Running an eCommerce site is no easy task. You have to create an easy-to-use website, attract an audience and deliver them reliable products, along with many other tasks. If you’re the owner of an eCommerce website, you may be looking for some simple strategies that will help give you a leg up over your competition. With that in mind, below are five simple adjustments you can make to your website that should lead to positive results in the long term.
Create Easy Site Navigation
A great place to start is by making sure your website is easy to navigate. The harder it is for your audience to find what they’re looking for, the less likely it is that they’ll become customers. To improve your site navigation, first make sure your pages have a clear hierarchy. For example, let’s say your website sells home improvement products. To make things easier to find, you could divide your products into different categories, such as “Tools”, “Outdoor Supplies”, “Materials”, etc. Then, you could divide these sections up further, creating subcategories like “Power Drills”, “Hammers”, and “Screwdrivers”, underneath your Tools section.
Once you do this, make sure it’s easy to find all of the categories from your navigation menu. A dropdown list often works well for this. By showcasing all the different categories and subcategories in your navigation menu, you’ll make it easier for your customers to quickly move to the section that interests them.
Add an Internal Search Function
Another way to make finding products easier for your customers is an internal search function. An internal search function is a search bar on your website where users can type in some keywords, then find pages on your website related to those search terms. With a site search feature, your audience doesn’t need to browse through your different categories and can instead search directly for what they’re looking for. This is ideal for anyone who’s visiting your website knowing exactly what they’re looking for.
Speed Up the Website
One of the primary challenges of running an eCommerce website is that there is always a lot of competition. If users can’t find what they are looking for on your website, or if they don’t enjoy their experience, there are likely dozens of other websites that they can explore. A common reason that people leave eCommerce websites is that they load too slowly. If your website takes too long to load each page, users will likely become frustrated and go elsewhere.
To that end, focus on speeding up your website. There are several methods you can use to do this, with one of the most effective being optimizing your images. By reducing the file size of your images, without reducing the quality, you reduce the load on the servers and can significantly improve your site’s speed. Other methods to explore include changing to a faster server, disabling unnecessary plugins, and optimizing the website’s code.
Reduce Checkout Steps
Once your customer finds what they are looking for, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to complete the checkout process. A common reason for cart abandonment is that the checkout process was too complicated or took too long. A good practice is to go through your current checkout process and look for ways to reduce the number of steps. For example, rather than requiring users to create an account in order to check out, you can allow them to check out as a guest. Aim for having a checkout process that’s only two or three steps for best results.
Create an Email List
Finally, every eCommerce website should be looking to create an email list. With an email list, you can directly contact people who have shown an interest in your products. This is a great way to promote your current sales or new products to a highly engaged audience. A simple way to gather emails on your website is through a pop-up window. In this window, ask for the user’s email in exchange for a discount or access to future deals. Then, as you accumulate a large email list, ensure that you’re using it effectively by sending out targeted emails that may interest the user.
Small Changes Make a Big Difference
As you can see, you don’t necessarily need to do a lot to improve your eCommerce website. Some small changes like organizing your product’s categories or optimizing your images can make a big difference in the long run. If you can implement some of the changes mentioned above, you should hopefully start to see improved results from your eCommerce site, such as more visitors and more sales. It may take some time, but the results are worth the effort in the end.