6 Ways To Create a Website That Converts

How To Improve Your Ecommerce Conversions

How To Create a Website That Converts

A website can be used for many things; as a business card, to introduce people to your brand story, to show the behind the scenes of your process.

These are all great elements of brand strategy – but, the primary purpose of your fashion brand’s website is to sell your product.

And before you start sending traffic to your website through your organic social media and paid traffic campaigns, we want to make sure that we know, for certain, if we send (for example) 100 people to our website – how many of those people are going to buy.

Because, after all, if you don’t know how many people are going to purchase when they get to your site – how will you ever work out how much money you should spend on advertising?

Business should not be a guessing game.

6 ways to Create a Website That Converts

It’s quite a read – you might want to save it to refer back to!

Table of Contents
1. Optimise Your Speed
2. How To Use High-Quality Images and Details
3. Simplify and Optimise Your eCommerce Checkout Process
4. Use Cart Abandonment Software
5.. Show You Are Safe and Trustworthy
6. Create A Simple Navigation

Let’s Talk About Conversions

Let’s get this clear before we start.

What is a conversion rate?

A conversion rate is defined as the percentage of visitors that land on your website who complete the desired action

There are many different types of conversions, not just customer purchasing. For example, here are some common conversions that you might already be monitoring on your website.

  1. Online sales.
  2. A visitor adding a product to their cart.
  3. A visitor adding an item to their wishlist.
  4. A visitor signing up to your email.
  5. A visitor sharing something on social media.

Just to name a few. However, today we are focusing specifically on e-commerce conversions. I mention the other examples because its always tempting to go straight for optimizing your social shares or trying to grow your email list but we shouldn’t really be focusing our attention on those elements until we’ve really nailed our sales conversions – otherwise it’s just like pouring water into bucket riddled with holes.

How do you calculate the conversion rate for an eCommerce website?

Simply divide the number of users that come to your website by the number of sales you make. For example, if your eCommerce store is getting 10,000 visitors and 100 conversions, that means you have a conversion rate of 1%.

What is a good eCommerce conversion rate?

A good eCommerce conversion rate is on average 2% of your users, to begin with

It may well be that you have already hit 2% – congratulations!

2% is a good base rate to aim for, but you can always be optimising, testing and converting more – so let’s dive into how you can increase eCommerce conversions on your website.

Increasing eCommerce Conversions

Luxury eCommerce Checkout Example of how to create a website that converts for a Fashion Shop

1. Optimise Your Speed

I often find that speed doesn’t get mentioned when talking about conversions, because most people include ‘speed’ in the realm of ‘SEO’ (Search Engine Optimisation) and whilst Google certainly takes into account speed, it does so for good reason.

Put simply, the quicker your website loads the better your user experience is.

According to Neil Patel: 47 percent of consumers expect a website to load in no more than two seconds. After two seconds? Well, they are getting bored and clicking on to the next site.

2 seconds may sound like a small amount but, put yourself alone in a small room with someone who is struggling with a poor internet connection and we can realise how long two seconds is!

So, the first thing I would like you to do? Check your speed!

Because all the tips after this are for nought if your website is taking too long to load and people aren’t even getting to see your product!

How do I check my website speed?

You can check your website speed by using any of the following websites. Just pop your website URL in and they will run a speed test. I use GTMetrix but there is also uptrends and dareboost, to name a few others

Each of these speed test websites will check your speed for you and offer suggestions on how to increase your speed. Quite often it is the size of your images that causing the biggest lag. Also, if you are on WordPress and are using a page builder like Elementor or WPBakery, these plugins can really eat into your load time as well.

2. Use high-quality images, video and details on your product pages

Taking a flatly shot of a tables cape with iPhone

This is old advice I know but stay with me.

I’m sure you know the importance of high-quality images to showcase all of your products – that the photos be good quality, well lit and staged.

But I just wanted to add an extra thought that you might want to consider when choosing your product shots.

Touch.

Especially given the current world ‘situation’ many of us have not been able to go out a physically try on or examine good with our own hands. How something feels not only accrues points in the logic part of our decision brain, but the experience of that sensation is part of the brand experience that touches the desire part of our brain that fuels the purchase of all ‘non-essential’ items.

So, when choosing your product photography do try to include those shots which give the user a ‘feel’ for the fabric and the experience of wearing it. This can be close-ups of the details of the product and the fabric, but it might also be setting it in scenes that evoke a feeling of ‘cosiness’ or a feeling of ‘relaxation’.

Speaking of customer experience . . . .

3. Simplify and optimize your eCommerce checkout process

A simple checkout example for homeware

There’s a lot about our websites that we can change to give a unique experience and set ourselves apart from the competition. However, the checkout process should not be one of them.

In the design business, we call it a ‘pattern’. People are used to particular patterns and particular ways of working. Its why many of us can pick up any kind of mobile phone and have a rough sense of where everything is. Why many of us associate the three dashes as a menu, without seeing a label.

When your customers go through your checkout process, we want to make sure there are as few steps as possible and that it is so familiar they really only need to be paying the barest of attention to complete the process.

