7 eCommerce website optimization tips for driving more sales
When it comes to online retail, the work of making a website and perfecting it is never done. As an online store owner, you not only have to think about if your site looks good but also if it’s going to convert visitors into customers effectively.
Think of your website as a car and yourself as the mechanic—every time you fine-tune your site, it'll drive a little smoother, move a little faster and stay strong for years to come. This article will serve as your instruction manual for eCommerce website optimization. It will provide you with seven invaluable strategies to keep in mind as you build your eCommerce site. These strategies are designed to bolster your site's performance, enhance user experience and ultimately drive your business toward long-lasting success.
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01. Make CTAs obvious
A call to action (CTA) is a prompt for website visitors in the shape of a text, link or button that encourages them to take a specific action. CTAs that are difficult to find, read or understand can hinder visitors from taking action on your eCommerce site. Therefore, the visibility of CTAs is fundamental for optimizing this type of website.
The best way to make a CTA button stand out is to pick a color that contrasts against the background. For example, if you look at this landing page for Wix’s landing page builder, you’ll notice that the white “get started” button stands out against the green background. This style choice attracts the eye, making it the first thing visitors notice when they land on the page.
Your CTA’s copy should also be obvious. Instead of using witty or cute language, stick to clear, descriptive text. For example, while it may be tempting to replace your “add to cart” button with one that says “treat yourself” to stand out, visitors may not understand what clicking the button with the unconventional text will do. Using straightforward, descriptive language in CTAs is a great way to improve website accessibility as well.
02. Audit and increase your site speed
According to Think with Google, 53% of visitors will leave a website if it takes more than three seconds to load. If your eCommerce website is slow, you could be losing up to half of your sales. And, even if it loads quickly on your devices, that may not be the case for other visitors. Tools like site speed dashboard in Wix Analytics can give you a better sense of your site's performance. This tool will show you how fast your website is using a number of Core Web Vitals, including:
First Contentful Paint (FCP): How long it takes for the first piece of content to show up on the page when your website loads.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The time it takes for the largest page element to appear.
First Input Delay (FID): How long it takes for your website to process a visitor’s first interaction with a page, such as a click or scroll.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): CLS measures visual stability by indicating how many times elements change positions on your page.
The Wix Site Speed dashboard also provides website ratings for overall performance, accessibility, best practices and SEO. Within each of these categories, you’ll see site-specific recommendations for improving eCommerce site speed. For example, you might be advised to swap out all PNG files for faster-loading JPEG images. Or, you might learn that you need to compress video files before uploading them to your website. Check this tool regularly and make the suggested optimizations to keep visitors shopping.
03. Implement SEO best practices on product pages
According to Klarna, 44% percent of people begin their online shopping journey with a search engine. If your product pages aren’t optimized for search engines, your customers could be going to your competitors. With that in mind, search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to the eCommerce website optimization process.
The key to SEO success is using keywords that are relevant, descriptive and highly searched throughout your website and product pages. First, you’ll need to conduct keyword research for each product. Simply put, you’re looking for the best phrases to describe each product you sell. You can use a tool like Wix's Semrush integration to identify keywords. The following metrics can help you determine which keywords to prioritize:
Search volume: The number of individuals that search for the keyword within a specific timeframe.
Keyword difficulty: How difficult it would be to rank for that keyword, which is usually related to the amount of competition there is for the keyword and the number of backlinks those competitors have.
Search intent: Semrush categorizes every keyword according to the searcher’s intent, which means it tells you whether the searcher is looking for informational (“How to choose the right sneakers”), navigational (“sneaker store near me”), commercial (“best deals on running sneakers”) or transactional (“buy Adidas Ultraboost”) answers. This information is vital, both for choosing which keyword to target and understanding how to write the content.
Weigh the above metrics to find the ideal keyword for each product page. For example, by conducting keyword research, you may find that instead of using the phrase “running shoes” to describe one of your products, you would be better off using the keyword “women’s running shoe size 9” because it’s more specific, has a high search volume, is easy to rank for and is being searched by people who are ready to make a purchase.
After conducting keyword research, you’ll need to optimize your product pages. To do that, use the keyword phrase in the product name, description and URL and in the image alt text. No idea what to write? Ecommerce consultant Luke Carthy recommends checking out the “People Also Ask” section of a search results page. “As you search more queries, you’ll surface more questions and potentially begin to identify patterns and questions that frequently appear,” he explains. “Take note of these details, as they’re likely to come in handy when you’re working on your descriptions.”
04. Simplify your checkout flow
The average abandoned cart rate for eCommerce merchants stands at a whopping 70.19%. While abandoned carts are an inevitable part of selling online, you can reduce them by simplifying your checkout flow and removing friction.
