The 4 features e-commerce websites should have…
Here we will have a look at the top four features all eCommerce websites should have, but are often forgotten. We won’t be including the obvious things – mobile friendly sites, easy navigation, etc. A lot of new eCommerce store owners wonder how they can drive more sales through their websites, a feat that can sometimes seem too hard to achieve.
The average eCommerce site converts just 2% of its traffic into sales! So for every 100 visitors your store has, you should be looking at making sales from two or more of these visitors. Of course, these percentages fluctuate on a variety of different factors – here you can find some of the biggest game-changing features a lot of lower eCommerce sites forget to incorporate, and therefore, lose sales.
1. Trust badges
The difference between an eCommerce store and a physical store is the lack of human interaction to back up the sales pitch, providing trust and belief in the product that you are looking to buy. Everything consumers do is based upon trust, whether it be making purchases or watching TV – they have to have a strong trust in the product.
Cast your mind back to the early 90s… the BBC was struggling to really gain a mass audience for their documentaries, losing a lot of viewers who couldn’t relate to the upper class television hosts of the time.
How did they remedy this?
They added a trust factor – Fred Dibnah. An eccentric, steam engine loving steeplejack. He connected with viewers because he was viewed as more of a commoner than the television hosts of the time and that made them feel they could trust him, with his no-nonsense approach to everything he presented and broad Bolton accent. The same can be said for ITV’s Guy Martin in the last few years, gaining consumers trust for exactly the same reasons.
Where once, many people wouldn’t be much interested in watching a canal boat for 45 minutes or watching how steam engines powered the cotton mills over 100 years ago – an eccentric, trustworthy figure head like Guy Martin or Fred Dibnah gives the consumer the trust to follow them on their journeys.
However, we aren’t making a documentary on the industrial revolution, or the making of Britain – so why do we need to develop trust with our consumers?
Unfortunately, it is too easy to create an eCommerce store nowadays. The constant worry of data privacy, credit card fraud or simply never being sent the goods is on the rise.
With competitors like Amazon and eBay – long-established, trustworthy websites, it’s more important than ever to prove to a consumer they can trust you, to stop them going elsewhere. Would you trust a website that had been thrown together with no signs of it being legitimate?
So without a front facing, relatable eccentric, how can we gain the consumers trust in eCommerce websites? It’s much simpler than you may believe. Trust badges are a way to show that your website is a reputable, trustworthy site.
So what are trust badges?
Trust badges vary, from images of your accepted payment methods – showing you are accepted by all major payment gateways, to security badges such as McAfee, proving your site is safe and secure for your customer to input their card details and trust you with their order.
2. Customer Reviews
Another form of gaining consumers’ trust is to display previous customers’ reviews in easily accessible places – home page, product pages, etc. This shows, not only have you made multiple sales previously, but you have also met and (hopefully) exceeded the customers’ expectations. Reviews are a major selling point for online stores and no one can afford to miss these.
Not all products and sites will get 5 stars for every product or service, this is where it is important to stay on top of your reviews and talk to your customers, reply to the reviews. Explain why it has not been 5 stars, how you can remedy the situation or – if you did get 5 stars, send a thank you message! These show that even after the sale has been completed you have a care for every customer and that your customer service is strong.
3. Offers/ Countdowns
Offers and countdowns – the gold dust of eCommerce websites. Few people know to incorporate countdowns, even fewer know the reasons behind them. We’ve all seen websites with “Free delivery, today only!” with a countdown until this offer expires. The reality of such offers, is that they are there simply to make a sense of urgency, to make the customer feel like they need to act fast and purchase before the offer expires.
You will have seen many large online stores implement this feature, you may have known why, or this may be new to you. Either way, there’s a reason the large stores use countdowns to force customers sales – it works!
Imagine you’ve been saving up for your new phone, you’ve almost saved up but not quite. Then a website offers 15% off the phone you are after… for today only!
Suddenly you have a limited amount of time to save money on the item your wanting. This sense of urgency forces customers to make purchases straight off the bat.
4.Abandoned cart /retargeting
Abandoned carts – the thorn in the eCommerce site’s side. Abandoned carts are, as the name suggests, when a consumer has added products to their baskets and then left the site before purchasing. The average abandoned cart rate is 75%, with some industries facing abandoned cart rates of up to 84%.
Abandoned carts can lose your site massive amounts of money without you ever knowing. You can track abandoned carts through various analytic dashboards, but tracking them is just the start. Why sit back and watch a problem, when you can cure it?
So how do we do it? This is where your email retargeting and exit notifications come in to play. Some people may use one of these, others may use both to retarget and retain sales. The choice is completely up to you, however, it’s definitely recommended that you use at least one of these methods to reduce your abandoned cart rates and increase your sales.
Let’s break them down and see the differences. Email retargeting is used on almost every major online store, when a user has filled their cart and has exited at the payment, the email address they have used to sign up/sign in/register, etc. is then sent an email with a reminder that they have products in their carts. I’m sure you’ve seen it before, it’s a major part in online stores’ sales campaigns. These emails are automated, and other than initial set-up, require no maintenance. You spend half an hour / one hour setting them up and a lifetime reaping the rewards.
As a customer is about to leave the website you can display a pop-up notification. This again, is fairly commonplace in market leading eCommerce stores, the content, however, can vary. This will rely on you deciding which is better for your sales retention campaign. The most common types of exit notifications is “Are you sure you want to leave?” and “Don’t leave yet, here’s a 15% off code”. Of course, the latter is much more successful in finalising your sales, but not all stores can offer an extra discount. This is where it comes down to analysing your sales campaign and deciding what the best approach is for your website.