Ah, 2020. The year of facemasks, breadmaking, and of course – ecommerce.
While the trend of shoppers swapping brick-and-mortar stores for websites has slowly been growing for years, the pandemic catalyzed it. For the better part of the year, in-person shopping was not an option, the entire experience – perusing, picking, and purchasing – was done from the comfort of your home, with your package arriving promptly – or not so promptly – at your front door.
63% of shopping now begins online, even if it doesn’t end with a purchase. So whether the ultimate purchase happens online or in-store, an optimized e-commerce website plays a critical role in a shopper’s journey.
If there was ever a time to make sure your ecommerce brand is set up for success…well, that time is now. Let’s take a look at nine ways you can create a successful ecommerce site in 2020.
1. Create engaging, UX-friendly web design
Designing a successful ecommerce website doesn’t only have to do with creating an eye-catching design, it is about creating the most user-friendly shopping experience. Engaging web design, such as full-width images and minimal text, can lend to this user-friendly experience, but clear navigation and quick loading times are equally as important.
2. Write a thoughtful “About Us” page
When shopping in real life, the interactions between customers and staff are powerful moments for a brand. Whether it’s their kindness, their uniform, or simply their attention, the realness of the moment lends to the brand’s authenticity. Online shopping, on the other hand, can often feel cold, sterile, and transactional.
An “About Us” page is a perfect opportunity to add a story and even faces to your brand. Remember, customers are led more by emotion than logic, so it is just as important for them to respect and love the brand as it is for them to love the actual product.
3. Use an engaging brand voice
Language is your opportunity to create that personal element that is missing online. Using a consistent and engaging brand voice across all channels – social, email, and on your site – can help the shopper feel more connected to your brand.
One important place for your brand voice to shine is in the site’s microcopy. Microcopy refers to tiny tidbits of copy found on your website that improve your user’s experience. Well-written microcopy can take your website from boring and unspectacular to thoughtful – and even funny.
Here are a few great versions of microcopy:
4. Show them what it looks like in real life
Since they can’t pick up your product like they can in-store, some customers might feel the need to see it from every angle or relative size before they decide to buy. Giving your customer all the information they need on your product page prevents them from wandering off your site.
Here are a few ways you can show them what it looks like IRL:
- Size comparison: Show the product in relation to everyday household items.
- Model dimensions: For clothing, include not only photos of the clothing on the model, but the model’s dimensions to help your customer compare, and make a well-educated decision.
- Virtual try-on: Give customers the opportunity to see how your product would look in real life by uploading a photo or through augmented reality (AR). For example, knowing that most people want to try glasses on before they buy them, EyeBuyDirect allows users to upload a photo of their face, insert certain facial dimensions, and then “try-on” any pair of glasses frames.
5. Offer free shipping and returns
Shipping and returns are two of the most crucial points for an ecommerce brand.
79% of US shoppers say that free shipping will encourage them to buy online. Likewise, 67% of shoppers check the returns page before making a purchase.
Unreasonable shipping costs or having to pay for returns can easily make a potential customer decide against shopping with you. Instead, including a minimum rate for free shipping, and reminding customers how much more they need to spend to qualify can both increase the average purchase cost and customer satisfaction.
6. Make sure customers feel supported
When shopping in-person, you can easily ask a sales associate any questions you may have. Online shopping, on the other hand, is more or less contactless. One way to address this issue is by offering a 24/7 chat box on your site. This tool can improve your conversion rates by 10% or more.
If you don’t have the means for a round-the-clock chatbox, make sure your phone line or customer service email are readily available and have a quick response time.
7. Provide honest reviews
Another way to keep your customer from wandering off your site is to include honest customer reviews on your page. Product reviews are more convincing when they are plentiful, so don’t be shy about asking your customers for their feedback after they’ve made a purchase. Giving a gentle push in the form of a followup email, and offering a small discount as an incentive can help convince future customers.
8. Optimize for mobile
Your customers should be able to easily make a purchase while on the bus or walking the dog. More than 50% of online shoppers have made a purchase on their mobile device, with this number expected to increase in the coming years.
Opt for vertical designs over horizontal designs, and routinely test your site on your mobile device to check for errors.
9. Use your analytics
You cannot improve your growth strategy for your ecommerce site unless you understand and make use of your analytics. Continually tracking your analytics can show you where your customers are coming from, what pages they are spending the most time on, and most importantly, when they are leaving, or “bouncing,” from your site. For example, if people are bouncing at the checkout page, it may be that your shipping rates are too high.
Just like in a physical store, there are many things you can tweak to modify the way your customers navigate and interact with your online store. What moves the needle depends on your exact situation, but experimentation will always help or show you what doesn’t help.
Maximize your ecommerce opportunity
At the end of the day, there are many things you can do to help your ecommerce brand succeed online. Chat with us, the experts, and we’ll show you exactly how we can help. Or, for more helpful tips, follow us on Instagram! (@creativebstro)