Four Tips to Outrank Your Competition

Ally Feiam By Ally Feiam | 11 Oct 2019

Every retailer has competition, but it takes the cream of the crop to stand out and remain on top. For e-commerce sites, there are a few solutions for a site that can be sometimes overlooked. Here are four tips for outranking your competition.

1. Look at Your Competition

To outrank your competitors, you have to understand what makes their website so great. Do some research and click through the site – check out the category pages, site speed, search capabilities, customer reviews and delivery policies. If there’s something that your e-commerce site doesn’t have, make a note of it. Of course, you must avoid copying the ideas, but it’s a great plan to see what aspects of retail you’re missing.

In contrast, it’s also great to see what you have that the competition doesn’t. Perhaps your e-commerce site utilises well-done optimised product descriptions; figure out what you’ve done right and what you could improve on. If you’re not sure, read some road test reviews, or check out the Power Retail Online Retailer Performance Rankings to see where you place.

2. Optimise Site Speed

While having a pretty site, great reviews and amazing sales are all great for the customer, if your site takes too long to load, you’re cutting down your page visits by a heap. According to Unbounce, 46 per cent of people say waiting for a site page to load is what they dislike most when online shopping. If an e-commerce site loads in five seconds, the retailer will see a 70 per cent longer session on average. A speedy site may sound like a small change, but even a 100-millisecond delay in load time can cause conversion rates to drop by seven per cent.

In order to improve site speed, a retailer should consider compressing image sizes, leverage browser caching, minify CSS, Javascript and HTML or simply enable compression within the site. With these small changes, you can see massive improvements. In a survey by Kiss Metrics, it found that 52 per cent of customers said a quick page load is important to their site loyalty, and 44 per cent would tell their friends about poor site experiences.

3. Encourage Customer Reviews

Although customer reviews open the door to some negativity, there are far more benefits in including the reviews that ignoring them from your site. Encouraging customers to review products, take surveys and leave feedback is an easy way to control three things: What you’re doing right/wrong, capture customer loyalty and improve your brand’s NPS score. According to PR Newswire, 97 per cent of all consumers rely on reviews when they’re shopping. With this in mind, 93 per cent of online shoppers will influencer their purchase decision and 91 per cent of Millennials say that online reviews are just as trustworthy as personal reviews.

So, will customers actually leave reviews? Well, according to Brightlocal, 68 per cent of consumers are happy to eave a review on a product. In the Power Retail Shopper Profile Reports, the lowest star rating that 46 per cent of customers left was a four-star rating. There’s real value to encouraging and showcasing customer reviews, too. A one-star increase in a review on Yelp can increase revenue by five to nine per cent. Customers, according to Invesp, are willing to spend 31 per cent more on a business that has ‘excellent’ reviews. In the technology category, software customers prefer to have at least six reviews on a product before they consider purchasing it.

4. Make Sure You’re Mobile-Friendly

It’s all well and good having a super speedy site when yo’re on desktop, but unless it’s optimised for mobile, you’re going to miss out on half of your market. In the Power Retail Shopper Profile report on Health and Beauty shoppers, 46 per cent of customers made their last order via desktop, leaving the remaining 54 per cent making a purchase via mobile. In 2018, 63 per cent of all internet traffic was via mobile – moreover, Google gives preferential favour to e-commerce platforms with a mobile-friendly site.

Simple adjustments to your site can make a huge difference. For instance, stop using Flash if you want to optimise a mobile site – it’s bad for SEO and simply no longer in fashion. iOS and Android no longer support Flash, so if your site uses it, your mobile consumers will miss out. If you’re using forms within the site, be sure you turn on Autocorrect and keep your font size at a visible and readable level. If you’re not sure if your site is mobile-friendly, Google can give you an in-depth analysis of your mobile site in an instant. It’s important to regularly check the mobile usability of your site in order to keep customers and Google happy.

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