Here at Spiderscope, we’ve recently been trying to improve the conversion rates for our eCommerce customers, focusing on ways to get more orders from existing traffic. We have many customers that come to us with cart systems that work, but they don’t realise that with a little polish; they could work a lot better.
There is a myriad of possibilities as to why someone may drop an order, some of which are due to external events forcing them away from the computer. In this instance, the potential customer may want to return to the site to finish their order. Therefore, a little encouragement is a good thing. However, you will never get to this if your checkout process isn’t user friendly to begin with.
For customers that we’ve helped, simply put: yes, it is. Lots of our customers have difficulty tracking their checkout processes and leave it to us to measure. Often times, the first time we do this reveals some amazing results that customers are completely unaware of. We’ve seen cart abandonment as low as 15% (of the traffic who started the checkout process) to as high as 46%, and everything in-between.
Just picture that: 46% percent of the customers who started the checkout process left before it finished.
That’s a huge number of potential orders. Again, there could be lots of reasons for this, including things like: is your cart user friendly, easy to navigate and not overwhelming your potential customers – all of which are factors. What can be done to improve this?
Improving your checkout process can be difficult. After all, if you how it all works, you can sometimes be blinded as to what is causing your visitors problems and increasing your abandonment rate.
Let’s give an example: we once had a customer that came to us after having a brand new site designed. Everything looked great, but they were failing to get orders. Traffic was high, prices were competitive, but their conversion rates were low, so they came to us asking what can be done.
Here are some of the issues we identified and fixed:
These were the most glaring flaws of their cart system, so we worked hard to upgrade their whole shopping experience. In the end, we plugged our cart system in. The result? Within days they had received more orders than they had in the last 3 months combined!
Shortly after this, we performed a review and noticed that while orders were better than ever, we were still seeing dropped orders midway through the checkout process. Determined to improve ever further, we decided to implement an automated abandoned cart email.
What’s this you ask? This is an automatic email would be sent to a visitor who had left the cart process after submitting their email address. The email would then offer the customer a chance to pick up where they left off, allowing them to quickly and easily finish their order.
You’re never going to get a 0% abandonment rate and often people will leave the checkout because something has interrupted them. This doesn’t mean they don’t want to order, just that they can’t right now. In this instance, a cart abandonment email is the perfect way to recapture this customer, and put your shop first.
This has resulted in an even more reduced abandonment rate.
Call Spiderscope on 0800 081 1688 or contact us to get a comprehensive usability review of your shopping cart and checkout process. We’ll analyse every step and optimise this to be as user friendly as possible – resulting in more orders for your store!
At the end of November, we did a post on mobile traffic trends throughout 2011 (Optimised Mobile Website – Why You Need One Now!). We clearly saw an increase of mobile traffic for some of our most popular sites throughout the year, culminating with a peek of mobile traffic in December.
Our analysis suggested that there would also be a good rise in mobile traffic in January; just after everyone got their new shiny devices for Christmas. Would it be the same for 2012? Let’s find out.
Every site that we sampled saw an increase in traffic in January 2012 compared to Jan 2011. The single biggest increase was a massive 624%; this was for a strongly Adwords driven site – which saw amazing organic growth throughout 2011 too.
Other good increases were seen from eCommerce sites, with these averaging at 302% increase in mobile traffic year on year. That’s huge! When you also consider that UK mobile shopping is predicted to top £4.5bn, can you really afford to not be in the mobile space?
In fact, mobile commerce is expected to account for 8% of all online orders in the UK in 2012.
The average mobile growth for all the customers we sampled was 333%. In Jan 2011, the sites we sampled saw exactly 5000 mobile visits. In 2012, this has risen to 15,631. Clearly, mobile traffic is growing rapidly and it’s becoming more and more important to ensure your site is optimised for this new audience.
It’s important that your site is now optimised for mobile devices. Even though today’s smart phones are more sophisticated than ever, they can still have problems rendering full sized websites.
It’s important that your website delivers an optimum mobile experience. Setting up your website to automatically detect mobile traffic and adjust accordingly is easy to do and will help your visitors. From the customers we sampled above, the lowest increase in site activity between sites which had a mobile optimised version and those without was 23%.
As pointed out above, mobile commerce is expected to account for 8% of all online orders in the UK in 2012. Also consider that many people now check prices online for items they are viewing in store; me included!
