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May 19, 2019

How To Create An Ecommerce Facebook Ad Funnel


Wondering how you can sell more products on your online store using Facebook ads?

Or looking for tips to target your customers through their buyer journey?

In this article, you’ll discover the exact steps we took to build an effective, profitable eCommerce Facebook ad funnel for our client Diana from Milkbar Breastpumps.

How we generated a profitable 7x ROI in 12 months using Facebook Ads

How to generate a profitable ROI from Ecommerce Facebook Ads Funnel

Step #1: Find your ideal audience

Finding your ideal customers on Facebook is the first key to success with you’re ads.

Getting this right is all about Targeting. How to show your ads to the right audience.

Set up your Pixel

The first thing you gotta do to make this all work, is to install your Facebook Pixel onto your website.

What the heck is a Pixel? You might be asking… Basically, it’s a piece of code (or gobbledigook if you ask me) that you get from your Facebook Ad Account, and you need to go paste it on your website.

It’s a bit different for each website platform, but in 99% of cases it’s very very simple.

To do this, first head to Facebook.com/adsmanager and select Pixels from the dropdown menu:

Then you click the green Create a Pixel button and follow the prompts. You should see something like this:

That’s the Pixel code that you need to copy and paste into your website.

Best thing to do next is to google ‘how to install Facebook pixel’ on your website platform (here’s how to do it on Shopify) and follow the steps. I promise it’s super easy.

Create your Custom Audiences

The most effective strategy to find your ideal customers on Facebook is to ask Facebook to find more people exactly like your existing audience.

That means other people who share similar characteristics and interests to your customers, website visitors, Facebook and Instagram fans and email subscribers.

Doing this is a 2-step process, as follows.

To set up your email list as a Custom Audience in Facebook Ads Manager, you gotta choose Audiences from the top menu:

Then select ‘Create a Custom Audience’:

And then select “Customer File”. Then just follow the prompts to upload your email list.

At the very end of the Email List upload process in the previous step, you’ll be prompted to create a Lookalike Audience – click YES and follow the prompts.

With your Lookalike Audiences, I start with a 1% Lookalike. This means that the audience in the Lookalike will have the most in common with your original audience.

Then, follow the same process to create a Custom Audience and Lookalike audience for your Website Traffic, and Engagement on Facebook and Instagram.

Step #2: Top of Funnel Ad – New Audience Attraction

The first ad in your eCommerce Facebook Ad Funnel is designed to send quality traffic to your online store.

This ad is showing to a cold audience – people who have never been to your website or interacted with your brand on social media.

Your Facebook ad – your text, your images, your offer, heck, even your call to action – needs to attract, connect, educate and motivate action.

The campaign objective is ‘Traffic’, optimized for landing page views.

Show your ad to the Lookalike Audiences you set up in Step 1.

When writing your ad, the messaging should identify with your customers’ pain points or desires, and present your product as the ideal solution.

And when choosing your images – try to select 4 lifestyle images to include in a Carousel. This will help your customer to see HERSELF in your ad.

Like this:

Step #3: Middle of Funnel Ad – Warm Audience Retargeting

Some people will have purchased from your New Audience Attraction ad.

But, as we all know, most people who visit your website the first time aren’t going to buy straight away. Sad but true.

I you’ve done a good job attracting the right people with your New Audience Attraction ad, then hopefully many of them have had a good look around and are now interested in your products.

The next thing you want to do is to retarget those people who have been to your website and interacted with your brand, but haven’t yet bought.

This is where the 2nd ad in our Ecommerce Facebook Ad Funnel comes in: the Warm Audience Retargeting ad.

For this campaign, I would choose the objective ‘Conversions’. In the Ad Set, select the ‘Purchase’ conversion event.

Show your ad to the Custom Audiences you originally set up (Website Traffic, Facebook engagement and Instagram engagement).

Or, set up a more specific Custom Audience based on people who actually viewed your Product pages but have not yet purchased.

This custom audience looks like this:

There are two ways to write this ad:

  1. Address any perceived risks the customers might have (for example – parents might worry that their kid will break or lose an expensive pair of kids sunglasses), or
  2. Show social proof with a testimonial.

