10 Ways to Optimise your Customers Ecommerce Experience

Running an eCommerce site comes with many challenges, not least of which is knowing whether or not you could be doing better. While some eCommerce software systems provide statistics on click-through rates and time spent on the website, it can still be difficult to know whether you are doing everything possible to satisfy your customers' expectations. Optimising your eCommerce platform is one way to ensure your customers are kept happy, which can lead to a boost in sales, so here are ten ways to optimise your eCommerce software platform.

1. Images and description

When shopping on the internet, customers expect to see images and detailed product descriptions. Use high quality images and don't just restrict it to one picture per product. Include images from various angles with close ups of any relevant details of the product. Additionally, make sure the product descriptions are highly detailed. Include all the information you think a customer will want to know, including whether or not it is in stock (there is nothing more infuriating than going through the buying process only to find the product is out of stock) and don't forget about relevant keywords. Include these in not just the product meta data but also throughout the description to ensure you are maximising your search engine optimisation (SEO).

2. Include related products

A great way of maximising your sales is to include related products next to the products that your customers have searched for. If a customer is looking at say a mobile phone, include compatible accessories such as cases, chargers, data cables and other mobile phones. This will enable your customers to find relevant accessories or buy an alternative product if the one they are looking at is not suitable. This also allows you to maximise your sales.

3. Simplify your shopping cart

One of the biggest causes for customers to leave an eCommerce website is an overly complicated shopping cart system. Nobody wants to jump through hoops, so ensure the process for purchasing on your eCommerce software is as simple as possible. Don't ask for extraneous information or make customers fill in lengthy forms when in the check out process.

4. Make use of "add to cart"

If your eCommerce software has an "add to cart" facility ensure you are using it. A customer may only be browsing and checking prices, but having an "add to cart" facility means they can include products for later purchase. Make sure you have it set up so that your eCommerce software remembers if a customer has been before and keeps all their add to cart items together, as this will make it easier for the customer to make the purchases, rather than have to go through the entire process again.

5. Improve your customer support

Customers don't like dealing with faceless websites as they will want to know what to do if something goes wrong. Rather than just include an email address for support, make sure a customer can contact you by phone. Consider a live chat facility, which can make it easier for customers to ask questions if they can't find something they are looking for.

6. Make navigation easy

If customer's don't find what they are looking for within a few seconds, the chances are they will leave your eCommerce site and shop elsewhere. Make sure your search facility is easy to use and that all products have relevant keywords attached in the meta data. Do some keyword research and ensure you have all search terms covered. In addition, make full use of product categories.

7. Let customer's leave reviews

This is a common feature on many eCommerce websites these days. Allow customers to review and rate products, which may encourage customers that are not sure to make a purchase. Of course, not all reviews will be favourable, but customer reviews can help you as a business weed out less than satisfactory products from your stock lists.

8. Give your customers multiple payment options

While credit and debit card payments are essential, consider expanding the number of ways our customers can pay. Utilise payment systems such as PayPal, bank transfer and even cheque payment. Remember, not everybody has a credit card.

9. First impressions count

It goes without saying that your eCommerce website should be as attractive as possible, but by far the most important page to get right is the landing page. If your landing page is a mess or is too cluttered, customers will be put off and may not go any further. Make sure your landing page stands out and that facilities such as product searching are easy to find.

10. Security and trust

People are wary of handing over their details these days, so ensure your eCommerce site is one that people trust. Make sure you have adequate security included in your eCommerce software and that you keep all data securely. Then explain all this to your customers. Make use of security badges included with some shopping cart systems, such as Truste and SecurePay.