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5 Ways To Increase Online Sales: E-Commerce

5 Ecommerce Strategies To Help Increase Online Sales 

So you’ve had a shiny new e-commerce website built, you’ve got a steady stream of traffic but your visitors just aren’t buying, sound familiar? Although having a beautifully designed website will help, it’s not the only reason why customers will choose to buy from you. Take Amazon for example, it’s not the most beautifully designed website in the world but it sure does sell.

To help you make the most of your ecommerce website and to help you increase online sales we’ve put together 5 simple tips and strategies for you to keep in mind and implement.

1. Optimise Your Website For Speed

No matter how nice and stylish your website is if it’s got a slow page load speed you’re going to be losing customers. According to recent data, up to 40% of users will leave a web page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, and up to 79% of shoppers who are dissatisfied with a website’s performance are less likely to buy from them again. Combine these figures with the fact that search engines are now including page load speed within their ranking algorithms and it’s clear to see how important the speed of your website is. If you need help optimising the speed of your website check out one of our earlier articles were we explore 7 easy ways to speed up your website.

2. Reduce Abandoned Baskets

If you’re running your own ecommerce store, which I’m assuming many of you are, then you’ll be well accustomed to the dreaded ‘abandoned basket’. If not, then abandoned baskets, or abandoned shopping carts, refer to users who add items to their basket but abandon them before or during the checkout process, and according to recent data the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is a staggering 69%. That means you’re only closing one-third of your total potential sales!

There’s no doubt about it, abandoned baskets can be a huge drain on your profits but what can you do to help reduce them? To start with, it’s good to determine where the highest percentage of abandoned baskets are actually occurring. If they’re occurring during the checkout process this could be an indicator that your website may seem untrustworthy or that your checkout process is too long and complicated.

Two simple methods of increasing the trustworthiness of your website are to include customer reviews and recognised verification symbols, such as familiar payment logos or lock icons. It may sound simple but these subtle trust indicators can help to inspire a certain degree of confidence within your website.

On the other hand, if you’ve determined that it’s the length and complexity of your checkout process which is the cause of your abandoned baskets then you need to think about simplifying it. Two questions you should be asking yourself are; is my checkout process linear? A linear checkout process flows from start to finish in an expected manner which users are accustomed to. And is my process as simple, ie has as few steps, as possible? It’s also good practice to remove any distractions and external links from the checkout page to keep your users focused.

If your abandoned baskets are occurring elsewhere throughout your ecommerce website this can be a strong indicator that you have some usability issues. If this is the case, the first thing to do is to implement some user tracking and recording software such as Mouseflow or Crazy Egg. This will allow you to analyse exactly how your visitors are using your website, and help you to determine where any frustration points are. Once you’ve pinpointed some potential usability issues it’s good practice to implement some A/B testing to determine what effect the changes will have before publishing them across the whole site.

3. Offer Free Shipping and Delivery

Who doesn’t like free shipping and delivery? If you’re able to, offering free delivery can be a great way to help increase your conversion rate. However, it’s understandable that not every online store is able to offer free delivery or shipping, simply because it may not be economically viable. If you find yourself in this boat it’s important to be upfront and open about your delivery prices early on. Another big cause of abandoned baskets is surprising your users with unexpected costs, such as additional delivery charges, during the checkout process.

4. Generate More Customer Reviews

For many customers, online reviews can be the tipping point between making a purchase and looking elsewhere. According to Reevoo, reviews produce an average 18% uplift in purchases which means like it or not, reviews are essential to growing your business and increasing your online sales. Besides instilling trust in your customer's, reviews are also a great way to improve your website’s SEO and can help target long-tail keywords. To help you generate more reviews there are several strategies you can implement.

The first one is follow up emails. Once the customer has received their product and had the chance to use it for a few days we recommend following up with a friendly email. This can be a labour intensive task, especially if you’re manually writing each email, but it allows you to be more personal which can increase the effectiveness and response rate of the emails.

The second method, and an alternative to follow up emails, is to use a third-party review provider such as Reevoo or Feefo. Independent third-party providers are generally more trusted and take care of the hard work for you, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your business.

The third strategy to generating more reviews is to simply ask for them. Allowing customers to leave reviews directly on your product page can be a quick and easy way to increase your review count. However, you may find some people, and competitors, leave false reviews which mean you will have to spend time verifying them.

5. Improve Your Website’s SEO

Our final tip to help increase your online sales is to improve your website’s SEO. Improving your website’s SEO isn’t just about increasing its search engine rankings and traffic volume, it’s also about improving its usability. A big part of SEO is monitoring your website’s usage and performance, giving you genuine insight into how users are using it and how it can be improved.

Conclusion

We hope you’ve found these 5 tips useful however we’ve only just scratched the surface. If you’d like more advice and help to improve your online sales, or if you’re looking for a talented web design agency to build you a new ecommerce website, please don’t hesitate to get in touch or call us on 0115 837 2880.