Ecommerce Optimization: 12 Ways To Skyrocket Your Sales In 2022
April 8, 2022
Ecommerce optimization may sound like an overcomplicated process, but it’s an important process used to increase sales. Did your ears perk up when I said “increase sales?”
That’s right, eCommerce optimization is the most overlooked way to increase sales. Less than 3% of eCommerce website visitors will actually make a purchase. That tells us there’s a lot of room for improvement, so what are most online stores missing?
Optimizing your eCommerce website is about creating a user experience that makes it as easy as possible for your customers to:
- Understand the benefits of what you’re selling,
- Find the products they need or want and,
- Trust your brand or service
Notice how these all focus on how your customers feel? That’s because you are optimizing your store for people, not sales. Strip away all the marketing jargon, sales tactics, and techy mumbo jumbo, and you are simply left with people.
But didn’t you say this was an easy way to increase sales?
Sure I did! Because all sales start with people. So today we are going to teach you how to optimize your site specifically for your ideal customers.
By the end of this guide, you’ll understand all the tweaks your website needs to provide a better experience and service. Let’s get into it.
What Does eCommerce Optimization Specifically Mean?
So what exactly is eCommerce optimization? To explain, let’s place ourselves in the customers’ shoes:
An ad for running shoes catches your attention while you’re browsing the web.
You click on it, and are met with a landing page full of bright, contrasting colors and cluttered content. The product images are low-quality and pixelated, but it still takes several seconds for the content to load due to the immense amount of ads squeezed onto the page.
You exit and vow never to return.
How can this site hope to land a sale when their customer experience is so poor? This is where eCommerce optimization comes in. It is the process of zooming out to assess your entire website functionality, flow and content.
eCommerce optimization can involve everything from overhauling your website design and imagery, to revamping your marketing campaigns, product descriptions and checkout process.
There are a number of different factors that can affect your eCommerce conversion rate, so it’s important to take a holistic approach to optimization and test different changes to see what works best for your store.
12 Proven Tactics For eCommerce Optimization
As mentioned above, there are lots of ways you can improve the overall flow of your online business. You obviously want to optimize for increased conversions, traffic, and sales, but where do you start?
1. Look Back To Your Intended Business Goals
It’s important to always keep your key business goals in mind.
By doing so, you can accurately track the results of your optimization efforts and ensure that you’re making the most impact on your bottom line. Additionally, it’s important to remember the basic pillars of effective eCommerce optimization: improving site speed, increasing Conversions, driving more traffic, and reducing bounce rates. By keeping these pillars in mind, you can make sure that your optimization efforts are having the greatest possible impact on your business.
Ecommerce Optimization Through The S.M.A.R.T Criteria
For the best results, you want to set goals that are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound (S.M.A.R.T.).
This framework is often used in goal setting for individuals, but it can also be applied to businesses. When it comes to eCommerce, applying the S.M.A.R.T. framework can help make goal setting easier, more applicable, and more accurate.
One of the benefits of using the S.M.A.R.T. framework is that it helps break down goals into smaller pieces that are more manageable.
|Your goal should be specific and focused.||You should be able to track and measure your goal.||Make sure your goal is achievable, given the resources you have.||Make sure your goal is relevant to your business’s overall objectives.||Set a deadline for achieving your goal.|
2. Improving Cart Abandonment Rates
Cart abandonment is a problem that has been increasing in recent years for many eCommerce businesses. Out of every 100 potential customers, almost 69 will leave without completing their purchase.
This is a big problem because it means that businesses are losing out on potential revenue. In fact, businesses currently lose $4 trillion in revenue each year due to cart abandonment.
Luckily, there is an effective way to tackle cart abandonment — cart abandonment emails!
Send Cart Abandonment Emails
Abandoned cart emails are messages that are sent to customers who have left items in their shopping cart without completing their purchase. These emails serve as a reminder to the customer that they have items in their cart and encourage them to complete their purchase.
Studies have shown that abandoned cart emails are effective in reducing cart abandonment rates. In fact, one study showed that abandoned cart emails can recover up to 20% of lost sales.
Here at CartStack, our world revolves around getting those cart abandonment emails out and working for your business. If you want to get started, try out our free email templates designed specifically for recovering abandoned carts.
Allow Guest Checkouts
Even as an eCommerce business owner, I’m sure you’ve run into the pains of using eCommerce sites. Mandatory account creation is certainly one of them.
How often have you been interested in purchasing an item online, only to be unable to access the checkout page without creating an account first?
