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The success of a web store is easily measured; simply look at how well it attracts visitors and converts them into paying customers. In order to maximize sales, a competitive web store will ensure these four areas are optimized: content, customer experience, customer service and continuous improvement.

Attract visitors

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Content and design are key factors in attracting visitors to your web store. First, you need to ensure that your web store is on the first results page on all search engines. Appropriate and well written texts and use of code are strong contributors to a search engine optimized site. A well written text includes formatting (such as headings and meta-texts in addition to the text itself), clearly visible product names and comprehensive product descriptions.

Second, it is a good idea to be present in different social media channels, as active participation in social media can also help attract a larger audience. Social media also works the other way around; by placing social media sharing buttons on your product description pages, you give your customers the opportunity to recommend your web store, and thus maximize visibility.

Third, don’t forget design. Your web store needs to be interesting and attractive to your target group, so make sure that the colors and images are appealing to them. A clear structure helps your customers find what they are looking for. Products should be categorized appropriately, so that they are as easy as possible to find.
 

Make buying easy

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Placing an order should be made as easy as possible for the customer. There are many ways in which to make buying easier, but the main thing is to make sure that the buying process flows smoothly. This means, that…

1) the web store can be used on all devices, whether it’s a computer, a tablet or a smart phone. This also applies to the payment page.

2) the site has an easy-to-use shopping cart, with simple functions to add or remove products.

3) the customer should never be forced to register as a user in the web store, when proceeding to checkout. The customer should also be allowed to choose the best payment and delivery option for them. Therefore, it’s a good idea to offer your customers a wide variety of payment methods, for example, invoice or PayPal in addition to online bank payments.
 

Excellent customer service

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If a customer feels that they have experienced poor customer service in a web store, they often won’t feel safe placing an order in that web store again. Customer service plays a huge role in the success of a web store, so it is worth investing in it. Good customer service works through several channels. Different communication methods, such as phone, email, live chat or contact forms, offer the customer a possibility to choose an option best suitable for them. This results in an effective and smooth customer service experience.

The delivery and return of individual items, or the whole order, is also an important factor in the overall customer experience. In addition to different delivery methods, also returning should be made easy. The web store’s operations need to be transparent, so that the customer can always access up-to-date information about products and delivery times. A comprehensive service like this will help you keep you customers satisfied.

 

Develop and renew

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Do you already use some kind of tools for analytics, which allow you to monitor the performance of your web store? It is good to measure continuously what works and what doesn’t in your web store. This also applies to fine tuning the product range and fixing of errors on your website.

When you monitor several performance indicators, such as site traffic, sources, shopping cart abandonment rate, conversion rate, time on site, entry and exit pages etc. you will be able to make changes in your web store that will speed up sales. You should therefore have a continuous monitoring and renewal process in place based on the development of your performance indicators.


 
Writer

Mikael Smeds
Mikael Smeds

CEO, Maksuturva Group Ltd

firstname.lastname@maksuturva.fi

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