In ecommerce, first impressions are everything.
You have a few seconds, if that, to grab a visitor’s attention and show them why your brand or product is better than the rest. So, how can you stand out from the competition and compel your browsers to become buyers in a matter of seconds? Through continuous website optimization.
Let’s take a look at 5 website optimization tactics to convert more customers.
1. Identify key friction points across your site
In order to build a high-converting website, it needs to resonate with your visitors first and foremost. So before you can create a highly-personalized experience that speaks to their interests and drives them to convert, you need to do deep research into your audience and any friction points they may encountering.
Conduct regular (e.g. monthly or quarterly) research to understand your customers’ unique needs, desires, and challenges as they will inevitably evolve over time. Make sure to use both quantitative (e.g. Google Analytics) and qualitative (e.g. heatmaps, surveys, chatbot logs) methods in your research efforts to paint a full picture of customer behavior. Then, use this research to identify key friction points (e.g. a customer may drop off after searching for a product, viewing a PDP, adding an item to cart, or halfway through the checkout process) and areas for improvement to guide your website optimization efforts.
2. Remove unnecessary distractions
Having too many visual elements or text-heavy content blocks crowding your website can overwhelm and distract your visitors, thereby harming the customer experience and potentially causing them to bounce. That’s why it’s best to err on the side of simplicity with just about every element of your ecommerce site, from headlines and CTAs to images and your overall layout.
While removing unnecessary distractions is important to do across your whole site, it is especially helpful on your product detail page (PDP) and your checkout page. For your PDP, try front-loading the most important product details in a bulleted list and include further information in collapsible sections. For your checkout page, consider having a “closed checkout,” or removing the navigation menu, so visitors can’t navigate away from the task at hand too easily. Both of these optimization hacks can help keep visitors’ attention so they stay on-site and ultimately convert.
3. Display recently viewed items
All shoppers want a seamless online shopping experience, and having their browsing history at their fingertips goes a long way toward achieving it. Displaying your visitors’ most recently viewed items on your website can help them keep track of the products they’ve looked at and, hopefully, want to revisit later. This feature is especially useful for reminding repeat browsers of the items they loved but weren’t ready to purchase just yet. Try displaying most recently viewed items on various pages, such as your PDP, homepage, and cart page, so your visitors can see them at every step of the customer journey.
4. Think mobile-first
Many companies have long treated their mobile site as an afterthought but, as 72.9% of ecommerce sales are now done on mobile devices, it is crucial to have a mobile-first approach to website optimization.
While having a responsive website design is key, there are other factors to take into account as you optimize your mobile site. For example, page load speed is almost always slower on a mobile device, which negatively impacts your customer experience and your SEO efforts. There are many things that can reduce your mobile page load speed, including redirects, custom fonts, and too many or too large images. Using a comprehensive (and free!) tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, you can see your current mobile site performance and what you need to do to optimize it.
5. Offer various checkout options
When your browser is finally ready to complete their purchase, you want to ensure that the last step of their journey goes as smoothly as possible. That’s why it’s paramount to offer various checkout options in an effort to meet their needs.
One of the most important options to include is guest checkout, as a lengthy account creation process can often deter your first-time customers. However, you can offer a one-step account creation option at the end of the guest checkout process where customers can simply set a password for their corresponding email. If your brand has an affiliation with platforms that offer Express Checkout like PayPal or Shopify, be sure to list those on your cart and checkout pages as well. The more checkout options you can offer, the more customers you can provide with a seamless checkout experience.
While these 5 best practices will have you well on your way to converting more browsers into buyers, there are endless opportunities to optimize your website and drive purchases. Check out these additional resources for more tips: