A bad shopping experience can dissuade customers from returning to your site, while a good one can keep them coming back for more.
It encompasses everything from the initial search for products to post-purchase follow-ups and customer service.
At the most basic level, a good shopping experience is about ensuring your store is capable of:
- Loading on all devices (phone, laptop, PC, tablet, etc.)
- Guiding customers to the products they’re looking for
- Minimizing friction at every step of the purchase process
- Ranking products based on relevance
- Accepting multiple payment methods
Only after you’ve already taken care of the technicalities can you start thinking about optimising your eCommerce shopping experience for conversions.
You [specifically] want to pay attention to your web store’s home page, product page, and cart/checkout page. Make sure these pages are designed with your customer’s needs in mind. The goal is to get them from point A to B as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Here are some tips to get you started:
Tip 1: Increase eCommerce Search Functionality
That involves setting up synonyms, misspellings, and stemming so that your search can handle different variations of the same word.
Essentially, you’re to optimize your site for two main groups of shoppers: those who know what they want and those who don’t.
For Customers Who Know What They Want
The first group is looking for a specific product and just needs a little nudge in the right direction.
Ideally, you’re to help customers find the information they’re looking for quickly and easily.
That means your eCommerce search should:
- Return results for products that are similar to what the customer is looking for
- Include product recommendations based on past behaviour
- Allow customers to filter results by different criteria (e.g., price, colour, size)
For Customers Who Don’t Know What They Want
The second group is for customers who are completely clueless about what they want but would know it when they see it.
These customers just want to browse your store and see what you offer.
They’re the online version of window shoppers.
They’ll click through your navigation menus and product categories or jump from one product to another until something catches their eye.
To make sure these customers don’t get frustrated and leave your store, you’re to:
- Make it easy for them to browse through your store by having a clear and concise navigation menu
- Include product recommendations on each page
- Organize the menu intuitively (e.g., by product type, occasion, or collection)
- Recommend products based on their past behaviour
- Search scope selection: Include an option that allows customers to specify the type of product they’re looking for (e.g., men’s shoes, women’s clothing, etc.)
- Autocomplete: Suggest products as soon as the customer starts typing in the search box.
- Results Layouts and Features: Include product photos, reviews, and other relevant information in the search results.
- The Search Field Behaviour and design: The search field should be visible and easily accessible from any page on the website.
Tip 2: Use High-quality Product Photos and Descriptions
Buyers rely heavily on product photos and descriptions when purchasing online.
They attract attention, help customers understand what they’re looking at, and give them a better idea of what to expect.
You want to use high-quality product photos that accurately represent your products.
And regarding product descriptions, don’t just copy and paste the manufacturer’s description.
Instead, write your own unique descriptions focusing on product features and benefits.
A good practice is offering a 360-degree view of the product so potential customers can see it from every angle.
Some other things you can do to improve your product photos and descriptions include:
For Product Photos:
- Include multiple photos of each product from different angles
- Use high-resolution photos
- Add a product video
For Product Description
- Use proper subheadings
- Use bullet points to grab the buyer’s attention
- Use large, readable fonts
- Pay attention to whitespace to avoid clutter and make your content readable
- Write unique and keyword-rich descriptions
- Keep your descriptions concise and fluff-free
- Create a comprehensive list of product features and benefits
- Include a size chart (if applicable)
- Include customer reviews and testimonials
Tip 3: Personalize Your Homepage
Your homepage is the first page customers see when they visit your store, so it must make a good impression.
To personalize your homepage and make it more relevant to your visitors, you can:
- Include a hero image or banner that promotes your latest sale or collection
- Include a featured product section that showcases your best-selling or most popular products
- Include customer testimonials or reviews
- Include a blog section to share helpful tips, guides, and tutorials related to your products
More importantly, personalize the content on your homepage based on the user’s past behaviour and previous purchases or on real-time data such as time and location.
Amazon is a good example of this. Every time you visit the Amazon homepage, you’ll see a different selection of products based on your past behaviour and purchases.
Allow your visitors to only view the category they’re most interested in without having to sort through many products they don’t want.
Personalizing the homepage and making it relevant to each user will help you increase conversion and boost sales.
Tip 4: Focus on Producing Consistent and Relevant Content
Content marketing still plays a big role in eCommerce, even though it’s not always discussed as much as other marketing channels.
That’s because the content is an important part of the customer journey, helping to educate buyers and build trust and credibility with your brand.
To produce consistent and relevant content, you must clearly understand your target audience and what they’re interested in.
Here are a few examples of content to include on your eCommerce website:
- Lists: They’re more readable and scannable for people looking for quick and easy information.
- Tutorials: A step-by-step guide on how to use your products or services
- Product Comparisons: A side-by-side comparison of your products or services against your competitor’s.
