April 2020: in the present social-distancing reality and the lockdown situation, more than ever before, people have to use the Internet for purchasing. Luckily, they can order whatever they see online and enjoy the safety of buying it from home 24/7.
TIn the past 10+ years, the retail business has been shifting to online, considering the rapid growth rate and popularity of online shopping sites. In 2019 alone, global retail e-commerce sales reached 3.53 trillion US dollars and revenues are projected to grow to 6.54 trillion US dollars in 2022.
So now, if you own a retail eCommerce business or need to start it, you are facing huge competition. That means you need to rethink your strategies and come up with ways to grow your e-commerce website. The good news is: technology is available, combined with the users’ savviness and with the help of WordPress you can easily open up and manage online shops.
In this article, we’ll share some of the best steps and strategies that can help you achieve growth! Scroll down to the bottom of the text to see our nice infographic!
Reasons Why Most E-Commerce Businesses Fail
There are lots of reasons why your eCommerce store is not able to sell products that you’ve imagined. Maybe your marketing strategy is not on point, or you haven’t optimized your website properly. Whatever the reason is, if you don’t sell, you can’t grow, and you need to do something about it!
The following are the vital factors why you can’t sell products through your online store:
Wrong Target Market
You can’t sell to everyone. This is why segmenting your right target audience is important before you launch your eCommerce website. To drive growth, you need to rethink and plan your marketing strategy to be directed towards your target market and optimize your website according to what your target customers respond to.
A specific and targeted CTA on your site works better than a generic one. Ask yourself what you are selling and who will buy it. To get started with identifying your target customers, use this Infographic as your guideline.
Marketing Is Not on Point
If you’re not Amazon, people won’t look for your online product inventory themselves. You need to know how to develop a marketing campaign and brand awareness for your business. Your marketing needs to convince your target market that your products are the best. You need a sales pitch directed at your target market.
You’re too Salesy
Being too direct will push customers away. The better way to convince them is to provide value upfront. People don’t need sales catchphrase, they need a reason to buy products from your website. You need a targeted content marketing plan with promotional packages that will continuously deliver value to lure people to your online store.
Poor Website Design
Yes, sometimes is not about the marketing or the content strategy. If your e-commerce website has bad UX and design, consequently, the products that you sell will not be accessed as often as you want to, and you will not grow your sales numbers as a result. To resolve this, you need to conduct a proper redesign process where every technical and UX/UI glitch will be resolved.
How to Push E-Commerce Growth
1. Develop a Thorough Sales Funnel
To grow your e-commerce WordPress site, you need to know how to capture your customers from the moment they first visit your website. To do that, you need a sales funnel that will convert them from leads to customers.
A sales funnel is the journey that users go through from the moment they click on your website all the way to the purchase process.
Your sales funnel will be different depending on how specific the customer journey is on your e-commerce website. You must define each touchpoint that will impact the users enough to make them purchase your products.
In e-commerce, there are 3 main stages of the conversion funnel:
- Awareness: The stage where users first discover your online store. In this stage, they click on your website and get a sense of who you are and what you sell.
- Consideration: They browse your website and the products that you offer, and they start to form a purchasing decision. Most of the sales funnel touchpoints happen at this stage.
- Acquisition: Here, the purchasing decision is already made, and users are willing to go to the checkout page.
To start creating your e-commerce sales funnel, start by identifying the current customer journey on your site. Understanding how your customers research, find, click your site, and decide to purchase is vital if you want to know what to optimize and personalize for growth.
To examine your current user journey, you can use Google Analytics to map out the user flows. Open Google Analytics > Audience > Users Flow.
The e-commerce customer journey is all about UX and frameworks of customer behavior. When mapping out the sales funnels, it’s important to pay attention to the following eCommerce KPI:
- Visits: The number of people that came to your site from a specific channel.
- Page views: The number of pages that customers viewed while browsing your website.
- Average Visit Time: How much time do customers spend on your site?
- Bounce Rate: How many visitors left your site after viewing just one page?
- Abandonment Rate: The number of visitors that left the site without adding products to the cart.
- Cart Abandonment Rate: The customers that added products to their carts but didn’t purchase.
- Conversion Rate: The number of customers that reached the acquisition phase.
By using the three main customer journey stages described above, you can form a plan to attract people into the sales funnel. You need a specific content piece for each stage of the funnel, and you need to define the situations in which web visitors becomes a qualified lead, something that is
comprehensively explained in this guide from CrazyEgg.
