Guest post by Aitoc
You’ve put sweat, determination, and hard work into your online store. But despite all efforts, your Magento store is still not selling as well as you’d like. How do you turn things around?
Well, we’ve put together a small guide that will help you make your store a success.
1 Your Sales Copy Doesn’t Sell
It’s simultaneously funny and sad to see how store owners drop thousands of dollars on custom themes, complex extensions, and server infrastructure but don’t pay as much attention to getting the content that actually sells.
Product descriptions are either non-existent, barebones, or copy/pasted from similar products.
Bad copy destroys trust with your customers, drives away potential buyers, ruins your SEO rankings. All this leads to one thing.
Abysmal copy drags your sales down.
Great sales copy doesn’t list features. It tells users how your product can help them improve their quality of life, make their experiences richer or more fulfilling.
Without a connected benefit, any feature is worthless. Ask yourself why do you think any feature is important. Let’s create an example.
The 2000xT Bluetooth Speaker can blast sound up to 110 decibels.
Why is this cool?
This is the equivalent of being a few meters away from the scene at a live rock concert. Great for loud backyard parties, beach getaways, bike rides, outdoor public speaking, bathroom singing, or annoying your neighbors at 2 AM!
That’s more like it.
Let the user imagine how the product fits into their life.
A diving cylinder with 4 hours worth of gas?
Why should they care?
Imagine how much further you can go with this beast. This means that instead of shorter journeys you will be able to have almost limitless adventures underwater.
Get creative. Don’t be afraid to fill your product descriptions with meaningful and engaging copy.
Dos and Don'ts
Don’t copy/paste – invest in unique sales content
Don’t just list features – explain why they are important
Don’t assume customers know your product – they don’t, tell them why it’s cool
Don’t use complex language – be conversational
Do be personal – put the customers inside your story
2 Your SEO Doesn’t Sell
Poor search engine optimization is actually closely tied to the sales copy problem. And it’s especially bad because combined they both aggravate the situation.
In the eyes of Google copy/pasted text is a little better than a blank page. Duplicates get heavy penalties in SERP and rank much lower than quality content.
Default Magento was already built with SEO in mind, so it will easily cover your search optimization needs.
SEO Has Evolved Beyond Links
In the past SEO used to be more technical and specific. SEO rankings depended on link building, cross-linking, and keyword manipulations.
But step by step, update after update Google changed the playfield. It introduced new rules of what we as users could and couldn’t do to rank higher. Today SEO is measured by user behavior factors and strict guidelines for webmasters: content quality, user engagement, and UI responsiveness.
But SEO is not only about the content. Google ranks higher on the websites that are fast, always available, and mobile-friendly. Invest in a theme that offers responsive design and great optimization for tablets and smartphones.
Dos and Don'ts
Do use unique meta tags for all your products and pictures
Do create more content for your website
Do combine together videos, pictures, and text to make your landings better
Don’t neglect your SEO – outrank your competitors on Google
3 Your Product Reviews Don’t Sell
SEO goes hand in hand with testimonials and product reviews. Happy customers leave positive feedback and generate original content. This, by the way, helps boost SEO rankings since Google values user reviews higher than other content.
More than half of all customers as much as personal recommendations. This is why it’s a powerful tool in your marketing efforts.
Adding reviews to your store can be a great solution that functions on its own, allowing you to:
Create fresh content on otherwise static pages
Generate highly relevant long-tail keywords inside original content
Build trust with customers who read reviews prior to purchase
Improve user engagement and other behavior factors that Google loves
Let shoppers read about the product from a consumer’s perspective
Highlight advantages and disadvantages that users find important
Dos and Don'ts
Do ask customers for product reviews
Do create incentives for users to write a review
Do use rich snippets to get more traffic through organic search
Don’t be afraid of bad reviews, they are also useful
Don’t let abusive or spammy reviews get through
4 Your UX Doesn’t Sell
We understand when a business needs to cut costs. But don’t do it at the expense of user experience. Poor UX will lose you money.
When someone really wants your product, they can overlook a lot of bad experiences. Slowly loading catalogs, unnecessary Checkout fields, low-quality product photos, or unusable mobile UI.
But once a new shiny alternative comes around, your former customers might take their business elsewhere.
