When it comes to your ecommerce store, you should be focused on building your business rather than the website. Your ecommerce website is, first of all, a business, and the actual website is simply the commerce delivery path. Whether you buy an existing ecommerce site or create your own, you will need to work hard to make it a success. The most effective ecommerce sites begin with defining your overall business strategy, metrics and goals for the site and then creating a website that is tailored to meet the objectives of the sites. With that in mind, here are some tips to make sure that your ecommerce website is a success.
1. Focus on Website Specifics
There is no question that running an ecommerce website is not always easy. You must make sales, fill orders and receive payments. This is why it is essential that you make sure to have all of your bases covered when it comes to the running of your website.
You have to know what your customers want. When creating a site for your business, you need to define your mission, vision, strategy business proposition, tagline and branding. If you are designing the site for yourself, you need to know how to effectively integrate this information into your site. Other factors that you should consider including are the growth rate of the specific industry, and who your direct competitors are.
2. An Appealing Website Design
Have you ever entered a retail store to notice items are disorganized, that it smells or that it has and otherwise uninviting atmosphere? Also, have you ever entered a store that is spacious, clean and comfortable to shop in? Chances are you have experienced all of the above scenarios. Ask yourself these questions:
- Which provides a good first impression?
- Which looks as though it is well managed and actually cares about its customers?
- Which one likely offers better products?
Chances are it is the business that takes pride in its appearance.
Now, consider your ecommerce site as a physical store location. The design you have chosen and created matters. When you have a great design, it also signifies that there is a solid company behind the scenes.
Focus on creating a clean website that makes what your visitors are looking for easy to find, particularly if you are acquiring an existing ecommerce store. You need to eliminate distracting widgets or other elements that will take attention away from what you actually offer. The more to the point and straightforward your site is, the larger amount of sales you are likely to have.
3. Make Sure the Website is Fast
When you visit a site with superior speed, you likely take notice. These are the ones that have pages that load in one or two seconds and that have information delivered to you in an efficient manner. The site is easy to navigate and moves as quickly as you want it to. Sites that have great speed also generate more sales and rank better in Google, especially in mobile search.
4. Be Mindful of Your Checkout Process and Shopping Cart
If you customer has made it through your site and placed some items for purchase in their shopping cart this is a huge victory; however, your battle has yet to be won. Now you must turn this potential sale into an actual conversion. The fact is this is one of the main steps in a transaction where a large number of ecommerce sites screw up. Some things to avoid when it comes to checking out and your shopping cart include:
- High shipping costs: This can be avoided by posting the shipping charges on your actual product pages. This will eliminate any surprise at the actual time of checkout.
- Not accepting all payment options: You should be sure you offer a number of different types of payments and consider offering to take money orders and checks as well.
- The requirement of account creation prior to placing an order: This has no user benefit. The best thing to do here is to allow your users to create an account after they place an order, also consider offering some incentive if they do.
Working with the right professionals is essential during the ecommerce website building process. If your website is clunky or not intuitive to users, then it will turn away potential customers and lose you more sales than you’ll likely be aware of. Also make sure to convey all the above stated information in a clear and concise manner. Otherwise customers may be confused and leave your site before making a purchase.