- Testimonials and Reviews: Customer reviews and testimonials are a great way to build social proof and trust with potential buyers.
- Infographics: A visual representation of data or information
- Checklist: A helpful list of tips or things to remember.
- Podcasts: A great way to connect with your audience and build relationships
- GIFs and Memes: A fun way to add some personality to your content and connect with your audience on a more personal level
We suggest you experiment with different types of content to see what works best for your target audience and your business.
Tip 5: Improve Your Shopping Cart Functionality
The number one reason people abandon their shopping carts is because of unexpected costs, such as shipping fees and taxes.
To avoid this, be upfront about all additional costs before someone gets to the checkout page.
We recommend including a shipping calculator on your product pages so people can see the total cost of their purchase, including shipping before they add it to their cart.
Another way to improve your shopping cart functionality is to offer various payment options.
While most people still prefer to pay with a credit or debit card, a growing number prefer alternative payment methods such as PayPal, Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Amazon Payments.
You can begin by analysing your performances. Evaluate your analytics data to see which stages customers drop off the most and brainstorm how you could improve the process.
Also, consider implementing a “save for later” feature in your shopping cart.
That way, people can save items in their cart to return and purchase them later.
Here’s a summary of what you can do to improve your shopping cart:
- Make sure you are upfront about all additional costs
- Offer a variety of payment options
- Analyse your performances and look for areas of improvement
- Consider implementing a “save for later” feature.
- Use A/B testing to determine which solution works best for you and your customers.
- Clear the checkout page and remove any distraction or friction in the process
Studies show the fewer clicks it takes to complete a purchase, the higher the chances of conversion.
You want to make it as easy as possible for someone to buy from you, so don’t add any unnecessary steps or extra fields in the checkout process.
And if you’re selling digital goods, consider implementing a one-click checkout process so people can buy your products with just a few clicks.
You should also streamline the registration process by allowing people to checkout as guests instead of forcing them to create an account.
If you require people to create an account, ensure you offer social login options so they can sign up with their existing Facebook or Google accounts.
Tip 6: Build Email Lists and Send Targeted Emails
One of the best ways to improve your eCommerce shopping experience is to build an email list and send targeted emails.
You’re missing out on many potential sales if you’re not collecting emails from your visitors and customers.
Every time someone makes a purchase, add them to your email list so you can send them targeted emails with personalized offers.
You can also use email to stay in touch with your customers and build relationships. Send them updates about new products, exclusive deals, and helpful articles.
And don’t forget to segment your list so you can send more relevant and targeted emails.
Use sign-up forms and lead magnets to grow your list. You can also use pop-ups and exit-intent forms to collect emails from people about to leave your site.
Here’s a summary of what you can do to build an email list and send targeted emails:
- Build an email list and add everyone who makes a purchase
- Send targeted emails with personalized offers
- Use email to stay in touch with your customers and build relationships
- Segment your list so you can send more relevant and targeted emails
- Collect emails from people who are about to leave your site.
- Use sign-up forms and lead magnets to grow your list
- Ask for feedback through email
- Create special newsletter-only campaigns and discount codes
Tip 7: Work on Your Social Media Strategy
Never underestimate the power of social media. It’s a great way to connect with your customers and improve your eCommerce shopping experience.
Use social media to engage with your customers, answer their questions, and resolve their issues.
You can also use social media to promote your products, run contests and giveaways, and build relationships with influencers.
For ecommerce, you specifically want to focus on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. These are the best platforms for promoting products and building an audience.
Here’s a summary of what you can do to improve your social media strategy:
- Post daily and consistently
- Leverage video
- Don’t spam
- Use an automated tool to ensure your posts are on track
- Go live and use Instagram and Facebook stories
- Repost user-generated content
- Leverage influencer marketing
- Forget about social media promotion for a minute and focus on engaging with your customers
- Use social media to answer questions and resolve issues
- Use analytics to track your progress and improve your strategy
- Test multiple social media strategies and stick with the one that works best for you and your customers.
Now that we’ve established social media can strengthen your e-commerce business, how sure are we that these strategies will work?
Here are some of the benefits that come with a well-tailored social media campaign:
- The information you gather about your customers’ online behaviour will help you better segment and target your ads.
- You can create a more personable brand image by sharing behind-the-scenes content, such as company culture or employee stories.
- Building cordial relationships with people who have large followings can lead to influencer marketing opportunities.
- Daily communication with potential customers will help you understand their needs better and develop solutions that improve their overall eCommerce shopping experience.
- Unique and high-quality content helps you stand out from the competition and drive organic traffic to your website. They can also help you expand brand awareness and build trust with potential customers.
- Generating user-generated content (UGC) is a great way to promote your products and get people talking about your brand.
