10 essential tips for your e-commerce website!

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E-commerce websites have come along way in the last 10 years, with the US, UK and Asia leading the way in online shopping.

In 2017, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 2.3 trillion US dollars and e-retail revenues are projected to grow to 4.88 trillion US dollars in 2021. (Statista.com)

Part of online shopping is the actual buying process. From when the user see’s your ad or searches for your product, gets enticed enough to click that ad, which takes them to your website. Great – this is half the journey. They then need to find the product, setup an account, make a payment and wait for delivery.

Roadblocks of the buying process

Simple enough, but this process has numerous roadblocks that WILL affect your potential sale. A slow website (or server crash on Black Friday), limited search options, bad design and even load shedding will send potential customers to the proverbial hills and they will find another company to buy from. Our main goal is to prevent cart abandonment.

We are all busy and all “very important” so we have come to expect a certain customer service and online shopping experience equal to the likes of Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Apple.com. What makes a customer stay and come back to an online shop?

Presuming you already have an online store, to help you achieve this, we have compiled 10 essential tips for your e-commerce website that will not only help your online sales, but provide a much more exciting and personal shopping experience. If you do not have an online store, now’s the time to get one – contact us!

10 essential tips for your e-commerce website!

1. Overall Appearance

Your shop front or landing page needs to be simple, clear and to the point. A very organised layout will help customers questions get answered immediately and convince them to browse further willingly.

2. Photography

Invest in good photography. Make sure you get images of stand-alone products, but also lifestyle imagery that showcase the product being used i.e. what value will this bring to their life if they purchase this product. The emotional attachment to this “scene” will entice the customer more than a clinical image. Lifestyle images also allow people to see the size and scale of the product, which can be deceiving as a stand-alone product.

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3. How easy to find a product and add to cart

Give customers as many ways to find the product they want. By organising your products in customer friendly categories and grouping them in sections of your site, you decrease the chance of the customer having to filter through unrelated products before finding the one they want, and being able to add them to the cart with one click.

5. Display of products

We can’t really re-invent the wheel. Products need to be displayed clearly and cleanly. Do not distract the customer with busy backgrounds and flashing elements. Rather highlight the important bits with colours and classic styling to attract and guide the customer to the cart.

4. Search & Filter

Naturally, a search and, if quantity allows, a filtering system is needed and clearly visible to the customer at all times. Think of this as your shop assistant that directs customers to the right area of the shop or product. User input prediction is a great tool as it can pick up all tags, categories, text etc. of a product and display the results (Yes, this is A.I.)

6. The Actual Product

This is where you have as much info as possible about the product to allow the customer to be 100% confident in their purchase. Include sizing, reviews, gallery of images, shipping and logistics and most importantly – the costs. All the costs! Including approx. shipping costs. Better yet, work in the shipping costs to the product price so that what the customer sees is what they pay aka “Free Shipping.”

7. Access to the Account, Cart & Terms

How easy is it to add a product to the cart and setup an account to complete the purchase? Access to these pages must be visible at all times, generally in the top right of your screen. Simplify the actual process of setting up the account and checkout. Don’t make customers fill out long forms of irrelevant info. Ensure you have all your legal, security and policies in place.

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8. The checkout

By now, the customer is ready to hand over their hard earned cash. Provide as many payment options as possible, EFT, CC, PayPal, Swipe etc. Provide options for the customer to add delivery notes, or maybe even the option to collect from your offices at no cost. Maybe it’s a gift for someone and an additional note could be added that would ship with the product. This is where you can setup discounts, loyalty cards and coupons. “Get 10% off if you sign up to our newsletter” for example.

9. Additional Offerings

Use upsells, cross sells, combo and package deals to entice the user to spend more with you. Everybody loves getting a good deal. Maybe its video tips and tricks, user guides and manuals of the product. This promotes your products and service in a subtle non-invasive way while educating the customer. Depending on your product range, you could have a wish list and even a comparison option for the customer.

10. Post Purchase

Hooray! Your customer has made the purchase and now awaits their product. Thank them. Keep your customer informed of delivery times, rather “under promise and over deliver.” Allow your customers to log a return if need be. Get Facebook Pixel so you can start remarketing to them on social and send them vouchers and exclusive deals.

Trust is the biggest part of this whole equation and with these 10 tips, you are ensuring your customer that nothing will go wrong with their product purchase and if they aren’t satisfied, it will require minimal effort to have it sorted out.

If you need an online shop or require on-going e-commerce management, please contact us!

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