Worldwide, 57% of internet users have purchased fashion goods online, and online retail sales account for over 4.2 trillion US dollars. Maximizing the reach and usability of your fashion eCommerce site is essential to growing your bottom line. Your site needs to be user-friendly with a great user experience (UX) and load quickly so your visitors don’t get bored and bounce (fast PageSpeed and small payload). It also needs to be discoverable and categorized correctly by search engines like Google (Search Engine Optimization – SEO) – and that’s just the technical part! You also need a unique, beautiful design and high-quality images that attract potential customers to your products.
That’s a lot.
So, where should you start? We’ve created a guide that can walk you through some simple steps to make sure you are maximizing the effectiveness of your fashion eCommerce website. With just a few tweaks, none of which require coding experience, you can be on your way to a faster website and higher sales!
Create a User-Friendly Website
Start with your navigation. The best place to have it is at the top of the page, where everyone knows to look. Make it easy to understand, with a clearly defined structure. The font should be clear and legible, even on a mobile device. Your navigation isn’t a place to express your creativity, you want your visitors to be able to find their way to your products easily!
In the same vein, keep your design simple and streamlined. That’s not to say you can’t be unique, but pick a few design ideas and stick to them throughout the site. Keeping the number of elements on each page to a minimum will help to boost your conversion rates. Google states that increasing the number of elements on a page (such as text, titles, and images) from 400 to 6,000 leads to a 95% drop in conversion rate! It’s essential to keep all pages on the site on-brand, with the same fonts, colors, and writing voice. The site needs a cohesive feel for great UX, which will help your SEO.
Your product pages should be easy to shop, with all of the information that a customer could need in one place. Multiple views of the product, with an easy and obvious way to toggle through them, are a must. Including a sizing chart means no one has to click away from the product experience to find the right fit – leading to higher conversion rates. A unique product description, one that both catches a visitor’s attention and engages them and uses long-tail keywords to boost SEO, is another essential. Your CTAs should stand out but still make sense within the design and copy on the page. The placement of elements on the page makes a difference, too; one study found that moving the size guide from below the product image to above the size dropdown increased conversion rates by 21%.
And don’t forget to optimize your checkout pages! They’re a great place to put photos of products visitors have viewed but not added to their cart and to upsell or cross-sell. You can combine the additional images with social proof from previous customers to increase your odds of a sale. Be sure to be upfront about your prices – 55% of shoppers said extra fees were the reason they abandoned their cart. Offer a Guest Checkout option – having to create an account is the second most common reason for cart abandonment. Above all, the checkout process should be evident and straightforward.
Show Off The Product with Stunning Photos
Let’s be honest, though – those tips don’t help much if you don’t have great product photos. And to keep your potential customers interested, those photos need to load fast, and in the right size and format for the customer’s device.
Any modern smartphone can take stellar photos given the right lighting and angles, so don’t fret if you can’t afford a professional photographer. Remember that the product should be the focus, not the background or staging items. It’s preferable to have a plain white background and clear white light if you’re unsure how to stage a photo, as it makes the product stand out, and all of the product images on your eCommerce site will have a similar feel – meaning great UX and better SEO. A lightbox is an excellent tool for this!
There are free or relatively inexpensive image editing tools available to edit and crop your photos and YouTube tutorials on how to use any one of them. Consumers prefer square images for thumbnails and product images. The square format encourages the eyes to travel around the photo in a circle, hitting all corners, so using that format will help hold customer interest and also makes it easier to create mobile-friendly designs.
Now, you have beautiful photos that load so slowly your bounce rate is going through the roof. What do you do now?
Time for image optimization. Some tools optimize images one by one, but that’s an intimidating proposition when you have thousands of images. And responsive syntax can help with PageSpeed, but only partially, requiring a ton of backend coding and maintenance. An image CDN is the best solution for image optimization for a fashion eCommerce site.
What is an Image CDN?
An image CDN decreases image payload, delivers images tailored to each requesting device, and instantly sends images from the network’s edge. The result is faster page loading, higher SEO ranking, and better UX. High-quality images are a major reason for slow-loading websites. The average webpage payload is 2MB, and half of that is images. As many as 57% of shoppers will leave a website if it takes longer than 5 seconds to load – which means you need to get your page loading lightning fast!
Most images are much larger than they need to be and can be optimized with no impact on quality – the consumer perceives no visual difference in the optimized image. ImageEngine’s image CDN makes this possible through the use of industry-leading device detection (using WURFL technology), which gathers precise device data, like screen width, PPI, and OS. ImageEngine then uses machine learning and a complex algorithm to compress the images and convert them to next-gen formats, resulting in up to 80% smaller payloads. The images are delivered through a worldwide PoP network of device-aware edge servers that can retain images in cache for reuse (up to 98% cache hit rate), meaning swift server response times. ImageEngine is especially exceptional at optimizing images for the hundreds of mobile devices now flooding the market. This is incredibly important given that by 2025, a projected 10.4% of all retail sales will be made on a mobile device – plus Google uses Mobile-First Indexing to rank sites on its search engine results pages (SERPs).
All that is required is that you sign up for an account, provide the location of your images (the “image origin”), click a few times, and presto – stunning, perfectly optimized images delivered quickly to your visitors. You’ll be up and running in less than an hour, with no coding, no developers, and no extra data storage fees! It sounds like a pretty good proposition for a busy fashion eCommerce business – and you can unlock an ImageEngine free trial here.
Beautiful, Fast Photos Make the Sale
Since it’s clear that fast loading, high-quality web pages positively impact conversion rates, optimizing your site and your images should be a priority. The guide above provides a clear step-by-step path to better UX, PageSpeed, and SEO. And by utilizing tools like ImageEngine, you can accomplish this with relative ease and your current resources!