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If you already own or run a business, then you know optimization takes time. This is true whether you’ve got multiple stores or you’re self-employed.
With ecommerce, optimization starts with your online presence.
But even that one part of your business includes your website, marketing tools, social media channels, and all your other online resources. So, how do you streamline the process of Streamlining your business? That’s the question we’re trying to answer today.
Ecommerce optimization strategies
Fortunately, whether you’re new to ecommerce optimization or you’ve been running your business for a while, there are still plenty of fresh strategies to plan and implement.
1. Streamline user experience and navigation
Your user experience (UX) is always a good place to start optimizing your business. Customers’ needs should be a high priority, especially when you’re selling online. Statisticians have been tracking the relationship between UX and customer satisfaction (CSAT) for some time. Recent studies, like the below results from Statista, agree that CSAT and UX are closely related.
That said, it’s how your customers feel that matters, so don’t prioritize behavioral tracking over a smooth website navigation plan.
2. Improve website speed
Every customer’s journey through your online content starts with loading times. The more dynamic and varied the content, the more demand it puts on your resources. That means you have to balance your website or app content so that it doesn’t slow down your most eager customers.
It’s well established that longer loading times increase bounce rates for ecommerce websites. A recent report from Deloitte, whose key findings are summarized below, focused mostly on site speed as a key driver of sales funnel progression for new and existing customers.
You can see from a quick scan of the key findings above that reducing load times certainly has a positive effect.
To optimize your website speed, think about compressing your images and minimizing the number of redirects you have on your page. It’s also worth checking to see if your hosting is optimized for speed. This could make a big difference to your website’s load speed.
3. Make your website mobile-friendly
Making your website mobile-friendly is natural for a new business. Even established brands should be optimizing their mobile presence. The Deloitte study we mentioned above concentrated on mobile sites over websites or mobile apps thanks to earlier research.
That study tells us that mobile websites are now outperforming desktop sites for conversion rates, and apps are even more effective at converting browsers into buyers. So speeding up your loading times, and prioritizing mobile go hand in hand when streamlining your operations.
4. Optimize product pages
Creating all that great work and then failing to optimize your product pages would be a big mistake. That’s where most of your customers will land when they want to buy your products or subscribe to your service, right?
To optimize your product pages, ensure each item has multiple, high-quality images with a clear and concise description. Include targeted keywords to help customers find your products and include reviews and testimonials. Also, make sure there is a clear CTA, so customers know what the next step is.
With multiple payment providers, POS options, in-app purchases, and new digital marketing techniques, a landing page can’t be limited by desktop restrictions anymore. So, make sure your product pages are easily accessible on mobile devices too.
5. Simplify the checkout process and purchase form
Streamlining the checkout process is a big part of optimizing your ecommerce store. You want your customers to make a purchase, so the process should be as straightforward as possible.
Keep the page as simple as you can so customers can see how to make a purchase. You should also ensure that all changes, including taxes and shipping, are visible from the start, so there are no surprises that might make them change their minds.
Think about how many buttons the customer has to press between seeing and buying. How fast a new purchase form loads after the customer completes a section, and how many forms customers have to complete.
These are vital questions that new or established businesses should look to answer when optimizing their checkout process.
6. Provide multiple payment options
There are a lot of different point-of-sale options for ecommerce businesses. There are new financing options like Klarna, PayPal finance, and many others. Then there are Secure Transaction providers, Smart Chain providers, Web 3.0-focused options, and more.
With so many options, it’s often difficult for a business that’s still establishing itself to know which options it should work with. The honest answer is, it depends on your business. As a rule, most businesses will try to establish as many payment options as they can reasonably support. This makes sense if you want to be inclusive.
Yet, not all options will ensure the security of your customers’ digital wallets, for example. That means that you could potentially be responsible for any losses that occur from criminal activity. So, it’s important to research every payment option before you make a final decision on whether to support it on your site or app.
There’s one more thing to consider with streamlining your payment options, though. If you spend too much time on it, or it takes too much time for your customers, you haven’t achieved your goal. So, for a brand new business, consider sticking with the most popular trusted providers like Google and PayPal.
7. Utilize behavioral triggers to boost sales
You can use behavioral triggers to help guide your customers through the buying process and thus boost sales. This can mean adding automated messages to your site that draw attention to the next step in the process.
For example, you could introduce a message to remind customers of items they have left in their shopping cart, make customers aware of offers, or introduce them to other products they may be interested in.
Ecommerce optimization tools
To streamline your business to its maximum potential, you’ll need some help. Some of that will come from using optimization tools, like software and industry-specific hardware.
1. A/B testing
If you’ve never heard of A/B testing, don’t worry. It’s a simple form of testing that can be applied to almost any scenario. That’s why it’s so popular in tech, marketing, and beyond. At its core, A/B testing means running simultaneous tests, usually to try out new formats in a testing environment.
2. Heat mapping software
Your website data might be more valuable than you think. Heat mapping is a form of user activity tracking that can tell you a lot. If you know what your users are looking at, clicking on, watching, and so on, you can start to build a complete picture of user behavior on your website.
You’d have a hard time keeping track of this manually though. Heat mapping software can help you stay on top of the data as your customer base grows. Many business software suites will include heat mapping functions for your site or app. (So you might want to check with your provider before researching alternatives).
3. ERP software
ERP software integrates all aspects of your day-to-day business, streamlining your processes by connecting data points between departments. Your employees can then utilize this information to provide the best possible service for your customers.
When considering ERP implementation, think carefully about your timeline and the inefficiencies you want to improve. Also, make sure that the provider you choose offers full-service support to guide you through the process from start to finish.
4. Customer journey mapping tools
Understanding the customer journey is key to ecommerce optimization. It helps you predict customer behavior and identify pain points, highlighting areas to improve.
This is where your ERP system comes in handy. It gives your teams access to real-time insights from all departments so that you can build a true picture of your customer journey. You can then effectively implement changes to optimize their journey across your company.
Conclusion: find your way to success
Once you’ve applied the steps and suggestions we’ve outlined above, you’ll be ready to optimize whatever online content you choose to create. That means, no more steps, you define the path to success for your business, your role, or both.
While you’re on that journey, don’t be afraid to seek further help as you grow. That’s true whether that means your software providers, team members, partner businesses, or any other support that you rely on.