This ad should ultimately pacify any concerns about buying online from you.

Like this:

Step #4: Bottom of Funnel Ad – Dynamic Product Retargeting

The hottest prospects you’ll have in an eCommerce business is actually the ones who abandon their cart!

These punters have shown serious interest in your products. They have ALMOST bought! But something has made them pause, or they’ve been distracted.

So we pick up these hot leads using the 3rd ad in our Ecommerce Facebook Ad Funnel: the Dynamic Retargeting ad.

The best, easiest way to attract these people back to complete their purchase is to use a Dynamic Product Ad (DPA) to retargeting cart abandons.

Using DPAs requires you to set up your Product Catalog first (which you can do in the top menu of your Ads Manager).

Once you’ve done this, it will allow you to show images in your ad of the exact products your potential customer was looking at on your website. So powerful!

For this campaign, select the objective ‘Catalog Sales’.

In the Ad Set, you want to select ‘Added to Cart But Not Purchased’. This actually uses your Pixel to create the audience based on the actions taken by your website visitors.

The ad itself is very simple. You want to choose ‘Carousel’ format, but you do not need to upload any images – these will be dynamically updated depending on what products your website visitors look at.

In the text, I like to offer a financial incentive such as free shipping to entice your prospects back to complete their purchase.

Like this:

The Results

Over the last year, we’ve been able to achieve an average return on investment of $7 for every $1 spent on Facebook Ads.

Needless to say, my client Diana from Milkbar Breastpumps is incredibly happy with this result!

“Signing up to Catherine’s program was the best decision I made in 2018. The program allowed me to confidently (and profitably implement) implement strategies such as facebook ads into my business. My monthly sales are almost 3 times higher compared to last year. This is the best program specifically designed for product based ecommerce owners to scale their business. The interaction with other brand owners has been priceless.” Diana Swadling, Milkbar Breastpumps

Want to achieve results like Diana?

Contact us to discuss Facebook advertising for your own eCommerce brand today:

March 25, 2019

How To Navigate The Shopify Mailchimp Breakup


Shopify and Mailchimp have just announced that the two platforms will cease to integrate from 12th May 2019.

As an eCommerce and email marketing expert, I wanted to share my insights and advice with you to help you to navigate your pathway forwards. Especially given so many of you use both these platforms!

Here are your eCommerce email marketing options moving forwards

Shopify and Mailchimp are breaking up…

From May 12th 2019, the Shopify Mailchimp app will no longer function.

This means the automatic subscribing at checkout (if they opted into marketing emails) will no longer trigger.

Additionally, you will not have any synced up sales data being carried over to Mailchimp to trigger your automated email campaigns (like abandoned cart or post-purchase).

Nor will you be able to run reports in Mailchimp to show you how much revenue your marketing emails are generating in your store.

If you have a pop-up app like Privy or JustUno for new subscribers – these will still integrate with Mailchimp to trigger your new subscriber email campaigns.

But, without a solution to sync your store with your email platform, none of the other stuff will work. So you still need to figure out a solution.

What are my options after the Mailchimp and Shopify breakup?

As I see it, you only have two options and you need to pick one and implement it before May 12th. Do not leave this till the last minute!

1. Update your Mailchimp integration to use a third-party app or service to continue without interruption.

There is a newish app in the App Store called ShopSync that syncs your sales and customer data with your Mailchimp account.

Another option is to use Zapier as a third party integration app.

The downfall with both these options is that they’re basically limited to just adding a customer or subscriber as a new contact on your Mailchimp marketing list.

They won’t pass any more sophisticated information from Shopify to Mailchimp. For instance, if someone purchases a product, neither ShopSync or Zapier will add the contact to your post-purchase email automation within Mailchimp. Nor will they enable you to run any meaningful reports on revenue or conversions generated from your Mailchimp emails.

Your last option to integrate Mailchimp with Shopify is building out a manual integration. You would need to pay a developer to do this for you and would probably require ongoing maintenance from a developer as well.

These options go from quick and free, to pricey, to pricey and time-consuming.

2. Change email marketing platforms.

This comes with a couple of caveats: Using another email service provider is going to cost more than Mailchimp, AND you’ll have to migrate your data over. It’s still an option worth considering regardless.