What if it was your website they landed on, but your check out was too complicated to complete on a phone? That sale could be lost.
Mobile commerce is set to explode and you don’t want to miss out. Ensuring your eCommerce site is mobile optimised, including the checkout, is extremely important going into 2012.
Contact us today to review your mobile optimisation. We can thoroughly analyse your mobile traffic and gauge how effective your site is for these visitors. We can optimise your site to display correctly on mobile devices and optimise your checkout process to deliver an optimum and consistent user experience throughout.
Back in September, a new client came to us looking for help with their brand new site. They were to sell heating products online through a newly setup eCommerce site and was looking for optimisation to drive an increase in organic traffic. This is precisely what we do, so how did we help them?
The new site targeted one brand of products specifically and aimed to be an expert in these. This immediately gave the site a core set of terms to focus all our efforts on, which helped as the site had no links or traffic because it was so new.
So our very first job was to get the site ranking for brand related keywords that we knew were popular.
Whilst the site was well built on a platform that didn’t harm any SEO efforts; there were a number of improvements we needed to make to the structure to ensure pages were properly keyword targeted. As with many eCommerce sites, it’s the detail that matters for driving organic traffic, so we had to thoroughly analyse and update key parts of the site.
The majority of our starting work focused on this, moving from area to area on the site and getting everything optimised properly. With a good set of pages that were keyword targeted, it wasn’t long before we had a sniff of success with some pages almost immediately ranking well for brand terms.
Then disaster struck!
The original domain name contained the name of the brand too; and unfortunately, they asked us to stop using this. In some instances, this could spell disaster and be a major problem. However, we were quickly able to pivot onto a new domain with some optimised redirects that ensured our hard work up to this point wouldn’t be in vain.
With a new, long term domain name established, we just had to wait for the new pages to be fully indexed and we can continue. At this point, we introduced a properly optimised Google Product Feed.
We take care in optimising Google Product Feeds and know that there are a couple of areas which if you get right, you can see some good results very quickly. It also helps that our client had some very competitive prices, which made their products extremely attractive to the end users, further encouraging Google to rank these well.
The next step in our optimisation strategy was to look at the internal linking structure and ensure this was as optimised as possible. It’s easy to overlook internal linking, but we find that this is very important for eCommerce sites and getting this right will often have a big positive effect to your organic results.
A sound plan was deployed here that resulted in the site having a complete internal linking overhaul. The effects of this weren’t immediate though, because Google took a little time to re-crawl and index all the pages.
At this point, the site was looking well optimised for the brand terms we wanted to target, so we turned our attention to off site efforts. While social media is important for any online marketing, we decided to begin focusing on traditional off site methods before any social campaigns were to start.
This naturally started with some link building with focused on two main areas: top level directory links and guest blogging with good content. For the first, we didn’t spam request our site to be placed into every directory known to man, but instead just focused on valuable directories that benefit UK sites, including local and national levels.
The guest blogging focused on providing good content to relevant blogs. This worked well as it not only improved linking, but also the traffic generated was good for the site.
This body of work was undertaken over the last 7 months. Organic search traffic in October compared to April saw a 264% increase. This was only from search engines and doesn’t factor in the additional traffic from referrals, which also saw a big increase too.
The site now ranks very well for brand related terms and traffic continues to grow. The current plan is to continue expanding traffic by slowly encroaching on more general, industry related keywords to further promote the site. All signs look good!
Are you looking to increase the amount of organic traffic to your site? We can help. Contact us today on 0800 081 1688 to discuss with our experts on how we can improve the success of your site and drive an increase in organic traffic.
If you’re selling online, then it’s probably fair to say you’re interested in increasing your online sales. Everyone is, right? It’s amazing though, that while everyone wants to achieve this goal, they’re not willing to look at (or are unaware of) the details which prevent orders and cost sales.
Many of our customers rightly assume that the way to increase sales is to increase the amount of traffic a site receives. Of course this is a valid method to achieving more sales; however, often times you can see quicker sales increases by looking closer to home.
Obviously, there is a lot to ensuring your site is performing optimally for sales, spanning a wide range of areas that are too much to cover in any single blog post. But the one thing every eCommerce site has in common that affects sales is the major barrier to entry: the shopping cart.
