Tips for Creating an Effective Ecommerce Website

With ecommerce booming, especially with stores closed amid the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important that your ecommerce website stands out. Customers are more likely to buy from a well-designed, navigable, up-to-date site.

Here are some tips ensure your ecommerce website generates sales and encourages return customers.

Design and Branding

Visual appearance is important. The first thing users notice is design. If your site is overcrowded, confusing and out of date, customers are likely to look elsewhere. 93% of consumers consider design to be a key deciding factor in purchases. A simple, minimal layout will make your site visually appealing. If this isn’t your area of expertise, hire a website development professional or digital marketing agency. Investing in the design elements of your site will create a professional appearance for your brand.

Mobile Optimization: According to the Radicti Group, there are about 6.95 billion mobile users worldwide and growing.  In the last quarter of 2019, mobile devices generated 52.6% of global website traffic. In order to keep up with competition and stay modern, you need to make sure your site functions well when accessed via mobile.

Contact Forms and Chatbots: Shoppers can make online purchases in a couple of clicks. A big part of that is due to pre-programmed chatbots which help customers with basic issues and answer questions. Being able to get answers fast without dealing with an agent or waiting for an email is likely to encourage customers to buy.

Keep it Simple and Scannable

Generally, people don’t want to have to read through blocks of text while shopping online. Ecommerce is meant to be fast. If your site has too much going on, it could be distracting. The main purpose of your ecommerce website is to generate sales. It’s good to have information about your brand available, but make sure it’s not distracting from your products.

Navigation: A clear navigation menu allows customers to easily search your site and find what they’re looking for. Use drop-down menus to organize your navigation bar and prevent it from looking too crowded.

Search: People don’t want to spend a lot of time searching through hundreds of products, especially if they already know what they want. Your search feature should let customers filter results based on things like size, color or price. If a potential customer can’t easily and quickly find what they’re looking for, they’re probably going to look elsewhere.

Use High-Quality Images

Clear photographs of products are essential. No one feels comfortable buying something that they can’t see first. High-quality images are an important investment that every ecommerce business needs to make.

Make it hi res: Images need to be high resolution. Blurriness and pixilation can make your business look unprofessional. If you’re selling clothes, invest in a professional photographer and models. If customers can see the clothes on actual people, they can better imagine them on themselves.

Testimonials and Reviews

Most online shoppers consult online reviews before deciding to buy a product. Reach out to your customers to follow up about their purchases. Ask for details about their experience. This valuable information helps you improve either way, and you can post positive feedback.

Honesty and Transparency: If you receive a negative online review, don’t ignore it. Instead, reach out and talk to the customer directly. Try to reach a solution. They will see you as trustworthy and reliable and will feel more assured that you will treat them with the same courtesy.

Social Media Proof: Most people are plugged into some form of social media. In fact, as of 2020,8 billion people worldwide have at least one social media account. Not only is social media marketing an important tool, it also provides an opportunity for you to connect with your customers and provide real reviews. Social proof, such as testimonies from peers and celebrities, encourages browsers to purchase. When customers see that you have an active Facebook page with lots of positive reviews and followers, they’re more likely to trust you.

Shipping and Fulfillment

Offering fast, low-cost shipping options is super important. It’s best to partner with a reliable logistics and fulfillment service to ensure efficient shipping processes. Customers want to be able to track their orders and receive updates about exactly when they will receive it. A logistics company can equip you with the latest shipping technologies and many enable international shipping. If you sell on Amazon, an FBA fulfillment service can streamline the process and ensure that customers get their orders quickly.

An ecommerce website is a powerful tool for any small business, and yours needs to stand out. A well-designed, easy-to-use site is critical for converting visitors to customers.

Kathryn Merwin is a contributing writer for Sologistx 

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