So, its 2020 and you’re ready to take your business to new levels and launch your online shop. Great! But have you considered what your ecommerce site requires to really turn profits? Online shops are more than just good product pictures and throwing in a checkout function. You need to think about the experience you’re giving your customers and their journey through your online store.
For many businesses, their website is the first point of contact between buyer and seller. Many people do their shopping online now, for all sorts of goods and services. Online shopping is an ultra competitive space, so what does it take to build a great online store? Here we’ll look at what an ecommerce site is and what are some essential must haves to make your online shop a success.
What Is An eCommerce Website Or Online Store?
Electronic Commerce, better known as eCommerce or in today’s less formal terms as an online store. It is the commercial transaction that is facilitated through the internet. This essentially refers to the buying and/or selling of goods or services using the internet. These goods or services can be actual physical or e-products or e-services (e-book, online courses etc).
Let’s Look Into 19 Digital Top 5 eCommerce Website Design Tips
Tip #1: eCommerce Website Design
Lets be real with each other, you’ve definitely walked into an unorganised and smelly store before and on the other hand, you’ve walked into a well organised, neat and spacious store before. Which one gave you the impression that its well-managed and cares about ts customers?
If you are like me then I would guess it’s the second, one right?
Think of a physical store as your eCommerce site (or online store). Design matters and good eCommerce website design signals that there’s a solid company behind the screen. Your visitors to your eCommerce site need to say “Wow!” for all the right reasons. Get a website designer if you can afford one and make design a priority.
- Make Navigation Easy!
- Categorise your products & services
- The site is for your customers
- Keep it simple
Tip #2: Mobile Friendly
In 2018, 60% of South Africa’s population used smartphones & 18 % of South Africa’s entire population purchased from mobile devices in 2018, so ensuring that your ecommerce website is mobile friendly is a must. Mobile’s increasing market share means that your online shop should have a mobile first strategy to ensure you’re getting conversions no matter what device.
- Ensure your checkout cart functions easily on mobile
- Make sure the mobile navigation is easy to use
- Keep your mobile version clean, simple with clear links and call to action buttons
- Check out, page navigation and ‘next’ buttons have enough space so fingers/thumbs can tap on them easily
- Good mobile versions of your images, including images for retina display
Tip #3: Product Focus
If you had 5-10 seconds to tell someone why they need to buy the product/service what would you say?
Whatever it is that you just said, make sure that its the first thing your viewers read on a product page. Partner that with great product photography and videography on your ecommerce site and you will have hit the sweet spot! These sections are what helps your user ‘buy in’. This is often the first experience of your product, so make it count.
Capture the imagination of your customers and be creative with your descriptions, tell the story of your product and how it can benefit your customer. Will it save them time, money, make them more productive or keep them safe? This is also good for SEO.
- Ensure your images are high quality with good lighting
- Give your customers the option to see the product in context or being used so they can relate to the experience of using your product
- Include a gallery of images (and video content if applicable) to show all features of the product
- Let customers see a larger version of the photograph either in a lightbox or zoom function
- Clothing size, texture , dimensions, weight, materials or fabric used for the products, warranties and colours etc
Tip #4: Check-Out Process
Your customer(s) has come this far. They have visited your website, viewed your product selection, picked a product they want to buy, and put it in their shopping cart. How could the eCommerce website screw up now? A few ways — unexpectedly additional costs, unacceptable payment methods, requiring users to create accounts before they place an order, difficulty editing their shopping cart etc.
One of the biggest conversion killers for your online store is potentially your checkout process. You could easily be losing up to ⅔ of customers if your checkout is poorly planned or designed. Striking a balance between good functionality, usability and building trust are key to offering a good checkout experience.
- Have a big clear ‘checkout’ button
- Don’t present unexpected costs at checkout
- Optimise your site for load time, ensure it’s fast (particularly on mobile)
- Make editing the cart contents easy
- Show shipping clearly
- Show images of the products in the cart
- Display security logos
- Keep your checkout simple and clean, less clutter is better
- Make contacting support easy
Tip #5: The All Important After-Sales
Your customer has now checked out and made the payment, so the jobs done right? Not quite!
After the user / customer has completed their order, they should receive a receipt via the email address provided almost instantly. Make sure your receipt contains all the necessary information. Generally, most receipts contain the order number, contents of the customer order, an email, phone number, and social media links to contact the business.
What you really need to consider, if your eCommerce site has content, you may want to add banners to your latest content (educational videos, blog posts, or even coupons) in your email receipts. A big tip, consider sending out an email a week or two after the order to find out if the client is happy and get a quick review! Maximise the possibility of email marketing and client retention.
Have a clear and easy to understand returns policy and make sure that the return policy is easily located. Having a returns policy can actually help your customer make the decision to purchase because they feel confident they can get a refund or exchange easily if there’s any issue.
- Swift email confirmation and receipt time
- Customer care and reach out
- Get reviews
- Return easy to understand language, no legal or internal policy jargon
- be clear about whether the return is for cash, exchange or credit
Bonus Tips To Consider:
Extra Tip #1: Security!
It’s becoming increasingly more important in the modern world to ensure that your website is secure. People have been burned by scams and unsecured sites, so they will often go to big online retailers such as TakeAlot or Loot that have proven security measures and are trusted in South Africa. For customers to shop on your site, they need to know they can trust you.With visual trust signals on your homepage and throughout your site, you instill that needed trust value, without which your customers might consider spending their hard-earned cash elsewhere! Having a secure payment system is paramount, and resilience to hackers and malware is key.
Extra Tip #2: SPEED!
If you’re like me, you notice when you’re visiting a speedy website. Everything feels different. Pages take no more than a second or two to load, and information is delivered to you sooner. The site just feels better when you navigate it. Apparently, it does more than just deliver a warm tingly feeling; it also increases sales for businesses. Dave Garr of User Testing has said that increasing site speed improved his conversion rate by 78%.
Wrapping eCommerce Website Tips Up
Setting up your online store now will give you a competitive edge over those who have not yet embraced the world of eCommerce, in an age where customers are constantly looking for the quickest and easiest ways to purchase what they need while at the same time maintaining a busy lifestyle.
We hope we were able to shed some light on what a successful eCommerce website and online store needs. Leave a comment on any additional tips you think we should add.