16 eCommerce Website Best Practices to Improve Your Sales

There's nothing more satisfying than having a fully functioning eCommerce store that seems to get non-stop sales. We're all aware that eCommerce stores have the potential to bring in a passive income, with no physical leases, open 24/7, and other added benefits.

But what you don't know is that simply having an eCommerce store alone doesn't ensure success. The conversion rate from being visitors to a customer is slim. On average, only 2.86% of eCommerce website visits convert into a purchase. That's a pretty low percentage, but it's more common than you actually think if you look closer.

Customers have endless eCommerce choices. They can browse, compare purchases, and head to your competitors without even thinking twice. So how do you improve sales in a world so unforgiving as eCommerce?

Start with the basics and then work your way up. First, ensure that your eCommerce store follows the best eCommerce website practices and then create an eCommerce marketing strategy to follow.

Today we'll help you with the first task on the list. Here are 16 proven eCommerce website best practices to improve sales for your business.


1. Improve Your eCommerce Store Loading Time

The time it takes for your eCommerce store loads can affect your eCommerce sales. In a study done by Akamai, about half of web users expect a site to load in two seconds or less. Not to mention around 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.

From the moment your customer clicks your eCommerce store's URL to the minute it loads determines if they'll stay or leave. Here is a list of things that can affect your website loading time and how to fix them:

  • Uncompress images and optimize files: Images currently take up 60% of the average bytes loaded per page, around 1504KB. It's important to note that you should use high-quality images to show off your brand; however, high-quality images are usually the main culprit for slow eCommerce stores. To avoid this, try to compress or optimize your photos with tools like Tinyjpg or website plugins, so your pictures down cause your website to lag.

  • Minimize code requests: Your theme or code can sometimes slow your website. You may need a developer, but you can start compressing it to the smallest size without affecting its operation with their help. Google recommends a few different tools to help you do this: To minify HTML, try HTMLMinifier.
    To minify CSS, try CSSNano and csso.
    To minify JavaScript, try UglifyJS.

  • Optimize Your Plugins: Those apps you've been adding to your website to keep everything together might be slowing down your site. Pay attention to the number of plugins you add to your site. Too many, and it may be time for you to find a plugin that can do the job of three. Not only is this cost-effective, but your site has fewer plugins to sync with regularly.

2. Ensure Your Website is Easy to Use

Seamless navigation on your website is the act of allowing visitors to move point A-B or find information without confusion or hindrance. Making your website easy to use, shop, and browse keeps customers on your eCommerce site long enough to make a purchase.

Have you ever gone on a site and had to click through hoops for just one product?

That can be frustrating for anyone.

To ensure that your eCommerce website is easy to use, you should have the following:

  • Simplify Your Website Tabs: Try to avoid having too many tabs. If you do, create sub-tabs and organize your categories accordingly. This gives the impression that you're organized, and you want customers to find what they're looking for with ease.

  • Make Use of Your Footer: For more detailed information like shipping rates, privacy policies, contact and FAQ's, link them in the footer instead of the header. This keeps your header free from clutter.

  • Test Your Layout: Take time to test your website layout. Use heatmaps and website analytic tools to see how users navigate on your site in real-time and make adjustments.

3. A/B Test Your eCommerce Website Regularly

Earlier, we spoke about testing your layout. If you realize that eCommerce store visitors aren't completing checkout, then it's time to consider A/B Testing your pages and checkout to see what's working and what's not.

By A/B testing your eCommerce store, you can work with personalized data on which features and layouts work best for your eCommerce brand. You can often achieve huge improvements in conversions by simplifying or re-arranging the copy, tabs, and features on your website:

  • 31% of shoppers say they abandon purchases if they're forced to create an account
  • 23% of shoppers abandon purchases due to a complicated checkout process
  • One test found that shorter forms increased conversions by 34%

Here is a list of the best A/B Testing tools you'll need to ensure that you get the most out of your testing experience:

HotJar

Lucky Orange

AB Tasty

Convertize

4. Integrate with Marketing & Lead Generating Apps

Your eCommerce store can only do so much. So it's important to invest and integrate marketing and lead generating apps to encourage and maintain sales.

With the right apps, you can put your eCommerce store on autopilot while you work. Integrate with your other apps such as MailChimp, Zaiper, GetResponse, and so many others, try Wishpond for your eCommerce or Shopify store.

Wishpond + Shopify + 300 Integrations

Never worry about software incompatibility.

Add your other favorite tools! Slack, Eventbrite, GotoWebinar: from the big players to specialized apps, we've ensured our software is compatible with the best of the market to make your workflow as seamless as possible.

