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Expert Advice
For Success in e-Commerce
  Our team of e-Commerce experts outline an effective strategy for increasing and optimising your sales!
Of course you know your work environment and what's at stake like the back of your hand: draw traffic, offer attractive sales, manage your costs, offer competitive pricing…and we do everything we can to help you through the daily challenges and give you the benefit of our experts’ e-Commerce advice, gained from working on hundreds of customer projects!

As the saying goes, the devil is in the details. This is especially true for e-Commerce. It’s paying attention to details that leads to a more effective business, more sales and more satisfied customers. Here’s a list of tips to help you out, like one of our etailers, The Stick and Cane Shop, who entrusted us to take care of their SEO: “We now have between 7,500 and 10,000 visits a month, and 36% of these visitors come from Google. As 65% of our turnover comes directly from our site, this traffic is essential for our sales.”
1. Reassure your visitors, gain their confidence and make them want to buy your products. Remove any doubts they might have at the back of their minds.
• Feature logos and testimonials to show that your business is trustworthy

2. Provide an online shop that’s inviting, clear, user friendly and makes you want to shop.
• Polish your product pages
• Make good use of images
• Don’t neglect mobiles

3. Optimise the different steps in the check-out process and the conversion of your customers.
• Give them a maximum number of payment methods and shipping options
• Don’t lose indecisive customers
• Take time with the design and text for your call to action buttons
15 tips to increase your turnover
01 Win your customers' trust and reassure them constantly
If there’s one feeling your site should inspire, throughout the shopping process, as customers browse through the aisles of your online shop, it’s confidence. We all know, especially you, the importance of this element when it comes to your prospects actually getting out their credit cards and giving you those magic numbers! Reassuring them should be your primary goal…and there are a couple of details you shouldn’t neglect if you want to boost your turnover.

  • Demonstrate, as much as possible, that you are a serious, credible and transparent business
    Internet users have to feel that behind the screen and the pixels there’s a real business, real merchandise, and 100% chance to be satisfied with their purchase. To inspire this feeling in your customers, you have to work on your perceived credibility—which is of course linked to a few details. For example featuring credit card and bank logos (8 out of 10 online shoppers feel safer when they see them, and they come at a critical stage in the check-out process!) or a visible phone number on all of your webpages (8% of customers abandon their shopping cart if they don’t find one) Think offering a number for customers to call is unimportant? Not for Rachel Dent of Premier Equine: “With Oxatis' MOTO payment option we can talk to our customers and take their payment directly over the phone. We have found this practice very effective, and orders made by phone represent 17% of the total orders to our site”.

  • Focus on customer service
    This is a current hot topic: when customers buy something on your website, they aren’t only buying the product that will be sent to them, but the entire shopping experience, and they expect real customer service. This helps lead customers to confirm purchases, and also influences the size of shopping carts and the number of return customers. Here again, customer service is a set of little details, and the sky's the limit in terms of your creativity: add a surprise gift in the package, respond to questions quickly, offer a live chat service, use a “click to call on Skype” button, remind customers each step along the way that they can modify their shopping cart, etc.

  • Highlight customer reviews
    Reassuring customers also means showing them that other customers have used your shop, and that they are satisfied with the products they bought. Customer reviews are an excellent way to kill two birds with one stone—especially when 85% of buyers trust customer reviews and on average read 6 before making their decision. A key detail for this point: customer reviews will make your online shop even more credible if they’re certified!

02 Sell your products' advantages and make customers want to buy!
Once they’ve been reassured, your visitors are in the right mindset to fill their shopping carts—Bravo! Here again, it’s a question of details that makes the difference between a “regular” e-Commerce website and a successful e-Commerce website that has a strong turnover and returning customers. Which is exactly what we wish you with these tips: that you too will make your visitors what to buy your products…

  • The art of a successful product page
    A big part of transactions is played when customers look at a product page. Choosing a title; providing clear, technical information; visible stock and maybe a sale (a limited time offer, to increase urgency)…these are axes for improvement and optimisation. One of your priorities is to reduce distractions. Customers need to do what they came to do: make a purchase. That said, this shouldn't stop you from doing your job as a retailer--don’t hesitate to suggest “related items” or packs to improve your average shopping cart size.

  • The importance of images
    Images are obviously a very important detail: the more you have and the better quality they are, with multiple-angle views, the better your conversion rate will be…The idea here is to imitate being able to physically hold a product and turn it 360 degrees. Some etailers noticed up to a 58% increase in sales when they provided better quality images. Another important detail: not only do your images have to be good quality, but they also have to be true to the reality of your products: don’t focus on overselling risky products to increase your conversion rate and have your return rate skyrocket as a result.

