Three Future-Proof Ways to E-Commerce Success
January 1st 2015 | By Steve Grant
It cannot be denied that e-commerce is becoming more and more challenging. Best practice changes on what seems like a monthly basis and it can prove a minefield to keep up with what you should be doing. In fact you can find techniques that were considered ‘the right way’ a few months’ back change almost overnight into damaging methods of marketing.
However, there are certain initiatives that don’t go out of date, and research backs this up. Here is our pick of three things we believe will get your online sales rocking, without danger of having to pull up and change direction at a moment’s notice.
For shopping online to be a success, it needs to bear as much resemblance as possible to the physical shopping experience, minus the crowds, queues and mind numbing piped music of course. You need to get as close to the product as possible, and see it in as much detail as you can. Images need to be large and high impact, with a zoom function to see finer detail, and preferably a 360-degree rotate facility or video for an all-round view.
Czech online specialists Mall.cz tested three image variations of each product on its website and a found a substantial 9% increase in sales when the largest images were in use. When you look at how popular Instagram has become – in some cases fifty times more engaging than other social platforms – it is easy to see how important images are these days.
Whilst visual appeal is a crucial part of the online retail experience, it is essential that you don’t compromise loading speed. Research from cloud services provider Akamai Technologies reveals that 47% of web visitors expect a page to load in two seconds or less. 40% will abandon a page after three seconds of waiting. And research by Aberdeen Group into Amazon’s site speed showed that an increase in load time of just 100 milliseconds led to a revenue increase of 1%.
You can test your site speed using tools like Pingdom’s website speed test or Google PageSpeed Insights. They will show you how you can improve any problem areas as well as reporting on how long your site is taking to load. Good web design standards at the outset will always ensure you have a fast loading site.
Optimise for Mobile
In 2014, a third of online sales were made using mobile devices, says research by IMRG. That was a 10% increase on 2013. So it stands to reason that if your online store is not optimised for mobile, you are more than likely going to be losing out on sales.
This is also a consideration if you are pushing for the top spots on Google. The search engine’s latest focus is ‘Mobile UX’ – mobile user experience. The theory is that mobile users get frustrated by all the scrolling demanded by a standard website viewed on a mobile device. Their solution is to communicate to mobile users that a site is mobile friendly by ranking them higher.
It can be tough keeping up with what it is you are ‘supposed’ to be doing and not doing when it comes to online marketing. But with e-commerce, there are a few rules that you can consider hard and fast, and pretty much future-proof. Follow these, and you should see a marked improvement in your online sales.
Need help with e-commerce set up or marketing? Get in touch!