Improve Your Online Sales in 10 Minutes

  • Strategy
  • June 18, 2020
  • by Eve Rouse
  • 8 minute read

Want to increase your e‑commerce sales — fast? Here are some quick wins for your Shopify store.

Make Mobile the Holy Grail

You have probably heard this a thousand times already. But have you actually invested the time and research that your mobile website deserves? Here’s a few stats to drive home why you should do:

  • Mobile now accounts for 79% of traffic and 69% of orders on Shopify stores
  • Mobile visitors are 62% less likely to shop with you in the future if they have a negative experience whilst browsing
  • The work Shopify has done to cater for mobile shoppers gives merchants using the platform a real advantage (make the most of it!)

Without having your online store tailored to mobile and functioning smoothly, you’re not only painting yourself in a bad light and losing potential customers, but you risk pushing them to your competitors too. There’s a few things to consider:

  • How much content are you displaying — is it too much for a handheld device?
  • Are the links and the back button easy to physically navigate (whatever the device, whosever the hands?)
  • Is it easy to access your menu and filters?
  • Are you offering your mobile customers mobile-specific payment options like ApplePay?

The bottom line is: if you ask your mobile customers to do less, you’ll benefit from it in the long-run.

10-minute action: run your e-commerce store through Think with Google. It’ll test how mobile-friendly it’s looking, how quick it is on both mobile and desktop, and will give you some actionable advice on what you can improve.

“We Tested it on Our Team”

You’ll be surprised how many brands rely on their staff to test their online stores. These people use your site every day... they’ll automatically know where the checkout function is and how to get around any small bugs without even realising. They’re not reflective of first-time purchasers.

New site users are much more likely to give up after a few failed attempts (or worse still, never return). From vague product descriptions to unclear checkout buttons, the insight they give can be invaluable.

  • How easy is it for them to access your online store on a 3/4G connection?
  • Is the checkout process clear to them on mobile, tablet, and desktop?
  • Have you watched a friend, family member (even a complete stranger) try to navigate your website on desktop and mobile?

10-minute action: watch someone unfamiliar with your website use your store for the first time, from landing page to checkout. Make note of their journey. Learn where you may be missing out on sales and discover potential bugs.

You’ve Got to Have Trust

A key reason for shoppers abandoning the checkout is lack of trust (especially for first-time purchasers). Customers want assurance that the product or service you’re offering will fulfil their expectations — and more. Use trust indicators throughout your online store to foster this:

  • An open, honest and clear returns policy
  • Social proof written by a human, not a bot (such as active social accounts)
  • Payment trust symbols from verified third-parties e.g. Visa, PayPal, Klarna
  • A checkout displaying all charges (think delivery, VAT etc.) clearly, before purchase
  • Reviews and ratings from existing customers
  • Clear contact options
  • An FAQ section

Are you showing your customers you are a trustworthy retailer ready to help if a purchase falls foul?

10-minute action: check you’re displaying the 7 trust indicators above. Make sure your contact details are correct and your delivery and returns information is both clear and easy to reach.

Get Your Visuals Picture Perfect

In-person browsing lets your customers touch, hold, and even try your products. But when shopping online, purchase decisions rely heavily on imagery and video. If these aren’t up to scratch, they can really put people off buying (and harm your return rates for those who do).

  • Are your assets good quality?
  • Are your product shots accurate in colour, size and scale?
  • Are you showing multiple angles for your products?
  • Does it look professional and trustworthy? Investing in models and a professional photographer can make or break your online brand and business.

10-minute action: take a step back and look over your visual content. Would you buy from your store? If not, consider reaching out to product photographers and videographers. (Or, have another stab at using your own gear if your budget can’t take you to a professional studio).

Now these brands are nailing their visuals. How do yours compare?

  • Pangaia do a fantastic job of using clear imagery and using a range of models.
  • Paul Valentine showcase shots from every angle including on model and gift packaging.
  • Missoma is a great example of using imagery innovatively to show how your products can work together. Their lifestyle shots are incredibly aspirational.

The Devil’s in The Detail

Are your services and products clear? Is the length of that hoodie given in the product info? Is your FAQ page easy to find? Think about the sorts of details customers commonly want to see in your product descriptions and outlined in your policies. Pre-empting generic questions not only helps cut your customer service queries and saves your customers’ time, but it also shows you have a transparent business process.

Expect the unexpected, too. There’ll be customers who have more specific, unpredictable questions. Live chat options such as Gorgias are great in giving answers and lifting concerns in real time — before browsers bounce off your website and onto your competitor’s. But, if that’s not an option, do make sure your contact page is clearly visible.

10-minute action: search through your customers’ comms, are there any recurring questions? If so, create a commonly asked questions blog post or FAQs page using the responses you gave directly to the customers. Use Google Analytics to look for what searches are most frequent within your website. Do you have suitable landing pages for them? Do the right products show up at the top?

Hone Your Shipping

When it comes to shipping services, these can really sway your conversion and abandon-cart rates. But, we hear you — it can be tough to compete with quick, low-cost options like Amazon (especially if you’re a start-up or growing business).

The psychology behind free shipping and returns is a big one, though. Offering this tells customers you're willing to go the extra mile. They make purchases sound all the sweeter, bricks-and-mortar alternatives seem less ‘convenient’, and iron out any purchase hesitations.

It’s a model juggernaut ASOS really blew up. OK, so you might not be able to match ASOS’ shipping strategy investment… but you should be able to find an option that’s appealing to your customers as well as your bottom line.

Can you offer free shipping (or better still, free next-day) and free returns by wrapping the costs into the price of your products? What about if you set a free shipping threshold? How about offering this as a temporary promo?

10-minute action: make a plan to split-test different options to understand how each affects your profit margins. See which benefits your business the most in comparison to a paid delivery and returns service.

Make Your Customer’s Lives Easier

Lastly, customers expect a seamless shopping experience.

So, reduce the amount of clicks between the shopping cart and final purchase pages of your customer journey. The more hoops you try and make your customers leap through, the greater risk of cart-abandonment.

This is particularly relevant to mobile shopping. Entering delivery and card details alone can be a real faff on smaller devices. Which takes us to our next point: register-to-buy lets customers save details and auto fills these for a speedier checkout, next time around.

Guest customers should be able to check out without creating an account first — you don’t want to be making roadblocks for your single-time purchasers (they might be a gift-buyer, or simply have forgotten their log-in details). Whatever the reason, you can’t lose them here! Modern browsers already store so many details, like addresses and credit card numbers, so you’re not helping the customer by forcing them to sign up.

10-minute action: select 3 items and purchase them from your store. Can you do it in under 3 minutes? If not, you should consider enabling the guest checkout option or limiting your checkout screen to one page. With Shopify, enabling the guest checkout option is painless (learn how to, here).

Those are our tips. What are yours? Let us know if you think we missed anything.

If you need any expert help on increasing your online sales, get in touch.

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