  • Navigating the catalogue
    Finding one product, okay. But what if you have thousands? How do you avoid your customers getting lost amongst all of your stock? Working on your category organisation and offering lots of choices is a good way to increase your conversion rate. Think about using faceted search on your site to offer the best technology to your customers. That’s what Nikki McCluney did with her site Nod and a Wink: “We integrated faceted search onto our e-Commerce website so that our customers can search by size and colour in each section among our 7,683 products.”

  • Have an effective site
    This means a site that loads quickly (so you don’t, for example have time to make a coffee between two pages). The statistics speak for themselves and having a site that loads quickly means more business. According to Amazon e-Commerce Data, 100 milliseconds more for page loading time means a 1% decrease in turnover. Google states that every half a second more in loading time leads to a 20% decrease in the efficacy in AdWords campaigns.

  • Mobile presence!
    23% of online sales are made on mobiles, and that number just keeps growing! (Econsultancy, Sept. 2013). It’s an excellent potential for growth for your e-Commerce business. Luckily, opening a mobile version of your site can be made easy! And the results can be surprising. Christine Naysmith of the site Brolliesgalore testifies: “5% of our orders come from the mobile version of our site.”.

  • Use satisfied customers to generate word of mouth
    The purchase has been confirmed. Is it over? Not exactly! There’s still an opportunity to use this new purchase to your advantage: suggest your new customer post his or her purchase on social networks (when this is sharable, obviously certain purchases are more adapted to this than others) or spread the word about the shop to friends and family, in exchange for, why not, a small discount per person who clicks on their tweet or Facebook status.

03 Optimise your e-Commerce website’s checkout to take advantage of each visit and confirm more purchases
67.4% is the, rather frightening, average abandon rate for shopping carts resulting from 22 studies done on the subject. Which means two out of three people leave your site without buying what they came looking for. This feels a little bit too much like window shopping, and something that can be drastically improved. Once again, the importance is in the details!

  • Let them choose their payment method
    59% of online shoppers, once they arrive at the crucial moment, abandon their shopping cart because their favourite payment method isn’t offered. Ideally you should offer as many options as possible. This way you’ll limit losing customers!

  • Let them choose their shipping options
    41% of 1,200 people surveyed abandoned purchases because they weren't satisfied with shipping costs or delivery options. Logistics options have really developed over the last few years, and you should offer your customers the option of receiving their packages as quickly as possible, or give them the choice to pick them at local stores. Don’t be fooled into thinking that free shipping is the only thing customers want (even if it’s a strong argument): 55% of online shoppers are willing to pay between £5-£10 for same-day service, and 45% of them are willing to pay more for evening or weekend delivery. In any case, (and this is directly linked to the importance of delivery and shipping) only 45% of shoppers repurchase from the same site!

  • Offer promotional codes
    Some people don’t buy anything on your site, even after spending time looking through your catalogue, because at the last minute they think they might be able to find the same thing cheaper somewhere else. Sometimes it’s just a question of a couple cents! Offering (and really highlighting) a “promotional code” box is a good way to reach this particular type of customer, who instead of going to the competition will look for how to get a promotional code on your site.

  • Indicate where they are in the shopping process
    Some order confirmation processes can be a bit long. If you can’t simplify them (you need to collect some information after all!) indicate where the customer is in the process each step of the way to reassure them (for example with a progression line). On average an e-Commerce site has 5.08 steps, so it’s important to know where you are so you don’t leave at the last step! Two other details: enable customers to go back to the previous step at all times (to avoid them getting frustrating and abandoning their purchases) and if possible offer a “fast track” order option without having to sign up: 29% of abandoned shopping carts result from customers’ hesitation to create an account.

  • Encourage customers who filled shopping carts to check-out
    As we mentioned in the previous Oxatis Expert Advice, a simple email can help you save a lot of money and it would be almost criminal not to send one. Send an email to customers who abandoned their shopping carts, a few hours later.

  • Improve your buttons
    Add to cart and check out are two very important buttons on your site. There are a couple basic rules: whatever the colour of your buttons is, make sure they contrast with the rest of your site; don’t hesitate to make them a bit big and make sure they look like clickable buttons!

  • And your call to action
    OpenMile, a transporter service, increased their lead generation (and as a result, their sales) by 232% by simply testing many different text options for their buttons. You too could have a lot to gain by changing a couple letters (now we’re talking details!) Luckily we explain all the rules for call to action buttons here!

Now it’s your turn to act. Please let us know what details help your e-Commerce success!