This is one of the fastest ways to irritate your customers, and leads 23% of customers to abandon their cart. In most cases, this strategy is designed to capture customer information, but there are much better ways to achieve this, without irritating the customer.
For example, with a tool like CartStack, you’ll be able to capture customer data in real-time, without needing to push account creation. With data collection out of the way, you can focus on the usability of your website, and boost conversions by making it easy for customers to reach the checkout.
If you still want those customers to create accounts on your site, consider sending a thank you email after their purchase which outlines the benefits of having an account with you.
Looking for more ways to reduce your cart abandonment rate? Give a look through our list of Customer Recovery Tools & Tricks that Go Beyond Email
3. Accommodate For Mobile Users
Let’s face it, we live on our phones these days.
We talk, text, and shop all through our mobile devices, and 61% of online retail traffic comes from mobile shoppers. This number is only going to continue to grow in the years ahead, so it’s essential for eCommerce businesses to make sure their websites are optimized for mobile users.
Mobile users are often more engaged than desktop users, so it’s important to provide them with an optimal shopping experience. This includes making sure the website is easy to navigate on a small screen and that all the necessary information is easily accessible.
Proper CTA Placement In Your Site
Proper CTA placement is essential for optimizing the mobile user experience and maximizing conversions. Here are some tips for placing CTAs on your product pages:
- Place the CTA above the fold: This means that users should not have to scroll down to see the CTA button. The further down the page the CTA is, the less likely users are to see it and take action.
- Make the CTA big and visible: The CTA button should be large and easy to see, especially on smaller screens. It’s also important to use a contrasting color so that it stands out from the rest of the page.
- Place the CTA near the product image: Placing the CTA near the product image will help users understand what they are clicking on. This is especially important for mobile users, who may not have enough screen space to view the entire page.
- Use clear language: The text on the CTA button should be clear and concise, so users know what they are clicking on. For example, “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” are much clearer than “Submit” or “Click Here.”
- Use urgency cues: Urgency cues can be effective in motivating users to take action. Some common cues include phrases like “Today Only,” “Limited Time Offer,” or “While Supplies Last.”
Simple But Eye-Catching Content
Optimizing your content for small screens is necessary to creating a seamless mobile shopping experience. This means keeping text brief and to the point, and using images and other visual elements to break up the text and add interest.
Make sure your content is concise and easy to scan. This can be done with:
- Bulleted lists
- Short paragraphs
- Large font sizes
- High-quality product photos or infographics
4. Design Proper Landing Pages
Your landing page is the first thing potential customers see when they visit your site, and it can make or break a sale from the start. A well-designed landing page should be simple yet impressive, and entice users to click further into your site.
Use High-Quality Images
High-quality images are a great way to capture interest and drive purchase decisions. Images play an important role in conversion rate optimization, since online shoppers are three times more likely to purchase from retailers with rich imagery.
Images also enhance your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts, as it’s much easier for search engines to index them.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind when selecting your images:
- The image should be of good resolution. This means that the image should be big enough to fill the screen without any blurry or pixelated areas.
- The design of the image should be clear and easy to read. The text or logo in the image should be legible, and there should not be any distracting elements.
- The image should be credible and professional-looking. This means that it should portray your business in a positive light and look like it belongs on a high-quality website.
Some great places to find high-quality images for your eCommerce site are stock photo websites, your company’s own library of images, and customer testimonials or case studies that include photos. If you are able to use real photos of your products in action, that is even better.
Learn more about Why High-Quality Product Photography Matters
Avoid And Lessen Content Clutter
When it comes to content, less is more.
One of the biggest mistakes that eCommerce businesses make is packing their landing pages with too much information. They try to include everything about their product or service in an effort to be comprehensive. However, this often has the opposite effect and confuses and overwhelms visitors.
It is much better to focus on providing only the most essential information about your product or service. This can be done by keeping your content clear and concise, and by using images to help explain things.
5. Streamlining Your Customer Checkouts
Customers are fickle, and why shouldn’t they be? Time is valuable, and if your checkout process is clunky and confusing, you’ll see a rise in shopping cart abandonment.
Your checkout page is the last step your customers will reach before making a purchase, and it needs to be running as efficiently as possible.
But what are the best ways to optimize your eCommerce site for these goals? Here are some tips:
Improve And Display Order Summary
Your order summary must be clear and easy to understand for customers. This means listing all of the items being purchased, as well as any applicable taxes and shipping costs.
