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eCommerce Conversion Checklist

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  • Category: eComm
eCommerce checklist

This checklist is a tool to expose opportunities for better conversion on any eCommerce property.  If you periodically  focus on each of these points, you’ll be maximizing your conversion potential, and any of these have the power to instantly improve conversion metrics.

The list is broken down into sections related to various locations and functionality of a typical eCommerce site.  Obviously, there are other considerations one would have to make with each unique web property, so this list isn’t meant to be all inclusive.  However, this is a great starting point to understand all of the factors that can impact a website’s ability to convert properly.

 

Overall

  • Web-store is designed responsively and all pages look great in mobile/tablet/desktop
  • CDN enabled w/customer friendly message (in the event your server/cloud goes down)
  • Conduct some user testing http://www.usertesting.com/
  • Load speed optimization, Run a google speed test and go through all the actions in the list until you get a 90+ score

Homepage

  • Clear call to action(s)
  • Clearly visible promotion(s) or seasonal offer(s)
  • Top selling products and categories listed on the homepage
  • Top selling product benefit description
  • All payment options clearly visible (with logos)
  • About or “Story” video to personalize and create rapport
  • Obvious shipping statement (i.e. We deliver to the entire USA, or “FREE shipping on orders over…”)
  • If multi-currency, show the currencies that you sell in
  • Use a compelling business tag line under the logo

Navigation

  • Clear category structure based on what people are searching for (i.e. from Google Analytics)
  • Sort category structure by popularity (if not alphabetically)
  • Sort category structure by customer segment
  • Include Promo/Clearance/Special items in primary navigation

Product Search

  • Ability to search for a product by keyword and category
  • Test search for accuracy on key product lines (singular and plural variations of the keyword)
  • Search system deals with misspellings and makes suggestions
  • Search system auto-suggest as your search for relevant keywords (i.e. type ahead / auto complete)
  • Ability to search within a specific category via drop down of all categories alphabetically sorted
  • Search results page that shows what the user searched for
  • No results found – show alternative products or ways to find products

Product Page Optimization

  • High quality images for the entire product line with ability to zoom in
  • Multiple photos more complex product at different angles, etc
  • Keep the most important features of the project at the beginning of paragraphs and bullets
  • Summary and detailed description for those in a hurry and those with time to browse
  • Show stock information if applicable
  • Show how long the item takes to ship
  • Show the estimated shipping cost
  • Link out to returns, delivery information, FAQs, etc within easy reach
  • Product videos for the top selling products
  • Price and add to cart stand out the most on the page
  • If product is size based, then show a sizing guide or how to measure
  • Educate visitors and allow them to make informed decision, i.e. how to videos, choosing the right X, etc
  • Related products displayed on the page
  • Reviews/Testimonials displayed

Checkout

  • On secure HTTPS server
  • Quality SSL certificate installed and clearly linked to
  • Robots.txt out so it’s not indexable
  • Under the checkout button link to returns policy, shipping information and privacy policy
  • Clearly show all the payment methods a customer can use
  • Link out or put the top checkout FAQs on this page
  • Persistent shopping cart (i.e. cookie based) so when the user comes back the items are still in the shopping cart
  • Remove all unnecessary fields and don’t make customer duplicate data input
  • Clearly mark required fields with a *
  • Give examples against each input field
  • Use zipcode look-up to save time writing addresses
  • Keep form input labels visible, so you can see what each text box is for, even when you click inside and it replaces the placeholder
  • Display validation errors next to each field
  • Make account registration an optional stop of the process
  • Make guest checkout an obvious option
  • Make the next action button the most prominent feature on the page
  • Remove unnecessary buttons on the checkout page
  • Be consistent with the primary button placement (i.e. same position on every step)
  • Limit navigation and exit points, the user wants to buy so focus on the action alone
  • Pre select the most used defaults, i.e. the most common shipping rate could be “Recommended”
  • If multi-page, have a process bar and allow users to easily step through the process forward and back
  • Make newsletter a opt in function not an opt out
  • Offer brave guarantees where possible on key converting pages (product, cart, checkout)
  • Offer up-sell products related to those in cart (easy add to cart buttons)

Touch Point

  • Well written meta tags that are a mix of SEO and sales optimization. (This will better qualify visitors coming from search to the respective pages)
  • Enable open graph so that when users share a page on Facebook, etc you have control over the look of the share (thumbnail, title, description)
  • Verify that all auto-response emails work properly (New registrations, forgot password, password reset, order confirmation, shipping confirmation, post sale follow ups)
  • Upsell or offer discounts in the order confirmation email
  • Optimize thank you pages to give the user something back for completing the action of signing up to the newsletter, or registering, etc
  • Customize error pages so they offer the user somewhere to go afterwards, give them a human touch and make sure developers get notified of errors

Build Trust

  • Show verification Logos, anti-virus, or security logos
  • SSL Certificate link to a live test of the SSL
  • Show all industry accreditation
  • Use a trusted review site
  • If using Google checkout make sure to enable reviews to build a rating in Google
  • Show social media proof (i.e. number of likes on Facebook, shares on twitter, etc)
  • Sign up with http://www.google.com/trustedstores

Misc.

  • Support and contact pages within 1 click of every page
  • Create an impressive about page (share the story, highlight your people, show some hard facts, be more than just text, be authentic)

Shipping

  • Offer free shipping – customers love free shipping
  • Offer a good return policy that is clear and simple to follow if a customer wants to return an item
  • If a product is non-returnable make sure the customer knows this when adding the product to the cart

Re-Marketing/Cart Abandonment

  • Ad Roll for re-targeting with ads after they visit the web-site
  • Setup AdWords “Remarketing” campaigns
  • Segment the email newsletter in specific buying types (trade, retail, top buyers, etc) and specifically target them with relevant products, deals, etc
  • Setup cart abandonment offers and sequence.

Some of these points will be more/less relevant to web-store marketers depending on their unique circumstances.  Usually, the most important and often overlooked points are included at the top in the “Overall” category.  The ability for customers to effectively see your site and have it load faster than their impatience is mandatory before any of the other points would be useful.  After all, if your visitor doesn’t see your site, or bounces before they see anything, there is no chance in a sale.

Our most popular projects here are eCommerce software platform migrations (osCommerce to Magento), and when you’re launching a newly designed web-store, it always feels like launching a brand new website all together.   With a new platform, new look and feel, and brand new software to learn, these things can sometimes relegate the priority of conversion optimization.  We’d put this list together to help us deliver on our promise of providing a return for our clients.

If you’re launching your eCommerce site for the first time, or if you’re just looking for ways to maximize the conversion of your existing visitors, we hope you find this useful.

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