2. Step up Your SEO Game
When people look for a particular product on Google, besides the ads that tend to be ignored, they’re taken to a SERP that includes organic results:
The better your e-commerce website ranks on Google, the more organic traffic you’ll get. To step up the SEO game for your e-commerce business, keep in mind the following:
- Find Relevant Keywords: What are the search phrases that your customers use on Google? Focus on the product instead of product usage tips. For instance, if people want to buy some underwear, they won’t search for “How to wear underwear”. Instead, they’ll search for “Underwear for men”. You can also use Google and Amazon to find the relevant keywords that consumers search for.
- Choose the Right Keywords: Focus on the keywords that matter the most. Pick ones that have a high search volume and low competition. The lower the competition for the keyword, the better your chances to be ranked on the first Google results page.
- Improve the Website Structure: How you organize your pages can affect search rankings and the UX of your e-commerce site. The easier it is for users to find a particular product, the more useful the site is for them and for your rankings. Every page must be a click away from accessing it.
After you’re done with your keywords and website structure, you’ll need to work on the rest of your website. If you want to convince more people that you’re the most relevant search result, you have to convince Google first.
Fix Page URLs
One of the SEO masterminds and former MOZ co-founder, Rand Fishkin, points out the following best URL structuring practices for a better search ranking:
- URLs need to be easy for Google to read them.
- Keyword usage in URL matters.
- Shorter URLs are better than longer ones.
- The URL and the page title should be the same, or as close as possible.
- Stop words like “and”, “of” and “the” should be avoided in a URL.
- Don’t keyword-stuff your URLs.
Optimize Product Descriptions
Google uses content to determine which keywords you want to rank for. If your product descriptions are too short, you don’t give Google that much to work with, and that isn’t good for the SEO of your eCommerce site. Longer product descriptions are better because they help you rank higher and consequently, bring more traffic to your product pages.
The more relevant the words in your product descriptions, the more accurate the ranking on Google is.
3. Produce Content Regularly
Once you have your keywords in place, you need to insert them into your website. Of course, adding them on your product pages and description will have some effect, however, you won’t grow your e-commerce business unless you start to develop content around those keywords and blog regularly.
The content that reaches the first page of Google search results averages 1,890 words. You can’t have a product description that is almost 2,000 words long, which means that you can only rank well on search engines with long-form valuable content.
Your blog will provide you with the opportunity to have an internal linking strategy, and those links can guide your visitors to your other content and product pages. Other websites can opt to feature one of your articles in their content strategy too, which enhances your backlinking strategy as well. This combination of internal and backlinks will skyrocket your SEO!
To make your content marketing more effective, learn what type of content works best in your niche by using BuzzSumo, and do the following:
- Utilize User-Generated Content as Social Proof – Reviews and customer testimonials act as social proof for other customers. This can help you convince others to buy. You can also ask customers to take a picture of the product that they bought and post it on social media.
- Use Product Videos – Show your best products in action with a video. You can create demos or explanatory videos. When they see the video, buyers will recognize the product benefits. You can include how-to videos on your product pages, landing pages and in your social media posts.
- Create Visual Content for Social Media – Visual content is the most engaging form of content on social media. Eye-catching visuals are essential if you want to capture the attention of potential customers online. You can post photos or graphics that promote new products and showcase the products in action or short videos that engage your followers.
4. Use Social Media Effectively
Social media can be one of the biggest catalysts for e-commerce growth. It’s all about three things: making connections, relationships, and engagement. If social media users experience positive interactions with your e-commerce brand, they’re more likely to purchase from you or recommend you to someone else.
Social media is all about creating connections. You need to start conversations and keep them going. People need to know that they’re interacting with human beings behind the platforms.
To make social media work for your e-commerce business, you must grow your audience and stand out. However, it’s not as easy as it looks. You have competitors that are trying to do the same and audiences that are more content-savvy than ever. To get the most out of social media for your online store, we recommend reading out the following two guides:
- 7 Tips to Grow Your Audience and Stand out on Social Media
- Social Media Strategies for E-Commerce to Boost Your Lead Conversion
5. Utilize Live Chat
According to Forrester, over 60% of customers claimed that they were more likely to return to a website that has live chat support. This is because these customers expect and know that with a 24/7 live support, they can get the answers that they need whenever they want.
