The explosion in e-commerce over the past decade has led to many successful, 100% online businesses. Chances are if you are reading this and have a product or service you are selling online, you are also experiencing success.
But there are always ways to make improvements. And it’s worth the effort. Even small changes can result in big income increases every month.
That’s why the following are considered website must haves for e-commerce sites.
Navigation should rank as top priority in website development. Nothing turns off customers faster than a site that is difficult to navigate and not intuitive.
The simple goal is to make navigation from entry into the site to checkout as smooth as possible. Brick-and-mortar super stores don’t put up walls that block people from seeing the products. Neither should you. This involves many different factors, but they all rank as website must haves.
- Fast loading speeds, such as you’ll find with sites that use nopCommerce.
- Links between pages to relevant content or related products/services.
- Content on the page that is relevant to what people are searching for.
- Clear, concise product/services listings.
- An adequate search function that provides relevant results.
- A site that is mobile-friendly - more people are shopping via mobile than ever before.
The moment it becomes hard or confusing is the moment people will bail on your site. The buyer’s journey flow should easily get them from one page to the next.
Segmentation of Products
If you have many types of products, they need separate listing areas and content specific to them. Think of your business like a mall. Different customers are attracted by different items. If organized correctly, you won’t waste their time or drive them away with information on products they’re not searching for. After a purchase is made, that’s when you can offer them related products they may be interested in based on the purchase they just made.
Concise Product Descriptions
This has almost become an art form. But it’s one of the website must haves. Potential buyers need to know the facts about the products they are interested in buying. Take less of a “sales approach” and more a lively, active and descriptive approach. List all the key features but use bullet points or concise language.
Images and Video
A picture truly is worth a thousand words. Imagine shopping on Amazon for, say, a T-shirt and having to buy it based only on a description. Everything - even the smallest item - requires a photo. Better, two or three from different angles.
Video also is extremely powerful. Seeing a product in use helps people make a more informed decision.
Many buyers bail at the checkout in online businesses. It’s imperative to streamline the checkout process and make sure that the steps are as easy to follow as possible. One of the top reasons people abandon a shopping cart is because the process is too complicated. That raises trust issues, and you are not going to get consumers to buy if they don’t trust your site.
Other considerations include:
- Having a variety of payment options.
- Post shipping costs early in the process. Surprises related to cost of shipping is will lead to abandoned carts.
- Keep the process to just one or two pages. This is ideal, but sometimes not always possible. If you’re able to do it, have one page to enter address and payment information and a second to confirm purchase.
Clear Calls to Action
Don’t waste space on your home page for bland photos or lengthy content. Use that space to offer specials, discounts or hot products that lead directly to the product description and then to the checkout.
Live chat can prove a game changer for customers who need to ask for more information before making a purchase. However, it must be effective. Automated live chats often are more frustrating than no live chat at all. Use a real person.
Choosing the right colors and design elements for your site is important. Studies have repeatedly shown that design and colors used in various combinations create different emotions for consumers. You may have an excellent product and content, but if the design is turning people off, you are not doing as well as you could.
These are some of the website must haves for e-commerce. Take all the above factors into account. It can take an average e-commerce business and make it good or take a good one and make it great.
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