The internet, technology, and computers have completely revolutionized most sides of modern business, but nowhere have their effect been more profound than in the retail sector. Over the last twenty years, online shopping has transformed what clients have come to expect from firms, and these days e-commerce is eroding the traditional brick and mortar store model, instead replacing physical shops with virtual outlets.
The death of the traditional high street
Almost without exception, today’s most successful retailers have expanded their operations into the online realm. Indeed, e-com has become such a prevalent force in recent times that it’s signaled the death knell of some of the world’s largest and, previously, most buoyant companies.
With the incessant growth of online retail and the popularity and success of e-commerce showing no signs of slowing, it’s now more important than ever for stores to embrace the e-com revolution and start taking advantage of the 24/7/365 opportunities selling online can offer.
Conversions – the biggest challenge of online retailing
While e-commerce sites undoubtedly offer fantastic possibilities, one enduring problem continues to dog even the most professional online retailers – namely how to successfully convert mere visitors into customers. Generating traffic to your site is one thing but, if those visitors don’t subsequently make a purchase, you’ll have done little more than promote your image rather than turn a profit.
If you find your conversion rates remain depressingly low and you’re looking for ways to get a greater Return on Investment (ROI) from your e-com site, the following tips might help:
Check your site speed: There are few things more off-putting for potential consumers than pages that are slow to load or cumbersome processes in the route to finally making a purchase. You should use online tools to check your pages load quickly and also look for ways to streamline the purchasing process i.e. cutting down on the amount of form-filling your clients need to do. Sure, with the growth of cybercrime, good security is essential for online transactions but you should still try to limit the amount of information your clients need to hand over. Instead, look at installing modern security checks like KYC or Two-Factor Authentication (2FA). If you’re not sure what those terms refer to, check online for 2FA information or sites that explain KYC meaning.
Perform a full audit on your navigation and route from browsing to checkout: Aligned with the problems above, you should ensure visitors to your site have a clear and easy path to follow from first visiting to completing a purchase. For a start, you need to make it immediately obvious how users can purchase goods but it’s also a good idea to keep a shopping basket visible at all times with the goods the user has ordered.
Regularly consult your site analytics: In the digital age, everything we do online is traceable – and the same applies to your customers’ actions. You should install some kind of reporting software on your site (Google Analytics works well), so you can trace visitor movements and identify any problem areas. By understanding how your clients are using your site, you’ll have a better idea of what products and services to prioritize higher up your site structure – plus also be able to streamline areas that are causing issues.