Focus on Your Checkout Page
mercilessly cut unnecessary Checkout fields
let users buy from you without creating an account
merge Cart and Checkout pages to get more users to commit
make sure there are no hidden costs for your products
Why is this crucial? According to Baymard Institute research, online stores can recover more than $260B in sales just from the Checkout page optimizations. After all, this is where most users leave your store.
One of the most effective methods to optimize Checkout is to shorten customer journey. Merging your Cart and Checkout into a single page is one way to do that, although it’s not available as a default Magento feature, you’ll need to get an extension.
Check Your Website Speed
Users hate slow stores. They want a fast, smooth shopping experience. In the age of broadband speeds, Google thinks you have no excuse to be slow. That’s why it will hit you pretty hard in the search results.
What’s even worse, users who hate slow browsing will leave your site. Google tracks user behavior and will penalize your search rankings even harder.
According to Google guidelines, eCommerce websites should load in under 2 seconds. Test and improve your average page load speed, on-site search response, and full load time of all key pages.
Dos and Don'ts
Do simplify navigation and optimize product search
Do invest in a dedicated server to boost load times
Do shorten your Checkout process
Do allow users to order without signup
Don’t overcrowd your Checkout with unnecessary fields
5 Your Emails Don’t Sell
Recovering lost customers is cheaper and easier than attracting new ones. That’s why after exhausting more traditional ways to boost sales, take a look at your email campaigns. In fact, emails work as a great retargeting tool for most online stores.
Compared to attracting brand new customers or using other retargeting tools, automated emails cost next to nothing. An awesome investment for remarketing on a budget.
Complement your sales opportunities with a great retargeting channel:
remind users of the carts they abandoned at checkout
inform them about order status changes
send users discount codes for products in their abandoned carts
automatically send out promotions for products in customer wishlists
A fair disclaimer. While this is not default Magento functionality, the extension market offers a few great tools to boost your email marketing efforts.
Overall, emails are a great way to capture more sales, just bear in mind that pestering new customers with sales offers is a bad idea. Email them once in a while. They will appreciate how reserved and to the point you are, we promise.
Dos and Don'ts
Do add other sales and remarketing channel to your store
Do start using your email database for more than just newsletters
Do automate your retargeting email campaigns
Do engage users with discounts for their abandoned carts / wishlists
Don’t overuse emails, customers are sensitive about how often you contact them
6 Your Customer Service Doesn’t Sell
We don’t mean you need to flood users with sales pitches through customer service. This doesn’t work anyway. We suggest you approach this opportunity to sell more from a different angle.
The global trend in commerce is to invest more into marketing, design, and sales and the bare minimum into customer service. But great service can actually help you earn more. According to Oracle’s research, 86% of shoppers are ready to spend more money to receive high-quality customer service.
This is great news, right? Well yes, but at the same time, only 4% of users will actually take the time to give you feedback about your customer service. Everyone else will just take their money to the competition. It comes as no surprise if you consider that 80% of user complaints will get ignored online.
Looking at these numbers it becomes obvious it’s easy to stand out from the competition and sell more just by treating your customers better. Listen to what they say, be honest about your mistakes, improve, and let people know when their suggestions are implemented.
Building an impeccable customer support overnight is impossible. Start small. Show your commitment to improve. Make 3 major changes to your online customer service right now:
Create multiple points of contact to get feedback, both anonymous and personalized, online and offline
Commit to addressing users’ questions and concerns faster and to the point
Actively encourage users to give feedback about your store
Sure, there are more that you can do to make your customers feel valued and heard. But start slow. Even these simple changes will lead to awesome results.
Dos and Don'ts
Do create a clear customer retention policy
Do listen to customers who want to give feedback
Do improve and let users know their feedback was valuable
Do create multiple ways to contact you
Don’t deal with customers on your own terms, be flexible
Building a Great Store Is Hard
Building a great Magento store is a lot of hard work. But improving your customers' experience is the only way to thrive in a highly competitive eCommerce environment.
Learn where your customers abandon your website, why they don’t proceed to checkout, what to do to rank higher on Google. Improve website speed and UX, speak openly with your users – and success will come.
This guide has the most impactful changes you can make to your Magento store right now. We wanted to share actionable, working improvements that will instantly get you results. Hope this helps! Good luck!
Aitoc is a passionate team of developers delivering Magento extensions for clients worldwide. Founded in 2001, Aitoc has produced over 100 modules and now offers a full range of custom eCommerce development services.