Top 10 Ways to Optimize Your BigCommerce Store
March 11, 2022
Ashley R. Cummings
If you ask the average ecommerce store owner what their growth goals are, it usually boils down to earning more revenue.
It’s common to think of revenue in terms of more customers, higher traffic, and boosts in marketing and advertising spend. But in most cases, earning more depends on one thing: how often you convert your website visitors.
Reports show the average ecommerce conversion rate is around 2.65%. So if you want to grow your sales, and your conversion rates are lower than the average, optimization—not more raw traffic—is the ticket to success.
This article will cover the top ten ways to make your BigCommerce store as attractive as possible to buyers so you can drive more ecommerce sales.
#1: Optimize Your Ecommerce SEO
With so many pre-built and SEO-optimized storefront templates, it’s easy to forget there’s always more you can do with search engines. Most importantly, many customers’ first point of contact isn’t your product page—it’s your SEO listing.
“BigCommerce is a powerful, agile, and endlessly scalable ecommerce platform,” writes Elliott Davidson from the SEO agency Contrast, “But, like any platform, to stand out in the large ecommerce crowd, you need to nail your site’s SEO.”
Davidson recommends a veritable checklist of SEO upgrades you can quickly integrate with BigCommerce.
- Check that you’re running a site with HTTPS, avoiding “not secure” alerts on your customers’ browsers.
- Integrate your BigCommerce store with Google Analytics so you can monitor your latest statistics.
- Upload your sitemap (automatically generated by BigCommerce) to Google’s Search Console.
- Fill out your product information on BigCommerce product pages fully, enabling Google to use rich snippets that inspire more customers.
These small on-site changes will significantly level up your organic listings.
#2: Post-Purchase Upsells
The focus of store optimization is too often about the sales you can make now. But the warmest leads are those customers who have already purchased.
“Past purchasing habits often predict future spending. Your goal is always to convert one-time buyers into loyal ones,” said Christiaan Huynen, CEO and Founder of DesignBro.
When optimizing for existing customers, you have a 60-70% higher chance of converting.
To enhance post-purchase engagement with your most loyal customers, consider adding the following features to your BigCommerce store:
- Easy Upsell – Lets you run A/B testing and create upsell triggers on specific purchases in your BigCommerce store.
- Klaviyo – Enhances the post-purchase experience through smart email marketing.
- Native Upsell – Triggers upsells in specific instances, like a small cart value. This helps you pick and choose which customers see which upsells.
#3: Add Videos to Your Product Pages
As crucial as pre- and post-purchase optimization are, you’ll rarely increase conversions if you don’t focus on the place consumers go to make purchases—your product pages.
“As long as your product pages are not convincing enough to get users to buy from you, you’ll never truly reap the benefits of your ecommerce store,” says Jessia Kats from Soxy.
Kats recommends optimizing your product pages by adding videos, which show your audience how your products work.
Videos have become so important to customers that YouTube videos comprise most of the top 100 Google search result listings. And 88% of business owners say adding product videos has helped them boost conversions.
Moreover, when sites used video on the majority of their product pages, the AOV of each purchase was 68% more.
To boost conversions, consider adding brief, one-minute narrated videos to your product pages highlighting product features.
#4: Show Previous Buys to Display Social Proof
Any time you can show new customers your online store is popular, it triggers the same fascination as going to a market and seeing one stall with a long line.
Jae Jun, founder of A Time for Ventures, said his best ecommerce optimization came when he added a small widget in the corner of the website that displayed what customers had recently purchased.
“For a small store without a big name brand, we need all the social proof we can get,” said Jun, “When potential shoppers see other people have purchased, it relieves some anxiety.”
According to Jun, adding this widget created a 26% conversion rate in his ecommerce store among customers who had seen the popup.
In BigCommerce, you can use a similar feature with ProveSource Social Proof. This is especially effective with new customers who may already have their guard up—especially if your brand is new, unfamiliar, or you don’t have enough product reviews to generate innate social proof.
#5: Show Product Reviews (Especially if You Have a Lot)
If you only have a handful of product reviews so far, the advice above may help boost social proof. But you may not need it if you’ve already optimized for reviews.
Ninety-two percent of customers read reviews, and 88% trust them as a personal recommendation.