The only way to decrease abandonment is to understand why they happen. According to a meta-analysis of 49 eCommerce studies, cart abandonment is often a result of one of these events:
Added costs (47%): When taxes, shipping and fees end up increasing order total unexpectedly, many customers tend to ditch their carts. Solve this problem by incorporating fees into your product pricing or offering free shipping for orders over a certain amount. The latter technique has the added benefit of encouraging customers to buy more than they had initially intended.
Account creation requirement (25%): If your website makes people create an account to proceed with checkout, you could be adding unnecessary friction to the transaction. Offer a guest checkout option to help new customers breeze through this step, then let them create an account to keep track of their purchases after they’ve checked out.
Slow delivery (24%): When shoppers encounter extended delivery windows or uncertain arrival dates, they may opt to look elsewhere for quicker solutions. To mitigate this, offer expedited shipping at a higher cost or offer free shipping after a certain threshold to give them a reason to be patient. Wix users can also use the ShipStation integration to help streamline the fulfillment process.
Security concerns (19%): After seeing countless consumer data breaches in the news, customers may be hesitant to input their financial information on smaller business websites. Alleviate these concerns by offering alternative payment options, like PayPal or Google Pay, which hide payment information from merchants. If you use Wix Payments, you can let customers know that they’re protected by PCI Compliance, the highest marker of eCommerce website security.
Long checkout process (18%): Even customers who make it through lengthy checkout processes will likely feel agitated, so streamlining it is just as much a matter of user experience (UX) as it is about lowering your abandoned cart rate. Do your best to simplify form fields and condense the process to fit on a single page. Offering express payment methods like those mentioned in the last bullet can also help.
Hidden total cost (17%): Customers want to know the total amount they’ll need to spend on shipping, fees and taxes before they enter all their information. Be transparent by displaying any extra costs as early as possible in the checkout process.
Not sure which of these cart abandonment reasons are the most relevant to your eCommerce website? Wix Analytics has an abandoned cart report that can help you figure it out.
05. Test pricing strategies
After ensuring that your prices cover the cost of goods sold with room for a reasonable profit margin, you can experiment with pricing psychology. Consider experimenting with these pricing methods until you find the ones that work best for your product and target audience:
Subscription pricing: Subscription pricing is a win-win for customers and merchants—you get recurring revenue, while customers receive convenience at a good price. For example, a feminine hygiene brand might give customers a 5% discount on each box of tampons via its tampon subscription service.
Odd-even pricing: Prices that end in an odd number (e.g., $3.07) subconsciously signal a deal, while prices that end in an even number (e.g., $100.00) designate a luxury item. Additionally, prices that end in a 9, such as $2.99 or $29, tend to sell better than prices that are rounded up, such as $3 or $30.
Comparative pricing: Help customers understand how good of a deal they’re getting by showing the original price slashed out right next to the new price. You can use this eCommerce optimization technique to price sale or clearance items or show how your prices compare to your competition.
Commitment discount: This pricing method is akin to subscription pricing, yet it offers customers a discount when they commit to making a larger upfront payment for a high-cost item or service. For example, many software companies offer customers a better deal when they commit to an annual plan instead of paying month to month.
Decoy pricing: When presented with two options, customers gravitate toward the cheaper option. When presented with three options, they tend to choose the more expensive option. Therefore, adding a third option can steer customers toward the more expensive product.
Bulk discount: Take a note from brands like Costco that incentivize customers to spend more by offering a lower price per unit when they buy large quantities of a single item. This convinces customers to buy more in one go, which saves them money and boosts your business's sales.
Price anchoring: Experiment with how you organize products on category pages to take advantage of anchoring, which is the practice of displaying products side by side to create context and perceived value.
Bundle pricing: Increase your average order value (AOV) by bundling products together and offering them at a discount. Customers will love the deal they’re getting, especially if you compare the individual item prices to the bundle pricing.
06. Give customers all the info they need
In a brick-and-mortar setting, customers have all of the information they need to make a purchasing decision in store. They can touch an item, hold it, test it out, try it on, see how large it is and ask a sales associate to fill in any knowledge gaps.
In order to succeed at eCommerce sales, you need to mimic this in-person shopping experience online. Give customers all the information they need to make a purchasing decision on every product page. Optimize each part of every product page, including:
Photos: Upload photos from multiple angles. Include full-product images and close-ups. If the product is wearable, show models of different sizes wearing it. Stage the product to show customers how to use it and encourage cross-selling of complementary products.
Description: If customers couldn’t see the product, how would you describe it? Mention features that aren’t shown in the images as well as those that are. Include SEO keywords to make your product easier to find.
Instructions: If applicable, explain how to use your product. What might be obvious to you might not be obvious to your customers. If relevant, include assembly instructions. Think beyond words when it comes to instructions. Videos or graphics can help customers visualize your products and how to use them.
