Countless entrepreneurs dream about running successful e-commerce businesses. Unfortunately, the probability of success is not very high.
In fact, you are going to have a harder time succeeding in the e-commerce vertical than you would as a brick and mortar business. Research has shown that 20% of small businesses fail within the first year and 80% by the fifth year. Unfortunately, the survival rate for e-commerce business is abysmal. One study found that 90% actually fail within the first 120 days.
This doesn’t mean that it is impossible for e-commerce businesses to survive. However, they need to really bring their game if they want to compete against the major conglomerates in this industry, such as Amazon and Etsy.
One of the biggest reasons that many e-commerce businesses struggle is that they don’t make sure their products are easy for customers to find. You will have a much easier time converting visitors if your website is optimized for navigability and the user experience.
Improving navigation and user discovery to boost e-commerce sales
Your e-commerce conversions will be much higher if you are able to match website visitors with products they are looking for. Here are some important guidelines.
Setup an internal search engine
You can structure your website carefully for navigation. Unfortunately, no matter how delicately you optimize your menus and content structure, many customers are still going to get lost and confused.
One of the best ways to avoid this issue is by setting up an instant search on your site. This will allow customers to look for specific products and get all relevant listings related to the keywords they are searching for.
Make sure all sales pages are properly optimized for SEO
Search engine traffic tends to convert better than most other traffic sources. There are two types of search engine traffic that you can drive to your e-commerce site. Paid search engine traffic, also known as PPC, is something that you have the most control over. Unfortunately, testing PPC traffic can be costly. You also won’t get as much traffic from PPC as you would from webpages ranking at the top of the organic search results.
This is why it is important to optimize your e-commerce panels for SEO. You should make sure every product listing page is properly optimized with keywords in the title, headers, alt tags for images and relevant parts of the content.
You should also make sure that you get links to your pages from other websites. Offsite SEO is going to be very important for increasing your rankings.
Use Web 2.0 menu structures
Menus are very important for any website. You need to make sure you use the most easily navigable menus available. They should have parent and child links, which makes it easier for users to see them when they hover over listings.
Provide clear instructions to help customers find what they need
You can have all of the right technological features on your site to improve navigation and content discovery. Unfortunately, that is not going to guarantee that customers are going to find what they are looking for.
The biggest issue is that customers might not be aware of the sophisticated features that you were offering, such as your internal search engine. This is why you need to clearly communicate how to use them as best as possible. Make sure that all tools are properly marked and instructions are provided as needed.
Use proven hacks to ensure customers can find your products online
One of the most important factors in making an e-commerce site successful is ensuring customers can easily find your products. The tips outlined above will make it as easy as possible.