Now is the prime time to plan your strategy for 2023 if you haven’t done so already. While marketing is critical in working towards your never-ending business goals, design and development require the same attention and planning. 

We at Blend aim to make that planning more straightforward for you in your efforts to make the most out of your eCommerce store and strive for greatness. We’ve collected insightful recommendations from each member of our design and development teams to help you plan for the coming year.

1. Cart Drawer

Instead of a cart page, we recommend implementing a cart drawer. With merchants and users wanting sites to be as fast and optimised as possible, cart drawers are a perfect addition to a site as users remain on the page when adding to the cart/viewing the cart — giving them an extra push to continue shopping. The cart drawer also helps the UX of the conversion funnel due to the user being able to checkout faster (no “Go to cart” button necessary as the cart drawer is the cart).

Example of a Cart Drawer

 2. Checkout Upsells

Checkout upsells mean that products appearing in the customers' checkout process will complement the items in their cart using predictive analytics. This implementation will be a quick win for increased AOV, and it’s effortless to implement with Shopify’s new Checkout Extensibility.

3. Core Web Vitals Optimisation 

Core web vitals optimisation is how Google will evaluate your store. Implementing this process will allow you to focus on improving your site and ranking better and faster, easing customer acquisition and your conversion rate. You can run your store through PageInsights to find your score, and you’ll be able to collect field data from this test. You can do many things to optimise your store’s core web vitals, including implementing a caching solution and eliminating render-blocking resources.

4. Headless Store Solutions

Headless storefronts will eliminate the heavy load of resources on your current store and provide a faster, more seamless user experience. Headless provides an entirely customisable approach, allowing you to hit touchpoints throughout the customer journey. You’ll be able to create a unique website tailored to your customers and their needs without design or development constraints while being able to decouple the back end of their store from the front end.

Example of a Customised Headless Store

5. Logical Navigation

Despite customers becoming increasingly tech-savvy, you still need to guide them through your website. Putting all your effort into excellent and informative pages will fall to the wayside if they leave your website because they can’t find anything. Focusing on logical navigation will allow your customers to find what they need quickly, leading to higher conversion rates and happier customers more likely to become brand loyal.

6. Accessibility

Ignoring accessibility issues will cause frustration for your customers and could end you in deep waters. Businesses have been sued in the past for ignoring accessibility issues. Here are some you should keep an eye out for:

  • Inappropriate alternative text on images
  • Too many navigation links
  • Poorly structured form labels
  • Poor mobile-friendly optimisation
  • Inaccessible embedded documents

Not only will these make navigation easy for customers, but they’ll also save you a world of trouble in the future.

7. Mobile-First Themes

Most users visiting your website will be from mobile devices; it’s just a fact. And while many businesses build their websites for desktops, it should be the other way around. Optimising your custom themes to be built from the ground up with a mobile-first approach means the site is developed as a mobile site by default and will simply adjust for desktop. This may be one to wrap your head around, but it’s probably one of the most critical strategies you could have for your brand.

 Online Shopping on a Cellphone

8. SEO

If you don’t know what SEO is, it stands for Search Engine Optimisation and is crucial for gaining organic traffic. It’s built throughout your website from keywords currently trending in your industry, meaning that when a potential customer searches a word or phrase connected to your brand, you will be one of the first to appear. Having an SEO expert look over your themes is vital in ensuring your site is highly ranked.

9. Integrate Products with Video Content

By integrating products with social media content (stories, reels, etc.) and adding video reviews/testimonials to your website, you’ll have user-generated content creating a positive feeling for potential customers. This feature has been skyrocketing over the past couple of months and is a trend that will be even more prominent in the future. 

A customer who has viewed either on-site or off-site video content is 2-3x more likely to convert than those who haven’t. Shoppable videos are the latest trend and should be investigated and strategically placed in your plan for 2023. You can find out more about Shoppable Video for Shopify with Videowise.

Example of a Shoppable Video

10. Elevate Your Reverse Logistic Game

Almost two-thirds of all abandoned carts are due to bad return policies. In the current economic climate, this figure is bound to increase even more as people become more careful with their finances and won’t want to spend their hard-earned money on items they’re not sure they’ll be able to return. Having a generous and transparent return policy is where it’s at; it’s what the customer wants.

There is also the significant benefit of making the return of an item as simple as possible. Retaining customers are, as we all know, cheaper than acquiring new ones. Not only are customers who have previously converted 33.8% more likely to do so again, but those who say they’ve had a positive return experience are 84% more open to making another in the future. There is a lot to be gained here and a lot to lose should this part of CX be neglected. The key lies in offering exchanges instead of refunds and using return technology to promote upsells and cross-sells.

11. Utilising UGC & Reviews

User-Generated Content (UGC) allows your loyal customers to do your marketing. Potential customers are more likely to trust a brand that others trust, even if the ‘others’ are strangers. UGC can include imagery and video content to boost your brand's reputation. Reward customers who leave reviews in every form so your brand can build social proof that simultaneously increases conversion rate and CLV — and create life-long ambassadors.

12. Design Consistency

There are specific design guidelines that need to be met to have the perfect funnel through your Shopify store. Keeping an eye on consistent text style, banner images, and product images that all fit your brand identity will make your brand feel trustworthy and guide your customer through their journey. 

Using high-quality visuals and graphics will capture the attention of users. 90% of our brains process information visually, so if your website is visually appealing and informative, you’ll have all the success you dreamt of.

13. Email Marketing to Engage with Customers

Email marketing is an underestimated power tool for Shopify stores. Integrating your store with Klaviyo will allow your store to reach its maximum potential. You can use Klaviyo’s algorithm to connect with your customers where they are in their journey, whether they’re brand-new customers, long-term ambassadors, or in-between. 

Connecting with your customers on every level of their journey and targeting them with information that is both valuable and relevant to what they are interested in is the way to their hearts.

Example of Klaviyo

14. Mobile-Friendly Mobile Navigation

Responsive design isn’t enough anymore. Websites should be user-friendly on all mobile devices, regardless of size. Websites, in essence, need to become thumb-friendly. Most users browse with their fingers wrapped around the back of their cellphones, leaving their thumbs to do the hard work. If you have icons or triggers where their thumb is, they will get frustrated, which will hamper their experience. 

Optimising your site’s menus and other features for thumb-friendly navigation is a massive quality-of-life benefit for users browsing your store from the comfort of their couch.

BONUS: Implement an NPS Survey

Finding out that customers aren’t happy is never an exciting experience. But it’s even more upsetting when it’s done in front of a crowd or hundreds and thousands of people on social media. You should implement an NPS Survey on your website and within your email marketing. Using our tools, you’ll be able to do the following:

  • Understand the friction points customers experience while making a purchase
  • Create a ticket point using Gorgias to enable Quick Customer Service for those who had a negative experience (thus allowing time to rectify the problem as well as showing customers that you care)
  • Identify brand detractors and remove these customers from review requests
  • Identify brand advocates and request public review requests and referrals to attract more customers (using UGC is a significant trend for eCommerce businesses)

If you want to focus on and/or implement any or all of these great recommendations and feel too overwhelmed to do it on your own, Blend is here to help. Get in touch with us today.

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