by Emma Phillips
It’s easy to become so laser-focused on attracting users to your online store, that how to convert passive visitors into purchasing customers can often be overlooked.With businesses investing so much time and money into driving people to their site,making the most of this traffic is hugely important to the success of your customer acquisition strategy.
So, how can brands encourage visitors to continue their shopping journey with them, from the point of landing on their site to conversion?
make the user experience the best it can be.
When shopping online, the tactile experience of in-store browsing is lost. It’s not possible to feel the fabric, you can’t see exactly how well the colour will complement and you can’t truly picture the size of that item.
It has becomethe responsibility of merchants to overcome these barriers within the shopping experience to encourage consumers to choose your brand, your product, and your online store to shop with.
As more people opt for online shopping, crafting an intuitive and frictionless eCommerce experience is vital to meeting the growing needs of savvy shoppers.
undertake a ux audit.
If your online user experience is falling short of what consumers have come to expect, your store performance will likely be affected and reaching your goals becomes more difficult. No matter how extensive your initial research was pre-development, or how much testing your site went through, unexpected pain points will likely emerge over time with real usage.
Undertaking a UX auditon your site is a highly informative exercise. Analysing your store to shed light on where improvements can be made, performance issues that hinder site speed, problems with accessibility and barriers users face that impactconversionswill be uncovered.
Provided with this detailed insight, you can prioritise site changes designed to support a better user journey.
understand your audience.
Creating a truly tailored online experience requires you to get under the skin of your audience. With no room for assumptions, you need to understand their motivations and what they need from your website. Workshops, focus groups and user data are regularly used to do this. With the right tools,a wealth of first party consented data is available to you that can outline your customers’ behaviours and how your store is used.
To learn as much as possible about your users, we find that combining the running ofa dedicated discovery workshop and user analysis is best. Leveraging this insight, from regions to browsing history, abandoned carts to average order size, you will be much closer to making that personalised online experience a reality.
create buyer personas.
You’ll have heard the expression, “if you try to be something to everyone, you’ll end up nothing to anyone”. When your brand messaging lacks purpose, your conversions will suffer. Armed with a greater understanding of your audience, you can create buyer personas that will see your strategy move beyond a one-size-fits-all approach.
Web analytics, shopping data, competitor research, surveys and customer service analysis can all feed into building buyer personas. But why should you use them?
Segmenting your audience by customer needs and motivations, buyer personas help you to deliver tailored messaging and communications relevant to the different stages of each group’s buying journey. Taking this approach, the shopping experience is all the more enjoyable as the user feels their needs are aligned with a brand that truly understands them. Delivering this level of personalisation also helps to build long-term loyalty between the brand and consumer.
make links look like links.
Stopping shoppers in their tracks, ‘hidden’ links are an easily avoidable sin. When branding and design wins over practical usability, call-to-action buttons often fall victim. If your users don’t recognise that a link is there to interact with, why would they click it?
Your CTA buttons need to be designed in a way that makes it evident they are there to be clicked. When you have strict brand guidelines to adhere to, applying subtle interactions can be a clever way to boost visibility. These could include:
- underlining of text
- hover states
- changes in colour
- the addition of movement
Regularly check that all your links work and go to the right place too. The occasional broken link is inevitable but don’t leave users at a dead end. An engaging 404 error page could soon put shoppers back on the right track with options or related products presented.
make it accessible.
If you fail to ensure accessibility as part of your eCommerce store, you risk alienating a substantial proportion of your target audience. In the UK alone, 4.5 percent of the entire population are colour blind and it’s estimated that a staggering six million people are living with eye conditions that threaten their site experience. This is already a significant number before even considering the international impact and wider disabilities.
Building a store that holds accessibility at the forefront ensures that no user will face barriers that stop them from accessing, using, interacting with or benefiting from your website. To achieve this, familiarising yourself with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG)is a great place to start. Used by both the UK and US governments, WCAG clearly outlines the accessibility criteria for reaching each of the three defined accessibility standards – A, AA and AAA.
feature relevant content.
With just three to five seconds to engage a user before you lose them, you need to ensure thatyour content resonates, and quickly. From real user reviews and images that give a social rubber stamp of approval, to rich video content that shows off your product, its benefits and how it can be used, there are countless ways to communicate with your audience while adding value to their shopping experience.
Featured content is a great tactic to lead your audience through a journey too. ‘How to’ blogs, styling tips and interviews are great ways to introduce products to your audience with cross-linking made easy. Your content is another opportunity to reinforce your brand and make an impression. With your audience in mind, consider your choice of language, their needs and motivations and make sure they are all aligned.
optimise your mini basket.
How often do you add something to the basket never to make it to the checkout? You’re not alone. This is what makes the mini basket a great, although easily overlooked, place for promotion.
Keep key messaging front of mind as users add the items they like to their basket. Remind them of all the reasons why they should continue to complete their purchase with you - from offers and discount codes, delivery information and free shipping, to promoting your wide range of payment solutions such as Klarna, PayPal and ApplePay; you could even use the space to display a customer testimonial.
filter your options.
Effective use of product filtering helps users quickly narrow down their options to meet their requirements faster. This is particularly helpful when your product category contains a large number of items.
With your products in mind, carefully consider what filters are possible, needed and helpful. Just because you could achieve a certain level of granularity thanks to your extensive product information doesn’t mean you should. Decide what level of filtering is right and logical for your business.
With your filters ready to go and the most commonly used listed first, you can monitor their usage in Google Analytics to help you further refine the options.
provide product recommendations.
A sure-fire way to encourage further clicks is to suggest recommended products to users based on their viewing history. This doesn’t need to be limited to just product pages either. Your home page and checkout are also there to be tailored to the user and can be used to create an end-to-end personalised experience. Adding further personalisation through these touchpoints will help to make users feel valued.
Recommendations are an ideal way to promote cross-sell and upsell opportunities that boost your average basket size too, including:
- items frequently bought together
- customers also bought
- recommended for you
- other items you may like
- you might need
There are some great Shopify compatible apps available to automate the promotion of relevant product recommendations. Easy to deploy and highly customisable, one of our favourites is Nostowhich leverages behavioural data to boost product discovery and show only products relevant to each individual user.
how can statement help.
We can support your ongoing success. Maximising your budget, our UX analysts will work with you through UX audits, remote user testing, competitors reviews and much more to deliver business growth recommendations that will deliver the best possible performance from your Shopify Plus store.Contact our team of experts to hear how, with our support, you can achieve even greater things.