If your eCommerce website is your digital storefront, then your eCommerce developer is like your architect, contractor, interior decorator, and maintenance crew all in one, so it’s easy to see why it’s so important to ensure you have a great development team at your side to help your online store’s shopping carts stay busy. What eCommerce web developers help you build can have a huge impact on your sales and the success of your eCommerce business.
We’ve all been on eCommerce websites that were just the opposite of user-friendly—maybe they had terrible web design so you kept getting lost, or maybe there were so many promotional popups that it just turned you off from the web page entirely. A bad experience is going to drive people away, and they’re likely not going to come back once they’re gone. If it’s bad enough, they might even tell people to avoid a particular site.
Having an experienced and trusted eCommerce developer like 121eCommerce to lead your eCommerce projects will ensure that your eCommerce store is effective at both attracting and retaining customers. Over time, development companies like this can use collective years and years of experience to help you grow your business by making your internal workflows more efficient, working at the care of web development to optimize your website functions, and working with you to develop long-term, scalable strategies.
eCommerce Development Focusing on Conversion Rate
Even with all the content marketing you do, it’s hard enough getting people on your site already, so you want to maximize your conversions with as smooth an experience as possible. A good web developer knows the strategies to help you optimize your conversion rate and increase your sales.
Your conversion rate is the percentage of people who come to your website and successfully complete a purchase. There are two ways that you can increase your sales online:
- Increase the volume of people visiting your site, thereby increasing the total number of people who check out
- Increase the conversion rate so that a higher percentage of the people coming to your site buy something
If you opt to focus on the first option, you will likely have to invest heavily in paid advertising and content marketing. Content marketing is very powerful as you can target specific groups with certain interests, or target those who are searching actively for relevant keywords. It is definitely a great way to increase the number of visitors to your site.
However, consistently relying on a higher and higher ad spend ultimately leads to diminishing returns. Even with a content management system (CMS) to help you publish your ads, you still end up widening your net, with the people clicking your ads becoming less likely to buy something. You will be spending more in advertising while diluting your conversion rate, since each marketing channel only has a certain amount of qualified traffic.
Good eCommerce web developers will be well-versed in the most up-to-date digital marketing tactics, and will be able to guide you to optimizing your website design to facilitate these tactics. eCommerce development should help you from the very start of launching your site by building both front end web services and back end web applications according to best practices based on other successful eCommerce sites.
Your website development team should ensure your site is equipped with proper business intelligence and analytics tools and that the site structure, including things like sitemaps and robots.txt, load times, and tags that are all set up properly to allow for maximal SEO. eCommerce developers with proven development experience like the team at 121eCommerce will be able to guide their clients towards marketing best practices and optimizing their e-commerce solution.
Generally, an eCommerce developer won’t be specialized in running your day-to-day marketing themselves, but they will be able to point you in the right direction as to who specializes in providing these services if you won’t be managing them in-house. A great eCommerce platform partner will work with you to find the best match and vet third parties.
The following are the main pillars of digital marketing, and we’ll briefly go into why each is important for the success of your eCommerce site, and how your eCommerce developer can make a huge difference in how visible your online store is to your potential customers:
Search Engine Optimization can get pretty technical and has a lot to do with your site architecture and content. A knowledgeable eCommerce solutions partner will be able to conduct a thorough audit and assist you in restructuring and optimizing your site SEO, while also helping with a high-level, long-term strategy for content marketing.
Your web development partner will work with you to develop an outline for the best content marketing structure and should be able to make recommendations, such as agencies, who can manage your content creation.
- Paid Search
Unlike organic search, which is earned and what SEO is all about, with Paid Search, you bid on keywords and your ads show up as people search. Generally, this would not be so much in the wheelhouse of an eCommerce developer, but they will certainly be able to point you in the right direction and help you with vetting a marketing agency that would run your paid search campaigns.
- Affiliate Marketing
This leverages the power of influencers across social media to have them promote and personally vouch for your products. They get paid when someone buys something and you only pay them if you have a successful sale.
