To say ecommerce has evolved since the first legitimate online transaction was conducted back in August of 1994 is to engage in the most egregious form of understatement. What was then a novelty has today blossomed into a full-blown retail category.
Competition is strong and becomes more so with each passing day.
Remarkably, though, the industry is still in its nascent stages, which means there’s lots of room to get in on it. However, if you’re an e-commerce NOOB, and you want to have a good shot at success, this beginners’ guide to ecommerce conversion and optimization will serve you well.
First Things First
Let’s start with by defining exactly what an ecommerce site is. Shopify, one of the leading providers of online retail platforms says;
“Electronic commerce or internet commerce, refers to the buying and selling of goods or services using the internet, and the transfer of money and data to execute these transactions. Ecommerce is often used to refer to the sale of physical products online, but it can also describe any kind of commercial transaction that is facilitated through the internet.”
So basically, an ecommerce site is a website whose primary function is to enable the sale of goods and/or services via the internet. With that understanding, here’s how to make yours as customer friendly as possible.
Deliver Speed, Speed and More Speed
One of the most critical developments in ecommerce is the ascension of mobile devices as the preferred method of interacting with the ‘net. Most people are shopping on handheld computers now. They are using them to conduct purchases as well.
These people are usually multitasking too, so their patience for slow responding sites is limited. Fast site- and page loading speeds are crucial to both your longevity and success as an internet retailer. In fact, it’s so critical; Google uses it as a ranking factor for search engine results.
Provide Emotional Product Page Content
Shoppers appreciate features—but they buy benefits. Benefits solve their problems, make their lives easier and set them apart from others. You’ll see a high degree of success as a retailer if you can show people how buying from you will leave them feeling better in some way.
To accomplish this, you have to identify their pain points, explain how you’ll soothe them and guide them to making the purchase. Providing testimonials from other customers and/or endorsements from recognized experts will help your cause tremendously in this regard.
Within that, you also have to be thorough in your description of the product and provide enough photography to help them see clearly what the offering is all about. Some of these pictures should show the product in use, so customers can imagine themselves interacting with the item. If the merchandise has complexities, use video to demonstrate it as well.
Every product page should also contain at least one call to action, but no more than two.
Ensure Search Engine Optimization
Specific attention needs to be paid to optimizing your copy for search engines within your product pages, in addition to your site as whole. The best start is identifying keywords endemic to your marketplace and employing them naturally to ensure your content ranks well.
By the way, the most important word in that last sentence is “naturally”. Stuffing your pages with keywords will make web crawlers turn a blind eye. Instead, look for opportunities to use them where they would naturally fall in your product descriptions.
According to Bliss Drive, there are many other significant tenets of SEO you should observe for your site as a whole. Researching the topic will serve you well in your endeavors as an e-commerce entrepreneur.
More than anything else, focusing on your mobile experience is where your best prospects for success lie. The future of retailing is already here. People are literally holding it in their hands.