The days ahead are a great time for retailers to analyze, prepare and do everything they can to ensure their eCommerce website is optimized for the back-to-school season. There are some very crucial elements to consider to make sure your site is ready to not only process sales but increase them too. A poorly performing eCommerce website can mean the loss of profits and customer trust. Here is a quick checklist of some of the most important items to consider as you work to optimize your site.
Is Your Ecommerce Website Mobile Friendly?
If you answered no to this question, please move this item to the top of your list of things to do right after reading this article. Mobile search and sales are increasing at extremely fast rates. Not only are your customers looking for easy-to-use mobile sites, but Google is also checking for this too. How mobile-friendly your site is will directly impact your SEO efforts and search results. “As of March of this year, a little over half of retail shoppers were using a desktop for online purchases, but mobile device use is catching up, accounting for 34 percent of retail sales. In addition another 13 percent of shoppers are using tablets, according to IBM’s annual Online Retail Readiness Report. In terms of online retail traffic, 50 percent of all traffic is taking place via a mobile device and 26 percent of sales this year will be made with a consumer using a mobile device”. (source) As you can see not having a mobile-friendly site can drastically impact your search results. Working with a developer to help you make your site easy to use on mobile devices will be a big factor in how your site performs.
Start running Pay-Per-Click Ads (and optimize the ones you are already running).
Pay-per-click ads are a wonderful use of marketing dollars for an eCommerce website. With so many consumers using search to find the products they want to purchase, it is crucial to put your site in front of your target audience. Google Adwords will help you expand your reach, and soon Google will also help you sell your products, as well. Google is slowly unveiling its long-awaited “Buy Now” buttons in Google Ads. These buttons will allow consumers to purchase your products via Google and allow you to still have control over sizing, options, shipping and more. Major retailers like Macy’s have already gotten on board this initiative, with many more to follow soon. It also seems that Google has been more mindful of your costs to run ads like this. According to the Wall Street Journal, “Google will still be paid by retailers through its existing advertising model, rather than taking a cut of the sales price of items—the usual way online marketplaces like Amazon’s and eBay’s work.” Google emphasizes that they are looking to help their partners (advertisers) increase conversion by reducing problems purchasing on mobile devices for consumers.
If you were buying from your site, would you like your checkout process?
eCommerce websites need constant monitoring and maintenance. It is important that the overall experience your visitor/purchaser gets when they use your site increases sales and takes advantage of opportunities. Something as seemingly small as a flaw in your checkout process can drastically impact your sales. Have you carefully analyzed your checkout process recently? Is everything as easy as possible and focused on helping the customer purchase? Take a few minutes to act as a consumer on your own site. If you find that you get frustrated or things are taking too long, etc. you need to address that process right away. Busy parents don’t have the time, or patience, for complicated checkouts and they will move to other sites if yours isn’t tailored to ease of use.
Do your customers have a way to get help fast?
As we mentioned, back-to-school shoppers are busy and need every part of the process to be as easy as possible. This includes support. Offering a chat solution on your site will allow you the invaluable opportunity to handle customer issues in real time. Consider a platform like LiveChat. LiveChat can integrate into your existing site and provide you with some real solutions to marketing, re-marketing and capturing sales on your website. With one live chat agent you can help resolve ten times more customer service issues than with just one person running email and phone channels. This service can help you handle the increase in interactions your ecommerce website will see as back-to-school demand increases.
Take some time in the coming days to analyze your eCommerce website for opportunities to increase sales, engagement and performance. This work will be crucial to your success. Back-to-School season should be a great time for you as a retailer to increase profits, with as little stress as possible. However, adding this kind of analysis to an already busy list can seem overwhelming. HTML Global can be a trusted partner to handle your eCommerce website optimization and enhancements. Our services are designed to help our customers increase sales while making sure their site performs well, regardless of how their customers are purchasing. We offer full eCommerce website development, hosting, payment solutions, pay-per-click marketing management, services like LiveChat to help with customer service and much more. Contact us for a consultation and evaluation of your website. Our experts will provide you with the support you need to maximize this busy back-to-school season.