We live in a digital age. It’s no surprise that the world of e-commerce continues to expand. From online stores to product sponsorship, businesses are continuing to innovate ways to bring their products and services in front of their consumers.
Today, eCommerce plays a big role not only in the way we shop, but also in the way we live.
If your a business they offer a product or service, you need to have a strong online presence.
But today, with so much competition in the world of eCommerce, it can be difficult to establish your ground. Not only are you competing with local brands, but it also deals with retail giants like Amazon and Walmart.
That’s why it’s critcal for you to focus on every detail of your eCommerce website.
This guide is useful to everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a brick and motar store trying to start a new website or making changes to your existing one.
Following these 10 best practices will help you generate traffic, increase sales conversions and boost your digital brand presence.
1. Simplify Your Design
The first rule when it comes to developing any website is: Keep it simple.
A clean, simple design will almost certainly increase your sales conversation.
Too much clutter makes it difficult for consumers to spot what really matters… the product. They also provide a distraction and slow down your website. For starters, you can simplify your pages by removing unnecessary content.
Don’t forget about your menus!
Too many menu categories often confuse users and prevent them from finding what they are looking for.
Your menu shouldn’t be super specific. Instead, use broad terms to categorize your products.
2. Implement a Search Bar
A well placed search bar on each page helps customers navigate your site and easily identify your products.
You will need it, especially since you have removed all that clutter from your menu.
In addition, in order to provide the most intuitive search experience across the whole website, you can also use some filters that allow customers to easily narrow their product selection based on different options or parameters.
3. Create an Easy Checkout Process
Many consumers abandon a shopping cart during the checkout because the process is too long and complicated: bear this in mind when you plan your e-store.
Making checkout as easy as possible is the name of the game. The more additional steps or requirements are required in this process, the higher the chances of users abandoning the transaction.
The key here is to get only essential information from the buyer. No one likes waiting in the checkout line, in real life or online.
Retrieve their billing information and shipping address. That’s all you need to process a transaction.
4. Offer Variety of Payment Options
You can’t assume everyone uses a credit card or PayPal. As eCommerence grows, so do different payment systems.
With the new year comes new and popular payment options. First, we had digital wallets, then cryptocurrencies, and now in 2021 there is “Buy Now Pay Later” apps.
With this new payment system, similar to credit cards, allows users to purchase goods online immediately, but pay them in installments over time. The best part is that the payment company pays the merchant in full in advance while they handle the internal backend process. We recommend adding these to your checkout, as some popular brands include Afterpay, Zippay, and Klarna.
5. Provide Accessible Customer Service
Not all of the transactions on your eCommerce site will go as planned.
It is inevitable that customers will have questions and problems before and after the purchase.
If users are experiencing an issue such as finding the right product or after sale support on an item they have previously purchased, we want to make sure the issue is resolved for them ASAP.
That’s why customer support should be available through a variety of options such as phone, email and online chat.
6. Featured Customer Reviews and Testimonials
Testimonials and reviews are the best way to add credibility to your product and brand.
Make sure to include these throughout your eCommerce site
After a customer purchases a product, remember to send them a follow-up email for review. This shows that you care about the customer as well as providing valuable insights about your products.
Remember, not all reviews are good, and they don’t need to be. Negative reviews can also build trust and confidence, they show shoppers that your site is legitimate. A few negative comments can make a positive review much more convincing.
7. Mobile is the Future
Make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices.
The reason being that 79% of people of smartphone owners use their device to make an online purchase in 2021.
You can’t afford to exclude mobile shoppers. Make sure your eCommerce website is responsive, it can auto adjust the different screen sizes of the user’s mobile device.
8. Increase Page Speed
Page speed should be an integral part of your eCommerce site strategy. Not only do consumers expect a positive experience when they visit your site, but page speed is also vital for search engine optimization (SEO) and your bottom line results.
It is important to note that there is a clear relationship between page speed and the number of visitors to your website.
So how fast should your eCommerce website be?
Well, the shorter is better, but we generally recommend that pages load in less than 3 seconds. Implementing lazy loading and removing unnecessary web content will help you achieve this.
9. Partner with Brand Influencers
Influencer marketing is an incredibly popular marketing tool right now, with good reasons. Study shown nearly 9 out of 10 brand today uses influencer to promote their products.
Whether you want to increase brand awareness, boost sales, or stand apart from your competitors, you need to leverage influencer marketing.
On average, Influencer Marketing generates an average media value of $18 for every dollar spent.You won’t find this type of value in any other marketing tactic.
Be sure to approach Influencer Marketing strategically, find someone related to your industry to work with.
10. Build an Email List
To have a successful eCommerce site, you need a consistent flow of traffic. But how do you build that traffic?
Creating an email list is one of your best options. Once you have a subscriber’s email address, you can contact them with special offers and promotions to entice sales.
Still not convinced? According to the Direct Marketing Association, email marketing sees a 4300% average return on investment (ROI) for businesses in the US. So, get that list going today!
Pro Tip: One of the best ways to build that list is to offer incentives during the checkout process. Offering free shipping or discounts when they sign up are just a few examples.
Running a successful ecommerce website is not an easy task. Fortunately, if you start implementing the strategies from above you can see an increase in sales and keep your customers coming back for more. If you need help implementing any of the above suggestions, please contact me! You know I am always happy to help.
Ethan is a Full Stack Web Developer and SEO Specialist based in Pittsburgh, PA. In his free time, Ethan enjoys working on various projects involving Ruby, Vue and AWS applications.
Ethan graduated from The Firehose Project coding bootcamp in 2016 with a focus on Ruby on Rail and Computer Software engineering.