Try These Tips to Rev Up Your E-Commerce Site

When I talk to people about our e-commerce gateway solutions, they invariably ask me how they can increase sales on their website. Now, I’m not a web developer, but I’ve been around long enough and seen enough websites to have a good idea of what works best.

The first thing you have to realize is that just because you’re on the Internet, it doesn’t mean people are going to flock to your site. There’s A LOT of competition out there, and I want to help you stand out. For this month, let’s talk about ways you can optimize your actual site to improve sales. Next month, I’ll to go over ways you can use other websites to drive people to your site. Here are some areas on your site where you may be losing sales, and some ways to fix them:

Loading speed – Nothing turns off people more than a slow website, and there’s really no excuse for it with today’s Internet and Wi-Fi speeds. Almost half of Internet users will leave a site if it doesn’t load in two seconds. Access your website from different computers and mobile devices to see how fast your pages load. If it doesn’t pass the two-second test, talk to your webmaster about ways to improve the site’s speed.

Content – The first thing people notice on your site is the look, so you want to make it both inviting and easy to navigate. Use high-quality photos and consider placing your product on a white background so it really stands out. Next, include engaging copy that can quickly give your visitors the information they need to know about your product. Use a catchy headline pointing out a benefit of your product and use the copy to explain how your product provides the benefit.

Be mobile-friendly – People are increasingly shopping on mobile devices, so it’s imperative that your site works well on desktops, as well as tablets and smartphones. Try making purchases yourself from a mobile device to make sure your site is optimized for mobile access from the home page to the shopping cart.

Speedy checkout – You’ve almost closed the sale, so don’t scare off the customer. There are several adjustments you can do to make it easier for customers to check out, and speed up the process. Most sites make you select which credit card you’re paying with. Let the system figure that out. You know a Visa card number starts with a 4, so shouldn’t your site recognize that as well. And don’t go crazy on shipping fees. I was making a $30 purchase online one time, and shipping was $20 for the item! As you can imagine, they lost the sale. Have your shipping selections default to the cheapest shipping method to save time for your customers.

You may already be doing many of these tips on your e-commerce site. But don’t rest on your laurels. Try testing different elements on your site, such as the design, copy, and specials you offer, and see how that affects your sales. Some of these tips are just small changes to your website, but tweaking the small things can make a big difference.