It happens all too often. You are online, browsing for a specific item, and find it. Then you click through to the website and …Oh No! The online store is more confusing than deciding whether or not Ben Affleck is a good actor!
There are a plethora of e-commerce websites that have fantastic products for sale at bargain-basement prices, but they continue to lose business due to their web design. A successful online business relies on more than having what the buyer wants. More and more online shoppers are looking for ease of use, secure (and convenient) payment options, and most importantly: quick and painless entry and checkout.
So, here are five tips for creating a successful e-commerce website:
Tip #1: AHA! I Found It!
Site navigation is the key to success. Right off the top, as soon as a shopper hits your homepage they need to see a big search bar. Next to the search bar, they need to see filtering options. Having these two at the top of the page, means they can find what they want, and narrow the options faster. In today’s growing (and highly competitive) e-commerce market, consumer research shows: they want it, and they want it now! For those of us who do not want to wait days, or even weeks, and rely on bidding wars to get our products, online stores need to weigh in on the “quick and easy” factor.
Tip #2: …And This Goes in the Cart!
Ah!, the shopping cart. This is where so many shoppers base their decision on whether or not to checkout. First off, you need to keep that shopping cart visible. This lets shoppers know exactly what their total purchase amount is every step of the way. A hidden shopping cart, as many of us have come to find, means once we click on it we find that our math skills aren’t what it used to be. This alone is enough for a shopper to abandon ship. Keep the shopping cart visible, and with the subtotal in plain view on each and every page. Keep tax or shipping prices visible as a separate total. When a shopper looks up at the cart, they want to see the prices they agreed upon alongside shipping costs. Remember, no surprises!
Tip #3: This is Gonna Look GREAT!
High resolution photos cannot be understated! Half of the fun of shopping is seeing the product in all its glory. For each product in your lineup, you should have a high quality product shot to go with it. Preferably several. Not only will this greatly increase the chances of making an immediate sale, you have got to keep in mind that the shipping time will come into play here. The consumer is going to have to wait several days to finally get their hands on their purchase, which means they are going to want something to look at to remind them of what they are about to get. This can lead to increased browsing through related categories which translates into more sales.
Tip #4: Sharing is Caring!
Social media is known to drastically improve a company’s popularity. Get involved! Make your presence felt in the world of social progress. Research has shown that allowing the public to make posts and share your products they have purchased on their social media platform of preference (i.e., Facebook and Instagram), you gain a higher chance of followers checking out your online store, which increases your page views. The more active and engaged your business is on social media networks, the more relevant your company becomes. So, place a share button in plain view, and allow buyers to show their followers what they’ve purchased!
Tip #5: You Mean That’s It!?
One-click checkout is a tool that could mean the difference between increased revenue and “Well, there is always next time!” A one-click checkout option can be a quick and simple process that makes it ever-so convenient for shoppers to get in, and get out. This is the overall goal of any online shopping experience. Consumers want the convenience that online shopping offers. Contrary to some beliefs, online shoppers do not want a “going to the mall” experience. Designing a platform based on “painless shopping” will also increase the likelihood of return business, and that is where the real money is made.
Keep in mind, there is a growing number of online stores that people have to choose from. So, stand out! Let your personality show! Add your own “flare” to keep your store unique. Keep your descriptions thorough and brief, and don’t be afraid to use simple wording. Meanwhile, add a “User Reviews” section below every product.
Today’s market relies less on technical specs, and more on consumer reviews when it comes to purchase decision making. Remember; easy navigation, a visible shopping cart, quality photos, social media, and a quick and easy checkout option just might be the edge you need to thrive in this convenience driven age we call: online shopping.
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