Here’s what I recommend you do:

The hardest part of this situation is that you MUST make a decision – and you have a deadline looming! You cannot put your head in the sand on this one and hope it’ll all blow over…

The argument FOR changing platforms

If you are ready to scale your business, or you’re already turning over significant revenue, now is the time to change email platforms.

My personal favourite for eCommerce is Klaviyo.

Klaviyo currently has the most comprehensive, deep integration with Shopify.

Yes, it’s more expensive than Mailchimp, BUT it integrates seamlessly, and has more functionality, AND is much simpler to use than Mailchimp.

Clients of mine who have switched to Klaviyo have all experienced pretty significant sales growth.

Also, given how integral email marketing is to eCommerce sales success, it is worth investing a bit more to have this marketing channel humming along!

The argument AGAINST changing platforms

Some of you are just starting out, or still in the early days of your business, and want to enjoy Mailchimp’s free version.

If you’re in this situation, it’s worth staying with Mailchimp and simply using ShopSync to continue to integrate Shopify with your Mailchimp newsletter list.

Need some help getting set up on Klaviyo?

Sing out! Our team would love to help you.


February 19, 2019

How To Double Your Sales (& More!) In Your Shopify Store


That’s not a typo – my client did just that!

Is your goal to increase eCommerce store sales this year?

Platforms like Shopify now make it super easy to start your own eCommerce business.

But, if you want to generate sales, just getting your website up and running is not enough.

So many times, I speak to online storeowners who are struggling with too few orders, and the majority of their “marketing” efforts are spent crafting and posting content on Instagram.

In the words of Dr Phil – how’s that working for you then? 😉

Trust me – there IS a better way to increase eCommerce store sales!


Meet our client Lisa, who has more than doubled her revenue

If you feel like you’ve tried everything, and you’re starting to wonder, “Are people like me getting results?”

Then let me introduce you to our client Lisa from Happy Tummies.

Lisa is a Mother of three and also owns an eCommerce store on the Shopify platform that specializes in allergy-free foods.

Over the last year, Lisa has worked really hard to implement our strategies.

Her job is not made easy by the fact that allergy-free foods is not exactly the biggest market in the world… It’s a VERY niche market!

However, her dedication and hard work have really paid off.

Over the last year, her average monthly sales have more than doubled!

“Woohoo! For the first time ever I made my ambitious target for the month! Thank you Catherine.” Lisa Munro, Happy Tummies

And I reckon Lisa’s stress levels have probably halved as well, now that much of her marketing is automated!

Here are 5 things Lisa did to dramatically increase eCommerce store sales

1. She committed to spending money on Facebook ads

One of the things I see many small business owners struggle with, is spending money on Facebook ads without knowing absolutely for sure that they will make more money back.

There’s no guarantee with paid traffic. There’s no way to know for sure whether this text and image or that one, or this audience or that one, will be the winning combination for you.

The only way to make it work is to test. And that means being willing to spend some money to see what works.

Lisa’s ads don’t always work perfectly, but a lot of the time they do really well.

But her most important asset when it comes to spending money on Facebook ads is her testing mindset.

2. She gained her customers’ trust (and it shows in her marketing)

Trust seems like a bit of an odd point to make when it comes to eCommerce marketing.

But if you think about it as a consumer, you definitely want to feel confident in an online store before you give them your credit card details!

Even more so when your customers have severe or life-threatening allergies, as in Lisa’s case!

More than just trust, though – if you can demonstrate that your customers love your products and your service, then your customers will end up doing your marketing for you.

That means collect as many customer reviews as you can (and make sure you do an outstanding job so that those reviews are awesome!)

And then use those reviews in your marketing – on your website, in your emails and in your Facebook ads.

3. Make sure your website converts really well

When you first start out in your eCommerce business, it can be tempting to go with the cheapest website possible. You may even wonder why you should spend money on a Shopify or WordPress theme when there are free ones available!

Well, there are very good reasons to choose a great theme or to work with a reputable web designer.

Some websites convert better than others. And if you can convert more of your website visitors into customers, then your sales are growing.

