It’s going to be hard to turn a profit if your ecommerce store isn’t up-to-date with its technology and interface. Even if you learn to code and design a website, there are other factors that affect the shopping experience of your customers. Awwwards explains that the ease of finding products and customer service are two of these factors.
If you are having trouble making sales with your internet store, here are some tips to improve the shopping experience:
Offer guided discovery – As mentioned above, people want to be able to find whatever they are looking for easily. Go with a personalized, user-oriented framework. Many customers don’t have the time to look over the entire store. Consider your own shopping experience whenever you visit Amazon or eBay. There should be well-placed featured options based on the category and type of product they are interested in. Giving a shopper too many options isn’t the best idea. Instead, aim to give them a few “right” choices based on their search criteria.
Don’t force registration – If users add a few items to the shopping cart and selects the “check out” option, they should not be hindered by a registration form. The longer it takes to purchase the item, the less likely a would-be customer will go through with it. Instead of forcing sign-up, provide a “check out as guest” option or allow a user to signup through Google+, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
Track keyword searches and conversions – If you see what people are actually searching for, which products they view in the search results, and whether or not they go through with a purchase, you will have a better idea of how to adjust product offerings and keyword strategies to provide a better shopping experience and increase sales even more.
Include cross-sells and up-sells – A “cross-sell” gives customers “You may also like this product” recommendations. An “up-sell” gives them an upgraded version or more expensive model of a product. An example of the latter would be to recommend a 16GB tablet to a shopper who is viewing an 8GB tablet. Another tactic is to display “customers who bought this item also purchased these items” recommendations.
Make sure the shipping policy is clearly defined – Unless you are selling digital products that can be delivered via email or download link, you will have to deal with shipping and handling. On every page, you should lay out the specifics of your shipping policy. Will you ship to PO Boxes? To international locations? HI and AK? Which provider will you use? FedEx? UPS? USPS? Or all three? Display information about shipping discounts that buyers may be eligible for and an estimated delivery time.
Have terms and conditions regarding returns displayed – Consumers don’t like to order anything unless they can have some type of assurance, whether it’s a money back guarantee, warranty, exchange credits, etc.. Whatever your return policy is, it needs to be displayed clearly along with the shipping policy. If you’re selling products on behalf of others as an affiliate, make sure you understand that company’s return policy before displaying it on your ecommerce site.
It helps to have some coding knowledge and experience yourself so that you will be better able to make edits in the design here and there. The Austin Coding Academy is a good place to start.