Today's episode shares 10 crucial elements your website needs in order to convert more browsers into customers, and be on your way to scaling your eCommerce store to a million dollars in revenue and beyond.
I started my own online fashion store from scratch as a side hustle when I was working full time in the corporate world, juggling young children and living in the Middle East. Today. That side hustle is a seven figure a year online fashion brand with stockists and customers all over the world.
But there was actually two businesses before iland co. and I share those stories (and failures!) in this episode.
Tune into this episode to hear the ten crucial elements your website needs to start making more sales.
Curious to check out my fashion brand? Take a look here: iland co.
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Hello, and welcome to episode one of online store success with Jodie Minto. This podcast is all things eCommerce and fashion business and I'm so thrilled to be here today to share with you the top 10 crucial elements an ecommerce store needs in order to be a million dollar a year business. You see your website's the equivalent of your brick and mortar shop front, first impressions are everything. Think about shopping in person at your local shopping mall or centre. What happens when you approach a new store for the first time? Do you take in the shop window the display, whether or not there's salespeople around. If you approached that store and found that there was boxes at the front door, there was trip hazards, there was cobwebs in the window and an inch of dust in the displays and on the shelves would you stick around. If you wanted to try something on and there was no sales assistant there to help you would you still stay? We need to consider the user experience of our website in the same way we would if they were visiting us in real life. That is you need to make a great first impression on your website, and then help guide customers through making a purchase.
Now obviously, we can't do it as easily online as we could if we had a bricks and mortar store. However, there are 10 crucial elements that will help you give your customer the best possible user experience in order to start making a million dollars a year in your online store like I do in iland co. Okay, let me share with you exactly what these are. Number one, a strong homepage, people, this is the first page of your website that they're going to land on. So they need to get a really great first impression. And within three seconds know what it is that you do and whether or not you are for them. It needs to be super, super clear who it is that you serve. And what it is you do. There's nothing worse than landing on a webpage for the very first time someone's store and having to scroll around and look around to try and figure out what on earth it is that they actually sell. Because if you have to do that, you will find that they will most likely bounce and click off and go somewhere else. We all are so time poor. So we need to make sure that when they first land on your homepage, they know exactly what it is that you sell and whether or not that is for them. And in order to encourage them to scroll down or click through to another page.
Now how do we do this, we do this with great looking banners or lifestyle images at the very top of your website are above the fold, as we say without having to scroll down. And ideally you'd have some sort of message bar or hello bar there that would tell people exactly what it is. So for example, for iland co. we say at the very top when they land on our site, there's a great looking banner. And then there is a little note at the very top that says we are your one stop shop for all things resort wear I think I think that's what it says I can't remember it was something along those lines, isn't that bad when we think what did I type? I think it's your online resort where destination and then we talk about 30 Day refunds and then we have after pay and zip pay, so it's super clear as soon as someone lands on our site, what it is that we do, and we have a great looking image, lifestyle image and or banner there above the fold to encourage them to click through to another page or keep scrolling down further.
Okay, number two, social proof. What is social proof? That is some sort of evidence to your customer or visitor that you are a real life legitimate professional business. So reviews are a great way of doing this. Also those badges if you've ever been featured in a newspaper or a magazine or on television, where you would have as seen in and have those logos. Any sort of social proof helps instil that know like and trust in your customers and they'll help, help them feel confident in order to make a purchase from new knowing that they can see reviews from previous people that you're not some sort of online scam and you're not going to take all their money and run.
Okay, number three, easy navigation. It goes without saying that your website needs to be easy to navigate, having confusing menus, or pop ups or lots and lots of pop ups that keep popping up even after you've closed them. That may also block other menu items are or not easily clickable. This will contribute to people bouncing off very quickly from your website. And we don't want that. Think about your customer's shopping journey with you and map out the logical steps or clicks they need to take in order to purchase from you easily. And remember, the less necessary steps, the better. We don't want to make it super complex, we really want them to be able to just click, click on the product page, click add it to cart, click to add in their payment information and click to purchase, the shortest amount of steps will result in the highest number of conversions and the least number of abandoned carts.
You need to check this process yourself, you need to test it and also get friends and family to test it for them. Give them 100% gift card or a discount voucher so that they can go away and do a test purchase using that that gift card or that 100% discount. And then they can give their feedback to you and also test it, not just from a computer but also from your mobile phone, a laptop, an iPad, and just make sure that it's super, super easy. Side note here, don't force people to create accounts in order to purchase from you that I know from personal shopping experience is a real deal breaker for me, I think no, I don't want to create an account, I want to make this one purchase. And I want to see if I like this thing and this brand. And then if I want to come back for a second purchase, maybe then I'll create an account. But don't force me to create an account, set up a password and then wait to get a confirmation email. So then click the link to then confirm my account before I can even make a purchase, you will lose customers so quickly if you make them do that.