We worked hard on improving her website conversion rate, by designing an intuitive navigation, home page design and checkout process. Plus she puts consistent effort into her SEO and page load speed, and her conversion rate has improved dramatically as a result.

4. Send marketing emails consistently

I don’t care whether you personally feel like you get way too many promotional emails in your inbox.

And I also don’t care if you’ve surveyed your audience to find out they only want to hear from you once in a blue moon!

The cold hard fact is – email marketing works VERY well. It is still one of, if not THE most effective online marketing tool you can employ.

Of course, you need to have an email list to market to (which is one of the benefits of running Facebook ads).

Lisa has never wavered in her commitment to build her email list and to send regular marketing emails each week.

5. Work with experts to fast-track results

Of course it’s entirely possible to figure things out on your own over time, but Lisa was impatient and wanted to grow more quickly than that!

The benefits of working with people who have ‘been there done that’ experience, AND someone who work with numerous similar businesses, is that they know what works and what doesn’t and can help you navigate the ever-changing business landscape more quickly and smoothly.

I won’t share the one big thing that Lisa found most valuable from her time working with us – you’ll have to work with us to find out our secret sauce! 😉

But suffice to say, Lisa now runs a fast-growing business like a well-oiled machine!

Want to see results like this in your own business?

Implementing the strategies implement for clients can be the quickest way to fire up your eCommerce store and start making some serious dough.


February 19, 2019

How To Run Killer Ecommerce Facebook Ads in 5 Steps

Learn the RIGHT way to run profitable eCommerce Facebook ads

Are you an online retailer? Or are you a brand owner who also sells online?

If so – I have no doubt that social media advertising plays a big role in your online marketing.

So many business owners I speak to are struggling to get decent results with their Facebook ads, though.

They’re spending money only to get dismal (or no) sales through their website as a result.

And at this point, it’s easy to give up and assume that “Facebook ads don’t work for my kind of business”.

Well, sorry to bust your bubble on this.

Facebook ads represent an undeniable opportunity to grow your online sales.

With over a billion users active on Facebook per MONTH, the largest number of ecommerce orders generated from advertising on any social media platform, and an average ROI (return on investment) of 152%, NOT advertising on the Facebook is a HUGE missed opportunity.

So how do you get it right then?

Our 5 steps to running profitable Facebook ad campaigns


1. Appeal to your tribe

The biggest issue with most eCommerce Facebook ads is that they are not showing to the right people.

The targeting is way off.

It’s pointless trying to create an ad that shows to a million different audiences at once. For starters, if you set it up like this you really have no way to identify which of those audiences is responding and which isn’t, which ends up costing you a lot more money.

The effectiveness will be also diluted, because you just can’t create an ad that is appealing to a wide audience – it needs to be much more specific than that.

The easiest way to target your ads effectively is by working out what your ideal customers are likely to be interested in. For example, think about other brands (not necessarily in the same product category) your customers might buy, or magazines they read in your industry.

For example, in my last business selling reusable and eco-friendly baby products, my ideal customers were also likely to be fans of associations like the Australian Breastfeeding Association, bloggers like Stay At Home Mum (who are all about being thrifty and economical with the household budget), natural parenting products like baby carrier brands, and eco-friendly product brands like Enjo.

Top Tip: Select these brands, media or other relevant interests as your ‘Detailed Interests’ targeting within your Ad Set:

2. Warm up your audience first

Basically, you need to understand HOW your customers buy – that is, what is their purchase decision-making process?

Most eCommerce Facebook ads are too generic.

Have you ever seen a Facebook ad promoting a product that’s for sale, and it pretty much says ‘Check out our awesome product. Click here to buy it now.’

Not particularly engaging is it…

The first ad should not be a hard-sell – it should be educating your potential customers about your brand and product benefits.

And to do this successfully, you need to know what your customers actually want.

HINT: it’s not your product.

People don’t buy a drill, they buy a hole in the wall!

They key is – you need to communicate your product benefits with a short amount of text and some gorgeous images.

Top Tip: Use a Carousel or Collection ad format for this ad, like my clients Chloe & Amelie and T-Leaf Collections:

3. Retarget with an amazing offer

The next step in your customer’s buying journey AFTER learning about your product, is to buy it, right?

