Magento 2 is robust, flexible, and an all-around leader among ecommerce platforms. However, as with all shopping cart software, it’s up to individual merchants to customize and improve the shopping experience in order to further increase the conversion of web traffic into sales. While it’s rare for a single change to a website to lead to a drastic improvement in sales, by making enough tweaks, an online store can turn a lot more site visitors into customers.
While many things will impact a shopper’s decision-making process, such as your product descriptions, pricing, visual appeal, branding, and cost of shipping, here are some of the most important factors that relate directly to users making it through the checkout process for a store built with Magento 2:
1. Loading Speeds
According to Google, as webpage loading speeds slow down from an extremely fast 1 second to a less desirable 5 seconds, conversion metrics fall, and bounce rates go up by 90%. Having a fast Magento site is a no-brainer, but it takes a mix of fast Magento hosting and competent Magento developers who are empowered to optimize your site with loading speeds in mind.
Often, these improvements can be significant. For example, MagicMurals.com noted a great speed improvement saying that “average page load times were down 43%, domain lookup times are down 49%, and server connection times are down 80% due to work completed in tandem with their web hosts.
There are other benefits to improving loading speeds, like better organic search engine rankings and better landing page scores in Google Ads campaigns, but a slow site will turn off shoppers that you’ve gotten to your site, and that alone should be reason enough to focus on site speed optimization best practices.
2. Site Stability
You’d be surprised at how many Magento sites display technical errors to shoppers on an ongoing basis. Shoppers will rarely stop to report this to merchants, so, too often, these errors persist. That’s why it’s crucial for merchants to have a web host that monitors for errors, and web developers that follow best-practices to test their code and check error and exception logs for potential issues.
It’s equally essential for your team to engage in User Acceptance Testing. In essence, this means testing your website from the shopper’s perspective by navigating through the site –including the checkout process.
3. Smarter Fraud Prevention
When ecommerce store owners think about credit card fraud, they typically think about blocking fraudulent orders. However, the wrong solution can lead to orders from legitimate shoppers being inadvertently blocked. These orders are collateral damage in the war to stop thieves from making purchases with potentially stolen credit cards. These false declines hurt your reputation and your bottom line.
While you may not think you have a problem with false positives, it’s estimated that industry-wide, this problem may reach $443 billion. That figure alone should have you checking in with a team of experts, like ClearSale.
4. Optimized Checkout
While Magento 2’s native two-step checkout is an improvement over its predecessor’s five-step checkout process, there’s still a lot to be optimized as shoppers try to proceed from their digital shopping carts to complete their orders. That’s why many of the most popular Magento Extension developers offer highly-optimized one-step-checkout solutions. These include developers that produce a variety of different extensions, like AheadWorks and Amasty, and the team at OneStepCheckout.com which is completely dedicated to this one feature set.
5. Site Search & Navigation
Shoppers can’t purchase what they can’t find, and will often abandon their carts if your site search and/or category search filters are leaving them high and dry. Magento 2 now natively supports Elasticsearch, which is a great solution, but it’s not necessarily going to wow your shoppers without investing time into optimization. That’s why many stores still choose a more polished site search solution, like InstantSearch+, Klevu, or Searchspring. These systems, while all unique, account for synonyms and lots of other nuances in the ways that shoppers search for products.
6. Website Accessibility
You may not have put much thought into it, but there are shoppers with visual, auditory, and cognitive disabilities that are visiting your site. If your site isn’t specifically optimized to allow these consumers to navigate through the shopping and checkout process, your conversion rates are going to be impacted.
While we should all care about making the internet an inclusive place for everyone because it’s the right thing to do, you can also anticipate some ROI from your efforts to address your Magento site accessibility issues. You’ll also be helping to protect your business from potential legal action since lawsuits against merchants that discriminate by not accommodating for disabilities can be sued. Platforms like AudioEye and eSSENTIAL Accessibility provide different solutions to enhance your site’s accessibility.
7. Rewards & Loyalty
Aside from offering points for product purchases, you can also use points to entice shoppers to subscribe to a mailing list, leave a review, follow your brand on social media, or take other actions that will benefit your ecommerce business. Some loyalty programs even allow you to turn shoppers into brand evangelists, rewarding them for referring their friends and contacts to shop from your website.
Gamification works! Shoppers can be enticed to make a purchase because they’re going to earn extra reward points, or because they want to use points that they’ve already acquired before they expire. There are a wide range of platforms that can help you run a strong loyalty program, like AnnexCloud, LoyaltyLion, and Swell.
8. Shipping Options
Shoppers want to receive products on their terms. That may require you to offer expedited shipping, freight for oversized or heavy items, store or curbside pickup for local items, international shipping for foreign consumers, or a range of other order fulfillment solutions.
For items that require shipping, shoppers want to know when their products will arrive. Solutions like EasyShip, ShipperHQ, and WeSupplyLabs help to simplify complex delivery and pick up needs for the Magento platform.
You can struggle to figure out the right buttons, banners, messaging, related products, upsells, countdown timers, and other tweaks that will increase your conversion rates, or you can look to a system that can test and find the best mix of solutions for your business. There are solutions like HiConversion, Justuno, and Nosto that use artificial intelligence to do just this for Magento sites. These tools will allow you to create A/B and multivariate tests to see which combinations of adjustments will lead to the best results.
10. Buy Now, Pay Later
Cash flow can be a challenge for both consumers and businesses. However, when you offered delayed payment options for large purchases, you’re giving shoppers an option that may fit more comfortably into their budgets. This applies to B2B businesses, that can use solutions like Apruve or MSTS to finance orders, and to providers like Affirm, Bread, Katapult, SplitIt, and ViaBill that specialize in retail orders.
While it may seem like this market is getting saturated, know that there are key differentiators between these split payment solutions. For instance, Katapult specializes in supporting higher-risk shoppers that don’t have great credit histories, and SplitIt uses the shopper’s existing credit card, but simply breaks up charges over time without creating a new credit account.
11. Site Abandonment
When shoppers leave your site without making a purchase, you may still have opportunities to win their business. While many merchants have begun leveraging abandoned cart emails, did you know that some marketing platforms can also detect and follow up with shoppers that are abandoning your site after simply browsing? That’s right, you can reach back out to shoppers that were simply looking at an item!
Marketing platforms like Dotdigital, Klaviyo, and Omnisend make this possible. These platforms are also all making strides to help you do this across more than just email. Emarsys supports lots of channels for enterprises, from SMS to targeted social media ads. Springbot has a solid SMB following for its range of marketing features, from retargeting ads to onsite abandonment recovery, as well as for its integrations to popular platforms like Mailchimp. Whichever platform you choose, be sure to take advantage of features that will allow you to reclaim shoppers that left your site without placing an order.
When it comes to optimizing your website to improve conversion and checkout rates, don’t forget that conversion rate optimization and checkout optimization require a long-term process of testing and measuring results, and applying tweaks.
Over time, technology, consumer expectations, and other trends change. It’s often easy to think of your Magento store like a physical retail store, which needs seasonal and other updates in order to stay relevant. The goal of any process that optimizes your site’s shopping experience is not to assume you know what consumers want, or that all buyers have the same wants and needs. You must continually improve your site. In 2010, most ecommerce sites weren’t mobile-friendly. Times change, and so should your site.