How to find out why your ecommerce website is not working yet

The top 7 ways to uncover why your online store isn’t working

So, you’ve got an eCommerce website running on WordPress and you’re expecting hundreds of orders to be flying through the door? But where have they all gone to?

You might have Google Adwords or Facebook Ads sending traffic to your sight but the traffic isn’t converting into sales.

What on earth is happening?

This article will explain some neat tricks to help you become the detective and track down challenges in your WooCommerce eCommerce store.

1. Install and setup Google Analytics for eCommerce

To successfully track data on your website you’ll need Google Analytics. This free service, provided by Google, tracks everything that happens on your site, including where people came from, how long they spent on each page of your site and where each visitor came from.

Make sure you have switch on the Google Analytics  – Enhanced Ecommerce feature. We recommend following these instructions to help setup your Google Analytics for eCommerce: https://om4.com.au/google-analytics-ecommerce-tracking-woocommerce/.

We also recommend using the Enhanced Ecommerce Google Analytics Plugin for WooCommerce. This allows your WooCommerce store to talk to the eCommerce feature in Google Analytics.

2. Setup Abandoned Cart tracking

A handy feature in WooCommerce stores is to setup an Abandoned Cart. This keeps track of people who have visited your eCommerce store, added something to the shopping cart but never completed the sale.

If you have managed to capture a visitor’s email address, you can send a reminder email to tell them that they left something in their shopping cart. We recommend sending a maximum of 3 follow up emails – with the final email offering an incentive for the person to complete the purchase, e.g. a discount or free shipping.

We recommend the Abandoned Cart Lite for WooCommerce plugin to help with this.

3. Analyse your data

We recommend uncovering the the following information in Google Analytics:

  • How many visitors come to your website?
  • How long do they spend on your website?
  • How many of them jump to your online shop or view a product?
  • What is the “behaviour flow” after a visitor reaches your website?
  • How many people add something to their shopping cart?
  • How many of those people complete the purchase?
  • How many customers return to your website to purchase more product?

Feel free to jump to our article and video which teaches you how to use and interpret Google Analytics data.

4. Know your customers back to front

This step is critical for everything you do within your business. You will want to uncover information such as:

  • What’s the biggest pain point that you can help them with?
  • How much would they pay to solve that problem?
  • What devices are they likely to use when shopping online – mobile, tablet or desktop – if they’re mostly mobile phone users then the shopping experience should be tailored to mobile.
  • How much do they already know your brand – do you need to provide bucket loads of reviews and testimonials to earn their trust or would they blatantly buy your stuff because it’s on special and convenient?
  • What triggers them to purchase online – are they likely to try out something new, are the likely to purchase from them if you provide a rewards system to redeem points?
  • Are they first time online shoppers or regular online shoppers?
  • What times / days of the week are they likely to shop online?

You will also want to find out the “usual” customer information such as age, gender, location, demographic etc.

5. Check your “quick win” goals

It’s easy to get distracted on by “shiny objects” when setting up your online shop. Our advice is to stay focused on “quick win” goals that will help you grow your business. As an example, a business owner might spend hours trying to setup a system that tracks referral sales for future referral partners, hoping to get a grand system that brings them bucket loads of leads to their online shop.

Instead, the business owner would be better off focusing on a goal like: 30% of people who jumps onto my XYZ product in my online shop ends up adding that product to their shopping cart. 70% of those people complete the sale.

“Quick win” goals focus on the outcomes for the business – i.e. based on where you want your business to be in 90 days, what are the things on my online shop that will help you get there?

6. “Watch” people when they’re on your site

Did you know that you can setup software to “watch” people when they’re on your website? This is one of the best methods to find out people’s habits and how they’re using your website.

All you need to do is add code to start recording “sessions” on your website. The code will then track mouse movements, keyboard presses and finger presses on mobile devices. It overlays this tracking on top of your website. So, when you play back a recording, it’s like watching a video of a visitor on your website. You can uncover information such as:

  • Where do they scroll to on each page? This can help uncover information like – “people are taking no notice of our scrolling banner or special products on the home page BUT they’re spending lots of time reading the About Us section” – maybe we should make the About Us more compelling so they start looking inside the shop.
  • Where does their mouse go on each page? This can help uncover amazing information like “people keep trying to click on the product image, expecting it to do something” – maybe we should change the product image to allow people to zoom in for a closer look.

Please note: there is a small amount of overhead when you use this code. This overhead usually adds 1-2 seconds to your page load time.

We recommend using Inspectlet to setup website recording..

7. Check how fast your site is

This is critical for the success of your online shop. A slow website will dramatically decrease your chances of converting a visitor to a customer – no matter how amazing your website is.

We recommend a maximum of 3-5 seconds for the initial load of your website, then 1-2 seconds for every page after that.

The main contributors to your site loading fast are:

  • A fast hosting service – we recommend Amazon Web Services AUD$97 per year with us, or WP Engine from USD$20 per month.
  • Well written code – this can sometimes be limited if you have chosen a WordPress theme rather than have someone develop your website from scratch.
  • Optimised images – ensure that your web developer loads images that have been resized and optimised for websites. An image that’s larger than 250 KB probably needs some optimisation.

These are the main places to start making your site faster. There are bucket loads of other techniques – feel free to request a website review if your site is running slowly.

We recommend using Pingdom Tools to check the speed of your website.

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