At Growcode, we’ve worked with hundreds of online stores on ecommerce optimization.
We dug into 8 years of our experience and put all our insights into one ebook.
That’s how this in-depth, 115-point ecommerce optimization checklist came about.
By the end of it, you’ll have a thorough understanding of all the on-site elements you need to optimize and how to do it.
We’ve designed this guide to be used in three ways. There’s a lot of content, so it’s advisable not to try and digest it all at once. Whatever your needs, an incremental approach will likely work best.
You can use this guide in the following ways:
It’s structured in a top-down way, beginning with a general ecommerce optimization checklist that’s applicable to all areas of your site before moving onto checklists for specific types of pages.
Where appropriate, we’ve also elaborated on checklist points. We’ve included more information in the “general” section because these changes tend to lead to the biggest conversions.
When new visitors land on your site, they have a specific set of questions. Your first job is to gauge whether or not they are being answered as quickly as possible.
Though it isn’t always explicit, visitors usually want to know the following:
Anybody that comes to a site for the first time instantly takes in dozens of micro-impressions, all of which contribute to an opinion about trustworthiness.
Consider the following elements that can help build trust:
a. Professional design.
b. Number of customers or clients that you have.
c. Number of reviews (especially important during product pages optimization).
d. Years on the market (for example, “Established in 1985”).
f. Phone number and contact information.
Not all of these will be appropriate for every page. But it’s important to bolster trust by including at least some.
Sites that “breathe” usually convert significantly better than those that are cluttered and difficult to navigate.
At Growcode, we could talk for hours about grids. They’re one of the oldest elements of design and uniquely important for online retailers. Following a grid system will make every online store beautiful.
It sounds like a simple thing, but you’d be surprised how many ecommerce site designers overlook it.
Responsiveness refers to how well a site adapts to different browser sizes and devices. There are literally hundreds of devices and browsers, so it’s crucial that your site is designed to render well on all of them.
In the US, sales made on mobile devices accounted for 34.5% of all ecommerce sales in 2017. And that number is only expected to get bigger.In the #US, sales made on #mobile devices accounted for 34.5% of all #ecommerce sales in 2017. And that number is only expected to get bigger! #ecommerce #optimization #checklis Click To Tweet
We’ve mentioned the importance of highlighting USP on your pages, but do you reinforce your main USP across your whole site? By “bombarding” customers with your most persuasive USP, they’ll form a clear connection between your store and the key benefits you offer.
If you offer free shipping on the majority of your products, shout it out on every page! We encouraged one of our clients to showcase the following slogan: “If you don’t get your product in 24 hours, we’ll pay for the shipping!”. Needless to say, conversions increased.
Have you ever clicked on an ad only to land on a page that’s totally unrelated to what you were offered? It’s an incredibly frustrating feeling.
Ensure that all of your landing pages link up with your ads. And we’re not just talking about corresponding headers and page copy. The whole look-and-feel should reassure visitors they’re in the right place.
Slow loading pages can hurt SEO rankings and ecommerce bounce rates (the number of visitors that leave your site after visiting only one page). Improving page-load times can often have a dramatic effect on conversions.
Here are some practical tips for improving page load times:
All of these small tips can add up to reduce load times by fractions of a second. And in the online game, that’s all you need!Slow loading pages can hurt #SEO rankings and increase #bouncerates (the number of visitors that leave your site after visiting only one page). #ecommerce #optimization #checklist Click To Tweet
Are you making personalized product recommendations as a customer is browsing? When they land on a product page, do you include personalized suggestions? What about on a category page?
How easy is it for a customer to check shipping policies or confirm that they’re able to make returns. These are two of the primary concerns that visitors have. Make it easy for them to find answers quickly.
Testimonials are one of the easiest ways to build trust with new customers. Are you including them prominently on product pages and alongside or underneath product listings on category pages? Are they both about your online store and particular products?
Always include a password recovery option on login pages. Something like, “Have you forgotten your password?” is all that’s needed.
Reviews are useful for building engagement with existing customers as well as trust with potential ones. By encouraging customers to leave reviews on your site, either after checkout (find out how to optimize your checkout funnel) or on return visits, you will create a solid collection of positive testimonials whilst also fostering engagement.
Clear confirmation pages are about fostering satisfaction with your customers. By removing any doubt that their purchase has been successful (and is on its way), they will associate your brand with ease.
Error pages and messages are equally important for boosting conversions because they let the user know when they need to take another action. If your error messages are ambiguous, then users may assume that they have achieved their desired outcome or they are unable to get what they want (such as a product is out of stock). Let users know something is wrong and be clear about what they need to do.
Whenever a visitor lands on a 404 page, their “customer journey” has been interrupted, often leading to annoyance and frustration. This is the time they are most likely to think, “I can’t be bothered with this, I’ll try another site.”
By being friendly (making a joke or saying something nice) you can overcome the tendency on the part of customers to close your tab in their browser. They’ll be more inclined to give you a second chance.
Whenever a visitor lands on your about page, you have an excellent opportunity to build trust and engagement.
Here are some practical tips:
It’s important to showcase promotions and offers on your site, but are you offering a number of different promotions to appeal to different segments of your customer base?
Free shipping is one of the most important considerations for customers when purchasing online. If it’s viable for you to offer free shopping and you don’t, then it’s something you should seriously consider.Free shipping is one of the most important considerations for customers when purchasing #online. #freeshipping #ecommerce #optimization #checklist Click To Tweet
Navigation should follow a simple, hierarchical structure and utilize categories that most customers will recognize.
Showing the number of products in a customer’s cart ensures they can keep track of their purchases and makes them aware that they’ve put something into the cart.
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