So the cool thing with FB ads is that you can actually re-target the people who clicked on the last ‘get to know you’ ad or visited your website, with a ‘buy now’ type ad.

That means you get to show an ad that has a special offer or invitation to come and buy your product JUST to the people who saw your first ad. Pretty cool, right?

And if you can get this set up correctly, your sales conversions from your Facebook ads will increase dramatically once you start getting them in front of a warm audience (ie people who actually know, like and trust you already)!

Top Tip: Use Dynamic Product Ads to retarget people who have viewed products on your website or added something to their cart. Like this:

4. Monitor and measure

The most stressful part of running Facebook ad campaigns is often the amount of money you end up spending.

And so you really need to know how to work out whether you are getting worthwhile website traffic and sales from that ad spend.

Please note, that spending money on Facebook ads is NOT about building brand awareness!

I’ve spoken to far too many eCommerce business owners recently who have decided that their high ad costs are perfectly OK because it’s “good for brand awareness”.

Let me be clear – the metrics you should be judging your ad success on are SALES and ROAS (Return On Ad Spend).

You can find out the number of sales you’re getting from an ad by making sure you have your Facebook pixel installed on your website.

Then you can use the Facebook ads manager to report on how many sales have occurred from each ad you run and your return on ad spend.

Top Tip: Use an Excel spreadsheet to track and monitor your Facebook ad metrics on a weekly basis. You should aim for a 4x ROAS (ie for every $1 you spend on ads, you make $4 back in sales).

5. Don’t rely entirely on Facebook ads!

You can’t rely entirely on getting visitors onto your website in order to grow your sales.

Have a think about the percentage of your website visitors go on to become buyers?

Often it’s pretty small, as little as 2% for most ecommerce websites, which is pretty heartbreaking when you think about it!

Don’t make the mistake of assuming you have no control over these numbers, because you DO.

The key to increasing the number of customers who buy from you is to follow up with them and make them an offer they can’t refuse!

And the best way to achieve this is to have an enticing opt-in offer to attract them onto your email list, and then use email marketing to follow-up and convert them into buyers.

Putting it into practice

So I’ve just walked you through some of the strategy, but in practice setting up eCommerce Facebook ads can be a bit of a minefield… There’s always a lot of settings and options to choose from, which can become a bit overwhelming and confusing until you get the hang of it!

Contact us to discuss Facebook advertising for your own eCommerce brand today:

November 19, 2018

How To Increase Repeat Purchases From Existing Customers


The Secret Sauce for a Profitable eCommerce Business

Every single business owner we talk to wants a profitable business.

(Actually scratch that – we do have one client who told me I’ve made her so busy she can’t focus on growth right now, she’s too busy ramping up her production to keep up with orders! But I digress…)

And I’m sure you’d also love to achieve this growth WITHOUT the constant need for sales and discounts all the time too, right?

Well, today I want to talk to you about an oft-missed step in growing and retaining a loyal customer base. We don’t just want frequent shoppers – we also want raving fans!

And this step can be the single most important factor to increase repeat purchases AND profitable sales growth online.

How it was before…

Back in the early days of of eCommerce, it was believed that customers were not loyal to any particular online retailer.

The World Wide Web seemed to make customer loyalty irrelevant; at the click of a mouse, shoppers could effortlessly cover the globe in search of the lowest price, with little to hold them at one site.

(I would argue that many business owners who sell online today still work off this assumption. And the result is that the only tactic they use to convert new sales is a discount or low-price strategy!)

The reality today…

Even though online shoppers can skip easily from one site to the next, the reality is that many online shoppers are actually highly loyal to their favourite online store. (Like me with my ever-favourite Birdsnest clothing retailer!)

Tools such as Internet bookmarks and highly engaging content (including email and social media) have led to online shopping patterns that are loyal, almost addictive.

Today, loyal shoppers visit their favourite sites far more frequently than they would any bricks-and-mortar store. And as a Productpreneur – you want to be that website, right?

And it gets even better: high levels of customer loyalty can have an enormous impact on the profitability of your website sales.

A study by Bain & Company, Inc, demonstrated that online customer loyalty is a crucial factor in profitability, even more so than for offline companies.

