Quick takeaways from our eCommerce website optimization clinic

I hope you were able to join us for yesterday’s Web Clinic on optimizing eCommerce websites. It was a lively, actionable session and we were sifting through attendee comments all morning.

(NOTE: Subscribe to our free MarketingExperiments Journal and you’ll be notified by email when our Web Clinic content is posted online.)

Our optimization experts — Flint McGlaughlin, Jimmy Ellis and Aaron Rosenthal — plowed through a series of research-tested concepts, best practices and pitfalls to avoid with eCommerce sites and landing pages. They also performed a rapid-fire review and critique of five eCommerce websites submitted by our Journal subscribers.

We’ll break out some of those sites and the specific recommendations in future blog posts. And if those sites apply the ideas, perhaps we’ll get some new success stories.

Meanwhile, one key takeaway was the idea that eCommerce site visitors fall into two main categories: Hunters and Browsers.

Hunters already know what they want, and are looking for a quick, safe transaction, while Browsers need more convincing and a different approach to prompt them to make a purchase.

To be most effective, an eCommerce site must address the motivations and thought processes of both audiences, and take them both into account when developing pages, site paths and conversion funnels. That’s the foundation that should be in place before the real fun starts with page elements and design using weighted objectives.

Keeping those two audiences in mind, here are five questions that will help to frame optimization efforts for eCommerce site pages:

  1. Which type of visitor — Hunter or Browser — is this page trying to serve? (Consider the channels and traffic sources.)
  2. What are the weighted objectives of this page?
  3. How does this page stop the visitor and connect with them?
  4. Does this page instantly communicate my Business Value Proposition to visitors?
  5. How does this page attract my visitor deeper into my product mix as it relates to the weighted objectives?

When a site or page has these fundamentals locked in, it’s much easier to determine a baseline for success, test changes to increase conversions — and measure the results. Try these questions with your own eCommerce page and let us know what you think.

Want to have your website or landing pages optimized by our experts? Just sign up for the MarketingExperiments Journal. You’ll stay apprised of all our upcoming Web Clinics and have the chance to submit your site for a live optimization.

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