Ecommerce websites, in this climate particularly, are crucial for any modern business.
If you’re thinking about setting up a new online shop or service what advice can we give you?
First and foremost, there is a tendency to let the ‘tech’ side of e-commerce sites eclipse the customer and the user journey because you are so intent on getting it right and working. As Shashi Bellamkonda says:
There are tools available for all aspects of the users journey: website, chat, email, payment gateways, support. Just make sure you think of the customer first when you set up any system.
So what can you do to ensure that your e-commerce site ticks all of the boxes and achieves the ultimate aim of client conversion and keeps customers returning?
Keep the user experience simple
The user journey for an e-commerce site is arguably even more important than a regular site. How many times have you tried to buy something and then got fed up becaue the route to checkout is just sending you all over the place? That was the design and functionality of the website not the product.
Design for mobile and tablet devices
For an e-commerce website this is imperative. It is estimated that over 50% of internet searches are on mobile devices, if you are not catering for them you are losing a signficant portion of your target market. We would argue that the mobile design should come first and the desktop design follow on from this.
Consider consumer psychology
Understanding how and why people buy is crucial. Considering your wording carefully at each stage of the buying process makes a massive difference. for example, using the term ‘View Product’ rather than ‘Buy Now’ at the browsing stage is psychologically less of a commitment.
Optimise & minimise loading time
One of the most common reasons for visitors leaving a website, especially an e-commerce site, is loading speed. If it takes more than 3 seconds this is apparently way too long. Ensuring you use high-quality images in a preferred format and fully optimising your site during the build keeps loading speed time down.
Pay attention to the check out process
Nearly all of the reasons for customers abandoning their basket are around the checkout. Ensuring your retain the trust of the client till the very last click is so important. Ways to acheive this include; Clearly explaining all costs so that there are no surprise; Only asking for required information at checkout
Focus on your customers' needs
What does your customer need to know? Making sure you give all of the relevant information a consumer purchasing that product needs to know is crucial. For example; what is it compatible with?, Does it need anything else to go with it?. An easy way to contact you to ask questions is also essential (this also builds trust).
Create a reliable online service
Once live, ensuring your website is maintained and works is key for an ecommerce shop or service. If customers start to experience functional issues and downtime it can be a huge turn off. Taking out care packages with your web developer will make sure that your site is well maintained and reliable.