By 2021, global retail eCommerce revenue will reach $4.88 trillion. Over the next few years, online retailers will have lots of opportunity for growth, but they will also face an increase in competition as more businesses compete for customers. eCommerce businesses will need to fine-tune their websites for conversion rate optimisation and successfully steal market share.
Support omnichannel retail
Brick-and-mortar businesses with online stores must ensure their websites support omnichannel retail. Customers use multiple channels to shop these days, and they expect a personalized and consistent experience wherever they meet your brand. In fact, 80% of shoppers consider a personalized experience an important deciding factor on where to shop. In another survey, 40% considered consistent shopping experience and personalization very important.
So retailers need to follow their customers’ journeys across channels and tailor their website to customer behavior and interests. For example, they can offer the option to click-and-collect and they can personalize promotions based on past social media engagement.
Provide high-quality product information
High-quality product information is crucial to online shoppers. Customers may not have the luxury of visiting a physical store to see the product in person. So high-quality photos, descriptions and reviews can help them visualize the merchandise and make more informed purchase decisions.
Your product images should be high-resolution, yet load quickly to reduce drop-off rates. You should offer a variety of angles and/or the ability to zoom in for detail to let customers see the texture, colors and details of each product.
Product descriptions should be concise and informative (ie, size, material, color, etc) but engaging.
Credible customer reviews can also influence customers positively. Testimonials create a “social proof” of a product that consumers often trust more than flowery product descriptions. Retailers should highlight good reviews of high-ranking products and showcase their credibility by using reviewers use real names (when provided) and even a “verified purchase” symbol.
Ultimately, providing high quality information can increase sales, reduce returns from disappointed customers, and help your website’s search engine optimization in the process!
Reduce cart abandonment
Unfortunately, the majority of online shopping carts are abandoned. Last year, the average abandonment rate for all retail was 75.6%, the main reasons being complicated check-out (26%), the need to create an account (34%) and extra or hidden costs (55%).
To reduce cart abandonment rates, retailers need to provide quick, seamless checkout that gives customers fewer reasons to give up a purchase. Retailers can do this by implementing a one-page checkout process, reducing visual clutter and unnecessary forms, and enabling a guest option to let visitors buy products without having to set up an account. Additionally, all costs should be visible initially to avoid any unexpected costs.
eCommerce sites should also save the contents of returning visitors carts as 84% of online shoppers browse multiple stores simultaneously to compare products before making a final decision. During this back and forth, shoppers will close windows and return later. If the contents of their carts are saved, they can continue on their purchasing journey seamlessly.
Have user-friendly navigation
eCommerce sites need to have user-friendly and intuitive site navigation. Put simply, navigation that is confusing or difficult will cost sales and customers.
If it takes too much effort or too many clicks to reach their destination, customers will leave. As such, you should make your search bar prominent and able to account for typos. You can also declutter your site by adding a fat footer at the bottom of your page. This will leave all important information available without being distracting.
For new visitors, or those who are just browsing, you can funnel them to relevant or popular pages by strategically ordering your products. Users tend to pay attention to the first and last few products in a list, so you should place your top selling items first to drive traffic to your highest converting pages. Moreover, if your site sells a wide range of products this can ensure new visitors aren’t overwhelmed by the selection.
Focus on customer retention
A simple, but overlooked, strategy for conversion rate optimisation is focusing on your current customers. Attracting new customers can be considerably more expensive than re-targeting existing customers and may drive less conversions, as loyal customers tend to have higher conversion rates, add more items to their shopping carts and, consequently, generate more revenue than new customers.
Implementing new strategies to secure market share will be increasingly important as competition steadily rises. eCommerce retailers will need to constantly experiment and A/B test new ideas to determine what works best for their site.
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