October 16, 2015
To keep up with industry standards and to stay connected with your customers, a company’s website is incredibly important. For eCommerce brands, where on-site purchases are ultimately the determining factor of a company’s success, the way a user interacts with your website is essential to achieving your business objectives. To help generate sales for your business’ website, consider the following tactics:
Use Content to Bring Users into the Sales Funnel
To bring users into your marketing funnel, use your blog as a top-of-the-funnel tool to capture user interest, even if it may not necessarily be about your specific products, but only about your industry in general. Once users are reading your blog, use newsletter signs-ups to bring them further into the funnel, and follow up by sending mailers containing links to fresh blog content, exclusive offers and personalized coupons. Having user contact information in your system allows you to provide potential and existing customers with regular content that will, in turn, help familiarize users more with your brand, and ideally foster conversions. This gives you the opportunity to continue marketing to users with efforts that are tailored to meet their individual needs.
Invest in Imagery
Investing in high-quality imagery for your products is critical. Stock imagery won’t show the user what your offerings are really like, and won’t be indicative of the value they’ll provide. Whatever the products may be, it’s important that visitors to your website are able to zoom in to see intricate details and accurate photos right on your product page. If users aren’t able to gauge what the product will be like once they have it in their hands, they likely won’t complete the purchase.
Cater to Every User — However They’re Accessing Your Site
It’s no surprise that mobile users are making up an increasingly significant portion of the marketplace. According to a recent eMarketer study, the No. 1 reason that U.S. mobile users don’t make purchases via a Smartphone or tablet is because they find the website difficult to navigate on their device. It’s completely vital for the success of your brand that your website be optimized for mobile use or you’ll likely miss out on a plethora of potential sales.
Optimizing for mobile includes everything from click-to-call phone numbers that directly allow the user to be connected with a representative from your company seamlessly, to forms that are easy to fill out on a small screen with a touch-screen keyboard, to messaging that is the appropriate size for readers on their Smartphone. For most companies, to ensure that you’re providing the best possible experience for users, you need to have a responsive design. Whether users are accessing your site on a tablet, iPhone, or desktop, a responsive site ensures they’ll be interacting with a site that is completely user-friendly for the device that they’re on—no excessive scrolling, no zooming in to fill out billing information, no zooming out to see a photo clearly.
Understand What’s Working (or What’s Not Working)
By examining the data in your analytics program, you can determine which marketing channels will be the most effective in playing a role in website performance. Perhaps in the past, SEO or PPC brought your business the most leads, increases in direct traffic, or whatever metric your key performance indicators may be based on. When you’re launching your next campaign, having this data that supports your efforts is extremely helpful. You want supporting data for each of your tactics to ensure that each is cost effective and time efficient, and above all leading towards an increase in sales.
Google Analytics is incredibly important when it comes to understanding which efforts to focus on. Every business needs a thorough understanding of where customers are coming from to identify which channels (SEO, social media, PPC, etc.) to scale up or down depending on the budget. Knowing what’s working and what’s not will help you better understand which channels to make changes to and which efforts need to be amplified. Additionally, you can better understand if there are consistent pages on your website where users are dropping off, or if certain pathways on your site are regularly resulting in the most sales. Google Analytics can help identify areas for improvement, or show you which pages are most effective or ineffective at providing the highest ROI.
Provide a Clear Navigation
The navigation you provide customers with should depict the ideal pathway that you would want them to take when traveling through your website. Make it as simple as possible and clearly outline which sections will take users to whatever page they may need. Align your products in a way that will make sense to your users so that they aren’t required to do extensive searching to find what they’re looking for. Breakdown each product page in categories that are clear and relevant.
Collaboration of Efforts
When you’re trying to promote growth with your eCommerce business, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to help facilitate the best user-experience you can. If you’re integrating best practices into your website design and marketing efforts, as discussed above, you’ll be able to show your customers your value, leading to increased sales. As users, the entire experience that we have on a brand’s website directly relates to what we purchase, how much we purchase, and if we’ll be back to visit sometime in the future.
Gabriel Shaoolian is a digital trends expert and CEO and founder of Blue Fountain Media, a digital agency in NYC focused on growing brands online through effective websites and online marketing. From start-ups to Fortune 1000s, Blue Fountain Media helps generate more leads and increased brand recognition Last year alone, the company, which has a client roster that includes Procter & Gamble, Harper Collins, Canon, NFL, Publishers Clearing House, Sharp, AOL and the United Nations, drove more than 200 million monthly visitors and $2 billion in revenue to the digital properties of its clients.