One thing you have to remember if you want to start an online store business is that consumer behavior at online stores is vastly differently than at traditional offline stores. At offline stores, a consumer is already there and would have to travel elsewhere to purchase the same product at a different store, unless of course there’s another store nearby that also sells the item they are interested in. The situation differs drastically at online stores. Shoppers know that alternative stores are just a search result away. Switching stores can be a spur-of-the-moment, near-instantaneous decision.
It’s not difficult to start an online business. Web site hosting shopping cart solutions like InstanteStore take all the hard work out of setting up a store. It’s not enough just having a reliable web site shopping cart to back you up when it comes to actually closing sales though. You also need a proper strategy for converting visitors into paying customers.
In earlier blog posts, we have written briefly about various testing methods such as A/B split testing and multivariate testing. We know that testing is important because it allows us to tweak our stores to such a degree that conversion rates are maximized. But what are the elements that should be tested in the first place?
A page can contain dozens of elements and thus result in hundreds of variations. The idea is to retain the elements that work and improve or remove the ones that don’t.
Template, Colors and Layout
Just because we feel that a certain template, color or layout suits a product does not necessarily mean site visitors will feel the same. Test results have constantly challenged the assumptions of site designers. And you can’t argue with results since the proof is in the pudding. A template or site design that looks nice but does not compel a visitor to purchase or at least show interest in a product is not doing what it’s supposed to.
Some results have shown that the length of page content makes a big difference in “hooking” visitors. Some sites find more success by introducing shorter content (short copy) at the “first fold” area and anchoring it with a “Click Here” link to take the visitor to the part of the page where the full content (long copy) is located.
On some sites, web store owners have found that removing prices from the main page improves the page’s bounce rate.
This is a crucial part of a web store. The hard part of convincing a visitor to purchase from the store has already been completed. But for some reason, your list of aborted orders is longer than your list of sales. Could it be that most visitors prefer the one page checkout system? Was the order form too confusing? Or was the payment processing system problematic?
Sometimes, pricing a product as low as you can may not generate the most revenue, even if that gets your store a larger number of buyers. More often than not, pricing your product just slightly lower than your competitors is sufficient to get you a healthy amount of buyers and higher revenue.
Test Result Sample
Part of the reason many stores remain successful over time can be attributed to continuous testing. So you shouldn’t just carrying out testing only initially when you want to start an online business. Buyer behavior changes over time and predicting these changes and trends is like trying to predict winning lottery numbers. This is why periodic and regular testing and tweaking of your site keeps your store current and keeps conversion rates healthy.
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