Online shopping is mainstream. Everyone does it and in lieu of recent in-store credit card security issues, it’s often viewed as more secure than going to a retail store or giving your credit card to a random customer service rep on the phone.
Trust in online shopping is not an issue anymore. The issue is getting your visitors to shop on your website over a competitor’s. In order to capture your audience and make the sales, your e-commerce website needs to be current and implement several very important elements.
Here are seven things to consider when developing or restructuring your e-commerce site:
1. User Friendly
If your store is easy to navigate, you will have a greater chance of making a sale from the start. The homepage should be inviting and encourage visitors to click on products or categories of items they are looking to purchase. Categories should be self-explanatory and should be broken down into subcategories so visitors can quickly find what they are looking for.
The search bar should be easy to find and quickly list all applicable items that are currently available for sale once the user types in their query.
2. Shopping Cart and Checkout Process
Adding items to the shopping cart should be simple. Color choices or style preferences should be easy to view and select. Customers like to view what they have in their cart while continuing to shop, so make sure you have a design and functionality that makes it easy.
Don’t confuse users during checkout. Keep things basic and value your customer’s time. The shopper should feel confident shopping on your website.
3. Mobile Compatibility
80% of all online adults own a smartphone. Mobile visits, in many cases now, outrank desktop use. Your e-commerce site needs to be designed and built for all devices, not just a personal computer or laptops.
4. Calls to Action (CTA)
Make sure to lead your customers through your site with calls to action that are specific to what you want them to do. For example, if you have a sale, your CTA button could be “Click Here to Save 20%!” It may be obvious to you and even to most people, but there are still a lot of people out there that have lives, raised kids or are raising kids, own or run businesses that don’t spend much time on the web. Adding that extra help builds confidence in your business, shows that you care about your customers and helps to make things less frustrating. Always avoid making your customer feel stupid because they not. If they are going to your website they must be smart enough to buy from the best company out there.
5. Images and Descriptions
When people are searching for a product to buy, they want to know all the details about it before making their purchase.
Shopping online can have it’s drawbacks because one cannot physically see or touch the items they are looking at. Because of this, it’s important to have professional quality images of your products and when applicable images from multiple angles, views, and even context.
It is also important to thoroughly describe the items in detail. Cover all aspects, including size, texture, uses, benefits, colors available, etc. You want your potential customer to feel confident that they know enough about your product to purchase it, instead of going elsewhere.
6. Customer Support
Some sort of customer support needs to be available in case of any problems or questions. There are several different types of customer support, such as 800 numbers, email support, and online chat. Decide which is the best choice for your budget and type of business. Keep in mind to always be friendly and respond in a timely manner to resolve any issues to keep your customers happy.
7. Security and Privacy
An e-commerce site needs to not only pleasing to the eye but a stress-free shopping experience as well. By developing an online store that is easy to navigate along with a seamless checkout process on any device, you will retain your customers and expand your business by acquiring new ones.