Any old Joe Blow can set up an eCommerce store these days. He’d probably make it look pretty schmick through the use of prepaid web templates and high quality imagery. Slap on a brand spanking new logo and bam – he’s live!
But when it comes to actually converting, there are some major do’s and don’ts to consider that push your store from good to great; or great to flipping fantastic.
Do use detailed product descriptions
No brainer. Product descriptions are needed, but don’t underestimate the power of a detailed explanation on your product.
55% of customers look in-store before buying online, indicating that the tangible (touch) aspect of a purchase decision is significant. How many times have you walked around a store feeling the clothes before you pick them off the shelf?
Quality product descriptions are those that bridge the gap expanse between that traditional, tangible purchasing process and the online experience. Using well-considered, descriptive language on the product features and materials creates a visualisation that encourages purchase.
A few ‘do’s’ within the overall ‘do’ of detailed product descriptions. Shall we say ‘do’ once more?
- Do use dot points
(And we mean the actual dots themselves. 75% of people read a dot point list with dot points. Only 55% of people read a list without the physical dots associated with each line).
- Do use short sentences
- Do bold or highlight the important parts of your text
- Don’t write in paragraph style
Do use high quality visuals
Off the back of our first ‘do’ we also should address the elephant in the room: product imagery and videos. Obviously the more your customer can see, the more confident their purchase decision will be.
Don’t go ham on the keywords
Yes keywords are important, and yes it’s tempting to weave your product descriptions with semantics that’ll inject more SEO juice. But don’t let this take away from writing in a way that’s human and easy to read.
Brand’s that speak and act human, are more successful.
Do use feature badges
Give a shout out to your unique service offering. Better yet, make it a consistent shout out through feature badges on your homepage. Take the below Frankie4 feature badges sitting across the top of their homepage.
It’s important to communicate a handful of brand benefits to new customers, and there’s no harm in reinforcing these to existing customers. Have a gander at the example belows.
- Price: ‘We’ll beat any lower price’
- Payment: Buy now pay later with ZipPay
- Product: Australia’s widest range of brands
- Promotion: Spend over $60 and receive free shipping OR free delivery
- Policy: 45 day change of mind policy
- People: Virtual shopping assistant available
Don’t overwhelm users with too much info
Have you heard of Occam’s Razor? Probably not (and no it’s not a new brand of men’s shaving products). It’s a UX principle that states – “Among competing hypotheses that predict equally well, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected.” It has three core rules, which in the context of our ‘feature badges’ means:
- The best way to reduce complexity is to avoid it altogether. Don’t overwhelm users with too much information.
- Review each statement and remove as many as possible, leaving the most relevant messages behind for your customers to digest.
- Consider the job done once you’ve distilled down to the core messages and no more can be removed.
Do extract the top product categories on your homepage
Let’s say you run a footwear store. It seems logical to give users full visibility into your products categories via the homepage. Showcase the women’s boots, heels, sneakers, runners, flats, casualwear. Overwhelmed yet?
More choice doesn’t mean higher conversion. In fact, it’s the opposite. It increases the chances of your customer bailing altogether. Overwhelming users with too much choice creates a longer decision making process.
Instead you should:
- Minimise choice where possible by showing your top 3-5 product categories at one time
- Break-up complex items into smaller, digestible pieces. This may mean splitting your ‘heels’ category into workwear and nightwear.
- Be careful not to over simplify to the point of abstraction. This comes back to that ‘human’ language point – make sure what you’re saying or describing still makes sense.
Do make note of the fact that this is the tip of the iceberg
It’s worthwhile to note that there are plenty of other dos & donts of digital retail that hones in on conversion rate optimisation.
Don’t walk away from this article without making some kind of change
Use this article in combination with your own customer + UX research to make meaningful changes to your eCommerce journey. The psychology of human behaviour and CRO is fascinating. Get your nerd on and utilise your website as a brand tool that facilitates an easy and enjoyable experience.
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