Feb 23
Reading Time: 2 minutes

When it comes to buying online, there is a reason that 7 out of 10 shopping carts are abandoned. Slow load time, tedious information entry, and limited payment options are all fairly basic errors that can drive away customers and steal revenue. The good news – most checkout issues are relatively easy to fix.

Once a customer has committed to buying a product on your website, it’s your job is to get them through checkout as quickly as possible (with minimal pauses, interruptions, or anything that might give them time to reconsider their buying decision). Here are a few actionable tips to streamline your site’s checkout experience that help improve your conversion rates.

Ensure A Clear Route to Purchase
As customers approach checkout, try not to bombard them with too much information or confusing options that may stall their progress. Your site should be free of obstacles or complicated navigation. It’s also beneficial to focus on keeping continuity throughout the checkout process.

Remove All Unnecessary Distractions & Reduce the Number of Clicks
During the checkout process, it’s important to reduce the number of clicks required to make a purchase and remove any unnecessary steps. Removing these elements can decrease loading time, reduce friction and optimize your checkout page. It’s also important to use simple, easy-to-understand words that provide a clear path for your shoppers to follow through your shopping cart to finalizing their order.

Optimize the Payment Process
A clear and streamlined checkout process should be followed by a quick and easy payment process. To optimize your payment process, make sure you are researching your target audience to gain key insights into their preferred payment methods and preferences. Limiting your customers to one payment option can have a serious impact on your bottom line.

A clear and streamlined checkout process can lead to more conversions and happier customers. Take the time to identify every possible area where friction can be reduced and your checkout page can be optimized.

Partnering with a trusted and well-established e-commerce company, like BMT Micro, can also save your online business the time and hassle of dealing with checkout issues. We provide shopping carts with highly customized programming depending on your specific requirements. If you would like to learn more or if you have any questions about BMT Micro’s offerings please contact our vendor services at vendors@bmtmicro.com.

Feb 16
Reading Time: 2 minutes

One of the best ways to take your online business to the next level is by having a deep understanding of how your competitors operate. By analyzing your competition and monitoring them on an ongoing basis, you’ll get a better sense of who you’re up against, and save a lot of time and money. This kind of research also enables your business to quickly identify industry trends and adapt to competitor campaigns or strategies.

Keeping track of what your competitors are up to can seem a bit overwhelming, but a competitive analysis is crucial to your success as an online business. Here are some tactics that make conducting a competitive analysis easier and help build your plan of attack.

1. Identify Your Competition & Categorize Them
The absolute first step in a competitive analysis is to identify your competitors. As you find competitors, it’s important to categorize them as either an immediate threat or could become a threat within a year. Your ultimate goal with this should be to get a comprehensive view of the competitive landscape in your niche.

2. Identify Your Competition’s Strengths & Weaknesses
Now that you know who you’re up against, the next step is to determine what makes them appealing to consumers. Ask yourself these questions: How do they emphasize their value proposition? What are their prices like compared to yours? Knowing your competitor’s strengths and weaknesses are the foundation that will help you shape your own e-commerce strategy.

3. Analyze One Marketing Channel At A Time
To avoid becoming lost and disorganized, do not try to analyze your competition’s marketing strategies across all channels all at once. Start by focusing on a single channel like social media, SEO, or PPC. This will allow your business to go far deeper into your analysis and uncover key insights.

4. Take Advantage of Competitive Analysis Tools
Conducting a competitive analysis without the help of online tools is tedious and unnecessary. With the growth of online activity, there is now no shortage of competitor analysis tools on the market (free and paid). These online tools can give you fast and valuable insights, so why not take advantage of them?

5. Perform Regular Competitive Analysis
A competitive analysis is not a one-time task. It should be performed on a regular basis so you are staying up-to-date on the competition. Competitors come and go, but you need to stay in the know. With regular competitive analyses, you will always remain one step ahead of the competition.

The goal of a competitive analysis is to fully understand where your business ranks in the playing field. So, make sure you are revisiting your analysis about every three months, monitoring changes in the competition and watching for new threats in your niche.

