In order to maximize your chances for success in operating your own online store it is imperative that you remain diligently proactive in your efforts. An online store owner with hopes for success must continually test, analyze and refine the workings of their ecommerce business with an aim to learning exactly which are the problem areas of their operation, and exactly what can be done in order to improve their customer’s experience.
It is absolutely essential that every aspect of your online store’s website functions as efficiently as possible as a single, harmonious machine. Inexperienced online store operators, however, may find themselves puzzled over exactly which aspects of their business would most benefit from their efforts at improvement. Or, they may be uncertain as to exactly where to concentrate their efforts in order to improve their online store’s conversion rate.
Since there are so many unique variables inherent in each and every individual business, providing a solid, catch-all type of answer to these questions is difficult. Many factors will determine exactly where you should be focusing the bulk of your improvement efforts when it comes to your particular and individual online store. But, in general, with practically all online store operations, there are really three key areas which will almost always benefit from, and most likely be in need of, some extra attention and improvement. These are: Your online store’s home page, its product pages, and your store’s checkout pages.
Your Online Store’s Home Page
In the majority of cases (unless a website operator is using paid promotional services, or incorporating SEO efforts that dictate otherwise) your online store’s homepage will be the page most often seen by the vast majority of your site’s visitors. Indeed, it will very likely be the very first page on your entire website that a very significant percentage, if not most, of your visitors will see first. It is for this reason that particular attention should be paid to your online store’s home page. It should be constructed and designed in such a way so as to provide the visitor with the greatest viewing pleasure as is possible, and in such a way that it entices the visitor to journey deeper into the site.
You will want to keep a keen eye on your website analytics in this regard. High bounce rates in your analytics data indicate that visitors are not moving past your online store’s home page before leaving your site altogether. And, of course, if a visitor is leaving your site before venturing past your homepage, that visitor is not a customer.
Your online store’s home page should provide your visitors with a good number of avenues, easy to spot and use, which lead to various items on offer in your online store. Your best deals and most enticing, and most in-demand items should be prominently featured here, with clear calls to action to the visitor to venture deeper into your site and begin browsing product pages.
It is, again, very important to study your analytics and take account of what the data is telling you. Are you seeing a high bounce rate from your site’s home page? If so, then extra attention and effort should be directed to your online store’s homepage. If bounce rates from your home page are minimal, then your time, attention and efforts might better be spent on one, or both, of your online store’s other key areas.
Your Online Store’s Product Pages
You online store’s product pages are the areas of your website where your visitors will take in most of the information regarding the products and services in which they’re interested, and where their questions regarding such things will most likely be answered. How effective your product pages are will go a very long way in determining whether or not your visitors are converted into paying customers. Good design, thorough, well written descriptions, compelling sales copy, attractive images, and solid customer assurances are required in order to make your visitors click that ‘add-to-cart’ button. And, that click is, after all, the ultimate goal of your online store’s product pages.
Again, consult your analytics. If you’re seeing a very great many product page visits, but not many conversions into checkouts and sales, then your site’s product pages are likely the prime candidate for some extra attention and care.
Your Online Store’s Checkout Pages
Your store’s checkout process is absolutely critical to the success of your business. This, of course, should go without saying. If your online store were receiving millions of visitors per day, but none of them were buying, your online store would fail — and would be time to then close up shop and earn your bones by selling PPC advertising on the site. It is essential that you regularly, and attentively, monitor your checkout process to get an idea of the shopping cart abandonment rates your store’s checkout process is experiencing.
In consulting your analytics, pay particular attention to exactly where your customers appear to be dropping off during the checkout process and try to hone in on the exact cause of the problem. Set up a tracking funnel and a goal using your Google analytics and monitor it carefully. This will help in pinpointing exactly where the problem lies.