Is your e-commerce site lonely? Find out how to attract more visitors.

If you have an empty shop floor, you are not going to make very much money.  Instead of being reactive, usually born out of panic, take a step back and identify why you aren’t generating the custom you want.  This knowledge will be an investment from which you will receive long-term of return.

If you went to a supermarket and spent an hour looking for the apples because of no clear sign posts or help from staff, would you be happy?  Of course not – your customers are no different.  This is why your e-commerce website design should be the first thing you analyse.  To go back to the drawing boards, have a brainstorming session to identify what your website should provide and, revisit your outcomes so you can refine them.  For example, you may identify that your website must offer ‘information’.  But what’s more important is that it is useful information.  Tying this in with your e-commerce website design, perhaps the useful information should be accessible from every page.

High ‘bounce rate’ is bad.  It indicates that visitors are leaving too quickly, usually within a few seconds.  So how can you encourage customers to stay for longer and therefore, significantly increasing chances of them spending money?

Incorporated into designing should be logical structure – when you enter the supermarket to buy apples, you want a clear sign directing you where to go and, to be able to find other fruit nearby.  You also need to pay attention to navigation.

Let’s go back to the supermarket.  When you are in the fruit aisle and realise you also need to buy bread, it would be useful if you could view the signs directing you to the right place from where you’re standing instead, of having to re-enter the shop.  Similarly, your customers should be able to easily access pages anywhere on your website rather than, always having to returning to the homepage.

Research has shown that 60% of shopping cart abandonment is caused by having multiple page checkouts.  It seems foolish to lose custom at this final phase but, the more times you ask your customer “are you sure?”, the more opportunity you are presenting for your customer to change his/her mind.  Studies have indicated that single click buying increases the conversion rate to 70% – what a difference.

With e-commerce sites, it is very easy to focus on functionality.  You are right to place importance on this but, the online marketing should not be overlooked.  After all, why would someone buy from you if they don’t know you exist?  Blogs are an inexpensive and easy way to not only spread awareness of your company but, to add a personal voice to the company image.  Building and taking part in this community is essential in maintaining credibility.

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