5 tips to improve e-commerce sale and remove sale barriers

April 13, 2020

With the loss of clients post covid-19 outbreak, we have been investing hours and hours into lead generation. The economy has been thrust into a truly digital-first mantra, and business owners who are not converting to digital sales will fail, plain and simple. There is no workaround in the current climate, no viable arguments against a digital-first approach.  

Through our lead-gen deep-dive, sorting through multiple industries and scanning through 100s of e-commerce stores, we were alarmed by the number of online stores committing cardinal sins of e-commerce strategy and user experiences. Even more shocking when theseare agency produced sites that lacked some fundamental sales basics.

However, if your starting the process of an e-com build, in discussion with an agency for hire, or looking to fine-tune your current set up, we have put together 5 major tips to help grow online sales and remove sale barriers. 

Content needs to serve a purpose not just look pretty. 

You may have heard the agency term 'digital real estate', when discussing website design and layout.  Referencing the available space within the viewer screen, and it is just as important as the REAL LIFE reference. You want to make every interaction count considering a customer can decide to click off a store page within 3 sec of landing there. With this in mind, you need to ensure all available space (real-estate) is driving action. It's a balance between selling aesthetics and creating purpose.

We lost count how many site designs throw in a random images into sliders or on homepages. Sure it looks pretty but it has no function or purpose.

Wineries loved showing their vineyards, fashion boutique's plastered campaign images everywhere and gyms relish the workout shot. While this content looks great, it serves no purpose and feels misplaced to the viewer. Customer will subconsciously ask the question 'what is the reason for the content I'm view, why is it here'?. Imagery randomly placed throughout a layout just feels disjointed. 

Solve this issue with a very simple fix. Rather than have a random image attempting to sell a product, actually sell it. Add a heading and a call action button to the image and give that content purpose. 

Your product should always be the focal point through your online store

Products should always be shown clearly on all screen resolutions. They must be front and centre, on the homepage, product selection pages and product detail pages, clearly shown the moment a shopper arrives at each location. 

At no stage should a store landing screen (the view a shopper sees when they first land on a page) have a product image only half visible. The real-life version of this error would equate to a store owner covering their shelves and racks with boards, too only allowing the top of the product to show. It's annoying for consumer and a major barrier to purchase, such a simple design aspect that makes a huge difference.

A example of product page that is not clearly showing product from the first interaction. The brand name has been covered.

Utilise multiple payment options 

Convenience is key when it comes to the online shopping process. It's one of the main reasons millions of customers buy online. This concept is taken very seriously from the online customer and even the smallest barrier can prove fatal to a purchase. 

One small but mighty aspect that is often overlooked, is the availability of payment options. Going beyond the standard CC details, it's wise to offer common alternatives like PayPal payment and Google Pay. These payment options have minimal effect from the businesses end of the transaction while allowing your customers to make payment fast and with the provider they prefer. Our advice to clients is to include all payment options,  appealing to a wider range of consumers and these actions has minimal impact on a businesses workload. 

Majority point-of-purchase providers will offer easy integrations for different payment channels, and if your provider does not, it's time to switch.

In recent years pay later options to have become hugely popular. Allowing the seller to receive payment on the spot, while someone else handles the loan and debt collection. For customers it is a simple way to purchase at a high value with minimal impact on their budget, drawing out the payment over time. If your online and selling product through a branded store, you NEED to integrate these services. It is a highly effective selling tool ensuring you can gain high average purchase value, as the customer is likely to make a larger purchase if they can pay it off over time. In order to include pay later service the business will have to be working with a major e-commerce platform, realistically if you're not already, it is time to change.

Don’t overwhelm the customer with an essay worth of product information.

While stores want to offer as much information about products as possible, you also don't want to overpower your customer with pages of data. If your product detail info is an endless scroll through, it's time to make a few changes. With design thinking and you can organise information easily.

Firstly, identify what are the key selling values of your product and what information does the customer need to make a purchase. This will vary greatly from industry to industry. Centralise this important information on product detail pages, using changes in font styling to highlight its the importance. Secondly, use tabs and accordion design features to conceal the bulk of information allows for a customer to view secondary information as required. This small change dramatically changes the interactions shopper have with your product and brand. 

Keep the process simple and within the branded store 

Remember my earlier point 'convenience is key when it comes to the online shopping process', well it rings true in the context of your complete purchasing process. 

By now customers expect an in-site or pop up check-out workflow. Meaning the transaction occurs within the branded site or though a brand adjacent checkout. If customers are directed to a new page and directed away from a branded domain, a disconnection occurs in the process. It seems as if the transaction is not secure or as if the business is not legitimised. 

Off-site point of purchase may be a cheaper option for a business but the potential lack of purchases this process creates, out ways any saving your business may gain. 

Not to mention the frustration it creates for the shopper. Clicking back and forth between two tabes or window to make changes as customers shop becomes incredibly annoying and leads to a high volume in abandoned checkouts and money left on the table. Customers need to feel free to flick between products, the view of their cart, easily making changes as they explore the store. This is even of higher importance if you average quantity per purchases if high. 

The process needs to be simple and logical, not a completed equation. The cart icon should always be visible, navigating back to category pages needs to highly accessible and the shopper must be able to understand the navigation of the store. 

Finally, the biggest advice to take into account when designing, setting up or fine tuning your businesses online shopping experience is your own. Shop on your store as a customer and understand the frustration they may face. Ask reliable team members to do the same and call out any issues. You can gain great insight from your own experience.

If you require agency expertise, connect with us here.

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