As everyone preps for the festive season: Diwali / Thanksgiving / Black Friday, I wanted to take this time to point out some interesting nuances while ramping up your e-commerce stores.
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Now, on to the crux of this one: Nuances for high growth e-commerce stores
Working with high-growth companies has been fun, especially in the past few months. Consumer trends have swung like a pendulum with little that experts could accurately predict about any particular sector. Online shopping has matured and people have taken to buying things online more constructively.
But as business builders & store owners, here are a few things that usually get missed, incorrectly argued or even misinterpreted. Clarifying some of those for you in this edition:
A) Great design (alone) does not equal great conversion:
Conversion Rates are impacted by a multitude of factors: store design (UI), store optimisation (UX), video ads (creatives & copy) and the right targeting (ad sets & channels).
I’d go out on a limb to say that the right targeting is more important than any of them. Simply for the level of impact that targeting can have. Here’s why:
Imagine CRED going out and targeting people in Tier 2 & 3 cities only to get 1% conversion; as opposed to metro cities which drive 5% conversion, thereby lowering their CAC.
Hence, right targeting is one single parameter which can have an almost 500% impact on your conversions. Every other aspect enhances the quality of your conversion.
After you’ve tackled targeting, comes pretty much everything. Targeting helps you build a robust TOFU. It’s like your ‘prospect’ in a sales cycle. The bigger the pool, the higher are your chances of conversion.
Your UI forms part of your MOFU: this is where you start to retain your customers with intuitive design. The more affluent your audience, the more important is your UI. And what finally gets them to close is your UX, right at the BOFU: clarity in shipping, cart optimisation, the right flow from selecting a product to actually buying it (along or in a bundle) is all part of a strong UX.
It’s for this reason that I say that if you are thinking of a design overhaul, don't bet on it to bump your conversion rate by 10X.
B) UX redesign is better in parts than it’s sum:
There are a tonne of things that work in favour of your store’s conversion and a lot that dont. As a builder, can you articulately point that out?
If not, this is your wake-up call.
Going for a redesign or UX overhaul is easy. But it won't serve the purpose if you don't know what works for your brand.Right from:
- Should you start with traditional header banners to just product images?
- Do videos perform better for you or images?
- What’s the impact of copy on certain pages?
- Should you even split collection vs product pages?
- What changes in your purchase flow make a significant difference?
Ideally you should’ve tried a bunch of different combinations through A/B tests, along with your performance team. They would track this on Google Analytics by adding certain events and tracking their effectiveness over a week. Even if these tests fail or result in marginally lower conversion for a week, you at least know what not to do.
Because when you go to a UI/UX expert for redesign, just data would not be enough to point out what works. It’s your experience of handling the store that must contribute to these learnings. It’s for this reason that I suggest UX as a continuous process that improves every month, rather than just a one time overhaul.
It’s like saying you set up ad sets at the beginning of your quarter and let them run for the next 3 months before optimising. You ofcourse need a massive one time setup or overhaul in UX, but you also need continuous monitoring or optimisation.
C) Go micro in your ‘audience by page’ analytics:
As a store owner, you would definitely be tracking drop out rates across various pages on your site. Say you get 100 visitors throughout your site.
40% would drop off on your home-page or landing page
Another 40% on your product / collections page
Maybe some make it to your cart, that’s the rest 20% but only few convert (say 5%)
If I was to bet my money, I’d start optimising my cart page, coz that has the highest probability of increasing conversions.
So while most builders would focus on the main pages (which you should), it's essential to A/B test and optimise your cart pages & flow, to ensure you are making the most of your bottom funnel conversions. It’s that section where you’ve established intent and pretty much the willingness to pay as well. But something didn’t work out there because most of them dropped off.
Likewise, use page-wise analytics to test out every individual page with creatine experiments that start giving either results or patterns.
D) PDP & Images:
When making a purchase, a customer would typically use his 3 second sense to make a decision to look for more or just leave. You have 3 seconds to make an impact. How do you then convey everything in 3 seconds across your screen?
Well, the answer is simple. I’d focus on two things: my product in action through the right images or a video. And the other would be just enough information about the product story & packaging.
Let's look at this image:
When buying coffee, a customer would want to know about:
- How could I best drink this? (With milk or without milk, etc)
- What are the variants / flavours / packs?
- Package / Story
While all these boxes are checked right here, there’s just too much information to consume in the form of text. What if I could use each of these icons as an independent image of the used case? Here’s how:
What additionally did this brand, Sleepy Owl add to create an impact?
- They added their brand in the form of coffee bags, while showing a used case (black coffee)
- The kettle used for pouring water attracts affluent consumers, for it showcases a certain lifestyle that you’d like to indulge into, as a coffee lover
- As a consumer, my focus is the image and not so much the text (that’s why you even have carousels). And I can scroll through the used cases & it’s differentiators, all in the form of an image / carousels
- The visual hierarchy of ‘easy to brew’ captures your attention There’s of course a significant UI difference between how the variants are displayed
- And most importantly: for most consumers who would use their right thumb to keep scrolling, the image carousel is conveniently placed for them to keep scrolling through the carousels, using just one hand. Underrated, but hugely helpful in designing with sensitivity.
I could go on about the importance of images, carousels & videos in your product pages: it’s a rabbit hole. You can't achieve everything in one go, but you can optimise. Well, that’s it for today. If you have a topic that you want me to write about, feel free to respond to this email. For my next email, I’m putting together a checklist for 1-100 growth brands: for them to build better consumer tech applications. So stay tuned for that. Until next time, With Gratitude, Sak.