Website owners are always looking for ways to make their site work harder. For eCommerce websites, this typically means increasing profitability by:
- Increasing the number of website visitors
- Increasing the number of conversions
For option 1, you need to invest more money in marketing, and this isn’t always an option. Or you can wait and hope that your SEO efforts pay off over time. But in the fast-paced world of eCommerce, you can’t expect the playing field to stay the same.
The game is continually changing and evolving, so your SEO efforts might soon be considered out of touch. And with low barriers to entry, new eCommerce companies are cropping up all the time. A low competition sector can quickly become very crowded, and you’ll need to work much harder to stand out.
When increasing investment in digital marketing isn’t an option, you need to look inwards. By approaching your eCommerce site as a potential customer, you can look for opportunities to boost sales without increasing the number of website visitors.
Simplifying the purchase journey
Cross-selling and up-selling are the cornerstones of good eCommerce. It’s what Amazon has perfected over the years and continues to refine. Just like you can never go to IKEA for just one thing, Amazon has perfected the art of “oh go on then” selling.
One third of UK residents have an Amazon Prime account, which means they have access to a virtual superstore of products, the vast majority of which can be delivered the next day.
Amazon makes it easier to impulse purchase items by removing barriers, reducing the number of clicks, and saving your shipping and payment details. If I want to purchase a dinosaur costume, I could have one delivered by 10 PM the same day in just 3 clicks.
Simplifying the purchase process is one of the easiest ways to increase sales.
But what if you sell highly niche products?
What if your customers aren’t looking for same or next day delivery?
What if they want to know they’re getting the best quality?
Or that they’re getting the one thing that will solve their problem?
When you run a niche eCommerce site, there are quite a few underutilised sections of your site to consider. Starting with…
The footer of your website is ideal for sharing offers, related products, product categories, product guides, customer reviews, user-generated content and more.
Go Outdoors, ASOS and John Lewis all use their footer to share useful links. This means the user is always one click away from the page they need to help them make a purchase decision.
Blogging for eCommerce websites is always difficult. Attempting to target long-tail keywords, create shareable content, all while sticking to a regular posting schedule can leave your blog looking a little generic.
The problem usually starts with keyword research. Imagine you sell printers. You start with the seed work printers and come up with topics like:
“best home printers for 2021”
“cheap printers for home office”
“best printer for small business”
The problem with these keywords is that the topic has been covered over and over by every tech blog, competitor website and review site. You’re not adding anything new to the mix, and you’re not delivering anything that your current customers have asked for.
Delve into your customer support emails to learn what topics your customers want to learn more about. They might want to know how to make the most of a specific printer model, shortcuts to setting up their printer, or how investing in a printer can reduce other operational costs.
Just because you sell printers, it doesn’t mean that every blog post has to be about printers. It just needs to be interesting, useful and valuable to your target audience.
Adding a wishlist function to your website is a smart move because to be able to make the most of it, users will have to create an account. And this usually means opting in to your email marketing list.
This means they are highly engaged and interested in your products. Once you have established contact, you can let them know when there are price changes to their favourite items, if new models of their wishlist item have been released, or if they can use a discount code to purchase items in their wishlist. You can also encourage them to send their gift list to loved ones before gift-giving holidays such as Christmas, Valentine’s Day or their birthday.
Your basket needs to be functional and helpful. One of the easiest ways to upgrade your website shopping basket is with a shipping estimate.
No one wants to hand over all of their personal information before they learn how much shipping will cost. Be up-front about costs, and let them know how much more they will need to spend to qualify for free shipping.
Another simple way to upgrade your basket and checkout process is with autocomplete fields. If a customer can find their address by searching for their postcode instead of inputting lines and lines of information, they will find fewer reasons to abandon their cart.
The FAQ page
When handled correctly, the FAQ page of your website can do much of the heavy lifting of your customer support team. Consider adding important FAQ items to every product page to clear up any common questions about your eCommerce store.
While the FAQ section does offer a simple way to boost the word count of your page, which can help with SEO, this shouldn’t be the focus when creating the FAQ. Keep SEO out of it and focus on the user experience.
Ready to upgrade your eCommerce website?
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