Here are ten things you might want to consider to get you started:

  1. Allow guest checkout
  2.  Provide many payment options
  3. Make sure your design is mobile-friendly
  4. Make sure your display trust signals and badges
  5. Remove unnecessary form fields
  6. Use a progress indicator to show how few steps there are and how close they are to completion
  7. Limit distractions (ie no menu, headers, footers)
  8. Flag up errors (user put their phone number in incorrectly, let them know straight away!)
  9. Try to keep the checkout to one page
  10. No last-minute costs (looking at you sudden VAT added at the last minute)

4. Use Cart Abandonment Software

Abandoned carts are where someone has chosen items from your site, clicked to add them to the cart and . . . decided not to purchase.

This is definitely an issue that needs to be diagnosed – is it the checkout process? Have they simply forgotten their passwords?

MasterCard and University of Oxford study in 2017 showed about a third of purchases were not made because the person could not remember a password.

A likely cause is that it might be a sudden charge they weren’t expecting?

A big cause of this can be the shipping costs. Just as an FYI – people love free shipping. So much so that 93% of people asked in one study said that they preferred free shipping over discount codes.

People are attracted to the word free – even if a discount code might give them more money off, people are still more likely to want the ‘free’ option.

Now I know shipping costs can be huge – but do consider whether people would be willing to pay more on the price of an item and have free shipping than have a cheaper item and then be hit with an unexcited shipping cost.

Anyway – even once you have eliminated all barriers, you still may have a few abandoned cart issues. People putting things in carts and then being distracted by one of their several hundred other tabs for example. Not mentioning any names specifically.

Abandoned cart software works when the user has started inputting their email details, but not completed the rest of the process. So you can follow up with them via email.

Sites like Shopify provide this service for free, and you can also use integrations with your email marketing provider, like MailChimp, to set up sequences to entice shoppers back.

This might be a simple reminder or you might want to offer a discount in order to sweeten the deal!

5. Show that you’re safe and trustworthy.

Safe checkout example using credit cards and green padlock for security

Do you have an SSL?

Have you got your little green padlock in the URL bar that shows you process people’s bank details securely?

You will need an SSL certificate to get the padlock (and indeed the security that comes with it). The good news is that most eCommerce platforms like Shopify include this with their setup. Hosting providers, like Siteground, also provide free SSL certificates with their hosting.

If you don’t have an SSL and need to buy one, there are a few different levels and types of certificates but in general, there are four different types;

  • Extended Validation (EV SSL) Certificates (most expensive)
  • Organization Validated (OV SSL) Certificates
  • Domain Validated (DV SSL) Certificates and
  • Let’s Encrypt (free)

If you’d like to learn more about SSL certificates or aren’t sure which one you should go for, just drop me an email I’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

Do you have trusted payment options?

Do you use Paypal? Accept credit cards? Displaying small unobtrusive images of credit cards and logos are commonplace on eCommerce websites and form part of that pattern people expect to see.

Do you have security?

McAfee, GeoTrust or any other security badges are also helpful to display if you have an account with them.

6. Make Your Site Easy To Navigate

Customer experience is everything, so it makes sense to end on this for today!

It sounds like an obvious point, but when you’ve perhaps built your website yourself or you haven’t gone through the process of buying from the perspective of a new purchaser, it is so easy to miss little things that are missing or difficult to find.

So – here are a few things to be mindful of.

Grab visitor’s attention quickly

If I land on your website and I’m not sure what you are selling (or if what you are selling is for me) – I’m probably going to head off somewhere different. Make sure your offer is clear and communicated by your branding and visuals.

On average your customer spends about 3 seconds deciding whether to stay on a website or not. Three seconds is not a long time to read anything, so you want to convey in visuals what you are all about and what audience you there to appeal to.

A checkout with a easy to follow bread crumb menu

Make the next step easy

Your customer should never be wondered what they should click next – make the next step in the process as clear and obvious as possible.

Make your inventory easy to navigate

Ever been to one of those shops where you couldn’t browse through different categories?

If I’m looking for a mid-length skirt and I’m having to trawl through trousers and dressed to get to what I want – I’m not going to scroll for long. Make it as easy as possible to find what people needs.

Once you’ve got your categories and sub-categories sorted, you might also want to add ‘curated’ categories like ‘night out’ looks or ‘back to school’ looks.

Make your “Add to Cart” and “Checkout” buttons stand out

If you squint your eyes and look at your blurring screen – is it still easy to tell where you ‘Buy Now’ or call to action (CTA) button is?

If a user is considering a purchase and the buy now button is right there, this can be an easy prompt to take the next step on their journey. Sometimes a user is thinking of buying and can be further prompted to do so by an actionable button that says exactly what to do and that stands out from all the other surrounding text and images.

And, of course, as we said above – make your checkout process as simple as possible.

Conclusion

I already have a part two to this post planned, because there are so many different ways you can optimise your website! However, these six are definitely some of the big foundational items you want to tackle as they represent the best actions you can take to produce the biggest results.

If you’d like to book a one to one consultation or need some advice on optimizing your website, please do get in touch.

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6 Ways To Create a Website That Converts

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