Every day, millions of people search for products and services online. To be successful in this highly competitive environment, your online shop must stand out from the crowd. For this exact reason, there are proven strategies and techniques that successful online shops use to outperform their competition – from technical performance to customer support.
No customers without strong performance
The page isn’t loading fast enough, your patience is wearing thin and only a few seconds later you’re looking for another source for the desired product. Sound familiar? The technical performance of your online shop is the most important factor for ensuring that customers do not immediately exit the site without even having seen any of your products.
What are the most important things to consider to prevent visitors from leaving the site prematurely?
Fast page construction
Before the landing page is even displayed on a search engine results page (SERP), search engines use algorithms to determine the position where your website or store is listed. Google, for example, takes page loading time into account as an important ranking factor and penalizes poor performance with a lower ranking position, which, in turn, affects the organic visibility and ability to find the online shop.
By optimizing page performance, online shops can increase their chances of ranking higher in search results and generating more organic traffic.
The following points are important for this:
- Failproof web hosting:
A reliable web hosting provider, such as Hostpoint, offers sufficient bandwidths and strong server performance to make websites available quickly.
- Optimization of image sizes:
Compressed images shorten loading times without too much effect on image quality.
Browser caching helps to speed up repeated page views.
- Content Delivery Network (CDN):
A CDN distributes static content on servers worldwide to optimize loading times for visitors in different regions.
Smooth and fast page construction is not only of vital importance for the success of an online shop for search engines, but also for potential customers.
A number of studies, including one by Deloitte, show that users soon become impatient with slow loading times. Many leave a website to search for an alternative after less than four seconds, which is reflected in a high bounce rate! This not only leads to a loss of sales, but also damages your reputation in the long term. By contrast, according to the study mentioned above, an improvement in loading time of 0.1 seconds resulted in an 8.4% higher conversion rate!
Find out more:
In our blog article on Core Web Vitals, you can find even more detailed information on other technical qualities of your website (such as HTTPS), which also influence your search engine ranking.
Almost everyone likes to shop with their smartphone these days. In a survey conducted by PayPal, the majority of respondents stated that they use a mobile device to make purchases. It has, therefore, become a matter of necessity for stores to offer an optimized user experience on smaller devices. A responsive design is a must for mobile users as they have much less space on their screens for store details. In addition, the often poorer internet connection makes it essential for the mobile version of a website to load faster.
By taking the above points into account and working on optimizing page performance on an ongoing basis, you’re using the best basic building blocks to fully exploit the potential of your online shop.
Good structure is a must
First impressions count, and this applies to your online shop too! Appealing product presentation and a logical category structure are important to attract the interest of visitors and motivate them to buy things. If the store functions are too complicated to use or the product is poorly displayed, site visitors will look for an alternative place to buy their desired product, so you should consider the following points:
Welche Punkte für eine gute Übersicht wichtig sind:
Intuitive navigation and clear categorization of products improve user-friendliness and quantifiably increase session time. Consider which main categories and sub-categories best suit your product range and choose impactful names for these. A clean design with sufficient white space, uniform fonts and a clear color palette also makes it easier for visitors to find their way around your site.
Only high-quality product images from different perspectives should be used. Make sure that the products are well-lit. Don’t forget detailed descriptions with relevant keywords on the features or use!
Effective search function and filter options:
A powerful search function is key to a user-friendly online shop. Customers should be able to search for specific products and find relevant results quickly. In addition, filter and sorting functions are essential for organizing the product range according to various criteria such as price, popularity or new products. These functions help customers with different needs and preferences easily find what they are looking for.
If the online shop has an appealing layout and design, customers will make a decision quickly and be happy to make their purchase. What might still go wrong?
From January 1, 2024, the VAT rates in Switzerland will be adjusted. In our Support Center article, you can find out what this means for you and your store and how you can make any necessary adaptations in the tax matrix of your Hostpoint webshop.
The final test: completing payment
The customer has found their way around your store, filled their shopping cart and is now on the way to the digital checkout. At this point, they should be pulling out their credit card and eagerly awaiting delivery, right? Almost, but not quite.
If customers come up against a complicated, drawn-out or flawed payment process, their increasing frustration is accompanied by the likelihood that they will abandon their purchase. This can be measured using the “abandoned cart” criterion. This allows us to measure the number of abandoned shopping carts (and, therefore, abandoned purchases) in Google Analytics.
The process for the customer to enter their details and complete the purchase should always be as easy and secure as possible. We advise choosing trustworthy and reliable payment providers such as PostFinance or TWINT.
Security is, of course, also really important when dealing with money. Using SSL encryption, fraud detection systems and well-known payment providers increases customer trust and gives them an additional feeling of security. Hostpoint’s Webshop solution offers both the infrastructure and the design options for the points mentioned above.
Service and customer feedback
Outstanding customer service is an essential part of a successful e-commerce business. Your store should stand out from the competition with a positive and, in particular, personalized shopping experience.
The perfect customer experience varies from store to store, but can be generally summarized using the following dos and don’ts.
|Fast response time for customer queries
|Ignoring customer queries or slow response time
|Friendly and professional customer service
|Unfriendly or misleading interaction with customers
|High level of product knowledge
|Insufficient knowledge of the product range
|Standardized answers without taking customer needs into account
Positive reviews from satisfied customers can also win the trust of other new customers. However, the shopping experience does not end once the purchase has been completed, which is why professional support in the event of follow-up questions is very important to create a solid customer base.
The key to a successful online shop is time, commitment and continuous optimization. Every online shop is unique, since there is no universal formula for success. However, if you put the tips and tricks explained in the article into practice and keep your site up-to-date with the needs of your customers, you’ll be well on your way to making your online shop a success.
Are you looking for a simple solution with a strong infrastructure? Hostpoint’s Webshop solution is the ideal choice, even if you don’t have programming or design knowledge. We are always available to answer your technical questions with personalized support on 365 days a year. More information on the construction and the important features of your online shop can be found in this article.