Shopping online is growing at an unprecedented rate in Nigeria, largely due to the sharp increase in internet penetration. A huge percentage of tech startups in Nigeria are ecommerce businesses. And this emerging market has affected other related businesses like payment gateway providers etc. Cheaper data, online payments and availability of smart phones in Nigeria have also played an important role in the increase of user buying pattern.
The problem is, even with that, we still see a lot of ecommerce websites struggle.
Don’t you think it’s interesting that a store like Shoprite for example, with so many chain stores, doesn’t have a solid online presence. If you doubt me, do a Google search for Shoprite Nigeria, first result is the South African counterpart. And none of the other results make sense. And if you shorten the search to just Shoprite, you get a US based store. How hard can it be? Really?
I digress. Back to online stores. There is also a need to make changes to improve eommerce websites from time to time, building on analytical data. Renovating your online store should improve your customer experience, which makes purchasing easier and in turn, increases your sales. Optimizing your online store doesn’t involve you doing just one thing, i.e. there is no single fix rather it’s the combinations of many little things that add up over time. Every stage on the website that leads to a wonderful user experience has to be carefully monitored, tested and adjusted on a frequent basis. Here are some simple optimization fixes that will make a huge difference:
1. LANDING PAGE OPTIMIZATION
Your landing page is your main entry page. Every new visitor who comes to your website has to go through this page, so it’s important to pay attention to this page. Your landing page should have the necessary information you want to pass to your visitors with relevant call to action. Here are some ideas of things you can include on your landing page: important updates, announcing a contest, positive testimonial, discount offers etc. Good visuals and warm colors should be put in mind when designing your landing page, the more receptive your landing page is the higher the chances of conversion. Here’s one half of a good landing page (we had to cut it because of the length). Check out the full page here
Increase your Website Loading speed
Every visitor’s experience of your site begins before it even loads on the screen. And the longer it takes to load, the less likely people are to stay. A fast website creates a better shopping experience, and they rank higher in search result. When your website has a quick loading time, it eliminates the chances of first times leaving on getting to your website. How can you check your website loading speed? Consider these tips.
2. PRODUCT PAGE OPTIMIZATION
With your landing page optimized, it’s now time to look at the most important content on your site, your product listing pages. These pages are highly important not only for generating traffic but also for converting that traffic. Every product page must be optimized not only for your website visitors but also for Google and other search engines. The product page is also an avenue to showcase different offerings e.g reminder of an offer or discount, introducing a new product. So proper planned product titles, descriptions and call to actions should be included on the product page
Here are some important elements you need to consider when optimizing your product page.
Your online store should have sharp product images, these images are a vital element in search visibility as well as conversions. You need to get original pictures of your products and make sure these images have relevant ALT tags and descriptions. Using the right ALT tags helps search engines understand what each image on you site is all about and also helps your product images show up higher in Google image search results. If your product images aren’t original, seek permissions for the images used and give photo credit to the source.
Your product descriptions are one of the most important assets to your store. As you go through each product listing, ask yourself these questions
1 Are all your product descriptions original or have they been copied from your supplier?
2 Do they contain all the important information and technical details a visitor would need to make a purchase decision?
3 Does the product description sound compelling and make someone want to purchase it?
If you answered no to any of the questions above you’re going to want to spend some time working on your product description and making sure your it’s clear and original.
The simpler your site is, the better the user experience. Make it easier for users to navigate through your site and easily find what they are looking for. Product types should be categorized properly, the fewer the navigations, interactions and pop ups, the easier your site would look. A quicker experience of your website is often preferred by users to a more interactive one. Popup pages to suggest products to users should be minimal, to avoid users becoming confused and frustrated. Put in mind some users know exactly want they came to your site for. Every online store should be properly arranged in displaying its full market offering as clearly as possible. Strike a balance between showing the full range of products or services, and making them easy to find. Check out this website’s navigation
3. Checkout page optimization
This is the main page that generates sales. All you do have to do on this page is remove checkout obstacles and simplify the buying process. The major goal is to convert website visitors i.e. get visitors to purchase from your store which is why you need to eliminate any hindrances or obstacles preventing visitors from making a purchase. Here are some ways to optimize your checkout page
- Add a predictive product search function
- Streamline your checkout to a single page and strip out irrelevant forms, reducing work on your customers’ part
- Add your contact details. Be it an email, phone number or location, so users can quickly get in touch with you in case of any doubts about a product to be needs to cleared.
- Present multiple trusted payment gateways like interswitch or paystack at the point of payment
One of the greatest obstacles to achieving a great online shopping experience in Nigeria is not necessarily accessibility of internet or a decline in user buying behavior but an outdated website or website not properly optimized. Online store owners sometimes underestimate just how quickly customer expectations are shifting with advancement of online platforms and processes and if a visitors first impressions of an online store is a slow, complex, tacky or a hard to navigate website which doesn’t display well on their mobile phone, then moving quickly to a competitor’s website instead wouldn’t be so hard
In other words keep your online store up to date, constantly follow up with changing online store trends, and consider getting a web master expert to optimize your site on a monthly basis.
Looking to optimize your online store for visitors to have a great user experience? Check out osazeosoba.com for an expert on website design and optimization.
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