Shipping and return information: Hidden shipping pricing and speeds are one of the top reasons customers abandon carts. To mitigate this, provide essential shipping information along with links to comprehensive policies on every product page.
Materials: What are your products made of? List the materials in clothing, jewelry or home goods, as well as the ingredients in food and skincare products.
Sizes or measurements: For wearable products, include a size guide on each product page to help customers find the right fit and reduce returns. For other types of products, like furniture, tools or appliances, provide as many product measurements as possible. Diagrams can be helpful in either case.
Reviews: Customer reviews help potential customers learn even more about your products, such as sizing or troubleshooting advice.
07. Track analytics and metrics regularly
Sales figures alone aren’t enough to help you understand how your business is doing. Website analytics can help you identify obstacles that are getting in the way of the shopping experience so you can fix them ASAP. Monitor analytics and track key performance indicators (KPIs) regularly to diagnose issues, optimize your eCommerce website and set performance goals.
Here’s a list of KPIs and reports to monitor in your Wix Analytics dashboard, common issues they could indicate and how to solve them:
Traffic: Traffic indicates how many people visit your website. The goal is to have more and more traffic over time, while maintaining a steady conversion rate. To drive traffic to your online store, invest in SEO, advertising and email marketing.
Conversion rate: A conversion refers to actions visitors take on your website. Conversion rate measures what percentage of website visitors complete an intended action, such as making a purchase or signing up for a newsletter. If your conversion rate falls below the industry average, check for patterns in cart abandonments on your website. The culprit could be a complicated checkout flow. Troubleshoot with the optimizations from strategy number four.
Average order value: AOV measures how much your customers typically spend when they purchase something from your website. Compare your website’s AOV month over month or quarter over quarter and look for patterns. A decline in AOV could mean it’s time to implement some upselling and cross-selling strategies. You could include a related product carousel on product pages to cross-sell accessories, sell bundles to get customers to buy more or display three products side by side to nudge customers towards the premium option.
Bounce rate: Unlike most of the other metrics on this list, you want a low bounce rate rather than a high one. Bounce rate measures the percentage of visits to your website that ended after just one page. A bounce rate between 20% and 45% is common for eCommerce websites. If yours is much higher than that, keep visitors on your website by auditing your SEO strategy to make sure the keywords you rank for are relevant to what customers are looking for.
Customer lifetime value: Customer lifetime value (LTV) measures how much a customer has spent on your eCommerce website over their entire relationship with your brand. Calculate your average LTV and use it as a benchmark. If this benchmark falls over time, employ retention marketing strategies to keep customers coming back for more. You could, for example, introduce a loyalty program that gamifies shopping and rewards customers for their patronage. Wix merchants can use Wix Loyalty Program to let customers accrue points that they can redeem for coupons.
Slow-moving inventory: If your analytics tool has a slow-moving inventory report, use it to identify products that have been sitting on your digital “shelves” for too long. Get these products moving by putting them on sale, placing them in your clearance section, offering them as freebies for large purchases or bundling them with more popular products.
Sales by product category: This eCommerce report can help you understand which types of products perform best on your website. Use these insights to determine which inventory to reorder and which categories to expand. For example, if your online store focuses on suitcases but you see that travel accessory sales are outperforming suitcase sales, you might decide to introduce new accessories to your inventory.
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Ecommerce website optimization FAQ
What is eCommerce optimization?
Ecommerce optimization refers to the practice of improving your online store to drive more sales. Examples of optimizations include increasing site speed, implementing SEO, simplifying your checkout flow and testing various pricing strategies.
Why does eCommerce optimization matter?
Ecommerce optimizations matter because they can help your business sell more, gain customers and make more money overall. By auditing your website’s performance before optimizing it, you can figure out where to best invest your time and resources.
How is conversion rate calculated?
Conversion rate is calculated by dividing the number of conversions visitors complete on your website by the number of website visitors. A conversion happens when visitors take a specific action on your website, such as adding a product to their cart or signing up for your email list. More often than not, however, sales are the main conversion goal for eCommerce websites.
What is a good eCommerce conversion rate?
While eCommerce conversion rates vary by industry, the rule of thumb is that the more expensive the item, the lower the conversion rate. According to Kibo Commerce, for example, food and beverage conversion rates hover around 5.5% while furniture and luxury handbag conversion rates are 0.6% on average.
What are the factors in eCommerce website optimization?
Ecommerce website optimization involves enhancing factors such as website design, user experience and page load speed. Additionally, effective product categorization and search functionality play crucial roles in optimizing the user journey. Furthermore, the use of persuasive product descriptions and high-quality images can significantly impact conversion rates on an eCommerce website.