6 Essentials for an E-Commerce Website
E-commerce is becoming a bigger and more integral part of the economy with each passing year. In the UK in 2014 up to 79% of its population made an online purchase in the last twelve months alone!
With this in mind it’s incredibly important to design an e-commerce website with customer experience as the chief focus. We’ve compiled a few essentials to help you get started.
Having a mobile responsive website in 2016 is an absolute essential for any business but especially those seeking to operate and generate sales online.
More than 80% of users online have made a purchase via the Internet and that figure is only predicted to rise. Pair this with the growth of mobile browsing and the use of smartphones and it quickly becomes clear why having a mobile responsive website is now a must.
Make sure your site can be viewed on mobile, tablet and desktop with ease and enjoyment.
Customer Refine Options
Customer refine options are an extremely useful tool as they allow customers to quickly tailor their search to a select few items relevant to them.
Refine options usually revolve around key characteristics like product price, size, colour etc. Two of the most successful examples using these refine options online are Amazon and eBay.
Including this feature on your site will help make the customer’s browsing experience easier and encourage greater sales as a result.
Every business would love their customers to sign up for an online profile, giving them useful contact and marketing details in the process, but the reality is that many customers don’t want to do this.
23% of online shoppers will cancel or abandon a potential purchase if they have to create a profile. This reluctance can be for a variety of reasons but time is a major factor. If you force a potential customer to fill out a massive sign-up form before they’re allowed to make a purchase you could be risking losing the sale completely.
Think about introducing a “Guest Purchase” option. The initial benefit of such a tool is the sale, but long-term benefits could include a returning customer who is eventually happy to register officially.
Highly Visible Search Bar and Cart
The digital world is forever becoming more and more optimised. This means online browsers and customers are becoming more impatient and more accustomed to finding what they want instantly.
To ensure your website meets these growing demands include a highly visible search bar on all pages. This presents customers with the choice to browse freely or perform a direct search whenever they want.
A visible cart is also an e-commerce essential as it allows a customer to monitor their browsing and shopping. You will usually find visible carts in the top right-hand corner of an e-commerce website.
Great, user-friendly, website navigation is an absolute e-commerce essential and the only reason it isn’t higher on this list is because it should now come as standard with every site.
When building your site create a hierarchy of product categories and stick to it.
An easy example of this for a fashion site would be Ladies > Shoes > Leather > Black > Size 3
With a well thought out product hierarchy and great navigation customers will be able to browse your site with ease and quickly find product categories that are most relevant to them.
Cross selling or up selling is a well-known e-commerce technique whereby customers see suggestions of other relevant products when browsing on a particular product page.
This could come in the form of suggesting other albums by the same musical artist or other items that could make up an entire complimentary outfit.
This type of feature encourages greater browsing and can boost sales as a result. This could be a consideration if you’re planning to build a large e-commerce site with hundreds or thousands of products online.
Hopefully these 6 e-commerce essentials help you on your way to building a successful online business.
If you have any questions about this blog get in touch!