Key Ingredients of Stores that Convert

There are an estimated 12 to 24 million e-commerce sites across the world today. However, less than a million of these sites are selling more than a thousand dollars a year and only 2.86% of website visits convert into a purchase.

With these numbers, it seems like there might be something fundamentally wrong or some things need to be done to improve these stats. 

In this article, I’m going to discuss what are the things you can implement to your website in order to convert visitors into customers. 

 Custom Branded Domain Name

Having a custom domain is very important for your online brand. It improves name recognition, increases credibility, and helps you get found online more easily. 

Below are some tips on how to get a good custom domain name for your business:

Choose .com domain name 

The .com domains are easy to remember. If you have an e-commerce site, you don’t want to use .shopify or .squarespace. Due to its popularity, .com domain names are easier to brand, promote, and help you grow your business. So invest in the domain name and then get it connected to your site.

You can check Namecheap for your domain name. You can have a .com for only $8.88 for the first year. 

Short and Easy to Remember

Your domain name should be short and easy to remember. Don’t go for fancy names that may just confuse customers. Go for short but catchy. 

Namecheap Email Account 

Aside from domain names, you can also get a custom-branded email account on Namecheap. A custom email address builds brand consistency. This consistency should be applied not only to your website but also on the emails you send.

We don't want to have our Gmail and Yahoo connected to our stores. Having a custom email address establishes a connection between your website and your communication efforts.

Does the Page Look Good?

Your homepage is what you land on after clicking on the search result. It often serves as the first impression to the potential customer.  A strong homepage design can entice visitors to spend more time exploring the product or service you offer. It invites them to learn more and hopefully convince them to purchase. 

That’s why it’s incredibly worthwhile to make this homepage design look as welcoming and engaging as possible. Below are some tips to help you design your homepage:

No Bright Colors 

Keep your homepage simple and basic. Avoid those flashy and bright colors.

Distracting Images or Sliders 

Most stores give you the option to have multiple images in a slider format. Unfortunately, even though it looks good, it can turn some customers off. 

 Ideally, you just want to have one well put together header. You can use Canva to create your header. And they also have a portfolio photo collage where you can put four different product images on one page and it looks really nice. 

Abrupt Sounds or Videos 

If you feel like you need to put music into your site because that’s the niche that you are in, put it where the customer can cut it off. Don’t let the music automatically come on. 

Easy to Read 

We want the page to be easy to read, like no crazy fonts and text colors. We don't want the words to be super big, and this is just something you're going to have to play around with. 

White Backgrounds Work Best 

White backgrounds are the best color scheme to use for information-intensive and e-commerce websites. This helps for readability, especially with black text. It also keeps your visitors' focus on your content or products.

Mobile & Desktop 

You need to take a look and see what your site looks like on both mobile and desktop. When you're putting an image in your group header or page header, it’s going to look different on your phone versus if you're looking at a desktop. 

So you need to make sure it looks good on mobile because this is where most people make purchases from. 

 

LOGO & FAVICON

 Your logo is the core of your business’ branding and identity. It represents your products or services and is a key piece for clients to recognize and connect with your brand. 

Not Too Big or Distracting  

Your logo should be just right in size. If your logo is too big, it would eat up space on your website. People are naturally drawn to what’s attractive and easy to understand. Oversized logos are aggressive and tacky, it may look like your visually shouting at your consumers.

Adequate White Space 

You also don't want a lot of white space. So you will have your logo and then as you drop down, you're going to have your menu bar. You don't want a lot of white space in there. And it's important that you take a look at how your logo is showing up on mobile, because remember that it always looks different.

Does It Tell People What Your Store Offers 

Sometimes our domain names don't necessarily tell people what our store offers. But your logo may give some hints to what the store is. You can also add a nice and simple tagline that speaks to what you offer.

Text Heavy Logos are Popular and Easy 

You can use text heavy logos especially when you're just getting started.  We're not trying to spend a lot of money before we've made money. So this option is great. You can use Canva, there are a lot of logo templates in there. 

Phone Number or Email in Header Area

We want people to trust us. They're not going to open up their wallet if they don't trust the store. You need to put your phone number or email in the header area so that they can see it easily. If they do have any problems, they know that they can get in touch with you.

 You can check Google Voice and Grasshopper for your phone number. For your email, Namecheap and Google G Suite. What's good about all of these is you can get what they call, alias emails. 

So although you only have one main account, you can have an account set up for sales like [email protected]. For returns, it could be [email protected]. And all emails will be forwarded to one main account. But to your customers, it looks like you're a lot bigger and more established than you probably are. Again, we're building trust.

Ability to Search

The search function is probably something that you don't think about. But it’s nice to be able to just simply search whatever your search terms are.

 As long as you've tagged your items and your products correctly, or you're using the right keywords, product descriptions, and names, they're going to get to what they're looking for faster. 

 This will also keep them on our sites longer because it's going to give them the ability to search. 