There are many different shopping cart implementations and software around. Many of the customers that we help day in day out, use custom designed shopping carts. There’s nothing wrong with a custom designed shopping cart, but we often find these aren’t optimised to provide an optimal customer experience.
In the past we have helped our customers increase sales simply by making small adjustments to their shopping carts to enhance the user experience. For example, we have come across shopping carts that:
These are just some common issues that we have come across when optimising shopping carts. But sometimes, a shopping cart is so bad that it is just better to start from scratch.
This is why we have spent time developing our improved shopping cart system that places emphasis on user experience in a way that enhances and increases the chances of making a sale.
Our shopping cart uses a modular design which ensures that it can fit and work with a wide range of eCommerce websites. While it would be best to have a full system that manages your products and site, this isn’t needed for our shopping cart and one of the core features is that it can stand alone.
We’ve used our experience to create a checkout that delivers a fantastic user experience, meaning that you’ll no longer lose sales because of a long or complicated checkout procedure.
Yes. Of course the shopping cart is only a single part of increasing online sales; however, we have found time and again that ensuring your cart is optimised and user friendly can have a dramatic effect on increasing your sales.
If you’re an eCommerce site owner and think that your checkout could be optimised, then please contact us. Even if your site has an already existing shopping cart, we’re sure that we can help generate more sales from your existing traffic. Contact us today on 0800 081 1688 to discuss how we can deliver more sales for you.
Customer reviews are a powerful tool for establishing trust, enhancing conversions and helping SEO. It’s a no brainer why these have become so important for eCommerce sites and a good set of customer reviews will do wonders for your site.
However, it amazes us how many times we see customer reviews poorly implemented on sites, where businesses don’t reap 100% of their potential. One of the most common areas we see that isn’t implemented well is the star rating.
Specifically, when talking about the star rating, we’re talking about the rating that each reviewer will give a product or service. This isn’t necessarily in the form of a star (it could be a number, text or any other form of rating) but will determine the score that the reviewer applies in the review.
Using this effectively can be a great benefit to your search results and can increase click through rates for your product pages.
You may have seen in Google results when searching for products that star ratings are sometimes included directly on the results page. See below:
These star ratings come from the reviews on the product page. They represent the average review score as calculated from the reviews left on each product page. This has two main advantages:
Data suggests that most companies will see a 20-30% rise in click through from search results that display star ratings like this. Not only that, but these clicks are more likely to stay on the pages longer as they know what to expect before clicking on the click – another big positive.
Star ratings like those in the screenshots above won’t come automatically. Whilst it’s possible that Google could crawl your reviews and extract value from them; we’ve never seen the result pages update with star ratings without applying the needed code.
Basically, in order to give your site a chance of displaying results like this, you’ll need to ensure your customer reviews are encoded with rich snippets. This involves editing code and can be tricky for sites that are using custom or specific customer review systems, as it will most likely involve editing templates; which is not for the average user.
The benefits of deploying rich snippets are obvious for you to see and will help your listings in search. Combined with other rich snippets like product encoding and special offers, you can really make your products stand out against your competition and see your click through rates soar.
Customer reviews are becoming a critical component to all eCommerce sites and the increased visibility that can be gained through Google is something that you should not miss out on.
If your site isn’t taking advantage of customer reviews or rich snippet encoding to generate attractive listings in Google, then you should consider our customer feedback system. Alternatively, you can contact us today on 0800 081 1688 and we can discuss the best way to enhance your site.
Which is your favourite social media site?
Professional Web Design throughout England and the rest of the UKCentrally located close to the M42 motorway, we are ideally placed for clients in the
Midlands, East Midlands, West Midlands, Shire Counties, Cotswolds, Birmingham, North London, West London.
Nottinghamshire, Nottingham, Mansfield, Worksop, Newark, Retford, Grantham, Southwell.
Warwickshire: Oxford, Banbury, Witney, Bicester, Henly-on-Thames, Carterton.
Derbyshire: The Peak District, Derby, Ashbourne, Buxton, Doncaster, Sheffield, Rotherham, Maltby, Bawtry.
Leicestershire: Leicester, Hinckley, Lutterworth, Loughborough, Ashby, Swadlincote, Melton Mowbray, Wigston.
Staffordshire: Stafford, Cannock, Rugeley, Lichfield, Burton, Tamworth
and ALL surrounding areas.