Store optimization is actually a matter of course. If you want to secure or improve your sales in the face of growing competition in eCommerce, you will have to make regular improvements. But how can you best adjust your shop’s performance? The following are 7 tips for increasing online sales.
1. Measuring and responding to conversions
The goal of every online store is clear: optimal conversions. And the best conversion in the digital store is a sale. For store optimization, it is therefore important to find out which factors influence the conversion. Measurable values are, for example:
the shopping cart numbers,
the abandonment rates
and the payment processes.
But other key figures can also provide valuable information about optimization potential. The return rate, average shopping cart value, and newsletter performance are just a few examples.
Many high quality store systems have integrated tools for checking the most important key performance indicators. But here, too, it is worth keeping a vigilant eye on developments in tracking options.
2. More information in the shopping cart
Shopping cart values are ideal for making comparisons with transactions actually completed. It is obvious that something is wrong if there are large gaps between shopping cart contents and sales figures.
There is a significant correlation between the transparency of a shopping cart on the one hand and the abandonment rate on the other. Before making the decisive click, the user wants to be given a quick overview. Every click back increases the probability of abandonment. The more information the customer receives, the better the chances of a successful transaction. This must include the price, quantity, total amount, taxes, shipping costs and the preview image.
The preview image in particular is a must-have in the shopping cart. When making a purchase, customers want to see exactly which products they have chosen.
3. Improving the customer journey
The term customer journey refers to the numerous steps between clicking on a product in the store and making a purchase. A good user experience, i.e., a positive experience along this path, is a prerequisite for sales. When it comes to measuring the customer journey, every single step is important — and measurable:
How many clicks does a product have?
How high is the abandonment rate?
Where does the next click go?
How many users add the product to the shopping cart?
How many potential customers are lost in the final checkout?
Tools for measuring the conversion funnel reveal the most effective touchpoints and the critical exit points. The touchpoints are especially interesting for store optimization. First of all, abandonments can be prevented prematurely at these points. Furthermore, these stations are suitable for additional purchase incentives.
4. More payment options improve conversion
In fact, many studies indicate that payment processes play a major role in customers’ willingness to buy. Potential buyers who can’t find their preferred payment method often click over to the competition. In other words, more payment options translate into better sales figures.
PayPal and Co. are at the top of the popularity scale. Purchase on account has become an increasingly popular option as well. Although this involves more risk for the seller, the trend is unmistakable. People are less and less likely to save up for a product if they can get it immediately thanks to convenient financing methods. Multiple checkout options including installment payments increase sales.
5. Stores also need SEO
Search engine optimization for websites is never static because the Internet changes every day. And it is self-evident that a performance-oriented website must be able to act on this. But many operators do not know that online stores also need to be constantly optimized for search engines. A few interventions are often enough to push visitor and sales figures — with the right store optimization:
Keyword check: Which search terms do users enter when they search for a product? Metadata and product descriptions should be optimized for these keywords.
Avoid duplicate content: Google gives mass produced article descriptions a negative rating.
Technical optimizations: Google does not appreciate outdated HTML standards and programming errors.
In addition to tidying up the page, an effective offpage SEO concept also brings gains. Organic backlinks from high-quality sites are ranking pluses.
A picture is worth a thousand words. When looking at an online store page, the first thing every prospective customer looks at is the product image. And this is what leaves the all-important first impression — even the best product description can never fully correct a negative first impression.
When it comes to file size, an online store operator must therefore choose between pagespeed and quality. In view of ever-improving Internet connections and powerful end devices, the decision seems straightforward: When in doubt, go for quality. After all, a better image generates more sales.
7. Focus on the target group
The customer is always right. And in the anonymous web, this customer is referred to as the target group. The more detailed the information regarding this target group, the more entry points there are for store optimization. Meaningful data about the target group opens up creative possibilities for steering users in a specific direction.
In addition to data analysis, which is largely based on the surfing behavior of Internet users, social listening is an effective strategy for learning more about the target group. Social media platforms provide the basis for this type of information through interactions, comments, resonances and emotions. This enables store operators to keep a constant eye on the latest trends.
The online store business is becoming increasingly competitive — If you don’t want to lose out, you need to focus on continuous store optimization. First and foremost, this requires relevant data about the target group and the users. Because you can only respond to the needs of potential customers if you know what they want.
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