It’s also important to be up-front about any hidden fees that may apply, such as those for shipping, returns or exchanges. Hidden fees are the leading cause of abandoned eCommerce sales, so this transparency can help to build trust with customers, and mean the difference between a completed purchase and a lost sale.
Provide Different Payment Options
Another way to optimize your eCommerce site for sales and conversions is to provide customers with different payment options. This can include everything from major credit cards to alternative methods like PayPal or Apple Pay.
By giving customers several payment options to choose from, you make it easier for them to complete a purchase. And the more convenient the checkout process is, the more likely customers are to buy from you. Offer quick and easy Returns
Along with providing different payment options, you should also offer quick and easy returns. This can help to build customer trust and encourage them to buy from you again in the future.
6. Investing In User Personalization
A fantastic way to increase your average conversion rate is by personalizing your eCommerce website experience to each user. This can be done in a number of ways, including recommending products based on past purchases, displaying items that are popular with customers in their area, offering unique coupon codes, and much more.
Reconnecting With Returning Visitors
It can be easy to focus on acquiring new customers, but it’s just as important to retain the ones you already have. One of the best ways to do this is by reconnecting with past customers and giving them appropriate recommendations based on their previous purchases.
This shows that you value their business and want to give them the best possible experience. It also helps to build customer trust, which can lead to more sales and conversions in the future.
Using Geolocated Content
Geolocated content is a type of content marketing that tailors content to specific areas or regions, and can be a great way to target customers based on their location.
For example, you could display different content to customers in the United States than you would to those in the United Kingdom. This can be done by using content that is specific to the region, such as local news, events, and more.
Geolocated content can be a great way to improve your digital marketing strategy, and allow you to better connect with your target audience in different areas.
7. Improve Your eCommerce Site Speed
One of the most important things you can do to improve your eCommerce site is to make sure that it loads quickly. This is because a slow-loading website can be a major deterrent for customers, and can lead to them leaving your site without making a purchase.
According to research, 47% of customers expect a website to load in 2 seconds or less. And if it takes longer than 3 seconds, they’re likely to abandon the page.
That’s why it’s essential to make sure your eCommerce site is as fast as possible. You can do this by optimizing your images, using a content delivery network (CDN), and minimizing the number of HTTP requests.
Compress Existing Images
Compressing your images can help to reduce file size, which can lead to faster loading times for your website. In some cases, you may be able to reduce image file size by up to 80%.
An easy way to compress your images specifically for the web, is to use TinyPNG. TinyPNG is a free web app that uses lossless compression to reduce the size of your images without sacrificing quality.
Another way to adapt your images for increased site speed is to specify image dimensions. Setting the desired height and width of your images in advance allows the browser to immediately understand the image size, which leads to faster webpage load times.
Choose The Proper Site Hosting Service
Your site speed will depend on the web hosting provider or package you choose for your business. This is because each hosting provider or package will have different bandwidth and RAM options. Another factor is whether you pay to have a dedicated server for your site, or if you use a shared hosting plan, in which your site shares a server with other websites.
|Top 3 E-Commerce Site Hosting Providers|
|Offers a wide range of features, including unlimited storage space and bandwidth, as well as a free domain name for the first year.||Managed platform specifically designed for WordPress, so you can be sure your site will run smoothly and efficiently. Option for automatic backups and malware scanning.||Provides a wide range of hosting options, from shared to VPS to dedicated servers. They also offer a 90-day money back guarantee, which is one of the longest in the industry.|
Once you’ve chosen a good hosting provider, there are a few other steps you can take to optimize your store for speed:
1. Use caching to improve loading times
2. Optimize your images and other media files
3. Minimize HTTP requests
4. Use a content delivery network (CDN)
5. Implement GoogleP for mobile users
8. Segmenting Your Email Lists
Email marketing may not be the newest or most flashy tool in your eCommerce optimization arsenal, but don’t discount its importance. Email is still one of the most effective ways to reach and engage customers, and with the right approach, it can be a powerful tool for growing your business.
One key to email success is segmentation. By dividing your email list into smaller, more targeted groups, you can send more relevant and targeted messages that are more likely to resonate with each group. This leads to improved customer engagement and conversions.
Cartstack is a great solution for email segmentation. With our platform, you can easily create and manage multiple email lists, so you can send the right message to the right people at the right time.
Use Customer Email Tagging
Email tagging is a great way to segment your email list and ensure that you’re sending targeted, relevant messages to each group. By tagging customers based on their purchase history, interests, or other criteria, you can create targeted email lists that will produce better results.
