5 Ways to Improve Your Online Store

onlinestore

If you’re selling anything online—from clothing to accessories, online courses, or premium memberships—there’s a chance things haven’t always been smooth-sailing. Maybe you’re even going through some of those sleepless nights right now. If it feels like your store’s struggling to hit its stride (or you’re just looking to boost a couple numbers here and there), we might know just what you need.

Check out your site’s load time.

If you’re seeing sky-high bounce rates and quick visits, there’s a chance load time’s to blame. With visitors’ attention spans shorter than ever, you should always be aiming for load times under 1.0 second, 1.5 seconds at the most. Any longer, and you risk potential customers giving up and closing out.

Our favorite tool for running site speed diagnostics is Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Type in your website’s URL, and Google generates a score with suggestions for speeding up laggy pages or slow-loading features. Since PageSpeed tests for mobile loading, you’ll get extra information about how those huge images or JavaScript plugins are impacting your user experience.

Reconfigure your call-to-action.

We’re surprised by how often we see Clients and other online retailers without a clear call-to-action. If your main goal is sending a user to a “Shop” or “Buy” page, make sure it’s one of the first things they see. Don’t leave these goal-oriented pages looking like every other link in your navigation; make them stand out by styling them as a button or changing their color. Since users will have an easier time finding the page, they’re more ready to make a purchase when they get there. Happy visitors are much more likely to convert than frustrated and confused site shoppers. Help them find what they’re looking for whenever and wherever you can.

Rewrite your product descriptions.

Online shopping is hard. People naturally want to touch, feel, or try-on, and they can’t. Product descriptions are a great place to show off your brand’s personality, too. Our friends at Oberlo published a great article on how to write better product descriptions last year. Some quick tips: avoid using manufacturer’s default descriptions, optimize for searchable keywords, and tell a compelling story. Whether you’re being funny, inspirational, or laser-focused on utility, this is a chance to drive home a sale. Don’t waste it.

Improve your product photos.

Ecommerce studies routinely prove products with more photos outperform those with less. Capture multiple angles—with good lighting—and incorporate a few lifestyle photos to give visitors the best sense of your product. If you’re able (and especially if your product has multiple functions or can seem complex without instructions), include a video, too.

Protect your customers’ privacy with a SSL certificate.

If you’re selling anything online, you need to have an SSL certificate. Showing your customers their data—like credit cards, names, and contact information—is encrypted and secure is becoming more and more important. Most website hosting companies come with the option to enable an SSL certificate. If not, get in touch with your website developer for help.

We work with online business owners all the time, and we’re always seeing small mistakes in ecommerce stores. If you’ve been struggling to see the conversion rates you want—or you’re hoping to make a little more—run through this checklist to see if there’s room for improvement. Being mindful about site load time, user experience, and product presentation can make a big difference.