Now that you’ve started your own online store, you want to start moving products! But how? If people are visiting your online store and it seems like every visitor is just window shopping, don’t despair. There are many small changes to your brand or business plan that will help increase revenue that you can implement today.
You know how ecommerce articles are always telling you to find your niche? That’s because it works, especially when you’re trying to carve out a market for your small business in the impossibly vast world of internet retail.
While it may sound trite to say ‘less is more,’ it’s so often true when it comes to online boutiques that some experts advise selling just one product on your homepage. If it sounds silly, you can always test out the theory and see if it works for you -- there’s no harm in going back to your current business model. However, the psychology behind selling just one item or a set of related items on your homepage is all about focus.
If you focus on one product, you’ll increase the amount of detail that you write about that product in product descriptions. Instead of offering a small bit of information about a wide range of products, narrowing your focus allows you to really sell one particular set of benefits and offer a ton of information to your customer. Remember, the nature of your online boutique means people can’t touch your products for themselves, so more information almost always leads to an increased level of trust and eventually higher revenue.
Selling just one thing on your homepage will give you the space to answer any question that comes up, counter any doubts your customers might have that keep them from buying, and generally set your brand up as an expert on your product. And you don’t have to stop selling other things -- narrowing your focus while broadening the information you make available does increase sales, but if you’re considering this path you don’t have to drop your whole inventory. Just give it a test run to see how it works for your business, and remember you can always sell other products on other pages or even other boutiques entirely.
Example by SupaDupa store Amy Sia, selling a range of different products but has strong focus on home ware interior for her homepage
Another way to get specific is in your business goals. Try creating just one eCommerce goal to focus on for a period of time, such as increasing Twitter followers, getting more email addresses from potential clients, increasing traffic, or increasing your conversion rate. All of these things will lead to increased revenue eventually, and choosing one to focus on today means that you will see results in that area.
Copy refers to any of the written text on your online store that is meant to make sales. Effectively, everything you write should be copy -- even your ‘About us’ page should tell your story in a way that makes you seem relatable and like a brand that people want to support.
We’ve written more in-depth tips on how to tweak your store’s copy to increase revenue, and we found that the biggest thing to keep in mind is that everything you write should be focused on your reader. Product descriptions should tell your reader how your product will benefit them, instead of what your product is. They should also be written in captivating ways -- using sensory language, describing sights, sounds and smells -- in order to engage your reader.
You may want to play into your customers’ sense of nostalgia, wonder, whimsy, envy -- anything that fits with your brand and makes sense for your target audience. The important thing is to make sure you always have your target audience in mind. Move them emotionally, understand their problems and how your products can make their lives better, and pique their interests. You already know your audience - now write for them!
Having good website design doesn’t just mean having nice graphics or a professional ‘look.’ In fact, that’s the bare minimum for ensuring customers don’t start looking elsewhere.
Instead of thinking that a well-designed website looks good, start thinking that your website is well-designed if it boosts conversion rates. Conversion is an ecommerce term for anytime one of your website visitors goes from passively browsing to taking an action that you want them to take. This could mean becoming a lead, by signing up for your mailing list, or buying a product. You want a website that converts, not just pleases the eye.
Example by SupaDupa store Somewhere Nowhere, selling ultra quirky fashion wear, have done a great job with their homepage. Using beautiful banner slideshows and large crisp product images projects a bold-designed website that converts!
Start asking yourself: is my website simple and easy to navigate? Is there a clear path that leads visitors to the action I want them to take (signing up for emails, putting things into their cart)? You want a clear path to the shopping cart, meaning BUY or ADD TO CART buttons that are noticeable and tap-friendly for mobile. You want banners advertising sales or free shipping over a certain amount clearly visible. You don’t want too many buttons, because people want to shop with the minimum amount of clicking around. Plus, you want every click a customer makes to eventually lead to a sale.
In 2014, mobile internet surfing made up 20% of all internet traffic, worldwide. In developed countries like the UK, that number is even bigger -- and will only grow as time progresses. If you’re going to sell online, your online boutique needs to be attractive on the devices that people use to surf the internet. That means it not only has to look good, but also be optimised in terms of navigation and loading times on mobile.
As of 21 April 2015, Google’s #mobilegeddon -- the hashtag people have been using to describe the change in Google’s algorithm -- will ensure that most of your competitors optimise their online stores for mobile because otherwise their Google search engine ranking will fall. You don’t want that to happen to your website, and you don’t want to be left behind the competition either!
SupaDupa’s platform is already mobile friendly and your SupaDupa store will automatically detect when it is being viewed on a mobile device and switch to mobile mode to include touch and swipe gestures. Your products and page content will be auto-magically resized for a superior experience tailor-made for customers on the move.
Example by SupaDupa store Jamie We: Huang - mobile view shop
It’s one thing to get people to visit your store, and another thing entirely to get them to click ‘confirm’ at the end of a shopping cart checkout. You need to turn shoppers into buyers, which means quite a few things:
No one’s going to enter their credit card number into a website that looks dodgy or unprofessional. Your online store’s blog, social media presence, and the professional quality of your website all contribute to making customers feel secure enough to purchase. Your brand needs to feel established, even if it’s relatively new. Making it easy for them. How many times have you clicked on an offer for a sale or special, only to have it land you at the brand’s homepage? Now you’ve got to look for what you want yourself, instead of just landing at the proper place. Make sure any link advertising a special takes you to the relevant page, and that your customers can get from your homepage to your products in as few clicks as possible.
Being Transparent About Extra Costs
Many online stores seem to think that by keeping the cost of shipping hidden until the checkout phase, they’re making their products seem cheaper. After all, if there’s a smaller figure before checkout, they’re much more likely to start the buying process, right? Wrong. Online shoppers are savvy, they know that if shipping were free you’d have FREE SHIPPING plastered all over your site, and they want to be able to factor it into their costs. We’ve all closed our fair share of tabs on shops that don’t have shipping policies readily available, and there’s nothing like unexpected shipping costs at checkout to get people to abandon their carts!
Of course, you could abandon the whole ‘extra costs’ headache all together by offering free shipping! It really, truly works when it comes to converting shoppers into buyers. Think Amazon. Think Zappos. You’re not an ecommerce retail giant yet, but consider crunching the numbers to see how you could offer the same. Even if your prices go up a little, new customers will feel like they’re getting a bargain, and it’s a prime opportunity to upsell if you have a “free shipping over X amount” policy. In that case, you’ll need to have a variety of items with smaller price tags to ensure that people can just toss something into their cart to meet the free shipping limit. You’ve done it at other people’s online stores -- now make it work for you!
Example by sports store Footasylum have taken advantage of their banner by adding three different types of shipping, two of which are FREE - Great work guys!
If you do offer free shipping, make sure to plaster it all over your store -- you want people to know! If you’re a design enthusiast or a minimalist, this might irk you, but just remember: of all the annoying pop-ups and advertisements on the internet, no one’s ever been annoyed by a banner telling them they’ll get free shipping!