 Menu 

Your site menu bar is where visitors find links to the important pages on your website. It should be designed in a way that will be easy for customers to find what they need. 

Not Cluttered 

I know we get tempted with these menus, especially when we have a lot of different products, but you don't want it to get cluttered.

Depending on your theme, probably no more than five menu items are best. If you will have more as your store grows, just add sub-menus. 

Centered or Left Aligned 

Your menu should be in the center so that it can be easily seen. Or you can also put it on the left side of your site since people read from left to right across a screen. 

Simple to Navigate 

Make it easy for your visitors to find things. Don’t make it complicated, just make it simple. 

Use Drop-down Menu if Necessary 

Drop-down menus are great for sites that have many pages of content related to a topic. The typical design pattern of a drop-down menu is that when a user hovers over the parent navigation item, a submenu of navigation items appears. 

 It will also be easier for your shoppers when they're in your store using their mobile devices, simple to navigate using that drop-down menu pages that you want to include. 

Pages to Include: About Us, Collections, Best Sellers, Contact, Blog 

A lot of us forget that About Us page, but it's the number one most visited page, even in your store, not just on a website. People want to know who they're buying from. So you want to have a nice little story or something so that they can get some more information. 

You may also want to put some of your collections and best sellers. So that customers would get a feel for everything that you have in the store.

And lastly is a blog. But don't get wrapped up around the axle on the whole blog thing. It doesn't mean you have to be an elaborate writer. You can actually borrow content. 

If you Google your niches, grab some content that's already written. Something that's going on with your niche, throw that in your blog. Make sure you've read the blog post, give a little bit of commentary or your thoughts on that blog post, and then just add attribution and you're good to go. 

 Hero/ Header Image

The term ‘hero image’ refers to a specific type of website banner. It is usually quite large and often sits at the top of a website.

Hero images are often the first thing they will see on your website and serve as a glimpse of what your business offers. Think of hero images as an introduction – they give users a sense of what to expect from the rest of the site. So you need to put an inviting hero image. 

 

Slow Page Load Times/ High Bounce Rate 

You want to be concerned with your page load time. Two seconds is the acceptable load time for e-commerce websites. After those two seconds, customers may look for somewhere else if your website is still loading.

Website visitors tend to care more about speed than all the bells and whistles we want to add to our websites. So make sure your site loads a little bit faster to avoid having a high bounce rate.

Call to Action Button such as Shop Now!

You want to have a call to action. You can put, “shop now”, “browse now”, or, “see what we have on sale”. Most headers will allow you to have a button there. 

Making a call to action button can create a 45% boost in clicks. And this is because people just subconsciously listen to what you're telling them to do.

 Products & Collections 

If you have more than six products, which most of us will, at some point, you want to have them organized into collections. We don't want to have 10 and 12 products just randomly placed on our homepage. 

So if you're a clothing store, you may have a collection for shirts, pants, and for shoes. Again, Canva is your best friend. I usually set up my collection images to be 500 by 500 pixels. It gives me a nice uniform size across my stores for my collection images and product images. 

I recommend using white backgrounds to easily recognize your products. And put descriptions for customers to know about the features and benefits of the product so they're compelled to buy.

 Footer

A website footer is found at the bottom of your site page and repeats some elements of the header. Sometimes visitors get to the bottom really fast and don’t want to go back up to the top. So it’s good to put those important pages as well in the footer. 

Some of the pages you can put on the footer are shipping & return policies, terms and conditions, privacy policy, FAQs, and way to subscribe. 

 Social Media

We want to get some links to our social media channels. Create a page for your store just in case the customer wants to learn a little bit more about your product. 

If you have products that have beautiful images, you can upload them on Instagram or  Facebook. And you put those buy now buttons in there in case they see something that they want to buy while they're on your social media page. 

 Blog

I know we're a little hesitant to become writers and to do blogs. But a blog is very important as it builds customer engagement. As I mentioned earlier, blogging can be super easy. Just use the content that you're finding on the internet. 

The other good thing about a blog is that it’s marketing. A lot of sales are made through those blog posts. You can have one blog post where you're discussing and highlighting one product. Why you love it, why customers love it, why it helps you in all of these different ways.

And that's going to pull people in and make them want to shop. And it's going to make you seem like the industry expert, even though you're pulling your content in from the internet. 

 Exit-intent Popup

 An exit-intent popup is a popup that appears when a visitor attempts to leave the site. Usually, this is done by including an appealing offer in the popup. For e-commerce stores, this can be a free ebook, training course, or discounts. 

 You can use this to collect their email address. But you need to keep it simple. Do not ask for their first and last names. Once you have their email address, this will open huge marketing opportunities.

 Exit-intent popups have helped recover 53% of abandoning visitors. And 60% of consumers say they’ve made a purchase as the result of an email marketing message they received. 

So to wrap things up, there a few items you need to look at when it comes to your store in order to convert your consumers. Consider this a mini checklist and just go down the line to make sure you have everything set up correctly. The most important items are highlighted in this list. 

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