic, feed-a-family-of-eight sizes.

But now that I’m commuting again, leaving at 7 and returning after 7, online shopping has a much bigger appeal. I just don’t have enough time to do it all on the weekend.

Last weekend, my sister introduced me to Wag.com, Soap.com– and its associated sites, including diapers.com. Four sites, with a shared cart. Lots of introductory offers, and premium, free 2-day shipping for first time orders. Yesterday I ordered a 35 pound bag of dog food, a 25 pound box of cat litter, a mega-12-pack of paper towels, various organic food items and method soaps, paid nothing for shipping, and it’s all coming tomorrow. Saving the rush trips to store before the weekend is like a gift. Amazon actually owns those sites, too-having acquired the parent company, Quidsi, Inc, for $500 million back in March, but keeps the branding unique and the web design is beautiful. The sites are clean, elegant, and shopper friendly.

Soap.com homepage with recent orders

Soap.com remembers what I ordered, and makes it easy to re-order- right from the homepage.

I never thought I’d want to buy paper towels on Amazon. But times have changed. I need easy, now. And getting big, heavy things I need delivered to my door is very, very easy. I’m a convert.

Are you shopping for groceries online? Let me know where you shop, and what you think about the experience.

Navigation: love it, or lose her.

October 22, 2011

jessonline

Here’s how I think about it. In a store, a customer walks in, scans the floor and either spots something she’s interested in or looking for, or loses interest and walks out. Online, it’s the same thing- except there’s no friendly associate at the door to ask if she can help. Online, you have just a few seconds to show a customer you have what she wants, or needs- or she’ll be off to Google before you can say, “live chat”.

Online it’s all about choices. We need to provide pathways for different kinds of shoppers: most notably, the navigator, the searcher, and the browser. And these are not necessarily different people. They are moments in time, based on mood, based on need- based on urgency, or any number of other factors. The point is, she needs options. There are 3 key ways to show your customer you get it.

  1. Navigation: keep it clear, simple, and intuitive. Use nomenclature and sequencing that makes sense to the customer (avoid merchant-talk, and put things where they make sense- not in the order in which you’d like to sell them).
  2. Search: make it prominent and productive. Make sure synonyms and misspellings work. Make sure she can shop by size. Study the logs of frequent searches, so you can continually improve your results sets.
  3. Content: inspire her. Give her ideas. Share a point of view. Show her something she didn’t know you had. Or that she wanted. But for the browsing shopper, her wallet is out. All you need to do is to give her a reason to buy.

A note on gender: I use “her” for convenience rather than the annoying he/she or the persistent third person… sorry if I’ve offended any guys out there.

mobile friendly, yet?

October 21, 2011

jessonline

Let’s talk about mobile shopping. If you don’t yet have a mobile presence, you’ll fall quickly behind- as greater numbers of shoppers are browsing on their phones even while shopping in stores. According to Gartner Inc., mobile applications and social media will account for 50% of web sales by 2015.

Here are some things to think about, to get you started.

1. What devices will you optimize for? All of them? Careful…this becomes a morass very quickly. The first thing to do is to see where your mobile traffic is coming from using your web analytics program. You should be able to see very quickly which devices are browsing your site- most likely: iphone, android and blackberry, in that order.

2. Do you want your entire experience available via mobile? Keeping it simple is good, but too simple, and your customers could get frustrated that they can’t find a feature they love on your desktop site (a style-finder, or special editorial section). Be sure to include your most popular features and typical functionality- the navigation should be the same architecturally, though the steps and visuals should be simplified and customized to the smaller screen.

3. Are you going to build it, or outsource it? There are lots of great vendors out there. My choice currently is Moovweb. They are fairly new to the space- but they have quickly signed an impressive list of major retailers. Not surprising- given the low maintenance model, reasonable pricing- and great service.

4. How often will you update content? A mobile site does need maintenance and attention to align with your brand and marketing messages. Make sure that major promotions are reflected consistently across all channels. Shoppers are becoming increasingly channel agnostic- they will shop wherever, and however it’s convenient for them. So make sure that your messages are consistent, so that if she sees something compelling in your store window or homepage, it’s reflected consistently on the mobile site homepage as well.

5. Test and analyze. Be sure to try out the site on the mobile devices you’re optimizing for, so that you understand the experience, and are happy with it. Watch the analytics. Mobile shoppers may be more search directed than on your desktop site, because it’s simply easier. Make sure your search box is prominent and effective. Take a look at what’s working, and what’s not. Optimize and prioritize the site accordingly.

These are the basics you’ll need to get started. Please let me know how it goes.

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