9 Easy - Inexpensive - Ways to Optimize Your Website
Optimization is an e-commerce ‘no-brainer’. In need of help? Here are nine tips to improve your website, without breaking the bank.
1. Up to date
Make sure your website is up to date: don’t show Mother’s day banners on Father’s day or Xmas specials in the middle of summer. Items out of stock? Take them off the site temporarily. Show customers an appealing home page, with easy to find and relevant information (a site map comes in very handy), a section for reviews & testimonials and clear call-to-action-buttons such.
Invest in great images! Use real pictures, instead of computer generated ones. Make sure that the main image has a clear background and simply shows the product, one where the product is in use and at least another that gives a close-up and/or various angles. Even better: an image with a zoom option. Customers want to be able to see what they’re buying: as they can’t touch and feel, you’ll need to highlight the ‘see and feel’ aspect of the shopping process.
3. Site speed
With every waiting second, up to 30% of potential buyers will leave. Site speed is important. Remove data that is making your site slow(er), such as large images, and/or invest in a tool that specializes in site speed.
4. Make your business easy to reach
Invest in options that make it easy for customers to ask questions. Include an extended FAQ. Add a (free) chat bot; they save a lot of time (both for you as a retailer and for the ‘waiting’ customer), manpower and money. Insert a search engine that also searches within your content. Your customers aren’t just looking for products, they want information, too. On things like delivery, return policy and sizing.
5. Make it personal
Going the extra mile for your customers does not simply make you more trustworthy, but it also increases customer loyalty. Invest in your customer service. Send a personalized email thanking them for their purchase and information on their order. Why not include a voucher for a discount for their next visit. Or free (return) shipping. A handwritten note when sending products with your branding, gorgeous packaging, something other than an impersonal brown box: make receiving one of your products feel like your customers are receiving a gift. Because who doesn’t like receiving a present?
Customer reviews don’t just give future customers a better overview of a product or brand. They let you sell more. Actively ask customers for reviews. A happy customer is a returning one and generates more customers. A little nudge in the form of a 5% discount on their next order could be an extra incentive for them to leave a review.
7. Give extra options
Give customers extra information, within product pages. Besides reviews, give them options for similar or add-on products. This will not only give customers extra options, but it can also increase order value. Upselling without any effort! Also, give customers an open end when they’re searching for products you don’t sell: when they reach a ‘no-results’ page, don’t simply show them a dead end, but give options like a call-to-action to customer service, similar products or a 'sale' page.
8. Site search
Don’t underestimate the importance of your onsite search engine, and the optimization of it. Take care of synonyms (jeans, trousers or denim), error-tolerance (not everyone is great at spelling), relevance (not finding yellow socks when looking for green shoes), relevant filters, and sorting options. Searchers buy up to five times more than non-searching visitors and lookup more pages: they can boost your revenue & conversion massively!
Also, take a look at your (search) analytics, such as the queries without results. This will give you great insight into what your customers are actually searching for. You might find out a great number of them are looking for a brand or product you don’t sell yet, but you definitely should!