Ecommerce Website Development: Best Practices
Whether you’re interested in topics related to Woocommerce website development, Shopify website development, or ecommerce website building in general, this post is for you.
In the following article, we will outline the best practices for starting and maintaining an ecommerce website.
1. Practice the “Less is More” Mentality
There are millions of different options for website designs out there. A clever programmer could probably make a website that makes the user feel like they are solving a complex puzzle as they navigate your website.
However, sometimes the old axiom of “less is more” is the best advice with regards to a business website.
You’ll want people to quickly find what they are looking for without having to interpret various confusing symbols or search for more than a few seconds. Case in point, a fitness equipment company would benefit from having a simple menu that lists common types of exercise equipment such as:
- Resistance Bands;
- Functional Exercise Equipment;
The above list is clean and tidy, and will guide users directly toward their desired destination.
On the other hand, someone could get carried away with the many options available within the list above. For example, instead of the above 5 item menu, you could have a much longer, overwhelming menu that expands upon each of the options. So instead of simply “clothing,” a less efficient list may outline:
- Long sleeved shirts;
It’s easy to see how if you expanded all of the broad categories in the first list to include the many components found within them, you’d quickly create havoc by offering too many options for customers visiting your site.
2. Make Checkout Easy
Hopefully you’ve never had the experience of a frustrating online checkout experience. For some reason, certain websites will demand information from consumers outside of the necessities such as address, card number, etc.
We’ve become a society of instant gratification. Anything that takes longer than it should is often enough to lose a potential sale. So, make sure you streamline your checkout process by only requesting the absolutely essential information needed to complete the transaction.
Furthermore, ensure that you are able to accept payment from a variety of sources. While most of your customers likely have a credit card that can be used on your site, some of them may not. Also, some customers may prefer not to use their credit cards online as much as possible.
Therefore, you’ll want to offer options such as PayPal that allow for alternative payment methods.
3. Prioritize Customer Support
If a customer has a question about a product, or is experiencing difficulty in navigating your website, there need to be customer service representatives standing by. There are many ways to handle these customer service issues such as:
- Automated chat features for commonly asked questions;
- An answering service for phone queries;
- Email correspondence.
Offering as many customer service options as possible will demonstrate to your customers that you care about their experience and that you are willing to go above and beyond to make sure they are happy with their purchase.
4. Optimize for Mobile Devices
Computers are still an integral part of our world, but phones and tablets have become the preferred method for online shopping. Not only will improving your sites mobile device shopping capabilities keep your customers happy, it will increase your SEO standing.
Google now prioritizes sites which are optimized for mobile devices. Consumers have shifted away from computers for their ecommerce needs in favor of Smartphones. Companies need to recognize this trend and adjust accordingly.
5. Highlight Customer Reviews
There’s nothing that demonstrates the quality of a product like a review from a satisfied customer. You should request reviews from all of your customers. The good reviews will enable you to attract other customers who appreciate seeing the positive feedback, and the negative reviews will give you insight into the changes you need to make in order to best serve your customers.
6. Seek Endorsements by Big Names
In some industries, this is an unrealistic goal. However, if you are able to partner with some influencers or celebrities, you’ll generally develop a strong customer base. Fans will follow their favorite celebrities wherever they go and will use whichever products these famous individuals recommend.
For instance, a boxing equipment company can generate some serious buzz if Mike Tyson gives his nod of approval.
However, you don’t even have to find as massive of a celebrity as Iron Mike. Even a locally-known public figure could do great things for your business within your operating region.
7. Tap into the Power of Pictures (and Videos)
Make sure that your products have high-quality pictures taken from all sides and angles. Consumers will want to be sure that your product delivers what it promises, especially when they can’t look at it in-person.
Videos can provide even more compelling data for potential customers. By showing your product in action, you’ll effectively overcome many of the hurdles of online shopping. Furthermore, having an honest product review video posted can provide even more insight into the product.
As much as you are able to show and explain about the product through videos and pictures, the better.
8. Focus on Your Niche
Odds are, your product or service appeals to a select portion of the population. There are very few items which can be appreciated by everyone in the entire world.
For this reason, it’s important that you tailor your message toward your audience. If you’re selling BMX bikes, you probably don’t need to advertise to grandmothers and grandfathers (although you never know, do your research!).
With a targeted approach in your marketing strategy, you’ll save time and energy and increase the probability of converting site visitors into paying customers.
Are you struggling with ecommerce website development? Do you have questions that seem impossible to answer about your website’s needs? If so, consider contacting Ancell Marketing today. We are world-class web designers in the Vancouver area, and we would be happy to help you make your ecommerce website the best it can be!