- Running social media contests and giveaways is a great way to generate leads, grow your following, and promote your products.
- Better customer support on social media can lead to improved customer satisfaction and loyalty.
- According to Review trackers, 51.7% of shoppers expect brands to reply to negative reviews on social media within seven days.
- Cost-efficiency: social media is one of the fastest and most cost-effective marketing channels.
- Increased brand awareness and reach: A consistent social media presence will help you reach more people and increase brand awareness.
Don’t forget that social media should be fun! Use these tips to create a social media strategy that will help you connect with your customers and improve your eCommerce business.
Tip 8: Create Personalized Landing Pages
Think of your landing pages as your digital storefronts. They’re the first thing your customers see when they visit your website, so you want to ensure they’re appealing and relevant.
Personalized landing pages are a great way to improve your eCommerce shopping experience.
You can start by segmenting your audience and creating separate landing pages for each group.
For example, if you sell women’s clothing, you might create a landing page for petite sizes, another for plus sizes, and another for tall sizes.
You can also personalize your landing pages based on factors like location, age, gender, interests, and more.
The more relevant your landing pages are to your target audience, the more likely they will convert.
Here are some tips for creating personalized landing pages:
- Each landing page should only have a single purpose and only one CTA. You can have multiple buttons, but they should all achieve the same conversion goal. Conversion goals could range from signing up for your newsletter to purchasing a specific product.
- Your headlines and copy should be clear and concise. Get straight to the point and ensure your message is easy to understand.
- Create clear, user-friendly landing page designs. Include plenty of whitespaces and use large, easy-to-read fonts. Every clickable element on the page should direct the visitor to the desired goal. You also want to ensure you have a navigational bar at the top of the page so visitors can easily move around your website.
- Include high-quality images and videos that accurately represent your products or services. People are more likely to trust a landing page with high-quality visuals.
- Give deep thought to the content around your main conversion goal. That includes your headline, subheadings, copy, and images. The content should be compelling and persuasive enough to convince the visitor to take action.
- You also want to make sure your forms are short and easy to fill out. The easier you make it for people to convert, the more likely they will do so.
- Include customer testimonials, social proof, and trust symbols on your landing pages. These can be in the form of reviews, ratings, logos from well-known publications, or anything else that helps build trust with your visitors.
- Use A/B testing to find the best-performing versions of your landing pages.
- Make sure your pages are mobile-friendly. More than half of all web traffic now comes from mobile devices, so you can’t afford to have a non-responsive website.
- Track your results using Google Analytics or another web analytics tool. That will help you see how well your landing pages perform and identify the areas to improve.
Tip 9: Build Advertising Strategies into Your Overall Marketing Plan
Another way to improve your eCommerce shopping experience is to build advertising strategies into your overall marketing plan.
That will help you reach more people and promote your products or services to a broader audience.
Paid search ads are a great way to reach people actively searching for products or services like yours.
Before setting up an ad campaign, you want to answer three key questions:
- How many visitors does your store need for a successful conversion?
- What’s the average order value (AOV) of your products or services?
- How much are you willing to spend on each visitor?
- What’s the best advertisement outlet for your products or services?
- What budget are you allocating for your advertising campaign?
You also want to make sure you’re tracking your results so you can see which ads are performing well and which ones need to be improved.
Some final suggestions:
- Don’t forget traditional advertising methods like TV, radio, and print.
- Experiment with different types of ads and see which ones work best for your business.
- Use retargeting ads to reach people who have already shown an interest in your products or services.
- Monitor your results closely and make changes to your campaigns as needed.
Use Facebook Pixel to record the Facebook users visiting your website and use that data to create targeted ads for your campaign.
Set ad preferences based on where your users spend much of their time on your website, the products they’re interested in, and other factors.
You want to make sure your ads are relevant to your target audience and that they’re being delivered to the right people.
Tip 10: Implement User-Generated Content
The idea behind User Generated Content (UGC) is simple:
Let your customers do the talking for you.
That can be product reviews, social media posts, blog articles, or any other type of content that features your products or services.
One of the benefits of UGC is that it helps build trust with potential customers. When people see that others are using and enjoying your products, they’re more likely to want to try them for themselves.
Another benefit is that it can help you generate new content ideas. You can use UGC to see what people are saying about your products and what kinds of questions they have. That can give your ideas for blog posts, video content, or even new products.
Finally, UGC can be a great way to build relationships with your customers. They’ll feel appreciated and connected to your brand when you feature their content on your site or social media channels.
Some suggestions for getting started with UGC:
- Encourage customers to leave reviews on your website or social media pages.
- Feature customer photos and videos on your website or social media channels.
- Run a contest or promotion that encourages people to create content about your products or services.
- Monitor social media channels for mentions of your brand and engage with customers talking about you.