Back to Basics: Shopify shares tips for creating a seamless e-commerce experience

David Moellenkamp, Sara Scurfield / July 2020

Back to Basics is a new Think with Google Canada series where Google experts explore digital marketing best practices. David Moellenkamp, Director of Product at Shopify Plus, shares tips for creating a great e-commerce experience.

Whether you’re setting up an online shop for the first time or auditing your current e-commerce store, it’s important to create a solid foundation to grow from.

There are few easy ways this can be achieved, like showcasing your products with high-quality visuals, or by keeping your product information up-to-date. However, it’s also important to find ways to automate your processes, to save your company time and help people across the web find your products.

Here are six ways you can build a solid foundation for your online store.

Ensure information is accurate and up-to-date

Help customers quickly find what they need by ensuring products are easily found through intuitive navigation, product categories and search. On product pages, ensure price and availability are accurate and label products and images using customer-friendly wording. The Google Trends tool can help you find clear ways to talk about your products, and what words people are using when searching for products like yours. For example, you can view search interest for the word “clothing” compared to “apparel.”

Highlight your store policies like delivery and return options, as well as any extra costs like shipping and taxes. It’s important to be upfront about any extra costs before the checkout process to help avoid the element of surprise. Shopify research has found that the top reason people abandon purchases in their cart is because of extra costs being too high, like shipping, taxes, and duty fees. We’re seeing shoppers avoid shipping fees altogether with delivery options like curbside pickup, with the influx of shoppers moving online to buy from their favourite local brands.

Consider ways you can experiment with more elaborate visuals, like video and 3D model photos to give consumers a more immersive view.

Showcase the quality of your products

Great visuals can speak volumes for your products. At a minimum, make sure you have professional-quality, high resolution photos of all of your products. After, consider ways you can experiment with more elaborate visuals, like video and 3D model photos to give customers a more immersive view. At a time when most shoppers have to stay home, this can give them an “IRL-like” shopping experience to help them visualize your product. Luxury handbag designer and Shopify Plus merchant Rebecca Minkoff found website visitors were 65% more likely to place an order after interacting with a product in AR.

Product recommendations and reviews can help increase average order value and conversions, and give customers first-hand information and answers to questions they may have.

Personalize the customer experience

If you sell globally, localize the shopping experience for your international customers. A 2019 Shopify study found that 92% of shoppers prefer to make purchases on sites that have the option to list prices in their local currency. If you use segments to organize your customer database, you can reward a repeat customer differently than you would a first-time shopper. Be mindful of upcoming holidays or customer’s birthdays and offer special promotions to let consumers know you care.

One of the most important things you can do is give your customers a safe and easy way to complete their purchase.

Ensure a safe and simple checkout process

One of the most important things you can do is give your customers a safe and easy way to complete their purchase. Shopify research has found that a complicated checkout process is one of the top reasons people abandon purchases during the checkout process.

An accelerated checkout can simplify the process by saving a customer’s personal and payment info through Shop Pay, PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay, and automate promotions to help simplify and expedite the checkout process. For credibility, consider adding a security badge to your online store to help customers feel more confident in your business.

Automate your processes where you can

Automate marketing efforts where you can with the help of products available through your e-commerce platform provider. For example, Shopify’s Google channel allows you to seamlessly sync the products you sell on your Shopify store to the Google Merchant Centre, where you can get discovered on Google through smart shopping campaigns. Automation can also help with inventory management, by notifying you or triggering reorders when you’re low on stock, as well as flag or cancel fraudulent orders.

Keep close to digital insights to identify what your customers are looking for and where they’re coming from, and identify emerging marketing opportunities.

Have an analytics strategy to measure success

Keep close to digital insights to identify what your customers are looking for and where they’re coming from, and identify emerging marketing opportunities. Google Analytics can help you understand customers by location, the pages they visit, and where they engage across the site. Within the Shopify admin, you can see in-platform analytics that allow you to monitor how your store is performing, track the results of your marketing efforts.

Besides your product, a strong website and e-commerce foundation is what turns shoppers into customers. As a next step, consider how these best practises can translate to other areas of your business, like your app, social channels, and even your in-store experience.

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