5. Integrate Payment & Subscription Plans

Adding payment options and subscription plans to your eCommerce store is a smart move. Since around 85% of consumers conduct online research before making a purchase online, they consider payment options as a key deciding factor. Simply asking customers to pay through PayPal or with a credit card can stop sales in their tracks.

According to a survey carried out by Splitit, a payment solution which gives retailers the ability to provide a payment plan for purchases. Splitit found that businesses increased their sales by as much as 400% right after giving their buyers a convenient way to pay.

Here is a list of brands you can consider integrating with to give your customers payment options:

Stripe

Klarna

AfterPay

Affirm

6. Integrate Your eCommerce Store with Social Media

Add social media to your eCommerce store arsenal. This means using social commerce. Social commerce is the term for the buying and selling of items and services on social media networks.

Sell and allow your followers to shop directly from your social media profiles like Facebook, Google, Pinterest, and Instagram.

With social commerce, you can reach new, enthusiastic audiences. Social media comes with high engagement and customers ready to buy. Once the users start following your brand and engaging with the content you share, they're more likely to stay and click "buy now."

For more, check out these 8 Actionable Tips to Use Social Media for eCommerce Sales.

7. Give Customers Multiple Delivery Options

One of the top reasons people don't follow through with purchases on your eCommerce website is that your delivery options and shipping cost aren't appealing. You may have high shipping rates or limited delivery options.

Instead, give shoppers multiple options for delivery. Allow them to have in-store pick-up, express, or overnight delivery options. That's why it's so important to map out a defined shipping strategy on hand.

If you're not sure what to do or improve your delivery method, here are 8 shipping options to consider for your store.

Don't forget to grab your FREE eCommerce Checklist so you can use it to ensure that your online store is ready to attract and generate sales.

8. Create eCommerce Email Campaigns to Push Sales

Email marketing is still one of the most powerful lead generating tools for an eCommerce store. Your store should be equipped with it so you can push sales with new and current customers. Here are three must-have eCommerce email campaigns you should have:

Welcome Email Campaign: The average open rate for a welcome email is 50%. That makes it 86% more effective than standard newsletters. So don't skip your welcome email campaign. This is also an excellent opportunity to show off your best sellers, brand story, show off your social proof/UGC, and more.

Order Email Campaign: Have an automated order email campaign to inform customers once they've made their order when it's shipped and delivered. Order emails help to give customers confidence in your brand and inform them from start to finish.

Shopping Cart Abandonment Campaign: Nearly 40% of surveyed consumers responded that they abandoned their shopping cart because they had been just browsing in the first place. When you send shopping cart abandonment email campaigns, you give visitors a reason to go back to your store and complete a purchase.

9. Tap into the Power of Influencer Marketing

We all know how powerful influencer marketing can be for a brand. Once you have the right influencer, you can get up to thousands of new followers and sales. Ask your partnered influencer to create an unboxing video of your new or current product to post on their social media pages. Ipsos found that a brand's packaging design can influence a consumer's purchasing decision.

You can also ask your influencer to co-host or promote your giveaways and deals and attract new customers and followers to your brand. Giveaways are one of the best ways to promote and highlight the features of your product or services. They have a 34% higher conversion rate when compared to other forms of online activities.

Need help with your next contest?

Book a free call to learn how our team of contest experts can help you create a high converting social media contest today.

Here are some detailed guides on Influencer Marketing you can start using today:

10. Host Giveaway & Contest to Push Sales

Contest and giveaways are some of the most successful sales methods to add to your eCommerce strategy. Across all industries, eCommerce and beauty contests have the highest conversions and contest entries. In 2018, the global cosmetic market grew to an estimated 5.5% in comparison to the previous year. With skincare, haircare, and make-up.

Contests aren't just about giving away free things. Contest CTA's have a 3.73% higher conversion rate when compared to other CTA's. Contest and giveaways have the power to boost eCommerce sales when done right. That's how Wishpond helped BHU Foods to increase online sales by 5% by adding social media contests to their marketing strategy.

We found six ways to promote your business with social media contest, one of them is using your bestseller as the prize to attract more eCommerce sales.

Treat social media contests like mini ads for your products, as they get so much engagement. So that contestants can see why it's your buyers' first choice and why your prize is worth winning.

At Wishpond, we've helped businesses to generate over 100,000 leads; brands like SHOC have made over $45,000 in sales with the help of Wishpond's tools and team.

Ready to take your business Facebook ad campaigns to the next level?

Book a FREE call with one of our marketing experts today and see what Wishpond can do for you!

11. Optimize your Product Pages with Personalization

Add personalization and upselling features to your product page to help improve your sales. eCommerce personalization means showing individualized offers, product recommendations, and other content to your visitors based on their previous actions, demographics, and other personal data.

For example, if a customer is looking at your clothing item, create personalization with a "Why Not Try" or "Often Bought With" section below your product description for customers to see items personalized based on their search history quickly.

