Oct 26, 2015

5 Ways to Improve Your Ecommerce Site

If you are running an ecommerce site, you’ll know that it’s the centre of your online operations. It allows you to make a profit without the overheads that you see from a bricks and mortar store – plus, provides the opportunity for hundreds of thousands more customers all around Australia that might not have ever walked into your store IRL. Therefore, you just cannot afford to have people visiting your site only to leave without doing more because they’re not clear on what to do. The good news is that there’s a variety of tips and tricks that you can use to help improve your ecommerce site, and reduce users’ confusion (while increasing your conversions).

Make your call to action stand out

Make your call to action stand out

Imagine shopping on an ecommerce site and being unable to see how to add an item to the cart or where to check out. It’s unfortunately more common than you might think. Even if a user wants to buy a product, they are not going to spend ten to twenty minutes trying to find the correct buttons to click for more information, checking out, adding a product to the cart and the like. This is why you need to ensure that your call to action stands out. You can use bold colours for buttons or easy to use icons, which makes it easier for readers to see, no matter what type of device they are using to access the site.

Ensure the Site is Easy to Navigate

Ensure the site is easy to navigate

An awkward and hard to navigate site is an immediate turn off for many users. Sites with a complicated design have a higher bounce rate when compared to those that are easy to navigate and structure their site map in a clear, user-friendly way. Use your home page as a taster to your business – introduce your special offers, a few products, and encourage the reader to click through to find more. You also want a clear organisation model for the different categories for your products or services. Look through your analytics and find the most popular categories, and bring those to the front of your site, or first in the navigation list.

Have a Strong Search Solution

Have a strong search solution

Sometimes when people enter your site, they are looking for a particular product. You want to make sure that your search functionality on your site is going to be seen and easy to use. From a UX point of view, having a static search bar somewhere near the header is a sound solution that users are familiar with. If users can’t find the search bar – if it moves around based on the particular template, or it’s barely visible, users will become irritated and simply leave. It’s also important to ensure that the results are the most relevant ones for a particular query. If you need more information, include an advanced search solution; if there are too many results, add filters so that a user can more accurately find what they’re looking for.

Offer Live Chat

Offer live chat

Having a chat facility available is a great way to engage users and turn them into buyers. If they encounter a problem, they have the live chat option to lean on rather than simply leaving the site. Live chat isn’t often implemented on ecommerce sites, but it’s the perfect opportunity to chat to a customer who may not want to talk on the phone – particularly if you’re catering to a digital native market, chat is often preferable to a phone call. And consider that when a potential customer enters into a live chat session, there is a chance that the live chat respondent can ensure a sale or even upgrade the person to another item. It is a sales marketing tactic that you cannot afford to be without.

Prominently Display Special Offers

Prominently display special offers

Special offers are often given to those who visit the site, and it is a great sales tactic. The problem is that the placement of the special offer is usually not directly in front of the user. This can result in the user not even seeing the opportunity. While it’s important not to overwhelm people with flashing lights, 90s-style gifs and lurid pop-ups, a tasteful, well-designed sticky header or hero image is going to ensure that more users see this information – which, of course, can lead to further sales.

The less confusion on your site – clear calls-to-action, easy-to-use navigation, strong search functionality, live chat, and obvious offers – the better chance you’ve got for success.

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