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My Top 5 Development Tips For Increasing Your Online Sales


A lot of online merchants don’t realize that their website design has a huge impact on the success of their online sales. Even the slightest change to a design element (add to cart button for example) can improve or harm conversion rates.

Just for a second, lets think about things from the shopper’s perspective… What do I want?

  1. A clean, easy to use interface.
  2. Easy to use menu navigation, so I can find what I want quickly
  3. Web page to load quickly, I sure don’t have time to sit around waiting for a 20 sec page load.
  4. A simple, easy to use, quick checkout process
  5. A checkout process that accepts major card issuers, that is secure and that does not share my personal data with third parties

So, now that we have run through what online shoppers expect when buying goods online, lets see what we can do too accommodate these needs.

Step 1 – Clean up your product/landing pages

Now this depends entirely on how you get customers to your store and which page you push them too. But the underlying fact remains that the organization of your page content is crucial. Your content should be placed in such a manner that the most important parts are easily accessible and appealing to the customer. So, have a think, what the most important part of the content… which of our senses do we use the most when purchasing anything – Our Eyes!

So our first bit of content should be a nice (good quality) picture of the goods we are selling. Next we should describe (with product title) what the product does followed by how much it costs. Another important aspect that a lot of developers miss out on are product reviews. Just like in real life, other peoples views on products are important and can help convert sales.

Step 2 – Clear “Add to Cart” buttons

Different people respond differently to certain “calls to action”. An example would be an “Add to cart” button that says “more details” or “read more”. This can be misleading. Follow industry best practices and use the common “Add to Cart” or “Buy Now” text.

Another thing I have come across in the past is bad use of coloring for buttons. Just like traffic lights, Green means “GO” and Red means “STOP”. We have been pre-conditioned to this type of color association. So, in short…try not to use certain colors for important “call to actions”

Step 3 – Make use of the Up-sell functionality

This one’s short and simple. If you are selling a bucket of paint (random, I know) why not up-sell some other products; for example:

  • A paintbrush set
  • Wall rollers
  • Sheeting to cover your carpet

Just this small addition to your product/checkout page could add an extra £20 – £40 to every order?

Step 4 – Make sure your shopping cart is visible

When your customer has added everything they desire to their cart, the next step is for them is to have a quick review of what they want and then purchase. Well what happens if they cannot find the cart? They get extremely annoyed and frustrated and eventually close their browser tab and move on to a more reputable brand who offers the same goods, maybe slightly more expensive but on a website they know and can use with ease.

We want to eliminate them leaving. So, we have to make sure the cart is easily visible and accessible. Simples.

Step 5 – Make the checkout process as simple as possible

The checkout process is an art. Think of Amazon. On their website, when you are ready to pay for your goods, you are locked in. You cannot leave the checkout process unless you change the web address or close the tab/browser. The logo is not even clickable. Why is this?

Its because there is only one direction left to go now. You have chosen your goods, you are now ready to pay for them.

This should be the same for your website, your customers have gotten this far. You have given them the confidence to purchase from you. Your website is slick, your product images rock, product description, is good, reviews are honest etc…

We just need to make sure there is nothing to distract them from leaving your website. This can be done by:

  • Using a single page checkout
  • Guest checkout (don’t have to create an account to purchase)
  • First time buyers discount
  • Free Delivery