It also showed that small changes in loyalty alone, especially among the most profitable customers, can account for much higher profits in the longer term.

And by small changes – even a 5% increase in customer loyalty (repeat purchases from existing customers) can result in up to 95% growth in profits!

So, why does customer loyalty have such a large impact on a website’s profitability?

1. You won’t break even on one-time shoppers.

Customer acquisition costs in ecommerce are high (that is the cost of converting a website visitor into a paying customer, such as the cost of advertising). So to recoup your investment you need to convince customers to return to your site time and again.

For example, the online clothing store in this example didn’t make a profit from customers until he or she had shopped at the site four times. This implies that the retailer had to retain the customer for 12 months just to break even!

2. Repeat purchasers spend more and generate larger transactions.

The longer their relationship with an online retailer, the more customers spent in a given period of time. In the example shown above, the average repeat customer spent 67% more in months 31-36 of his or her shopping relationship than in months zero-to-six.

3. Repeat customers refer more people and bring in more business.

Word of mouth is the single most effective and economical way online retailers grow their business. Word of mouth referrals have the highest trust rating. And get this – new customers are likely to place their first order within 2 weeks of receiving that referral!

And loyalty, it turns out, can be a key driver for referrals. On average, a customer will refer three people after their first purchase. And after 10 purchases that same shopper had referred seven people to the site!

4. Referrals are powerful selling tools

It’s not surprising that 71% of online shoppers read reviews before they buy (Forrester Research).

Here’s a couple more impressive stats to wrap your brain around. According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust referrals from people they know, AND people are 4 times more likely to buy when referred by a friend.

If ever there was a reason to make sure your customers are happy, this would be it!

How to improve customer loyalty and increase repeat purchases

Now, let me show you how you can easily improve your customer loyalty and increase repeat purchases.

Because you REALLY want to make sure your customers are happy and coming back for more again and again, right?

Well, now you can actually AUTOMATE this process in your online store!

How to increase repeat purchases – on autopilot!

When a new customer places their first order with you, that purchase transaction should automatically trigger an email funnel as follows:

Example of a Post Purchase Email Funnel:

  1. Welcome to “Brand Name” family and thanks for the purchase (send immediately)
  2. Share a ‘before and after’ transformation or case study, to reinforce decision to buy (send 3 days later)
  3. Did your product arrive and is everything OK? (Send 2 days after your product should have arrived)
  4. Share ‘how to use’ tips and tricks to ensure your customer can successfully use your product (send 3 days later)
  5. Invitation to social media (for example, ‘show us what adventures your (insert product) has been up to! Tag us on Instagram)
  6. Request a product review (send 3 days later)
  7. Time-sensitive promotion – should be a cross sell or up-sell, related to the product they purchased (send 3 days later)
  8. Follow-up reminder #1 about time sensitive promotion (send 2 days later)
  9. Follow-up reminder #2 about time sensitive promotion (send 1 day later)

Now, in order to run automated campaigns triggered by a purchase, you will need to be using a marketing automation application such as Klaviyo.

That way, you help improve customer satisfaction AND increase repeat purchases, and it’s all automated!

Need some help writing your automated email funnels?

June 19, 2018

How To Know Your Online Store Is Ready For Facebook Ads


Right now, one of the most effective ways to grow eCommerce sales is through Facebook advertising.

There are many elements in a high converting Facebook ad strategy, which you can read about here.

But when it comes to sending paid traffic to your eCommerce website, you REALLY want to make sure your website is ready for it.

If your website is NOT set up, ready to receive that paid traffic, you’re likely to find your ad results are expensive, or worse, just don’t work.

So, let me help you avoid flushing your advertising dollars down the toilet!


Here are the top 5 things you MUST have addressed before you start sending paid traffic to your website!

1. Install your Facebook Pixel

I would hope this step goes without saying, but for the sake of stating the obvious, you really MUST have your Facebook Pixel installed on your website.

Every Facebook ad account comes with one unique pixel, which is essentially a bit of tracking code that gets pasted into your website’s source code.

That may sound tricky, but is actually pretty simple on most websites. (Follow this Facebook pixel set-up guide, or this one, or just Google for a video tutorial if you’re not sure how to do it!)

