A potential customer has typed a query into a search engine, perused the search results and decided to click on YOUR product! How do you make sure that consumer sticks around to browse through your online store? By offering informative, aesthetically pleasing, and properly functioning product pages.
The decision of whether to order or move on to the next online store is based heavily on the presentation of your products. These pages on your website should provide compelling reasons to buy your products from your brand. Speak to your target audience with product pages that show you understand their wants and needs and are able to provide products or services that meet those needs.
Products or services can’t be effectively marketed to all consumers. The best approach is to tailor the message to the intended audience or users. Some features required to enhance specific product pages can depend on what sort of products are being sold. That being said, there are general guidelines that are relevant for most types of products and are common features visitors look for on an e-commerce website.
The images on your website are the first impression visitors receive of your offerings. Invest in high-quality, high definition photographs of your products or services in use. Provide clear images from multiple angles. Incorporate zoom technology so customers can zero in on specific details of images. Crisp, clean photographs are visually appealing and help convince buyers of the quality of your products and trustworthiness of your brand.
Product descriptions should be helpful and informative. Imagine a face to face conversation with a consumer and which questions might be asked about your product. Provide all relevant details and consider presenting information in parts if there is a ton of text to share. Break apart the content into attractive tabs or layers. Provide charts, measurements, and other visuals when you can. Many brands have found success with descriptions that have a more unique tone of voice and present their products or services by telling a story. Do whatever it takes to help the potential customer envision herself utilizing your products or services.
Calls to Action
Use catchy, yet direct, words and phrases to convince people to take action. Calls to action should be presented in a contrasting color and be visible on every product page. “Add to Bag” or “I Want This” buttons will help many consumers take the next step towards purchasing. Consider sharing how many items are left in stock – nothing inspires buyers like thinking they might miss out on their next favorite pair of shoes. Scarcity compels action. Time constraints do as well. “6 hours left” or “Tuesday and Wednesday Only” messages will also encourage the semi-reluctant buyer to take action.
Cross-sell products and promote similar items. If someone is looking at dog collars, show him several choices of complementing leashes. Or if a customer is viewing red dresses, show her all of your similar red dress options. Recommendations are often appreciated as they save consumers from having to search through your entire inventory and compel the purchasing of product groupings with components that a consumer may not have thought about.
We are a society often in need of immediate gratification. Consumers want to know when they will receive an order even before they’ve made a final purchasing decision. You can reduce the customer’s anxiety and encourage the purchase by displaying a tentative shipping time for the item being viewed. Throw in an estimated delivery date to further help the purchasing decision.
Mobile dominates e-commerce traffic and many buyers use multiple devices to examine products prior to purchasing. Websites and online stores must be mobile optimized and device responsive to keep brands competitive in today’s market. Moving back and forth between products or the shopping bag and other products should be just as easy on a mobile phone or tablet as it is on a desktop. Google and other search engines are also looking at how well your site is servicing mobile users!
Online stores serve an international customer base simply by being on the Internet. Thus, it is important to offer multiple payment options and allow consumers to pay via their preferred method. Payment gateways like PayPal and Apple Wallet also lend a sense of trustworthiness and security to a web store.
A 2017 study by Spiegel Research Center found that nearly 95% of shoppers read online reviews before making a purchase. Whether good, bad or somewhere in-between, it is important to offer the opinions of other shoppers when it comes to how well your brand is delivering the promises made in product descriptions. Display rating stars with each product and allow the opportunity for interested consumers to click further into the actual reviews. On the other end, this means you need to establish practices for acquiring reviews and comments from customers as they make purchases.
Each person’s brain works differently than the next. You make think you’ve covered all potential questions in your descriptions and FAQs but there will always be those visitors who have a question or request out of left field. To ensure you capture every sale possible, consider offering a live chat option to address those unusual questions or to simply reassure the buyer who likes company through the purchasing journey.
A security breach is an online company’s worst nightmare. Every week we are hearing about even major companies being hacked and consumer information being compromised. Customers are becoming extremely cognizant and cautious when providing personal information. Trust badges or seals tell visitors that the site is legitimate and has SSL certificates meaning it is safe for consumers to enter their payment information on the website.
When someone is unhappy with a product is not the time to educate him regarding your return policies. Show the process, expectations, of each party, etc. while visitors are viewing your products. Display the policies again during the check-out process and include them one more time in the follow-up emails about the impending shipment.
User Experience and Conversion Rates
User experience and conversion rates are closely correlated. The process from discovery to buying needs to be as uneventful and smooth as possible. If you are experiencing high cart abandonment rates, it is time to take a look at your user experience from start to finish. Anything from poor navigation to shipping cost surprises can prompt a shopper to leave products in a cart, never to return to your site.
To increase user experience and, consequently, conversion rates, focus on improving site speed, especially your mobile store site speed. The goal is three seconds or less. Your navigational options should be few and simple. Make the next step crystal clear for busy consumers. Simplify your checkout process. Have as few steps as possible and only ask for the information you really need to complete the sale. Offer an option to save personal information to save time on future sales. And it goes without saying that your site needs to be device responsive to stay competitive in today’s e-commerce market.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Your e-commerce efforts not only provide a service to your customers, but they also help your brand when it comes to SEO. Product descriptions should appeal to consumers and also rank high on search engine results pages. Images should be named to let picture-blind Google bots understand exactly what is being shown in the photographs. It is all about keywords and tags to help search engines properly read and recognize content on your website.
The ultimate goal of SEO is not simply to please search engines, it is to generate more awareness, traffic, and sales for your business without spending ad money. Store content that ranks well with search engines will help accomplish those goals. Let’s look at some specific strategies to work on.
E-COMMERCE TITLE TAGS
Title tags for e-commerce are HTML codes that create clickable titles for organic search results. These tags are excellent for providing relevance to customers and are also a critical piece of SEO. Some best practices for creating title tags are to place target keywords at the beginning of the tags and include LSI keywords when you can do it naturally.
LSI – latent semantic indexing is a system used by search engines to analyze other words people use about a given topic. They are words and phrases highly correlated to your target topic.
Limit the length of title tags to between 50 and 60 characters, create unique titles for each product page and category and include your brand name at the end of the tag to develop increased brand awareness.
E-COMMERCE META DESCRIPTION TAGS
Meta description tags are also HTML code that helps explain page content to users of search engines. However, unlike title tags, users can’t click on meta description text. Meta tags help to increase click-through rates by providing context for the user. Best practices include incorporating main keywords and keyword variations, avoiding clickbait (can increase your bounce rate), and creating persuasive descriptions that entice users to click.
EXPIRED PRODUCTS AND LINKS
It is the nature of business to stop producing or selling specific products or to experience a sell out of a particular item. Expired or out of stock products will most likely create an error page where the link used to be. Unfortunately, you can’t just remove the page from your website. It is important to redirect links to expired pages to either updated products or related category pages. There are a number of apps and plugins available to help e-commerce stores handle this issue.
Use only high-quality images
Post informative and helpful product descriptions
Display clear and persuasive calls to action
Cross-sell and promote similar items
Provide shipping and delivery information
Offer a device responsive website
Provide multiple payment options
Post customer reviews of your products
Consider incorporating a live chat feature
Post security badges
Communicate clearly your return policies
Pay attention to the link between user experience and conversion rates
Follow e-commerce SEO best practices
Establishing and maintaining an online store is not for the faint of heart. The experts at Strategy Driven Marketing would love to help you wherever you are in the process. From square one to tweaks and SEO attention, we can help you offer an amazing e-commerce opportunity to your target audience. Let’s get started!