Feb 9
Reading Time: 2 minutes

From arrival to checkout, there are plenty of things to consider when designing an e-commerce website. But, many online businesses still make small mistakes every day that significantly impact the user experience (UX) of their website. These mistakes limit how visitors navigate a site, find what they’re looking for, and make a purchase. But, they are easily avoidable (and easily fixed).

Let’s take a look at 3 of the most common e-commerce UX design mistakes and how to avoid them.

Poorly Written Product Descriptions
Shopping online removes the personal interaction that customers typically have with a product when they visit a brick-and-mortar store. So, it’s important that your product description and images serve as the online equivalent of your customer’s product interaction. Product descriptions are considered a final point in the conversion funnel, and a major reason why some users may (or may not) convert. They should offer as much information as possible and answer virtually every question a customer may have.

Missing Contact Information and FAQ
Having contact information on your website is more important than you may think. It’s one of the easiest ways to gain trust, especially from those who have never done business with you before. Make sure to clearly states the best ways to contact your business for questions, technical support, or returns. A FAQ page can also be tremendously helpful to address any customer concerns.

A Complicated Checkout Process and Navigation
For an e-commerce site, one of the most damaging UX mistakes is over-complicating the checkout process. The best approach is to make it as simple and quick as possible. It’s important to make it easy for customers to find what they are looking for and reduce any friction at checkout. Confusing navigation and a lengthy checkout process will only give customers more opportunities to leave your site before actually making a purchase.

Every online business has different UX problems that are specific to their site design. But, knowing these common UX design mistakes is one thing. It’s another to know how to avoid them. A good UX can have a significant impact on critical factors that lead to the overall success of any e-commerce site.

When researched properly, UX can help boost traffic and conversions to any e-commerce site. Having the right e-commerce partner can be an enormous help with some UX factors too (especially with a shopping cart). Here at BMT Micro, we offer highly customized shopping carts to match your website and handle customers from the point they land on the checkout page through the point of receiving their purchase, and sometimes beyond. If you would like to learn more about our services or if you have questions, please feel free to contact our vendor services via email at vendors@bmtmicro.com or visit our website at www.bmtmicro.com.

Feb 2
Reading Time: 2 minutes

With thousands of e-commerce sites launched every day, making sure your online business stands out from the crowd is vital. Having the best solution is no longer enough to keep customers attention and loyalty. “If you’re serious about your future success and the growth of your business, you have to focus just as much on service as on sales and invest in delighting customers” (Sujan Patel).

But what exactly does investing in ‘delighting customers’ entail?

‘Surprise and Delight’ is “an approach that brands use to re-engage customers and reinforce messaging with unexpected rewards. These activities help brands differentiate their high-quality loyalty initiatives from the competition, and also do wonders to generate buzz and Word-of-Mouth. If implemented successfully, surprise and delight offerings can impact critical metrics such as engagement, customer acquisition, and retention rates” (CrowdTwist).

‘Surprise and delight’ doesn’t have to be a costly effort. If you take a look at some of the research on what drives delight, you can see that customers expectations are actually quite feasible (see graph below).

  

[image source]

So, how can your business offer a delightful experience that will leave a lasting impression? The following are 3 of the most popular online surprise and delight campaigns:

  • Freebies: Everyone loves free stuff. Sending a free gift to customers who have bought from you is a great way to surprise those who have supported your business in the past. This can also renew interest in your products or services.
  • Thank You Notes: Handwritten thank you notes are a powerful way to express your appreciation to customers for their business. It’s also a great way to make a memorable first impression on your newest customers.
  • Personalized Offers: Personalization allows businesses to connect with users on a more in-depth level, craft custom user experiences, and target loyal customers. Businesses can motivate repeat sales and increase loyalty by sending customers personalized offers that include an exclusive discount.

Adding a surprise and delight offering to your marketing strategy is a great way to gain customer loyalty while also lifting your bottom line. And, if employed effectively, it can generate increased engagement, reduced churn, and greater ROI. By showing genuine appreciation and delivering a noteworthy experience, your business can enhance your connection to customers.