Having spent time talking to people who run e-commerce sites and giving them advice about how to increase sales and conversions, I’ve noticed that many of these people get their stores custom made by hiring a development company or even sometimes hiring a small team of developers to get it done ‘in-house’.
The problem is – even after spending so much time and money, spending way too much time on design/graphics etc, they do not really optimize the sales process or the user’s experience when he actually starts adding stuff to his cart / buying.
I’ve noticed my local departmental store uncle has also learnt a lot from these big chain stores like bigbazaar, croma and hypermart. The way these stores design their floor and place the products in various departments and near the cash counter is something worth learning from. Yet – most of our online stores have not learnt anything from them.
Here are few points that one can easily implement (or simply keep in mind) while building their e-commerce store…
Tracking Registered Users & Their Behavior :
Your store software or shopping cart should be treating registered users differently than guest users. Many a times, registered users would have added stuff to their cart and never bought it, recommendations of products from past abandoned carts can be made when a registered user logs in or is about to check out. I’d personally be impressed if an e-commerce site would show me what I was buying last time and never completed.. I will definitely add an item of two from my earlier cart into this one. Even showing products that I have browsed in the current visit or past helps a lot and many people like me are most likely to revisit them.
Tracking Guests & Enticing Them :
Always show the most interesting / popular things first – this is what gets people hooked to your site. Figuring out the ‘most viewed’ products on your site isn’t too hard and showing these products on top will definitely get you better conversions. Most e-commerce softwares calculate popular products based on sales but that is not always true. Showing guests a cool offer to get 10% to 30% off at signup is another great way to get them to register and try out something new.
Targeted Emails – Very Important :
Having users at a certain point in their buying process and then abandoning cart is one of the most common problems in e-commerce and more than 40% carts are abandoned as per industry stats. Smart shopping carts can actually email the user, reminding them about the cart that they left and offer them an incentive to come back and complete it (like free shipping or a surprise gift). Now this will work only half as well if you just remind them about the cart.. showing the product images that they had added to their cart will do crazy things to your conversions and you will see your cart abandonment emails bringing in sales you never expected to come back.
Emailing users about things that they had viewed last week also helps bring them back to the site and get into shopping mode. No heaving pitching but just a gentle reminder and talking about the benefits of certain products will get them back to your site and into buying mode.