This post originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com - #Growing Your Business
It’s an ongoing process, but there are ways to guarantee an immediate boost in incoming orders.
5 min read
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Is your e-commerce shop optimized? It’s almost certainly not. When you’re running a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day rat race and not keep up with the most current trends. If you’ve let your store go to seed a little bit, it’s time to step up and make a change.
The good news is it doesn’t take long to get your operation into top shape. In less than five business days, you can build up your sales, lower your bounce rate and build up your audience. All it takes is a little elbow grease and a few small adjustments.
1. Harness the power of product images.
According to a study from product-video services company Invodo, 92.6 percent of all consumers feel that visuals are the most influential factor when it comes to making a positive buying decision. If you’re only using one image, or your images aren’t very high quality, you’re not optimizing the impact of your product pages.
Your product images should be clear and high-quality, but not so high-quality that they affect page-load times, especially on mobile devices. As more and more shopping goes mobile, balancing on that fine line becomes increasingly important. Consider either buying a high-quality camera and teaching yourself to use it or contracting with a professional photographer.
The good news about your photos is that once they’re done they’re done, you might have to do a little resizing and cropping for different platforms, but it’s less work than you’ll probably have to do to massage your copy to match each platform’s algorithm.
A picture is worth a thousand words. Well, a good one is. How good are yours?
2. Follow up on abandoned carts.
When Envelopes.com was trying to figure out how to optimize its conversion rates, they decided that the best place to start would be high-intent customers who didn’t make a purchase for one reason or another. They concentrated on one area: abandoned virtual-shopping carts. If you’re looking for a motivated audience that’s already interested in your product, you can’t do much better than abandoned carts. A user clicked on your product and not only considered buying it, but actually put it in their shopping cart. On the scale of lead intensity, that’s somewhere above “white hot.”
So what do you do? Just what Envelopes.com did, as their Core DNA case study notes. They found that, for their purposes a 48-hour delay worked best on their follow-up emails. Once they sent that message, they experienced a whopping 40 percent conversion rate for abandoned carts, which is unreal.
Abandoned carts aren’t a failure, they’re an opportunity. Seize it with both hands.
3. Make your site (more) mobile-friendly.
Does your e-commerce platform maximize your conversions, your site load times and your sales on mobile? Mobile e-commerce sales in the United States are projected to break $338 billion by 2020, according to one Statista assessment, and that’s no accident. People are leaving their computers behind to shop from their tablets and smartphones more than ever before, and if your site isn’t optimized completely for mobile, you’re going to lose out.
Recreation-product manufacturer Exxel Outdoors decided to re-platform to a more mobile-friendly site design recently because they weren’t seeing the conversions they thought they should. That decision paid big dividends for them. As it related in a BigCommerce case study, the company saw a 272 percent increase in mobile conversion rate and a 193 percent increase in mobile revenue year over year.
Re-platforming’s one of the more drastic steps you could take, but streamlining your site and making it faster for mobile will absolutely help your conversion rates. Don’t neglect mobile.
5. Fix your SEO for related products.
This is a fairly simple fix, but you’d be surprised how many sites don’t actually do it. If you have related products, concentrate them on one page instead of making a separate page for every model or color. Make one page for related products. Use a drop-down menu or another technique to let users choose which color, size, model or type they want. As Search Engine Watch notes, Zappos does an excellent job of this. This will make sure your SEO juice is concentrated in one page, not spread out across multiples.
6. Write your own product descriptions.
If you’ve worked in e-commerce for any length of time, you’ve probably seen this pattern play out over and over again: A new product comes on the market, you search it on Google and every single listing has the same verbiage. This is lazy, and honestly it’s just bad SEO, and bad practice in general.
Don’t duplicate the product copy you got straight from the manufacturer if you’re a reseller. Make sure you write your own. For one, the copy’s often just plain wrong, even directly from the manufacturer. For another thing, you can bet that most e-commerce sites will copy it directly, which weighs you down in SEO.
None of these solutions is likely to take you long to check on or implement, at least at a basic level. But you’d be shocked what sort of effect they can have on your bottom line. Make sure you’re not leaving money on the table. Optimize your e-commerce shop today and discover what you’ve been missing out on.