Cartstack’s customer email tagging feature makes it easy to segment your list and send targeted messages. Simply tag customers when they make a purchase, sign up for your newsletter, or take any other action that you want to track. Then, you can create targeted email campaigns based on those tags.
Create Customer Profiles
Customer profiles are another great way to segment your email list and improve your eCommerce optimization. By creating profiles for each customer, you can better understand their individual needs and preferences. This allows you to send more personalized and relevant messages that are more likely to convert.
9. Utilizing Sales, Promos, and Discounts Properly
Participating In Seasonal Sales, Discounts, Promos
Sales, discounts and promos can be a great way to market your eCommerce store effectively. Here are some tips on how to use them:
- Use sales to clear out old inventory and make room for new products. This is a great way to keep your store fresh and exciting for customers.
- Discounts can be a great way to attract new customers. Offer a discount for first-time buyers, or for customers who make a purchase above a certain amount.
- Promos can be a great way to increase sales during slow periods. Offer a free gift with purchase, or a discount on shipping.
- Make sure you keep your seasonal sales and promotions updated so that customers know what’s coming and when. This way they can plan their purchases accordingly.
Using Email List Sign-Up Discounts
You can also use discounts and promos to capture useful data for building segmented email lists. By offering a discount for signing up to an email list, businesses can encourage customers to provide their contact information which can then be used to send targeted marketing content.
10. Create Valuable Customer Support Channels
There are three primary customer support channels that businesses use: chat, phone, and email. Each of these has its own benefits and can be used to further help eCommerce optimization.
|BENEFITS: Customer Support Channel Comparison Table|
|Live Chat Support||Phone Support||Email Support|
|Quick access to answersAvailable 24/7Low time commitment||Builds rapport with customersIncreases loyaltyAdds a personal touch||Great way to provide updates on ordersCustomers appreciate being able to contact you directly|
Investing In Self-Support Methods
One great way to improve your customer support strategy is to invest in self-support methods. Self-support methods can range from simple FAQ pages to more complex chatbots and AI-powered customer support tools.
Self-support methods help to increase response times from your customer support staff. By using automated chat methods and FAQ pages to answer simple questions, your customer support team can instead focus their attention on more complex issues.
11. Taking Advantage Of Social Media
Our social interactions have the power to drive sales and increase conversions, which is why marketers spend so much time on word-of-mouth marketing or social proof and customer reviews.
But these days, where do we find the most influential reviews? On social media!
Over 55% of social media users in the US aged 18 -24 have made purchases through social platforms. For eCommerce marketers, this channel is particularly crucial, and 30% of eCommerce websites are already selling directly through social media.
Here is how to optimize your approach to social media:
Developing Your Brand Personality
Simply being active on social media isn’t enough. You need to be involved with the community and actively participating with others.
After all, customers want to do business with brands that they feel they know and can trust. And one of the best ways to develop a strong brand personality is by participating in social media sites and interacting with customers.
That means engaging in conversations, sharing your expert insights, and generally just being a good online citizen.
Collaborating With Social Media Influencers
If you’re looking to get your brand out there quickly, social media influencers can be a great way to do it. By partnering with popular personalities on platforms like Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, you can tap into their sizable audiences and rapidly expand your exposure.
12. Use Analytics & Metrics To Measure Progress
Finally, optimizing your eCommerce site for success comes with a lot of trial, error and research.
To build a smooth-running user experience, you must collect, analyze and test your data in order to understand exactly how your shoppers behave.
There are many tools available to accomplish this, but the best option is to find software that can collect and analyze data and then re-purpose it to your needs, all in one place.
For example, CartStack is an all-in-one customer recovery solution that helps businesses optimize their eCommerce sites for increased sales and conversions. With CartStack, you are not only able to collect customer data, but also analyze and run A/B test campaigns to figure out exactly what clicks with your customers.
Ready to optimize your site?
When it comes to eCommerce, optimization is key. By optimizing your site, you can improve your conversion rate, better target your audience, and increase your chances of making a sale. And that’s just the beginning.
There are plenty of other benefits of eCommerce optimization as well. For instance, it can help you improve your search engine ranking, make your site more user-friendly, and even increase customer loyalty.
Not sure where to start? CartStack is here to help. We offer a variety of eCommerce optimization services that can take your business to the next level. From abandoned cart emails to performance tracking, we’ve got you covered.
Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you grow your business with eCommerce optimization.
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