12. Always Optimize for Mobile Sales

By 2021, mobile eCommerce sales are expected to account for 54% of total eCommerce sales.

It's important to have a mobile-friendly site. You never know where or when customers will interact with your brand. Shoppers are known to either switch from mobile to desktop or otherwise. So you want to make sure your eCommerce store gives a good impression on both.

With Wishpond's Canvas you can choose how your landing pages should be optimized for desktop, mobile, or tablet. Canvas allows you to automatically optimize your landing page for any device to keep your landing page looking sleek and organized every time.

13. Add Unique Offers to Your Entry Pop-ups

Have you ever clicked on a site, and as soon as you start scrolling, you see a pop-up greeting you with an offer or a discount. That's the magic of an entry pop-up—it pop-ups when you've entered.

Pop-ups can be an effective way not only to drive conversions but also to reduce shopping cart abandonment. According to one recent case study, the inclusion of an entry pop-up increased leads by an impressive 13% for an online marketing platform.

When it comes to pop-ups, it's all about the copy and the offer. How you phrase your unique offer can make or break your sales. After all, that's how The Scent Market made over $34,000 (with one unique offer).

Create pop-ups with easy to use templates already equipped with amazing copy and text with Wishpond's simple drag-and-drop editor. Wishpond's editor makes it easy for any marketer to create amazing pop-ups, without the need for design or programming knowledge. Plus, use Wishpond's Shopify integration to add pop-ups to your eCommerce store. To get started click here

14. Improve Your eCommerce Customer Service

Around80% of people stop doing business with a company because of poor customer experience.

Excellent customer service isn't something that you should do because it's expected, but because it builds customer loyalty and increases sales.

When customers feel appreciated, they're more willing to spend more, advocate for your brand (on/offline), and repeat purchases. If you need help, here are 5 Expert Ways to Increase Your eCommerce Customer Service

15. Optimize Your Shopping Cart Page

Optimizing your shopping cart page can help to reduce shopping cart abandonment. This is the act of a shopper filling up their cart and then leaving without making a purchase. Since the shopping cart page is the last step to grab the customer, you want to ensure that it's optimized to keep them on that page until they click "pay now."

Start by showing customers an inventory of their order with the total cost, including shipping and taxes. This will help to avoid surprise costs that can turn customers away. To do this, you'll have to ensure that your shopping cart page is laid out effectively and clearly for shoppers to see all the details they need.

Another option would be to add guest checkout to your shopping cart page so customers can get in and out without the hassle of creating a profile. Guest checkout refers to the ability for shoppers to make a purchase from your store without logging in to an account or saving any information in your database (such as username, password, shipping/billing address, etc.)

Now there are pro's and con's to adding guest checkout to your eCommerce guide, so for more, check out WooCommerce's guide on Determining if Guest Checkout is Right For Your Store..)

16. Use Your eCommerce Blog to Capture Leads

Use your eCommerce blog to show off your new products. Show visitors what's to come before or on your launch day, show them in detail why your new product deserves to be in their cart.

Even if a customer sees your eCommerce blog post days or months after it can still help to push sales your way, another option, you can also ask an influencer to publish a blog post about your product. Making it a win-win on both ends.

When Au Lit Fine Linens launched their new linen collection, they posted an eCommerce blog post showing off the collection in detail, along with the inspiration for the collection itself.

To start mastering your blog, start using these 8 Tested Ways to Use Your eCommerce Blog to Capture Leads

Summary

Making changes to your eCommerce store is a constant factor if you plan to improve your sales and increase website traffic. With proper testing and optimization, you'll be able to find out which tools and strategies work best for you. Here's a recap of 16 proven eCommerce website best practice you can start using today:

  1. Improve Your eCommerce Store Loading Time
  2. Ensure Your Website is Easy to Use
  3. A/B Test Your eCommerce Website Regularly
  4. Integrate with Marketing & Lead Generating Apps
  5. Integrate Payment & Subscription Plans
  6. Integrate Your eCommerce Store with Social Media
  7. Give Customers Multiple Delivery Options
  8. Tap into the Power of Influencer Marketing
  9. Host Giveaway & Contest to Push Sales
  10. Optimize your Product Pages with Personalization
  11. Always Optimize for Mobile Sales
  12. Add Unique Offers to Your Entry Pop-ups
  13. Improve Your eCommerce Customer Service
  14. Optimize Your Shopping Cart Page
  15. Use Your eCommerce Blog to Capture Leads

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Written by Victoria Taylor

Victoria is a Marketing Generalist at Wishpond specializing in all things digital marketing and social media marketing. In love with blogging and Taco Tuesdays. Follow her on Twitter @vicknwsbest.