So, you have a website that people can buy from. That’s great, but how do you know whether you’re doing it right? Are there things you can improve on and thereby improve your sales?
For many companies, their website is the first point of contact that their customers have with their brand. Websites don’t sleep. They are international and they don’t have sick days. These days it’s not just about having a web presence, it’s about having a website that performs better than your top salesman. And if it’s not doing its job, it needs to be fired or performance managed!
1 – Do you Need an eCommerce Website?
Before we get started let’s be clear that there are a number of options available to you if you are starting out. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a custom-built eCommerce website. You can create a Shopify shop through Facebook or a simple Facebook page will suffice in many cases.
Google, Twitter and Pinterest are all experimenting with ‘buy now’ buttons, most of which should be available in SA this or next year.
Once you know you have customers who are willing to pay money for what you’re selling, then spend money on the beautiful website.
2 – Turning Visitors into Customers
From Consideration to Conversion
When people open your website, the following fears crop up, either consciously or subconsciously:
- I don’t feel comfortable purchasing from a small company like yours
- You’re going to take my money without my approval
- You might steal my information
- This might waste my time
- I might get ‘lost’ on your website and not know how to get back…
You have 4 seconds to convince visitors that:
- This is a legitimate, trustworthy website
- If you buy something here, it will be delivered, and your money won’t disappear into a deep, dark hole
- We won’t steal your money or use your credit card without authorization
- We have nice things to buy
- The price you see is the price you pay
- Other people have bought here and love us
There are various ways that you can do this. Here are five easy things to implement on your home page that will reduce fear and instill a sense of confidence and security when buying from your online store:
1 – Customer Testimonials
Make them look authentic. Hopefully they aren’t made up, but using real pictures and not photo stock imagery will go a long way towards creating an authentic-looking customer endorsement.
I also encourage leaving in typos, this adds to a sense of authenticity.
2 – Make Your Delivery Terms Clear
There’s nothing worse than buying something online, only to find out in the checkout process that delivery is extra. That’s where I abandon cart! Make it clear whether delivery is extra and put it right next to your logo, at the top of the site.
3 – Clear Contact Telephone Numbers
Nothing reassures people more than a real telephone number, and nothing makes them less confident than a form they have to fill out to get customer service. Put your telephone number right at the top, and on every page.
4 – Terms and Guarantees
As per all of the above, make any important terms and guarantees obvious. Don’t make me find out during checkout that I have to pay for any returns.
I like the Zappos.com website (a big international shoe retailer) for their clarity of messaging in their shipping and returns wording. They’ve laid it out so it’s easy for customers to understand, and no concealed intent through confusing legal jargon.
5 – Trust Cues
Imagery that cues a sense of trust goes a long way towards endorsing your website and instilling a sense of confidence:
Those are just a few things you can do to improve your eCommerce website’s home page. Read more about things to do in website design, five ways to make users love your website, as well as things to avoid in website design and ways to lose customers through your website!
Dylan Kohlstädt is the founder and CEO of Shift ONE: integrated marketing solutions. Dylan is an online, brand and marketing expert who is passionate about growing her clients’ businesses effectively.
Dylan has 18 years marketing management experience in online, insurance, financial, gaming and property industries involving web, mobile, SEO, CRM and Social Marketing and is considered a subject matter expert on all things digital.
She has extensive local and international experience (South Africa, UK and Australia), has managed global and national brands and is experienced in managing multiple product ranges in multiple languages and countries.
Dylan also has an MBA through UNISA SBL.