It’s no secret that ecommerce is on the sharp increase as more and more businesses realise the power of an effective online sales channel.
But putting together an ecommerce website – whilst always worth the investment – comes with a number of considerations; details that need to be well understood, planned and executed to achieve the best possible results.
- The platform upon which the ecommerce website is built – is it bespoke, off-the-shelf, or a hybrid solution?
- Payment gateways – what payment methods to include, what to ignore, costs, setup and management
- Marketing – how will potential customers find your business, and what differentiates you from your competition?
- Personalisation – what does your shopping experience feel like to your customers? Does it feel familiar, curated to their interests, personalised to their tastes?
- Customer support and management – keeping potential and existing customers informed and solving any issues as fast and effectively as possible is a critical aspect of running an online business
And then there is the fundamental factor of making sure that your online shop is set up to make browsing and purchasing as easy and slick as possible.
A quick interlude…
The era of the ‘zero tolerance’ shopper is in full swing. Whereas in the past, online shoppers would accept delays in pages loading, product images not displaying correctly, tedious menus to find items, limited payment methods or poor customer service, this is distinctly no longer the case.
These days, nearly 15% of online shoppers wouldn’t give a retailer a second chance after a negative experience, nearly 40% may give one, but definitely, not two chances and of the balance only 8% will tolerate more than three negative experiences.
What does this mean for you, the online business owner?
It simply means that from start to finish your online shopping experience needs to be incredibly slick, easy, personalised, supported and well-marketed…
But let’s get back to the easy part – making sure that your product pages encourage a customer to do the thing they came for… to buy something!
Your product page is the most important page on your website and it needs to check off key attributes:
- It needs to be designed to trigger a positive response from your browser through using brand-relevant imagery
- It needs to make the product option selection and ‘Add to Cart’ functions clear and easy to see
- It needs to have enough information on the page to ensure a customer doesn’t have to click away to find out more
- It should offer related or upsell products
- It needs to reinforce trust
How do you achieve this?
Follow these simple steps:
- Make sure your feature image is clear and can be expanded so that shoppers can get a proper close up
- Include gallery images or even better, a 360 degree view or video
- Make sure that price, features, any customisation options, quantity and title are clearly displayed
- Keep your product description is conversational but keyword rich, and use bullet lists to draw the eye easily down the page as a visitor browses
- Ensure your ‘You may also like…’ products are well-selected and displayed prominently without detracting from the main item
- Offer clear options for enquiries, advice or support queries
- Add ratings and reviews as well as any shipping costs, returns policies and support options clearly on the page to build trust
You can also add functionality such as ‘Add to Wishlist’, ‘Compare products’, any awards or prizes that an item has received, a ‘Favourite this’ function or a ‘staff favourite’ function to bring a sense of trust, and also closing the gap between the business and the community of customers.
For certain types of products such as gift items or clothing, add functions to let customers personalise their purchase – this is a real differentiator in the gift items space.
And, make everyone’s life easier with a comprehensive FAQs section as well as integrating support functions such as chatbots to help manage customers’ questions in real-time. Ultimately, as an online business owner, make note of the websites you most often buy from and critically assess why it is that you use them rather than other sites.
Apply that logic to your own business, follow the best practice guidance above and you should be selling successfully in no time!