Tips to Improve Page-Load Time, Make Your Emails Bullet-Proof, Optimize Mobile and More

By Megan Connif

Allan Dick’s panel of experts was at it again during this year’s “40+ Specific Things You Can Do To Make More Money Next Week” session at the 2011 Annual Summit. Dick gathered experts to focus on topics such as SEO, cookies, welcome series emails, page load time and more for the two-part session. I know what you’re thinking – didn’t we cover most of these topics before? Back in 2001? The answer is “yes,” but with good reason. The theme of today’s tips sessions may as well have been “back to basics,” with experts from ChannelAdvisor, Demandware and Proclivity Systemsoffering up intuitive tips and fixes that will give any digital retailer a boost in conversions in a matter of days.

  • Implement Facebook “Like” and Google+1 buttons. The “Like” buttons can be in more than one place on your site, but should definitely appear above the fold (via ChannelAdvisor’s Scot Wingo).
  • Make your email bullet-proof by making the focal points of your email (including navigation, calls-to-action and borders) visible even if consumers can’t see images. Most e-mails come through with images “turned off.”  Outsmart the system (via Bounce Exchange’s Ryan Urban).
  • Watch your mobile speed and make navigation your No. 1 priority. Too much space, meaningless categories and horizontal scrolling are all no-nos. Make checkout simple, offer large search boxes that are front and center (and easy to type in), and provide an embedded call to action for consumers (via Eight by Eight’s Amy Africa).
  • A digital tune-up can go a long way toward improving your conversions. Fix your bounce issues and recommendation engines. Re-examine your “Welcome” series e-mails and make sure they don’t roll out too slowly (via Social Shopping Lab’s Peter Leech).
  • Help customers find what they’re looking for. Incorporate lists of synonyms in case customers aren’t sure how to spell a product time. If you don’t sell something, offer alternative products and consider if the product is worth stocking (via Demandware’s Sue Chapman).
  • Improve your page load time. Ten seconds isn’t good enough. Two seconds is the industry standard, but many major retailers aren’t there yet. Minimize requests, such as downloading images and javascript, and optimize your images. Quick tip: try to find out what sections of your pages are taking the most time to load (via IMPAQT’s Jamie Keaney)
  • Drop cookies on customers who receive your e-mails. This will work even on customers who look at your e-mail in the preview pane of outlook (via Proclivity Systems’ Sheldon Gilbert).

Now go home, implement a couple of these quick fixes, make more money, and let us know how it goes!