Ecommerce sites are an incredibly popular way to start up or run a business. They require minimal property and storage, no shop front or premises to sell from and they can be accessed by clients from anywhere in the world, not just a local area.
However the market for ecommerce sites is ever-growing and expanding; the US ecommerce market grew from $27.61 billion in 2000 to over $861 billion in 2020 demonstrating enormous growth. With this in mind, standing out from the crowd is becoming increasingly difficult and increasingly important. Now, more than ever, it is important to offer your customers a seamless user experience and all the information and tools they need to make a purchase quickly and easily.
In this article we will explore the features and characteristics of a successful ecommerce site to help you get the most out of you online shop, increase traffic, conversion rate and overall sales.
Navigation and Searchability
Flexible search is often a feature that gets overlooked in websites and is severely underrated by the customer, however, without it, your user experience can be drastically reduced, particularly if you have lots of products.
Flexible search makes the search function of your website much easier to use; it will bring up products similar to the searched for product, display the searched for product first, predict products when spelt incorrectly by the user and bring up products according to how important they are for your business.
Without flexible search, users are often met with a mess of products to sift through when using the search function of your site and even then, what they are looking for may not come up.
Potential customers being able to find what they are looking for quickly and effectively is essential for increasing the sales of your website, as many users may look elsewhere if the experience is frustrating. If flexible search is not something you are currently using and your search function is unreliable, it is worth considering as your website grows.
You may know your website like the back of your hand, but your customers do not. In many cases, a customers visit to your website may be their first and you do not want them to feel lost or overwhelmed.
A good, easy-to-understand navigation bar is essential to direct customers towards the pages they wish to see, and towards the pages that will generate sales!
Categorising products, into an easy-to-understand catalogue, and using this to form your navigation bar allows customers to easily browse for what they are looking for. It was highlighted in a recent study that 59% of web users make use of the navigation system of a site. Therefore, if your navigation is complicated or does not function properly you are risking losing over half of your potential customers.
Variable products are essential for businesses that sell variations of the same products as it allows you to group products together into one page and allows customers to choose variants from a single parent product.
A key example of this is for clothing; if you are selling t-shirts, you do not want individual page for each colour and each size (and even each size of each colour!) for your products. Instead, grouping each size and colour onto a single page advances user experience and makes your site easier to manage.
Of course, variable products are not essential for every site, but they are worth considering improving user experience of your site.
Detailed Product Pages
Product pages are your main selling hubs. They should offer everything your customer needs to know to act and purchase your items. Product pages are essentially your sales pitch to any potential customers, and as such, you want them to be as descriptive and persuading as possible.
Adolab advocate for the 300-word rule; this rule states that every web page of your website should have at least three hundred words for SEO and descriptive purposes. Without descriptions, your products are unlikely to rank in terms of Google search terms and they also offer no information for your customers. Taking the time to write content to dress your site is essential for the development of your SEO and sales strategies.
Images and Image Quality
Similarly, to product descriptions, high quality images are also essential for your ecommerce sites SEO and sales. Having images of your products on the site for customers to view what they are buying is a great way to increase the conversation rate of your site.
As highlighted by Tree Ring, having photos from multiple angles and offering high quality imagery that displays your products effectively and professionally is essential for the development of your ecommerce site.
Payment and Accounts
Payment Method Options/ Pay Overtime
Offering advanced payment methods is a fantastic way to increase sales for your website. Nowadays, if an establishment only has one method of payment you will find customers turning away! The same can be said for online stores.
The more payment methods your site supports the more potential customers you can provide for. Thankfully, most payment providers, such as Stripe or PayPal, are compatible with the majority of major debit and credit card providers meaning that they can take the worry of compatibility off your hands.
However, it may also be worth considering offering a pay-over-time option, such as Klarna to make purchasing your goods as accessible as possible to your customers. These pay-over-time options offer a secure and guaranteed payment scheme to ensure that you receive full payment for your goods, but also allows your customer more flexibility in how they pay.
Allowing customers to create an account on your website allows your customers to store their information on your site for repeat purchases and allows you to add functionality to benefit your account holders.
For example, point systems for purchases are commonly found and add incentive to purchases to increase sales. Similarly, if you add a subscription service to your site, having customer accounts allows for automatic subscription and account management.
Discount System/ Special Offer
Having an effective discount system or special offer allows you to expand upon your marketing messaging and offer even further incentives for customer purchases. It also allows you to take part in global, local, or national events or occasions, such as Black Friday, to increase sales.
93% of shoppers use a coupon or discount code every year and it is predicted that sales will rise by 73% if you offer a bonus package. Therefore it is important to offer discounts and rewards to your customers in order to increase sales and boost traffic to your site.
Tarka Web Design and Enhancing Ecommerce
Adding ecommerce features and functionality to your site is an important step in developing the presence of your business online. Get in touch to hear how we can help you advance the performance of your ecommerce site and let us know how you envision your online business growing.