Okay, number four, having killer product pages. Now think again about that in store shopping experience where people can go and touch and feel and try things on. Obviously online people can't do that. So we need to make sure our product pages give them as much information and good information as possible in order for them to feel confident to make that purchase. So this includes detailed size guides that are relevant to that particular product. It includes detailed product descriptions, sharing with them what the fabrication is, if you sell a fashion garment, how to care for it is it dry clean only because dry clean only, for me I know is a bit of a deal breaker dry cleaning is really expensive on the central coast and in Australia in general. So dry cleaning, for me is a deal breaker. So you need to make sure that you include any details like that that they need. And you also need to have good high res images of your product and enough images that people can make an informed decision before adding to cart, we're so close to our products, we often don't realise that customers are looking at it for the very first time. And we just assume that they know what the fabric looks like up close, or how it feels. But remember, they don't. So we need to have close up images of prints and fabrics. We need to have front back and side images. We need ideally to have that product, particularly fashion garments shown on different size models. So you can do all the way from extra small all the way up to the curvier sizes. Great. I mean people want to be able to see those images and think, what would this look like on me. So having really strong product pages again, will help you make more conversions and help you on the road to scaling to a million dollars.
Okay, number five fomo apps or in other words just purchased or some sort of urgency so we've all heard of fomo right? Fear of missing out, and this definitely applies to online shopping too. Scarcity creates urgency as does seeing what other people are buying, we always quite like to see what the best sellers are right, so having one of the apps there are many to choose from especially on Shopify that pops up and shows you know this person just purchased this is a great way of creating some fomo and and some interest and also things like showing when stocks limited so if you down to the last three items, for example, having that display on your website, you know only three remaining because that will help create that scarcity and urgency to help people go ahead and make that purchase.
Number six. Now this ties into number four that we just spoke about. But also in general for your whole entire brand is quality imagery and videos if you can get them. So not just on the product pages, but also on the collection pages. And on your homepage, we want to make sure you have high quality product photos and videos that will help absolutely increase your conversion rates. More and more customers are wanting videos. I know I love to see videos of fashion items, where you see them sort of walk on into camera and do a little sort of cat walk up and down and a twirl, because you can see how the garment moves, you can see how it fits. And that definitely will help the customer feel confident making that purchase. And will also help reduce your number of refund requests as well, because ultimately, we don't really want to get any refunds if we can help it. So if we can give customers as much possible information, imagery, footage before they make their purchase, we will also help reduce those refund requests.
Number seven, I see this a lot where links for contact us and social media accounts are broken, we need to make sure that there's up to date links in order for customers to reach out to us or to stalk us. I know I often like to stalk brands for a while on social media before I decide whether or not I want to make a purchase with them. So let them do that easily. Now, if you have a dead link it takes them just to an old Instagram account or just an Instagram homepage or the contact doesn't work or worse, the contact form looks like it works. But you don't get a response or you don't actually reply to them. That will definitely hamper and kill your conversion rate. We want to make sure that we're available for customers to ask a question should they want to. And ultimately, we need to be very diligent in responding in a reasonable amount of time.
Number eight, mobile friendly, now 80% of your website visitors will be coming to your website by their mobile phone, think about how many hours a day we spend on our phones. I know I'm on there a lot. So it's crucial that your website is fully optimised for different size screens and devices. If you're not sure if yours is, pull it out and test it. And again, test it from the phone or laptop or tablet and check yourself that everything is still functional, you can still click on those menu items. And it's still a great shopping experience. Now remember, if you use any of those other pop up style apps, like we talked about those fomo ones, maybe you want to switch them off on a mobile, if it's hampering the user experience and perhaps blocking too much of the screen. So just considering that ultimately, most of your traffic will be coming to your store for a small screen on a mobile phone, so you need to make sure that your website still looks great on that size device.
Number nine having lots of payment options. What payment options do you currently have on your website? Is it just credit card? Maybe it's just PayPal. Many people, myself included, are quite lazy when I'm sitting on the couch, maybe watching Married at First Sight and I find a nice dress that I'd love to buy from my phone. And then it comes up and they don't have PayPal. And so then I have to go upstairs, find my wallet out of my handbag come back and finish that purchase. And more often than not, I think Oh no, don't worry, I'll do it tomorrow when I'm back in front of the computer. And I'll forget. So make sure that you're making it as easy as possible for customers to give you their money. So whether that's Credit Card Plus PayPal, if you have things like afterpay zippay. That's also a great way of kind of helping people make that purchase. Just don't forget there are transaction fees involved in that. But make it as easy as possible for customers to give you their money and you will see a dramatic increase in your conversion rates.
Number 10. Our last crucial element we're talking about today, in order to scale your online eCommerce store to a million dollars a year and then some, is having a really obvious opt in box. Most ecommerce business owners understand that we're in a numbers game and that most visitors won't actually purchase from us on the very first site visit. Rather they'll come back a few times before they're ready to buy. This means that we need to encourage and remind visitors to come back time and time again. And one of the best, cheapest, most efficient ways to do this is via email marketing. So be sure that you have a really obvious clear space for customers or visitors to jump on and enter in their email address in order for them to stay in contact with you. Ideally, I'd incentivise visitors in some sort of way to hand over their emails with the promise of us maybe a small discount, or a gift or maybe they get a downloadable PDF a style guide for example. And this will help increase the rate of your subscribes and also help you build that super, super important email list. I hope you found these 10 crucial elements helpful. And good luck in your online store.
Thanks so much for listening to this episode of online store success with Jodie Minto. If you loved it, please share it with your friends on Instagram and tag me @iamjodieminto so I can say thank you. And if you really want to make my day please leave me a review on Apple podcasts. If you'd like my help in starting or scaling your online store, be sure to check out my free resources and programmes at jodieminto.com Thanks again and best of luck with your store.
My mission is to help other emerging fashion entrepreneurs crack the code of eCommerce success for a life of uncapped income, flexibility and fun.