If your business is looking to optimize its online storefront, then it’s likely your team already has a lot of great products. Now, it’s all about figuring out how to get people to find and hopefully purchase those products.
Maybe you’ve got some clicks coming in here and there, but they’re leaving too quickly to make an impact. Are you reaching the right customers? Do they like what they see from your store?
It can be hard building a customer base, especially when the world of eCommerce is rapidly expanding, and anyone can create an online store for their products. The competition has never been bigger, and that’s why it’s so important to focus on building a website that can help your business shine.
Why Is It Important to Optimize Your Online Store?
The main goal when optimizing your site is selling more. With just a few smart choices, your store link could climb to the top of the search results. A properly optimized site increases the chance of customers learning about your store and making purchases, boosting your conversion rates.
Often, when customers go to look up a product, they aren’t exactly sure yet what brand they want to purchase from. In general, the higher the brand is listed as on the search results page, the more likely shoppers are to click through to those websites. But there are many factors that go into performing well on search engines and learning how to navigate these factors, and then optimizing your site, can make a world of difference.
Tips for Optimizing Your Online Storefront
Site optimization allows you to gain a considerable competitive advantage over other businesses, but it can be difficult to know where to begin. The good news is that a few small tweaks can have a big impact.
Start at Your Homepage
Your site has to stand out from the crowd in a sea of other businesses, and the most viewed page is your homepage.
In seconds they can decide if they like what they’re seeing enough to continue browsing, or if they’d rather look elsewhere for their products. That’s why you need to make sure that what you’re presenting to them right off the bat is inviting and attention-grabbing.
Your homepage should feel original and show off your brand’s personality. Make sure you are catering to the likes and interests of the customers who are most likely to buy your products. If your brand sells women’s clothing, then your content needs to feel personal to women’s experiences. You want your target audience to feel seen and understood by your brand.
There are some SEO strategies that can help boost your page views more than others. For example:
Include things like your brand logo, the navigation bar, contact information, and the customer shopping cart at the very top of the page. All of these should be easily visible and accessible for both customers and search engines.
Optimize your page title and meta description so they can accurately represent your site in the search results. Your title should include your business’ entire name and the description should tell the customer what you sell and why they should buy it using attention-grabbing words. It’s a smart idea to conduct some keyword research to find which terms could improve your SEO the most. Make sure to keep all of this as short and to the point as possible.
Make sure all images are sized how you want them to be so customers will see your page exactly as you intend. This is doubly true when it comes to the mobile version of your site. Images are often one of the biggest inconveniences on mobile if not optimized. Alternative text is also necessary for all images to make your site more accessible and reduce your chances of making potential customers feel excluded.
It can also be smart to include any current sales or promotions on your front page to entice web visitors to look deeper into your online store and possibly make impulse purchases.
Prioritize Your Customers
Without a good customer base, any business, no matter how amazing the products, will surely crumble. This is why it’s so important to prioritize your customers’ experience while on your site.
A website that’s difficult to use or uninviting isn’t worth staying on for a potential buyer when there are so many other brands out there. Because of this, your priority should be creating a user-friendly and easy-to-navigate online storefront for your shoppers.
Think about the customer shopping experience and meet them with comfort and ease at each step of the way. It all starts when the consumer is first introduced to your company and products. But you must also consider their journey as they shop around, make purchases, and even after they are done buying from you.
As you design your website, think about the natural way that customers will move between your different pages. Each time you design a particular page, ask yourself where you would like the shoppers to go next. This will help you gain control over the customer journey and ease their path-to-purchase along.
On top of this, you need to ensure your website creates a welcoming atmosphere for shoppers. Make sure you know your demographics and cater to their interests and desires. Customers who shop at brick-and-mortar locations often encounter this type of atmosphere, but those who shop from home can be met with websites that are cold and impersonal.
One benefit of eCommerce is that your customer base is not limited to only those who are local to you but extends wherever you can ship. Make sure you keep this in mind as you build and optimize your online store.
Product Page Optimization
Product pages are going to get some of the most viewing time of any pages on your site, so they deserve a lot of thought and care in design.
When setting up your product images, make sure they clearly show the item, preferably from multiple angles so the customer gets the most information possible. On top of this, all images should have a background that’s specific to your company and feels cohesive. You don’t want to have any items sticking out like sore thumbs and looking like they don’t belong.
For item descriptions, it’s important that you make sure to include all dimensions and specifications about the product, including things like potential allergens and any other materials that were used. It’s pertinent that your product descriptions feel informative and casual. Don’t use a bunch of jargon that your customers won’t understand, and make sure to mention all product uses and capabilities so they know exactly what they’re getting into.
Most important of all, make sure you have any customer reviews of the product readily available and visible on screen. Customers often don’t trust online purchases without any reviews. Because they are unable to feel and see the product up close, they rely on pictures and feedback from other shoppers.
Proudly showing reviews of your products demonstrates confidence in your merchandise.
Consider Your Mobile Presence
Many of your potential customers are on the go and do much of their shopping via mobile devices. Your online store should be able to function exceptionally both on desktop as well as on tablets or phones.
This means your site needs to be easy to see and navigate even at a smaller scale. Things like buttons and tabs should be big enough to click on with fingertips, and ads or pop-ups need to be visible but not obnoxiously take over the entire screen.
One move that could work to ensure your site is mobile-friendly is creating a responsive website that adapts and shifts to fit different screen sizes. This way you don’t have to worry about what types of devices your customers are on, they are still getting an accurate and accessible version of your online store no matter what.
Proudly showing reviews of your products demonstrates confidence in your merchandise.
Track Your Success and Adjust as Needed
Lastly, be ready to adapt and change your website as needed. Your products and customers will continuously change and grow, and your online storefront should stay up to date with trends and modern capabilities.
For example, some brands are implementing things like price-checking or frequently-bought-together features to aid shoppers in making purchases. These are new tools that you should consider if they’re applicable to your company to stay competitive in the modern online retail world.
How are your click-through rates? What about bounce rates? How many of your shoppers are coming from organic traffic vs clicking on paid ads?
Knowing all of this information and tracking it constantly can help inform your website decisions as you move forward with your eCommerce optimization. This can let you know which areas you’re excelling in and where your site might need improvement.
Overall, your goal when optimizing your online storefront should be pulling in customers with an inviting, organized, and user-friendly website that has shoppers coming back over and over again.
Want data to support your eCommerce brand? Check out Wiser’s Digital Shelf Intelligence, which comes with five KPIs to improve your brand execution: content compliance, share of search, retailer assortment and availability, ratings and reviews, and competitive pricing.