Running an ecommerce website is not that much different from running a brick-and-mortar store. You have employees to manage, sales to make, orders to fill, and payments to receive. Not only do you need to give your online customers a good selection of products, but you have to back it up with a sweet website that guides them through the sales process from beginning to end. To design an ecommerce website with your customers in mind, let’s look at five items you must implement to get closer to that path of success.
Picture a shoe store with shoes in the aisles, unmarked sections, no size categorization, and no sales team to consult regarding your potential purchase. Now picture the same store that is clean, organized, is easy to navigate and has friendly sales staff available to answer your every question. You have probably experienced stores of both types and were more likely to buy from the latter.
Your ecommerce store needs to operate similar to the second store. Instead of having a physical space, your website echoes the characteristics that turn customers on or off to sales. This is why it must have certain trust factors that come across in the first impression of the website even if they lay in the customer’s subconscious. This is where a professional design team or professionally designed ecommerce template comes into play.
The first impression of your site will be directly attributed to its design, so make sure your website is easy to navigate, organized, provides answers to frequent questions and gives the impression that the company who is selling products actually cares about its customers.
Product Selection Made Simple
Most ecommerce sites have a wealth of products that they try their best to display to bring awareness to their massive product selection. Having an enormous selection of products is not necessary to be successful and having a limited selection of products can actually allow customers to find what they are looking for quickly and reduce the number of clicks a customer has to go through to reach checkout.
If it does not already, implement a search function into your website so that customers can quickly navigate to pages that they are looking for without perusing your entire site to get there. Google offers a Site Search tool that can help you to improve customer satisfaction and user experience.
Secondly, allow your users to sort through the site by brand or category. If you can, implement both options to help users find their way to the product pages they really want.
Bing once said that your content should be so robust that users never have to venture anywhere else on the web to find out all that they need to know about your product. Zappos is one of the best ecommerce examples on the web as they provide users answers to questions both visually and textually better than almost any of their competitors. On a typical Zappos product page, you will find the following:
- Quick color selector
- Option to spread the content socially
- Sections for images, information, similar items and info on the brand
- The product displayed prominently in the center of the page
- Additional images of different angles, all with zoom functionality
- A video pop-up
- Price, selling points and shipping information
These items are just above-the-fold, there is more information like customer reviews below this content and more pictures and content on related items.
Provided you are getting customers to the shopping cart, there are some mistakes many ecommerce websites make that you should look out for. If you are finding that customers are making it to the check-out pages but not following through, you may be deterring them because of high shipping costs, not accepting certain payment methods or requiring accounts before orders are placed.
No consumer likes to be surprised by high shipping costs after they think they are getting a good deal. Place the shipping costs on the product page to prevent this from being an issue on your site. Secondly, make sure you are accepting most major credit card brands as well as payments like PayPal and even checks or money orders. (Maybe think about getting a POS card reader if you’d like to be able to make additional sales offline.) Consider using a shopping cart platform like SearchFit to make this process even easier. Finally, requiring additional steps like user accounts can deter users from completing the sale. Give your users the option to sign up after ordering.
After the Sale
Don’t make the mistake of disappearing after a user has completed the transaction. Most people will expect an email confirmation with a receipt as well as order number, contents of the order, an email, phone number and social media links to contact the business. You could also use this follow-up email to promote additional products or coupons.
Enjoy the Benefits!
Once you have implemented the above changes to your site you should be sitting a little bit prettier than before. If you have any additional checklist items we have missed above please let us know. Or, for help building a credible ecommerce website, contact Success Agency today.
Thanks for reading,