Once you’ve put together your ecommerce site and have published it for the world to see (hopefully setting up a Google Shopping feed in the process), you should constantly be analysing it, figuring out how to better improve your user experience and conversion rate as a whole.
Once the traffic is there, you need to ensure that you’re doing everything to ensure that they’re being guided towards a conversion – the goal for any ecommerce site. If you’ve discovered that your site isn’t converting as well as projected, there are plenty of areas you can look at and actions you can take in order to rectify that, improving your overall conversion rate.
Here, we’ll take a quick look at some great ways to both better understand your users and their behaviour, and things you can change or add to your site to improve your chance of users converting.
1. Create Clear CTAs
One of the most important parts of any site really, even aside from e-commerce, would be to add clear calls to action which stand out for the user.
Distractions should be minimised, with the clear focus of the page being to guide users towards the CTA and the subsequent step in the conversion process.
For a product page, the main CTA – to begin the purchasing process – should stand out, and should be located clearly above the fold.
For example, look at the Asos site:
The CTA button is in a distinct colour which contrasts with the general colour scheme of the page, is located above the fold, and isn’t surrounding by distractions, making everything simple.
Poor calls to action could be massively detrimental to your site and how it converts, so running tests for key CTA buttons would be recommended.
2. Analyse the User Flow of the Site
Better understanding precisely how your users are interacting with your site is a fantastic way to improve the user experience as a whole, helping them to convert.
A great way to assess this and look at the user journeys taken on a site would be via the User Flow report which is available in Google Analytics.
Here, you can look at the precise paths that users have taken, identifying where they started, the pages that they visited, and the page which saw them leave; the most salient piece of information.
Regarding the latter point, this is showcased via the drop-off rate; the percentage of users who either left the common user path, or left the site entirely.
If you look at this and see that the majority of users are dropping from your homepage, then you can change the calls to action used there, the imagery, as well as the overall internal linking structure.
You could potentially discover that the first step of the checkout process has a massive drop-off rate, leading to shopping cart abandonment.
This information could be the foundation for key changes to the site and how it functions for users, leading to improved conversions.
3. Use Heat Mapping
One method to get a much better understanding of how people are using your site is to use heat mapping software. Essentially, this showcases the parts of each page that received the most attention, indicating where users were looking and where they were clicking.
There are two core ways you can use heat mapping:
1. Scroll Mapping
This identifies if users are scrolling down the page, providing you with an overall look at where users become disinterested. This information can help you identify if users aren’t really seeing key calls to action.
An often seen problem is for a product page to have its main CTA – add to basket/buy now – located slightly below the fold. Scroll mapping will help you identify if core CTAs are receiving far less attention that you’d like.
2. Click Mapping
This will show you the areas of a page that are being clicked on the most, and is fantastic for really identifying user intent and which parts of the page are most enticing. Alternatively, it’ll tell you which areas of the page aren’t being clicked on – if these are links to key pages via core CTAs, then you’ve got a problem that needs to be looked into.
You can set up this tracking across key pages on the site, such as the homepage, product pages, as well as the cart/checkout pages. Analysing the first two will give you an idea as to how people interact with the site as whole, while analysing the latter two pages will showcase any potential issues people have when they’re attempting to buy their product.
4. Improve the Checkout Process
So, you’ve brought the user through to your site, they’ve shown a clear interest in the product and they’re looking to make the final step, purchasing the product.
Once they’ve reached the checkout process, you really need to ensure that their experience is as simple and clear to navigate as possible, removing any risk of shopping cart abandonment.
In terms of why users tend to abandon the checkout process and leave their potential purchases behind, previous research by the likes of Business Insider and Formisimo have identified a few key areas:
- Shipping costs were too high/weren’t previously mentioned
- The user wanted to save the item for later and wasn’t ready to purchase
- They didn’t want to register an account in order to purchase the product
- The site was asking for far too much information
- The checkout process was too lengthy
- The website was too slow
- The user’s preferred payment option – usually Paypal – wasn’t available
With this in mind, it’s important to address areas like these, making sure that the checkout process is as quick and straight-forward as possible.
A few tips to improve the checkout process include:
- Ensuring that the site is fully secure, served via HTTPS to alleviate any security issues
- Provide a quick site that works perfectly well on mobile devices
- Use a progress indicator to show the user how far along they are in the checkout process, providing transparency
- Request essential information without asking for anything extraneous of the user
5. Create a Sense of Urgency and Fear of Missing Out
Moving back to the process of bringing users through to the checkout section and getting them to convert, one thing you can do is to create a real sense of urgency. This helps to ensure that the user will feel the need to make a decision, seeing as urgency or scarcity will cause users to act quickly.
In terms of how this can be done, there are a few ways:
- Create Scarcity: mentioning that a product is low in stock will help entice a user to pick it up now, seeing as they may not be able to by the time they return to it.
- Limited time offers: If a user only has a certain amount of time to purchase a product, they’ll be more inclined to do so now
- Use Time-Related Words: whether it be on a product page, a CTA, or even an email – using terms such as ‘Hurry”, “Quick”, “Fast”, and “Don’t Miss Out” will help create that sense of urgency.
6. Use Product Reviews
Another way to help entice users and build trust with them is to use product reviews. You’ll definitely have seen these all over e-commerce sites throughout the web, with star ratings and previous customer experiences being listed on the page.
If you see a product with 5/5 stars with hundreds of reviews, you’ll probably be more likely to pick the product up as the previous reviews will help incite confidence.
Chasing up users after a small period of time usually via email would be a possibility, as well as offering a form of incentive for users – such as a discount for future purchases – would help entice them to leave reviews for the product that they’d previously picked up.
This was mentioned in a previous post of ours, covering all-round ecommerce site optimisation.