Sam Speller, the founder of Kenko Tea, learned this when imagining how his store looked from his customers’ perspective. “I realized when I’m considering buying something online, the first thing I always do is check the reviews,” said Speller.
Speller decided to add a review feature so purchasers could rate products on five-star scales and write testimonials. Conversion rates improved from approximately 2.3% to 3%.
“Around a 30% increase in conversion rate, simply by displaying product reviews,” said Speller.
You can add pre-purchase trust by including product reviews with your BigCommerce rich snippets.
But remember, the point of sale is the most critical time to show social proof. Consider enabling product reviews within BigCommerce if you haven’t already.
#6: If Selling in Bulk, Show Your Discounts
Brian Mellin of Gramercy Brands is an advocate of bulk discounts—especially if you can show them on your product page.
“Use buttons on the product page,” whenever possible, says Mellin, calling it a “great way to increase Average Order Value.”
Think of bulk order discounts as a built-in upsell. As customers weigh how much they should purchase, they’ll see the price-per-unit drop if they commit to a larger order.
Discount Manager is one BigCommerce add-on for managing bulk discounts, including scheduling sales or discounts for repeat orders. Think of it as a way to immediately incentivize a customer to increase their AOV.
#7: User-Generated Content (UGC)
Given how much customers trust online reviews, user-generated content builds an implicit advantage. The more your customers engage with your store’s community, the more likely it is that new buyers will see it and trust your brand too.
But what exactly does UGC look like?
UGC is any user contribution, such as product reviews, videos, blogs, social media shoutouts, and recommendations. It might be community engagement through support forums or social media presence.
Here are some tips on how you can gather UGC:
- Optimize your post-purchase email to ask users to leave a review.
- Run contests to motivate users to participate with a tool like ViralSweep.
- Integrate social media into your site with a tool like Snapwidget.
#8: Spend Time on the Post-Purchase Email Template
Your post-purchase email connects with customers at the best point to encourage loyalty. The customer has purchased from you, which means they trust you. They might still have a credit card out, making them a potential upsell. Since they just purchased, they’re willing to listen to anything else that might reassure them about their recent order.
This is an opportunity, but only if you jump on it by presenting a “next step.”. Otherwise, most emails get deleted within two seconds.
You can create more user engagement with the following strategies:
- Ask for a product review.
- Incentivize customers to join a loyalty program.
- Add some personality to your email copy.
Di Bruno Bros follows this last point by telling customers to “prep their taste buds.”
Any reminder you can include that you’re a brand full of actual humans on the other end will help customers remember you more warmly the next time they buy.
#9: Optimize Checkout
This is a big topic—you can find thousands of words about it here—and too important not to mention.
Here’s a twist on the usual take. Rather than focusing on making your checkout page great, consider going the opposite route.
Ask yourself how to avoid red flags.
Minimize the potential problems, and customers will find fewer reasons to abandon cart.
For example, look at the reasons why customers leave before purchasing:
- Extra costs were too high, including shipping and taxes (61%)
- They didn’t want to create an account (35%)
- The checkout process took too long (27%)
- Customers had trouble calculating the total cost (24%)
Whittle away at these one at a time. Give your customers zero excuses to avoid the purchase. Then, at every stage of the process, look for a solution—such as Optimized One-Page Checkout—that will give buyers green flags instead.
Oh, and speaking of simpler checkouts…
#10: Build One-Click Trust With Bolt’s New BigCommerce Integration
There’s some exciting news about how BigCommerce merchants can optimize the checkout process.
Bolt is partnering with BigCommerce to power one-click checkout pages, making it as easy as a click of a button for your customers to buy.
Before this partnership, Bolt was the preferred checkout partner for over 80 BigCommerce enterprise stores. Now, Bolt will be available to all 60,000 BigCommerce merchants. This means even the smallest merchants can offer single-click checkout to shoppers, reducing abandoned cart rates and increasing conversions.
Sign Up for Bolt One-Click for BigCommerce
As you optimize your BigCommerce store, remember that a smooth checkout process is one of the best conversion-increasing tools.
You can sign up now for Bolt One-Click for BigCommerce. It’s a stellar way to attract more buyers, reduce the steps customers must take to complete purchases and increase revenue.