You also want to make sure you’ve set up Standard Event tracking with your Facebook Pixel.

Basically all this means is, you’re asking Facebook to track not just clicks to your website, but also things like viewing products, add to cart, checkouts and more.

By tracking these events, you’ll be able to get very smart with your Facebook ads, and show specific messages to people who have viewed your product pages but not completed a purchase (for instance).

2. Excellent on mobile

When you start sending lots of traffic to your website from paid Facebook ads, you should expect the vast majority of those visitors will be using their mobile to browse your site.

That means, it is IMPERATIVE that your website works really well on mobile!

As business owners, we’re usually looking at our own websites on our desktop computers or laptops.

And quite often, we don’t go all the way through the shopping cart checkout on mobile.

But you need to do these things – look critically at your site on mobile and test how easy it is to navigate and to shop on a mobile.

One of the best examples of an eCommerce website that is very well designed for the mobile experience is Birdsnest. I would even argue, this website works better on mobile than desktop! They have absolutely nailed a mobile-first web design.

3. Check your website’s bounce rate

A ‘bounce rate’ simply means, the proportion of your website’s visitors who immediately click away after landing on your site.

A high bounce rate is really bad – it means your website visitors aren’t sticking around for more than a split second.

So logically, it would be very wasteful to spend lots of money on Facebook advertising, if a really large portion of those paid visitors are just going to bounce off.

An average bounce rate for eCommerce is about 40%.

To find out what your website bounce rate is, check your analytics. (Some platforms have great inbuilt analytics, otherwise check Google Analytics.)

If your bounce rate is average or below, you have my blessing to start paid advertising.

If your bounce rate is above average, then you need to do some work first.

Often, one of the biggest culprits that causes a high bounce rate, is a very slow page load speed (especially on mobile).

You want to aim for a page load speed of 5 seconds or less.

To test yours, use a free tool like Pingdom or Google Page Speed Tools.

4. Check your website’s cart abandonment rate

Ever heard of the term, ‘shopping cart abandonment’?

It’s a pesky situation that is very common for eCommerce websites, and what it means is shoppers who have added product to their cart and begun the checkout process, but then they jump ship before handing over their cashola.

So, it goes without saying, having a really high cart abandonment rate is bad.

(Actually, it’s not ALL bad – it does mean that you have people who are interested in buying from you. But you gotta work out what’s stopping them from sealing the deal!)

The average cart abandonment rate for eCommerce websites is actually quite high at 68%.

You can find your abandoned cart rate by looking at your analytics, either within your website platform or Google Analytics.

If your abandoned cart rate is average or below, you’re good to go with your paid advertising.

But, if your abandoned cart rate is higher than average, you’ve got some work to do.

There’s no point spending money on ads if the vast majority aren’t gonna check out!

The number one reason shoppers abandon their carts is reaching the checkout and being slugged unexpected (or expensive) shipping costs. (I would also argue – slow shipping.)

And the second most common reason shoppers abandon their carts is being forced to create a new user account.

Both those factors are fairly easy to remedy – make sure you do before you start sending paid traffic to your site.

5. Great user experience (UX)

It still surprises me when I review eCommerce websites, to find there are quite a number whose website design and navigation is really confusing.

As business owners, we are very familiar with our own websites and our own products. We know exactly what we sell and where to find it.

I want you to take off your business owner hat for a moment, and take a look at your website (on desktop AND mobile!) from the perspective of a brand new customer.

When coming to your website for the first time, is it immediately clear what you sell?

Is the design clear and uncluttered?

Do your images show this clearly and are they inviting to look at?

What about your navigation, is that simple, uncluttered and easy to follow? Your top navigation should be all about shopping. Put things like your blog and about pages down in the footer navigation.

Do you have things like customer reviews to show how awesome your products are?

What are your product pages like? Do you have multiple product images? Is your add-to-cart button easy to spot? (Preferably in a contrasting color, and high-up the page – don’t make people scroll to figure out how to buy!)

Include trust symbols, such as secure payment badges, trusted payment methods and guarantees (if you offer one).

Great examples of eCommerce stores that have an excellent user experience, include The Iconic and Birdsnest.

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