While it’s true that the Internet is fully flooded with millions of ecommerce websites, most of them are not profitable. Only a small percentage of them are successful and are really making money.
If you are too planning to setup your ecommerce business, resolve to be different instead of becoming “just another website”.
But for a newbie, it’s very challenging to think about the best practices for creating a profitable ecommerce website. You can definitely learn from your own mistakes but these mistakes may take away a significant amount of your investment.
Therefore, it’s good to learn from others’ mistakes and experts only, if you want to save your money.
In this blog post, I have shared 11 tips to consider while developing an ecommerce website that will really help you to sell more.
#1 Design, Design & Design
The design of an ecommerce website largely determines the degree of attention & engagement from a visitor.
Various studies have shown that a user takes only 50 milliseconds to decide whether he or she will stay on your website or would quit. In other words, you have a sum total of 50 milliseconds to impress your visitors.
The design of an ecommerce website can be considered as a welcome gateway of your house that should be decorated well or your guests will not enter your house.
Therefore, you must seek an expert advise from your web designer or consultant before you decide on any layout for your ecommerce store. Not only this, but you must also do your own research and checkout for the latest trends and case studies of some of the successful ecommerce businesses.
While the design of an ecommerce website is important to convince your visitors to stay there, but in the absence of a well-structured & user-friendly navigation, your visitors would still leave your website.
The navigation of an ecommerce website must be in such a way that the customers can find the products they are looking for, without any frustration.
Here are some of the characteristics of a user-friendly navigation
- Text links
- Avoid clutter
- Show breadcrumbs
- Showcase clear product hierarchy on all the pages
#3 Search Feature
A great search feature alone can help you to get more customer engagement and grow your overall sales.
Let your user search their desired product(s) in less clicks and ensure that your search feature shows accurate results.
Here are but few instructions for you web developer to build a successful ecommerce website:
- The search bar should stand out graphically and should be clearly visible.
- The search bar should possibly on the top of the pages so that the visitors can find it easily.
- Show some default text inside the search field such as “Search for products or brands”
- Show auto-complete feature to suggest the searchable keywords based on the few letters typed by the user.
Having a responsive website design is the key to a successful ecommerce website.
A responsive website is good not only for the users experience, but it also helps your website to gain higher rankings on search engines. Simply because the search engines like Google consider responsive websites to rank as compared to those websites that are not responsive.
Having said above, a responsive ecommerce store is not a fancy thing to build, its mandatory. It is as important as the existence of your ecommerce website in the very first place.
Surprisingly, there are still many web developers who don’t take care of responsiveness when they design any website. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
If you are really serious about your ecommerce business and want to get more sales from your website, do make sure that you have a responsive website design.
#5 Loading Speed
The loading speed of an ecommerce website directly affects its sales figure. Having an optimized loading speed of your ecommerce store means you will have more happy shoppers.
No one likes to wait longer for a website to load completely. If a website is taking too long to load, the potential shoppers will not hesitate to quit and move on to a competitor site.
As I’ve mentioned above also, you’ve got 50 milliseconds to grab the attention of your visitors and imagine if your website takes few seconds to show only a glance of your homepage, what will happen. Yes, the users will quit immediately.
Fast loading websites are good not only for shoppers experience, but its helpful in SEO too. Again, search engines consider fast loading websites to rank on top positions.
#6 Checkout Process
Did you know that more than 60% of the abandoned orders on an ecommerce website is due to its “not so user-friendly” checkout process?
Its very sad to see that businesses invest a lot of money on their ecommerce website development but they don’t really put much time to analyse & optimize the checkout process of their online store.
Most of the ecommerce websites out there still have their checkout system with too many roadblocks for the users.
What are some of these roadblocks:
- Forcing users to create an account to checkout and pay.
- Too-long and over-complicated forms to fill.
- Inconsistent design of checkout steps.
- Lack of important instructions.
#7 Payment Options
To make your ecommerce website a success, allow your users to pay with multiple payment options.
Conduct a study on your local competitors and find out which payment methods they are offering to the customers. Follow them. Don’t just rely on your own intuition or your web developer’s suggestions.
Your biggest competitor is just like your best teacher. The only difference is that he would not teach you, you will have to observe & follow him on your own.
#8 Product Pictures
Ideally this item could have been on the top of the list. Did you know that more than 75% of the users expect an ecommerce website to have high quality images?
Why images are so important for an ecommerce website?
To understand and answer this question, let’s walk-through a fictitious customer’s journey on an ecommerce store.
Customer B lands upon an online store to buy a watch for him and saw posts that offered a robust description of a watch but featured no photos of it or the photo was blurry.
What would be his first thought when he see that?
Perhaps the first thought that will jump into his mind will be a suspicious “Why?”
Why wouldn’t this ecommerce store include a photo or a high quality photo?
Do they have something to hide?
As soon as that idea appears, the sale is pretty much dead at that point. It won’t even matter how much effort the seller had put to write their products description.
It is therefore, very important to use high resolution images of your products on your ecommerce website, if you really want to succeed in your business.
#9 Offers & Discounts
Want to get more sales? Offer discounts.
You, me and everybody out here loves the word ‘Discount’. The higher the discount percentage is, the lesser resistant we will be to buy that product. Isn’t this true?
When you offer discounts on your products, make sure that you
- Write about your offer at a prominent position of your website.
- Mention about it in your advertising copies.
- Write about it in your blogs.
#10 Countdown Timer
A countdown timer, accompanied with an irresistible discount, would create a sense of urgency and encourage your visitors to buy the products from your store, almost immediately.
Don’t give them much time to think about your offer. Show them the remaining time of your offer to expire. If your product is good, offer is irresistible and the remaining time is short, no body can stop your users to buy from you.
#11 Live Chat
Not everybody is comfortable in choosing the best products for them and pay for those products.
There are many people who need help & support to make their decision, especially if they’ve had a bad experience in the past or they are just newbies.
Considering the above fact, why not to include a live chat option on your ecommerce store so that the shoppers can get engaged with you and raise their objections with you. Having a live chat on your ecommerce website will increase the likelihood of a sale by more than 30%.
Try it and you will see the results.
Many new ecommerce businesses get started every day and get shut down sooner than expected. Don’t let this happen to you. Try out different strategies and stick to the ones that work best for you.
The above tips are just some of the suggestions that may increase the chances of growing your ecommerce sales. There is no harm trying out new things. You never know which idea would click and will transform your small business into a giant venture.