Your customers need an instant response to their questions, and with a live chat, you can provide that within seconds for them and keep them engaged in the process. This adds to the entire customer experience and satisfaction rates, and if you want to grow your online store, you can’t ignore live support.
You might wonder, how to integrate such a complex program on your eCommerce site? Luckily, implementing live chat in WordPress is easy, with some of the following plugins:
6. Design for Mobile
It’s more than clear that mobile devices take over desktop as the preferred method of using the Internet. According to Google, more than 60% of users won’t come back to a mobile website where they’ve experienced problems and if that’s the case, 40% of them turn to competitors. To make sure that you won’t experience that, you need to optimize your eCommerce website for mobile.
Speed Things Up
People expect eCommerce websites to load fast on mobile devices. Faster load times result in decreased bounce rates and bigger conversion rates, while slow loading times send people to your competitors. To learn how to analyze your website speed and what you need to improve on, read our guide on using Google PageSpeed Insights.
Use the Right Hosting
Upgrading your hosting account can do a lot in terms of speed and mobile optimization. Managed WordPress hosts like Pagely have server infrastructure and caching in place that will speed up your site tremendously. They also allow for modern technologies like PHP 7, which is 4 times faster than PHP 5.4. Pagely also includes a CDN which can speed up your site images and other assets, and it’s very easy to use.
Implement Google AMP
AMP is a Google project that improves mobile page speed. It works by making an open-source format that clears out unnecessary content, making your mobile page load immediately as a result.
In your mobile search results, AMP-based links appear with a bolt sign next to them, and they open in less than a second when you click them.
In a nutshell, AMP content will act as a plain version of your website that allows users to instantly scroll through your content.
This is excellent if you want to improve the overall mobile UX of your e-commerce page and reduces the chances of users leaving your page when they’re on mobile. For your WordPress site, to implement AMP, you can use a plugin called AMP for WP.
It is one of the most popular plugins for the purpose. All you have to do is download it, install and use it to build AMP-based pages for your WP website.
7. Use Social Proof
How to convince people that your products are the real deal? With social proof, of course!
We all know that people look to other people to see what to purchase or not. It works similar to peer pressure back in high school. If other customers and visitors are positive about your content, product or services, you can expect new page visitors to feel good as well.
A Consumerist study indicates that up to 70 percent of online customers check product reviews before they decide whether or not they should buy a product. As a matter of fact, consumers trust product reviews 12 times more than they trust product descriptions.
There are 6 main types of social proof:
- From Customers – Comes from your existing customers and can appear in the form of testimonials and case studies.
- By Experts – Social proof that comes from valid experts in your industry, and from experts that use your product.
- Referrals from Friends – Friends encouraging other friends to purchase a product or sign up for a service.
- Ratings and Reviews – Testimonials, experiences of previous customers and ratings.
- Social Media Proof – Social media following, social media posts, social presence, and engagement.
- Certifications – Proof that comes from a trustworthy organization or source that certifies you as an expert in your industry.
To learn how to develop and spread these types of social proof across your e-commerce website and social media accounts, check out our article on building social proof for growing businesses.
8. Have a Swift Checkout Process
The checkout process should be plain and short. A longer checkout process will only turn your customers away. For that purpose, stuff like multi-page sign-ups, especially in your mobile version is something you should avoid like the plague.
First things first, ensure that the “Add to Cart” button is visible on each of your pages, and that is prominent enough to be seen by users. When people see a product that they like, they immediately look for the “Add to Cart” button, so make sure that it’s there for them.
Check out processes can take time, considering the information that customers need to provide to order the product. This is why you need to give the users a progress map, or a bar that satiates their impatience. Human minds tend to react better when they are aware of how long they need to wait, as opposed to something more general like “almost there.”
Infographic: How to Push E-Commerce Growth in 8 Steps
The steps above are just the beginning, a small portion of what you can do to scale your e-commerce WordPress website. If you haven’t implemented them thus far, make sure that you start immediately, because by now, you are probably aware that you’re in a really competitive niche.
Provide value, cultivate customer loyalty and happiness, have a web experience that is on point, and watch those product orders grow along with your sales numbers.
Need Help in Growing Your Business?
Our WordPress development company will build a WordPress E-commerce solution for your existing offline shop or brand new online store. We will identify the target audience and provide an appealing solution based on your customers’ behavior preferences and the latest design tendencies.