You’ve built your new online shop, but they haven’t come. Don’t worry, many people have trouble getting the sales ball rolling when they first open their own online store. You may feel like you’ve got the products, the pictures, and the enthusiasm to build your empire -- but where are the customers?
This week, we’ll take a look at the most common reasons that people walk away from ecommerce websites, and then discuss the solutions you can implement to avoid these mistakes.
It’s probably happened to you as well: you love a product, you’re happy to put it in your shopping cart, but suddenly you’re at checkout and you had no idea that shipping would be so much! What do you do? If you’re like most people, you abandon your shopping cart and walk away from the sale, all because of the sticker shock.
Let your customers know as soon as possible about any extra charges, like shipping or customisation, that aren’t included in the price on the product page. It’s no secret that buying something online involves shipping -- it’s the unpleasant shock of having one price in their head and seeing a higher figure that has them abandoning their shopping carts. With that in mind, it’s ideal to prominently offer good shipping rates on the first page of your shop, though it’s not a bad idea to show basic shipping information everywhere.
Since it’s always good to look at success stories in your industry for inspiration, let’s consider all the ecommerce giants. Amazon and nearly every high street store have:
‘Free domestic shipping banners!’
These are displayed prominently on their websites, because they know the unexpected cost of shipping has a huge impact on customer conversion rates. And let’s not forget that many retailers have ‘Add £X to your cart for FREE shipping!’ reminders throughout the shopping experience, which is a savvy move that can turn the ‘burden’ of having to charge shipping costs into a boon! Admit it, you’ve added stuff to your cart to ‘unlock’ free shipping.
Example by SupaDupa store, Slik Graphic, a store who design and produce high quality mountain bike decals and stickers, have a dedicated shipping page clearly stating expected delivery costs. If you haven't done so already, why not create a page just for Shipping to let your customers expected shipping costs before reaching Checkout.
Everyone loves the convenience of online shopping, but its biggest drawback is the fact that you can’t touch the product you’re about to buy. In person customers can try something on, hold it, and look at it from multiple angles, which they just can’t do in your online boutique. That makes pictures and videos of your product crucial to enticing customers, as they want to know exactly what they are getting even if they can’t see it for themselves.
Poor product photography doesn’t just show your products in a bad light, it also chases away customers who want to feel secure with their online purchases. Nothing makes an online store look more amateur than photos that are blurry, dark, overexposed, etc, and customers would rather buy from professional-looking websites.
The flip side, of course is that nothing makes your website look more professional than a nice shop theme featuring crisp, clear photographs that show your products in the best light! And it really doesn’t have to be expensive, since the smartphone you already have in your pocket probably has a good enough camera.
We’ve already written about how to improve sales by improving your product photos, but the basics to keep in mind are: white background, natural lighting whenever possible, and lots of ‘em! You want multiple images of your product, from multiple angles, and close-ups of any special details. That means a close-up of the textile if you’re selling a patterned dress, as well as pictures of the whole garment both front and back, and ideally a model wearing the garment shot from different angles. Don’t worry if you can’t find a model, as using a stand or mannequin -- anything that shows off how it will actually look in use -- can also make for beautiful photos!
Pictures aren’t the only tools we have to replicate the brick-and-mortar shopping experience! Your product descriptions should paint a picture with words and include all the information that a potential customer might need to know.
Pairing a good photo of a product with good, engaging copy that tickles my fancy is the best way to get me to really think about a product. I might imagine where I’d wear it, how it would feel on my skin -- in other words, I’d imagine its use in my life thanks to the way you describe it. In this way, great product descriptions can get me to actually consider making a purchase even when I’m just browsing. You’ve probably experienced the exact same thing, so just consider whether your own product descriptions would engage and entice you if you were shopping online.
Write engaging copy that evokes the senses! Copy that evokes emotion! Copy, in short, that gives your customer an experience. It can be humorous, sassy, dignified, or quirky -- just make sure it fits your brand and makes you want to buy the product. Consider suggestions for where to wear your piece, the multiple uses of your piece, and of course any problems it solves or obvious advantages. Make sure your product descriptions are not dry, undescriptive, or unengaging. And, make sure any important concerns that customers might have, like measurements, are clearly and accurately stated.
Example by chocolate maker Green and Black, who've used sensory adjectives which don’t just refer to taste, but make you reminisce about those long summer days!
We’ve written about how to write great product descriptions that sell on our ecommerce blog multiple times, and that’s because it really will make all the difference when it comes to driving sales and gaining new customers.