- Email Marketing
While monthly newsletters and email blasts can be good for sales or campaigns, email marketing has come a long way in terms of automation. Your eCommerce website developer will be able to set up an automated email chain depending on a user’s actions. The emails will be much more relevant and targeted this way, resulting in a more personal experience and yielding better results.
Remarketing is a very powerful tool that your eCommerce partner can help you set up. It’s really hard to get new people to your site, whether with painstaking SEO that brought them in organically or through expensive Google ads. Either way, you want to bring back the people who already showed interest if you can. Remarketing can ping cart abandoners with reminders, or showcase products on other websites to entice them to return and make the purchase.
- Social Media
Social media is very powerful and should definitely be maintained with relevant content, especially visually enticing content. eCommerce developers will generally not be involved with this type of content marketing, however, they will be able to provide tips and can put you in touch with social media management companies.
Conversion Rate Optimization for Your eCommerce Website
While increasing your website traffic can lead to growth, you can avoid overextending your reach by leveraging the power of the conversion rate. An experienced eCommerce platform developer will work with you to optimize your conversion rate, thereby growing your customer base and increasing your average shopping cart value.
Conversion rate is not an exact science and is impacted by the following factors:
- Reducing the bounce rate
- Increasing the product find rate
- Increasing the add to shopping cart rate
- Reducing shopping cart abandonment
A good eCommerce developer will be on top of the stats from the very start. Focusing on conversion rate is completely customer-centric and is all about testing and optimizing over time. The goal of marketing is to get people to your site. Once they’re there, it’s up to the site’s content and user interface to keep them there and ensure they check out.
- Page Layout (UX)
Navigation is a very important component of the user experience and can significantly impact your sales. Proper site structure will ensure best practices are available for navigating across the site. Things a good eCommerce developer will have set up are:
- Layered navigation
- Hierarchy and taxonomy
- Filtering on the left
There’s nothing more frustrating for a customer than getting lost in a website and not being able to find the page or product they want.
- Load time
Your site can look great and be easy to navigate, but if it’s got some huge files and takes over even 10 seconds to load, you’re going to be losing a lot of sales. More than half of your customers are likely using a mobile device to shop, which means they’re not usually on WiFi. Small, leaner sites will load quickly even on 3G and make for a great user experience regardless of internet speed. An added bonus is also that site speed impacts SEO, so a quick site can boost your organic rankings and give you something to look forward to when you check Google analytics.
- Product customization
Being able to implement more advanced features like customization or bundling is a great way to improve the customer experience and definitely something a good eCommerce developer will be able to assist with. They will work with you to see how your business needs have outgrown the tools you currently have, and will be able to integrate or even customize tools to fit your needs, especially if you’re using Magento or Magento 2 Commerce, which allows for a wide variety of customization.
- Checkout process
Once a customer has picked out what they want and have made it to your checkout screen, the last thing you want is for them to leave. Not having preferred payment options, the layout not being clean, or the customer not exactly feeling 100% about entering their personal information may all be deterrents. An experienced eCommerce developer will be able to create an optimal checkout flow that will minimize cart abandonment.
- Updated Site
It doesn’t inspire much confidence seeing that half the products are no longer being carried or that the most recent blog post was three years ago. Customers want to see fresh content and be confident that the back-end is also regularly maintained. Security flaws are constantly being discovered and need to be patched, so from a security aspect, a good eCommerce developer is a great partner to have for ongoing maintenance of the back-end while your team can maintain the frontend content.
Contact Us Today
eCommerce is a competitive industry, and you need every edge you can get so start thinking about how you can implement these tips in your store today. And if you need help managing, upgrading, or retooling your Magento website, remember that 121eCommerce is just a call away!
As experts in the Magento platform, we can help with projects of every type and size – from routine maintenance and new site builds to platform migrations, project rescues, and more. Feel free to contact us to learn more about what we do, and get the help you need to optimize your Magento eCommerce store.