Part five of our seven-part website audit tips blog post series is all about e-commerce or online stores!
Review your products
If you have an e-commerce store, getting your product listings set up for people to buy them is critical.
Some things to look for in your product listings:
- clear, descriptive product titles
- a useful product description
- an easy-to-use product page layout
- properly sized buttons
- transparent shipping costs and policies
- clear return policies
1.Product titles: ideally are short, clear, and briefly describe your product. Keep your product titles consistent also helps people understand what you are offering.
2.Product descriptions: Check that your product descriptions are written for humans – specifically, your audience – not just for search engines.
Aim for scannable text or bullet points, use clear language, and fully describe your product.
Use keywords when possible because that’s the language your customers are using – BUT don’t stuff keywords in your descriptions. Instead, use real language meant for real people to read it.
Try to provide all the information you would want if you were buying the item.
Measurements, how the product feels (soft and cozy t-shirt), how the product works – whatever you can do to help people understand what the experience of owning that product will be like and what it will do for them.
3. Product layout: should be clean and have plenty of white space. Don’t crowd your products.
4. Buy buttons: should be large enough to click easily, especially on mobile, and have enough space around them that you aren’t clicking something you don’t intend to.
Any links should follow the same guidelines.
5. Policies: shipping costs, shipping policies, and return policies must be straightforward and easily located. Knowing what to expect helps people trust you enough to buy something from you.
Review your product photos*
Product photography should help sell the products you work so hard to create or curate. Two words come to mind when thinking of product photography, quality and consistency.
The quality of the pictures you use reflects your brand. When shopping online product pictures are what the customer is going to use to make their purchasing decision. You want product pictures that are well lit, composed well and the correct size and resolution, not pixelated or fuzzy. If you use poor quality images, customers may assume that reflects the professionalism of your business and choose to purchase elsewhere.
Choose a photography style that fits your brand and stick to it. Using a consistent style of photography will give your website a cohesive and professional feel. Incorporate brand elements such as your brand colors into your product shots. Use a mixture of lifestyle images that show the product in use, flat lays, and product pictures to help customers connect with your brand and show them what they will receive.
Using quality and consistent product photography will help you connect with customers, show them what they will receive and in turn make more sales!
*Review your brand photos tip is provided by Krystal Brewer, a Brand & Senior Photographer in Casper, WY – find her at https://www.krystalbrewer.com
Review your cart page
We tend to get everything on our website and in our store all set up, test it before we go live, hopefully, and then get busy with umm, running the business, doing the marketing, all.the.things.
Today, let’s start the checkout process and see what our customers see when they are on the cart page!
Here are some questions to ask:
1. Is it clear? Is the information laid out so that you can read it easily and know what to do next?
2. Is all the information available in an easily accessible way? There’s a lot of information on this page, like:
- what you are buying
- how it is being delivered (whether by shipping or digitally)
- coupon codes
- customization information
3.Is there any friction on the page? Anything that would keep the customer from moving forward? You’re looking for things like
- unnecessary information being requested
- buttons that are hard to find
- shipping, taxes, or unexpected fees showing up that the customer wasn’t expecting
- no clear direction on where to go next
4. Is it easy on desktop AND mobile?
We’ve all had the experience of trying to do something on mobile that doesn’t work – the button is off the page, or the popup won’t go away, or something equally annoying. Let’s make sure your customers have a great experience on mobile.
Review your checkout page
A lot of the same tips from the cart page tips apply to the checkout page, too – you want clear, accessible information, buttons, and links – and you want them all to work well on mobile.
For the checkout page, though, this is where your visitor clicks that final button to buy something.
Unfortunately, many people who make it as far as the cart don’t make it to this page – and from here, a lot don’t complete the purchase.
So reviewing your payment methods, final instructions, forms, layout, buttons, and text can be helpful – even a few more people that complete their purchase will make it worth your time.
You’re looking for two things:
1.What’s not working well?
Is there anything that causes extra “friction” for your customers? Anything that might interfere with a good checkout experience?
2.What can I make BETTER?
What can I improve so that my customers have a stellar experience? For example, can I add payment methods, decrease the amount of information they need to type in a form, or improve the layout for mobile?
Is there a way to have a 1-click checkout, even if it is for specific items or certain customers? Can they check out without creating an account?
Review your e-commerce experience.
What’s it like to buy from you?
While your product listings, online store, cart, and checkout pages are undoubtedly a part of it, there is so much more you can do to improve your customers’ experience.
Does your website platform include automated emails when someone purchases? What about when they create an account? And when their purchase ships, if it is a physical item?
Can you customize those emails to build a better relationship?
Do you support your clients through their experience? For example, do you send additional resources and communication about their purchase?
Could you also send information about using your product or even sharing their experience with others?
In addition to automated emails about their purchase:
- You can offer a mailing list for updates or new items.
- You can have an FAQ or individual support available if they need help.
- If you sell physical products, you can even think about the real world experience of packaging and shipping times.
There is so much more to the buyer-provider relationship than just the purchase.
If you take a moment to review the process, including the parts that are part of your website platform, I bet you’ll find some places to make your user’s experience better.