Increasing customers’ e-commerce website visit duration

Increasing customers' e-commerce website visit duration

So, you’ve spent some time building your e-commerce brand. You’re making a handful of sales each month, but it’s not taking off the way you hoped it would. You do a little digging into your analytics and you learn people who spend 20 minutes on your site almost always buy something. But those who check out just one or two pages, well, they don’t stick around long enough to spend any money. What gives?


This illuminates a lightbulb in your brain: If I can keep customers around for longer, I can make more sales! Below there are a few tips for increasing e-commerce customers’ visit duration.

Update your homepage regularly

What’s the first thing someone sees when they visit your homepage? Sure, there are the essentials such as your logo, brand name, navigation bar, and the like.

What about the rest of the page?

One of the best things you can do to keep customers on your e-commerce site is to ensure your homepage is lively and welcoming. There are multiple ways of doing this. An image carousel is great for showcasing hot products. Be strategic with this method, though. Don’t just throw photos in willy-nilly. Select several products on clearance or the latest batch of new items; whatever you want to move off your figurative shelves.

If you don’t like image carousels, that’s fine. It’s not about that – it’s about creating a welcome page that puts your most important offerings in front of the customer. Updating your homepage regularly creates a new and exciting experience for online shoppers. It also helps your site rank higher in search engine results.

Keep things simple & streamlined

Nothing kills a consumer’s enthusiasm quicker than a poorly designed e-store. Are your buttons difficult to find? Do your product pages take ages to load? Does your website render poorly on mobile? These hiccups will drive your visitors mad and prevent you from making sales.

The solution? Learn the basics of web design and improved website usability. The internet has been around for a while, which means that people are used to encountering certain functionalities in specific ways. For instance, your checkout button should be in the top right corner. If you place it at the bottom of your page, people will likely miss it. And, it wouldn’t hurt to compress your images to ensure quicker load times.

Of course, the best and coincidentally simplest solution is to use an enterprise ecommerce website builder. These nifty services include all of the features and functions you need to succeed without having to deal with tech issues or DIY web design.

In short, a well-built e-commerce website keeps users engaged longer than a poorly built e-store.

Offer product suggestions

Let’s say a shopper is looking for a birthday gift for her 14-year-old son. She knows he likes baseball memorabilia but isn’t totally sure what to get him. She’s also not very familiar with the sport but wants to get him something special.

She clicks on a San Francisco Giants jersey. Eh, but he already has a jersey, she remembers. Just before she leaves your site for good, she notices a list of suggested products. It reads, “customers have also liked…” And there she finds the perfect gift; a signed baseball from his favorite player in a commemorative case. Perfect! She says as she hits the checkout button.

The moral of the story? Adding a suggestion bar to your website will help retain customers and guide them in case they don’t know exactly what they’re looking for. It’s like having a sales associate to help convert a window shopper into a buyer.

Leverage great customer service

Speaking of sales associates, answering questions on-site will keep people there longer and increase your chances of closing a sale. If shoppers can’t find the answers to their questions on your website, they might jump to a competitor for an answer.

And, while they’re there, they could also make a purchase — from them instead of you.

Don’t let this happen. Use a chatbot to answer customer questions in real time. Also, it wouldn’t hurt to have an on-site blog set up which anticipates customer questions and provides guides to common queries.

Feature an on-site blog

Blogging adds a number of benefits to your e-store. As mentioned above, it offers you a space to share answers to common questions and issues your buyers might experience with their products. For instance, you may want to include tips on cleaning and upkeeping your wares. If you leverage the basics of SEO, you can actually increase the number of web users who visit your store.

With that said, the real reason you should run a blog is it is a relatively easy way to engage with your audience. Your blog gives visitors something to read, so they’ll stay on your site longer. It also invites them back to your website, even if they don’t want to buy right now. This keeps your brand on top of their minds. It’s also a clever way to leave embedded links to your products and offerings — thus driving in more sales.

Give shoppers a clear path to checkout

This is the only time you’ll want to decrease the number of time shoppers spend on a specific webpage. Studies show shoppers are more likely to buy when they have a clear path to checkout. If you include a bunch of product suggestions, unnecessary page redirects and (heaven forbid) advertisements, you will see a high rate of cart abandonment. Keep your checkout simple, clean and concise!

So, there you have it. These tips for increasing e-commerce customers’ visit duration will help you keep them on your site longer, provide more product information, which gives them what they need to make better purchase decisions. Taking an honest look at your creation and asking yourself the hard questions will help you tremendously in this regard. And ultimately, everyone involved will be better off thanks to the effort.

This is a guest post by Susan Smith.