Designing an e-commerce website is not challenging these days because there are lots of CMS platforms out there that let you set up an online shop in just a few days or sometimes even in a few hours & you can start selling your products online.
Isn’t it easy?
Yes, it is, indeed.
My next question is “Does everyone succeeds in running a profitable e-commerce business?“
The answer would probably be ‘NO’.
But why most e-commerce startups fail?
What exactly is required to run a successful e-commerce business?
What should be the features of an ideal & profitable e-commerce website?
Are there some special ingredients or different categories of e-commerce developers for creating money-making e-commerce websites?
These are the questions that I am being asked by many clients & prospects during my consultation with them.
So I have come up with this post that will help many people who want to set up and run a successful e-commerce business.
#1 Categorization of products
Let’s start from the beginning of the user experience with any online shop.
Its imperative for every e-commerce website to have logical categories and their respective products in-place.
I have noticed in many websites that webmasters fail to follow proper categorization of products and their categories or sometimes mix ‘n’ match them which makes the consumers indecisive about the purchase of products they are looking for.
For eg. Putting hair oil under the skin category and so on.
Webmasters must make sure that they display each product under its respective category so that the users don’t face any issue in locating the products they have been looking for.
Customers tend to make their buying decision & purchase their desired products quickly when they are easily able to locate them.
#2 No surprises
Believe me, users hate surprises that cost them unexpectedly.
Therefore it’s important that all the additional charges should be mentioned clearly on the product’s page or at a prominent place on the website.
When users find unexpected additional charges on their purchased items, they become frustrated.
For eg. last month, I got my hotel room booking with one of the major online hotel booking websites.
During the whole process of room booking, they never mentioned the service tax and other additional charges until my card was charged with the price which I had never expected.
Needless to mention, I will never book my hotel room from that website in the future.
A wise webmaster will always display all the additional charges during the whole process of checkout; be its shipping charges, GST, etc.
There is no harm to charge such additional charges because no webmaster would like to pay these charges from their pocket.
But it’s a good idea to mention such charges somewhere at a prominent place on the website.
#3 Simplicity of checkout
Keeping a simpler checkout process is one of the factors that lie behind the success of any e-commerce website.
A simpler checkout process will mean more convenience for users and thereby grabbing more sales.
When the users find it difficult to purchase from any e-commerce website in a simpler and easier way, there are high chances of an increase in bounce rate before the final payment is made.
For example, if the registration or check out process of an e-commerce website is lengthy, most of the users lose Interest and quit the website quickly.
It’s a good idea to keep the registration process short so that the users do not need to spend a lot of time to get registered with the website.
Also, an e-commerce website should have an option for first-time users to check out as a guest member.
#4 The mobile factor
Having a mobile-friendly website is crucial for succeeding in any online business.
Especially in the case of e-commerce website design, you definitely need to have a responsive design that can cater to all the smart-device users.
If your target audience is not able to browse the different pages of your website seamlessly using their mobile phones, you are likely to get a high bounce rate & abandoned carts.
A non-responsive website also gets a low SEO score. This simply means low rankings on search engines, less traffic, and fewer sales.
What a pain!
Creating a responsive e-commerce store can help you to grab more sales & customers.
Actually, you don’t need just a responsive design but you also need a device-friendly design that makes it easier for device users to view & tap any button or link seamlessly without giving much pain to their thumbs.
Here comes the role of your website developer to create a perfect responsive store for you.
If you look around, you may find that a lot of other people are also selling what you sell.
In other words, no matter what kind of products you are selling, chances are that you may have tough competition.
So, the question is “Why should the users buy from you only?“.
Actually, it’s a million-dollar question.
If the quality & price of your products are similar to your competitors, you will find it hard to outsell sell your products.
Additionally, if you have recently launched your online store, you definitely need a reason for the online shoppers to buy from you versus your competitors.
Offering discounts & other incentives such as loyalty points or reward points work like a charm to outrank the competition.
Moreover, you may also offer your potential buyers a first-order discount so that all those hesitant new customers get a motive to buy from you.