Are you prepared for the busy sales periods?

We know that running a business can be challenging and it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day runnings, that sales channels can get overlooked. The bottom line is with the busiest times of the year for shopping approaching… can you really afford to lose out?
We specialise in ecommerce platforms and digital marketing for our customers. Our team have put together this simple guide to help improve your online sales and grow profits.

1) The Design

Mobile matters!

We know any ecommerce business is all too familiar with this. However, have you actually then invested time and research into your mobile website? Or like most have you shrugged it off and assumed everything will be alright? After all a website is the same regardless of which device you view it on… WRONG!

To drive home the importance of having a mobile responsive site, here are a few statistics regarding mobile usage:

  • On average 52% of website traffic is from mobile users. (Statista)
  • Google drives 96% of mobile search traffic, followed by Yahoo at 2% and Bing at 1%. (NetMarketShare)
  • Google says 61% of users are unlikely to return to a mobile site they had trouble accessing and 40% visit a competitor’s site instead.
  • 57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly-designed mobile site. (socPub)

NOT having a mobile store, or a poorly functioning site, you are not only losing potential customers and creating a bad first impression, you are pushing them to your competitors.

There is a lot to consider. How much content are you displaying and is it too much for a handheld device? Are the links and back button easy to navigate, regardless of the device? Can you easily access your menu and filters? Are you offering easy payment options, such as Apple Pay or PayPal, for your mobile customers?

In order to have an effective mobile responsive website, you need to adopt the less is more rule. Too many steps to reach the goal will deter your customer.


Run your e-commerce websites through Think with Google. It will test how mobile friendly your store is, how quick it is on both mobile and desktop and will give you actionable advice on what to improve.


Website usability.

Can your customers actually use your site? Is it easy to access on a mobile 3G or 4G connection? Is the checkout process clear on mobile, tablet and desktop? Have you sat down with a friend, family member or complete stranger, and watched them navigate your website, on desktop and mobile? Don’t rely on staff or developers to test your online store! This will produce misleading results, both your staff and developers potentially use your website every day, they automatically know where the checkout function is, how to navigate any small bugs, whereas a first-time purchaser is likely to give up after a few failed attempts. From unclear product descriptions or a difficult to find checkout button, to missed sales or opportunities, the insight of those outside your company can be invaluable.

Sit with a user and watch them use your store, from landing page to checkout, and analyse their journey. You’ll gain invaluable insights into where you may be missing out on sales and find potential bugs.


Picture perfect

It is crucial your website imagery shows your product in the best detail. In brick-and-mortar stores, customers can pick up, hold, feel, size and examine what they’re about to spend their money on. Are your pictures high resolution? Are they misleading in colour size and scale? A good example of this is from a customer who thought he had a brought a standard sized rug for a good price, but actually bought a rug for a dollhouse. Are you showing honest depictions of your product? Do they look professional and trustworthy?

Product photography can be the deciding factor between a customer purchasing your product or going elsewhere, it’s that simple. Good photography doesn’t have to be an expensive investment. Most mobile phones come with a semi-professional level of resolution nowadays.

Look at your photography in an unbiased light. Is it uncluttered, clear, well lit, from multiple angles, would you ultimately buy from your store? If not reach out to product photographers or order your own equipment and research the best foot forward for your business.

2) Communication & Feedback

On top of having clear and correct product descriptions and photography, are you satisfying your customer’s inquisitive minds? Feedback and communications from your customers can often offer insights into things you may have overlooked on your website. Maybe your services or products aren’t clear, or the length or fit of a particular garment might not be apparent. You may not be available to answer your customer’s questions immediately, before they leave your website, often to a competitor’s. By providing a forum, especially regarding delivery and returns advice, not only are you cutting down your query inbox but also showing a transparent business process. There are now chat apps that can offer an instant response. Shopify has Facebook messenger enabled to support your customers in real time, however, a good old fashioned FAQ section is a quick fix when you’re in your busiest periods.

Search through your communications with your customers, are there any recurring questions? If so, create a commonly asked questions blog or page using the responses you gave directly to the customer.



3) Is your website safe?

Shopping online, especially with a new retailer, is a trust exercise between consumer and supplier and a key reason why customers abandon their purchase is that they’re not really sure they can trust you. Shoppers want to see a trustworthy website with reassurances along the way that the service or product you are offering will fulfil their expectations and more.

Key online trust indicators include:

  • An open, honest and obvious returns policy.
  • Social proof i.e an active Twitter or Facebook feed written by a human.
  • Payment trust symbols from verified retailers i.e Visa, Mastercard, PayPal.
  • A professional looking checkout displaying all charges (delivery or VAT) clearly, before purchase.
  • Testimonials from past customers and star ratings.
  • Clear contact options and an FAQ section.

Are you showing your customers you are a trustworthy retailer ready to help if a purchase goes wrong?

In order to calm the pre-purchase butterflies, check you are displaying the six trust indicators mentioned above. Make sure your contact details are correct and at least your delivery and returns information is clear and easy to find.


4) Make browsing easier

The more screens between the shopping cart and the final purchase, and the more hoops you ask your customers to leap through, the greater the risk of cart abandonment. This is especially relevant for mobile customers, as entering delivery and card details on a mobile can be a nightmare. There are great benefits to asking customers to become a member; their delivery and card details will be saved for future purchases for one. However, an average retention rate in e-commerce is 30%. Approximately 70% of your customers are one time only purchasers. By offering guest checkout you speed this process. There can be many reasons a customer chooses to checkout out as a guest: maybe they’ve forgotten their login details, maybe they are adverse to spam marketing emails, maybe this is a one-off gift purchase or something they’ll never consider purchasing again. Whatever the reason offering the guest checkout option can offer freedom to the speedy shopper.

A good way to test your shops mobile usability, is to try this out for yourself. Ideally you should be able to add a number of items to the basket and checkout in roughly 3 minutes. If not you should consider enabling the guest checkout option, limiting your checkout screen to one page and the steps it takes to get there.


Further reading: –

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We are a specialist creative media agency, with years of experience developing websites, software and other media solutions. Find out how our Website and Digital Marketing team can help you ignite sales and business growth. Contact our team today – [email protected]

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