Though it’s important to price your products correctly, it’s important to note that a high price point is not always a terrible reason to lose customers. There’s likely always going to be a cheaper version of your product, but SupaDupa shop owners tend to be creatives who design handmade or unique items. That ‘boutique’ aspect often gives our shop owners the leeway to have slightly higher prices. There’s also an old saying in business: if no one is complaining that your products are too expensive, your price is too low in the first place.
Still, if a look at your website traffic shows a high number of people who come and look, but ultimately leave, it’s time to reconsider your price point.
Better yet, consider offering a coupon code or sale on items from an older collection, and displaying these prominently on your website. If it’s just the price that’s keeping people away, you’ll notice your sales start to climb once you start making customers feel like they’re getting good value.
This problem shouldn’t be too much of a problem for SupaDupa online store owners, since our shop themes and templates are all user-friendly.
Just keep in mind that a user-friendly layout means, to a great extent, a layout that conforms to what customers are expecting. That means a left-side navigation bar with different categories of products, including “new” and “sale” categories. It also means displaying contact details at the top of your homepage, as well as any banners about sales, deals, or shipping.
Again, if you’re not a UX-focused web designer, these things might not mean that much to you, and that’s okay! Just pick a shop theme template that fits your brand and looks good to you!
Visit your Design section from SupaDupa Admin, choose from over 45 beautiful themes and customise from there. All the important bits will be in their proper place!
When purchasing from a physical store, most of us don’t think twice about the “security” of our purchase. After all, the store will probably still be there in the morning, and you get your hands on your purchases immediately. However, online it’s a whole different ballgame.
Users simply won’t trust you with their credit card information if your website looks unprofessional, so that’s the first thing to look at. Do all of your fonts match, and are they in colors you can easily read? Are your product pages full of crisp photos and engaging copy? Then let’s look at a few other areas that will inspire trust and confidence in your website:
Make Sure That You Have Contact Information Clearly Posted On Your Website
That includes your name -- at least your first name -- and a physical address. Customers who can see that a business has an address and real telephone number are much more likely to feel secure enough to make a purchase!
The “About Us” Page On Any Website Is Important
People want to know about you and your story, or they would be over at a big retailer’s website already. Flesh out your About Us page, let customers get to know you, and your website will seem more trustworthy almost instantly.
Ask For Testimonials And Product Reviews From Existing Customers
Make sure you ask specific questions to get the best testimonials. Feature these on your website, on their own Testimonials page, as social proof that your website is trustworthy and delivers on its promises!
Prominently Feature Any Press Attention You Have Received
Haven’t had any write-ups yet? Read about how to drum up press for your online store.
Consider embedding your Instagram feed into your website! If you’re active there, customers will see that your online store has been active in the past few hours or days. This is crucial, as no one wants to buy from a store that seems like it hasn’t been updated or active in a while.
If you don’t ship to their country, you’ve lost a sale. If you can’t get it there fast enough, you’ve lost a sale. If you can’t get it there cheap enough, you’ve lost a sale.
In order to offer shipping that works for and appeals to all customers, we recommend offering both a ‘free’ shipping option and a ‘next day’ premium shipping option.
Ship all ‘free shipping’ orders through your shipping courier’s most affordable option. Your premium shipping option should be your courier’s ‘next day’ delivery option. However, remember not to offer this if you don’t have the inventory on hand to ship out quickly.
Example by SupaDupa store, Rings & Tings, selling jewellery and accessories, offer free worldwide shipping and make it clear by using clear, strong, bold text on not just the homepage but on every page - Great work guys!
Using a combination of these options means you'll be ready for all types of customers -- those that are patient and love a good deal like free shipping, as well as those that can’t wait to get their hands on a product or don’t worry about extra shipping costs!
Ever take someone shopping with you for ‘moral support’? Everyone likes support and recommendations when they’re shopping, because they want to know that they’re making the correct decision every time they spend their hard-earned money.
Imagine you have multiple products in the same line, extremely similar but suited for slightly different purposes. If a potential customer is interested but isn’t sure which one to choose, you’ve got a problem. Even if you only sell one product, if it’s not clear that the product is suitable for them specifically, they won’t be sure enough to whip out their credit card.
Money-back guarantees work so well because they ease our fears of making the wrong choice. In fact, fear of making the wrong decision is the single biggest reason why people browse but don’t buy on the internet.
That means you need to be helping your website visitors by making clear recommendations regarding who your product is suited to and what it is suited for. Guide them toward the right products in your product descriptions, and encourage customers to contact you with any questions they may have.
Don’t let them feel lost or unsure while browsing your store!
Offer clear information that they can use to make the best decisions.