While many sectors of the global economy are clearly suffering, e-commerce has emerged as a life-line for many businesses. E-commerce has been growing steadily for years but has spiked in the first half of 2020. Beyond merely offering businesses an alternative to traditional brick-and-morter sales, e-commerce allows companies to reach a much larger audience, while reducing reducing overhead, and exploring new efficiency such as virtual warehousing, which eliminates the need to invest in stocking products in advance.
All this means that, if you want to overcome your competitors and rank higher in SERPs, you need to provide your consumers with an efficient online shopping experience.
The first rule when it comes to develop an online store is: less is more.
A clean and simple design will almost always convert sales better.
Too much clutter makes it difficult to find the calls-to-action (CTA), promotions, sales, shopping chart or products: start with simplifying your pages and menus, by removing unnecessary content.
A well-structured search bar on each page helps customers navigate into the website and easily identify the products.
In addition, in order to provide the most intuitive search experience across the whole website, you may use also some filters that would allow the customers to easily narrow the products’ selection down, based on different options or parameters.
Fast customer navigate is important; that’s why it’s so critical to have a powerful navigation strategy in mind, which includes:
Many consumers abandon a shopping cart during the checkout because the process is too long and complicated: bear this in mind when you plan your e-store.
Make the checkout be as easy as possible, due to any additional step or requirement in this process will increase the chances of users abandoning the transaction.
We create user-flows, designed to anticipate how a user will move from browse, to select, to buy. We then create wireframes to test the placement of content, headlines, and buttons. We highly recommend user-prototyping using a tool such Invsion to perform user testing prior to designing the actual site.
The more you do in advance to improve the on-site sales process, the more efficiency you will experience in sales.
Your eCommerce website needs to accept also alternative payment options to Visa and Mastercard, such as PayPal and Apple Pay, because if you have limited payment gateways, you are going to have a huge number of abandoned carts. You can ease this complexity by utilizing one of the many payment startups such as Stripe or Square, help make the largest variety of payment methods possible.
And finally, again to prevent shopping cart abandonment, try to get verified by different security software companies, assuring your buyers a safe transaction.
Moreover, take into consideration that some transactions on your eCommerce site won’t go smoothly and customers might have questions or issues to be solved.
When it happens, they want to get help as soon as possible, so you need to have a handy customer service support through:
So, make sure you’re offering a quick, efficient, and easily accessible customer service across different platforms, in order to reduce your eCommerce bounce rates.
Increasingly, your customers will tend to do shopping from their mobile devices: so, if you want to take your mobile strategy to the next level, you should build a responsive eCommerce website.
And, in order to improve your mobile conversions, you should:
What’s more, another great eCommerce best practice, both from desktop and mobile, is using the so-called ‘breadcrumbs’: as the term says, they refer to the well-known tactic of leaving breadcrumbs along the trail so you can find your way back.
To do so, you should make people track exactly where they are at any given time.
Such a practice is valuable not just for the users, but also for SEO, since it can:
As we’ve already seen, bounce rates and site abandonment are among the biggest issues you may run into when designing your eCommerce, and they often happen if a website starts to take more than three seconds to load.
So, to improve your site’s speed, you might:
Moreover, to make sure your eCommerce website has a proper load speed, check it for free with Google’s PageSpeed Insights.
In this regard, some of the factors you might need to work on include:
As we’ve seen, running a successful eCommerce website is not so easy and some best practices can look overwhelming at a first glance.
Yet, don’t let them intimidate you: you aren’t expected to implement all of those aspects in a day, but you can start identifying the main weak points that need to be solved.
Would you like to discover more about ecommerce and software solutions? If so, keep following ICON’s blog and talk to an ecommerce website development expert today!
Independent and International