We launched an E-Commerce site for a client this Summer and have been watching its performance closely. The new website for QDOS Sound (www.qdossound.com) sells iPhone, iPad and Bluetooth accessories.
In this sector competition is high. You will need to put effort and imagination into your strategy to get visitors and, more importantly sales.
The site has performed well this past few month with traffic doubling and online sales up over 400% from launch.
With that in mind we wanted to share our top five tips to drive traffic, engage and convert more customers on your website.
E-Commerce Tip 1: Know your audience. Know your customer.
We had a clear mission statement for the project: “Increase sales”. Simple as that. This two word statement informed the decision making throughout the project. We knew that we needed to understand our customer’s behaviour better. To achieve this, we marked up all products on the site with structured data definitions from Schema.org.
Structured data and analytics
With structured data in place Google Analytics and Web Masters Tools (GWT) got detailed information about the products, availability and pricing. This has the benefit of your product being indexed more quickly, they also appear in Search Engine Results pages with images and prices too.
Next, we setup E-Commerce conversion goals and funnels to analyse how and when customers are getting to and purchasing products.
We also gain insight through Analytics when customer aren’t buying or abandon their purchase in the checkout process. This lets us make changes to site to refine and improve the sales process.
Google Analytics has given us valuable information into purchasing patterns, product performance, transactions and Ecommerce Conversion Rate. Important metrics for measuring performance.
In the case of QDOS, one important observation was there was a higher than average abandonment rate from the US and Canada. At launch the focus was the UK and Europe. After adding Dollars as a currency and a US and Canada specific delivery option, sales increased from this region.
E-Commerce Tip 2: Make it easy to buy.
It may sound obvious, but the design of your mobile or desktop E-Commerce site is key to selling products. The QDOS site is responsive and works on multiple devices. For smaller screens, we made sure that each product, buy button or call-to-action was always in view, without the need to scroll.
With the clever use of carousels, we’re able to show lots of products with can be viewed by simply swiping. Product variation such as colour, pattern or design are able to be previews as mini-swatches alongside the product. Clicking or touching these swatches shows a preview of the product in that design. This makes the user experience faster, reduced page loading times and give the customer access to what they want more easily.
Other notable techniques employed on the site, are what we call – “The sticky buy bar”. Once a customer scrolls down the page and main product is out of view, a mini tool bar with the product name, price and buy button appears. This increases that chance of the customer converting. Why make them scroll all the way back up the page to purchase right?
E-Commerce Tip 3: Spread your products around
Promotion, social and syndication are the key ingredients here. If you want to increase the visibility of your products have social sharing is a must. In addition to the main channels of Facebook and Twitter we introduced Pinterest Pins. These products just lend themselves to being pinned.
We were lucky that QDOS have a great PR company who we were able to work with around product launches. Integral to product launch strategy is building traffic, buzz and links into landing pages and vertical categories. From the landing pages you can build traffic deeper into the site with related promotions and offers.
One of biggest success though has been automatically syndicating products feeds from the site straight into Google Shopping. Google shopping campaigns tie in with Adwords and this strategy gets your products at the top of Google Search Result pages using great product photos with maximum impact.
E-Commerce Tip 4: Helping your customers return
Social sign up and sign in
Making the checkout process as frictionless as possible is essential. Letting your customers login lets them check their account history and orders. Allowing them to store personal details, such as addresses, reduces their time to purchase on subsequent visits.
Newsletters and transactional email
An obvious one, but often overlooked. Simply adding a newsletter sign up / opt-out in the checkout process and your building your mailing list. Mailchimp is a great way of staying in touch with your customer base. Keep them up-to-date with product launches, offers and discounts.
With Mailchimp’s sister product, Mandrill, it’s even easier to send transactional email. You may not know that terminology, but you’re sure to be familiar with process. Ever left Amazon or another major retailer half way through buying something? You may have received an email prompting you to complete your purchase, or an offer on a similar product or range you’ve recently bought. That’s transactional email – automated, personalised messages via email.
Ever notice when you’ve been browsing for a product, a Go-Pro camera for example, then you start to see it advertised everywhere on other sites you visit? That’s remarketing, it’s essentially an advertisers second bight of the cherry. By storing a small cookie whilst a customer is on a landing page or category of your site, you can then advertise the same product vertical elsewhere on the internet, hopefully increasing your conversions.
E-Commerce Tip 5: Reward loyalty
Combine the above techniques and you’re sure to have a winning E-Commerce strategy. Provide a great customer experience and customers will keep coming back. Why not reward them for their loyalty? Give something back by rewarding customers with vouchers or special discounts. These can be issued in a variety of ways, but most commonly when a certain value of purchases have been made. Spend over £100.00/$100.00/€100.00 and get 15% of your next purchase. Buy one get one free, the list goes on.
By following just a few of these ideas you’re sure to increase your success. As the festive shopping season gets into full swing, we wish you every success for with your online sales.