5 Ways to Optimize Your Website for Sales

e-commerce feature image
Image by: fosforix
By Dexter Lunde

Did you know that (according to a poll done in January of this year by NRF Index. Forrester Research), the top selling products are software, books, music, and flowers which generated approximately $37.05 billion last year. They estimate that the American “online retail industry will be worth $279 billion by 2015.”

Every business has a website. However, not every business website sells their products online. Some websites sell services, coaching, training, eBooks, etc. If you have an e-commerce site, how do you know if you’re optimized for sales? Especially during 2014 when all businesses have websites and you (literally) have to compete with the world.

#1) Make Sharing Easy

Don’t forget to add a social bar on each page of your website, including each product. My girlfriend does a lot of online shopping. She’s one of those Pinterest-aholics. Well, she finds a lot of great products “pinned” to boards that she follows. Not only that, but I find some great products on Facebook as well. My friends and the people I follow share websites that they like, products that they think we’ll like, etc.

You can put the social bar anywhere but make sure that it’s obvious. These are great tools to help you, your product, and your business get even more publicity and viewers.

#2) Separate Tab for Your Store

Nike Website
Image by: Nike

Don’t keep a million tabs on the top of your home page. At the bare minimum, you should have different sections for:

About Us
Contact Us
Shopping Cart
Your Account

No matter what you’re selling, you need to allow customers to buy products in as few clicks as possible. Remember that one of the reasons why consumers buy online is because it’s convenient. Don’t take that away from them by making them jump through hoops and sending them through a maze on your website.

Make sure that each product (or service) has its own page. If you sell more than one type of product, break things down by category so that your customers can find things quickly.

In the example above (from the Nike website), there are tabs across the top and a handful along the side for their store.

#3) Product Information Page

When it doubt, spell everything out for your customers. Let’s say that you’re selling athletic wear online. Your customers aren’t going to be able to try these on when they’re shopping online so make sure that you’re giving them as much detail as you possibly can.

Remember when I said that each product should have its own page? Well, fill that page with info. Have a slideshow of pictures of different angles and close-ups of the details of your product, whenever you can. If you’re not so great at describing things, leave it to the professionals. Hire a contractor to do write-ups for you. They can be, both, eloquent, entertaining, and will be able to give you customers the information they need.

#4) Speaking of Pictures

With high-definition screens on phones, tablets, and computers, it is imperative that businesses (and individuals) who are offering products take high quality pictures. Like I said before, the customers won’t be able to hold the object in their hands until after they buy it. So to ensure customer satisfaction, you have to make sure that you give them as much information as possible. That includes taking great pictures.

If you can, give the measurements but also take some pictures with another object so that they can see the relative scale. If you can, make it a common object and make it relative to your business. You can also make it funny – everybody loves funny. If you can take a picture of your smaller products and make it to scale (“actual size”), that’s even better.

josbank.com signature gold suit
Image by: Jos. A Banks

Another great option is available on many websites including the Jos. A Banks site. As your cursor scrolls over the image, a viewer pops up, letting you see the image in greater detail.

#5) Testimonials to Drive Sales

Encourage people to put their reviews on the products. If there is a bad review (and there will always be one), make sure to address it publicly and offer your services and help. Let that customer know to private message you so that you can delve further into the problem. Give them great customer service and they will return the favor by telling their friends how great your company is.

Likewise, if you get great reviews, make sure to address those as well. Engage with your customers. It helps the public see you as a group of hard-working people instead of just some obscure entity that they can’t relate to. Keep in mind that, that’s a part of the charm of small businesses – interaction.