How to make your online shop better

by | Dec 3, 2020 | eCommerce, Facebook Ads: Prepping for success | 0 comments

As a freelance Facebook advertising consultant working with small eComm brands, I often come across online shops that could easily achieve more sales without spending a penny on advertising.

Too often business owners are led to believe that Facebook advertising is a quick fix — an easy option to boost sales with little effort.

I believe in the power of Facebook advertising for small brands, but only when it makes sense. You need the right foundations in place first.

If your online store isn’t turning browsers into buyers, ads won’t help – or at least they won’t be as effective as they could be. Either way, the bottom line is you’ll be wasting money.

And so one of your very first steps in growing sales should be to focus on making your online shop better.

Keep reading to learn more.


How well is your online store performing?


Your online store has a job to do. It’s there to convert browsers into buyers.

If you throw ads into the mix but your site isn’t converting, you’ll be throwing good money after bad because ads don’t fix store conversion problems, no matter how good they are.

4 key metrics every online shop owner should know


1. Conversion rate

Of all the people who visit your website, how many make a purchase?

Your online shop should provide a nice customer experience and be easy to navigate. Well-crafted product pages with customer reviews will make a big difference.


2. Average order value (AOV)

The amount each customer spends per transaction.

To increase AOV, consider bundling products, cross-selling at checkout, offering free delivery above a certain purchase value, or increasing your prices where appropriate.


3. Bounce rate

Your bounce rate tells you the percentage of people who visited your store but didn’t take any action.

If your bounce rate is high, it could be a sign that your site isn’t fast enough, isn’t mobile- or tablet-friendly, or doesn’t look trustworthy. Optimise it to make it work better and add social proof, customer reviews and higher-quality content to build trust.


4. Abandon cart rate

How many people add a product to the cart but then don’t buy?

If customers are getting as far as the cart but then not completing, it could be a sign that your checkout process isn’t smooth enough. Beyond that, consider offering a currency converter and reviewing your delivery options.

How to build an online store that converts


1. Make a good first impression

Is your website fast enough? Does it work well on all devices? Have you optimised your homepage to make it captivating to new visitors?


2. Create high-converting product pages

Include multiple images and a video if possible. Write creative, appealing product descriptions and list the features or specifications. Add reviews to build trust.


3. Develop a smooth checkout process

From product page through to completion of purchase; remove any barriers, speed up the process and offer multiple options for payment and shipping.


4. Instil trust in you, your products and your brand

Answer FAQs, get all the legal bits (like privacy and cookie policies) right and make it easy for customers to get in touch.


5. Add value to educate, inform or entertain your audience

Show your face and tell your story. Consider adding a blog to share tips, guides and inspiration. Show off your PR features and share positive feedback.

Make your online shop better with this free checklist

Learn how to optimise your online store for conversions and turn browsers into buyers.


See examples from other indie retailers

Tilly Wonka


One-woman band Matilda sells handcrafted chocolates through her online store, Tilly Wonka.

Notice the simple, easy-to-navigate homepage which features bestsellers, the use of collections and the consistent, high-quality images.

There are multiple images for each product as well as creative product descriptions and a quick, easy checkout process with multiple payment options.

There’s an obvious link to FAQs from the top menu, too.

A screenshot of the Tilly Wonka homepage, shown as an example of how you can make your online shop better.

Beards and Daisies


My clients, Jo and partner Luke sell houseplants individually or via subscription through their online store, Beards & Daisies.

The homepage builds trust instantly with a captivating header that gets across what the company does and taps into the why (“make a house a home”).

With collections built around customer pain points (“unkillable” plants and pet-friendly plants), creative descriptions that tap into FAQs, and Trust Pilot linked on every product page; this online store is ticking plenty of boxes when it comes to optimising for conversion.

A screenshot of the Beards and Daisies website homepage, shown to illustrate how you can make your online shop better.

Plum and Ashby


For friends Vicky and Freya, it’s beautiful home and body collections which they sell via their online store, Plum and Ashby.

Featuring luxe lifestyle and product imagery, clear customer reviews on each page and product descriptions that tap into emotions and feelings, this is another best-in-class. The ‘New’ section makes browsing easy for returning customers, as does the option to browse by either scent or product.

Bonus points for cross-selling! This store includes links to matching products within the descriptions and includes a “you may also like” section on each product page.

A screenshot of the Plum and Ashby homepage, shown as an example of how you can make your online store better.

A quick recap:


  1. Advertising might not be the answer. Fix your online store first.
  2. Know the numbers – conversion rate, average order value, bounce rate and abandon cart rate.
  3. Look for opportunities to improve. What impression does your site give? How easy is it to use?

Get the free checklist

Learn how to optimise your online store so it turns browsers into buyers.

Also on the blog

Your one-stop-shop for help with Facebook ads

I’m Carly. I offer a range of services and loads of free content to help independent retailers do more with Facebook and Instagram ads. Whether you’re just getting started or trying to advance, I’ve got you covered. Learn more about me or explore the blog for practical tips and insights.

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Learn how to optimise your online store for conversions with my free 11-page checklist for indie retailers. Get the foundations right first and then scale with Facebook ads.

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