Like it or not, American consumers are doing more and more of their purchasing on the Internet. Nearly 70 percent of people shop online at least monthly. If you have a retail store without a means to sell to your consumers online, we strongly suggest you pursue an e-commerce website.
Top 10 Things an E-commerce Site Should Have
- Detailed Product Descriptions. Product descriptions should include full product details so there’s no shred of doubt in the consumer’s mind about what he or she is purchasing. If applicable, include quality pictures and even reviews as well. Product videos have been shown to boost conversion rates up to 85 percent!
- Credibility. One of the main things customers look for is credibility to ensure they’re placing their credit card information in secure hands. There are many ways to showcase your online store’s credibility, including reviews, awards, membership badges, and more.
- Visible and Detailed Shipping & Return Policy. People like knowing what to expect prior to making a commitment to buy. Have a detailed explanation of your return policy and shipping and handling process on your website. This will help people feel more confident during the purchase process.
- Incentives to Buy. Customers like getting a good deal. “Free shipping” is always a great incentive for people to make purchases. Other possible incentives are free trials, a percentage off the total purchase price and promo codes to redeem for discounts.
- Visible Reviews. When it comes to e-commerce, consumers want to know if others had positive experiences, before they purchase anything. Make sure you not only have positive reviews displayed on your website, but also in other directories on the web. GE Capital Bank’s 2013 Major Purchase Study found that 81 percent of consumers research products online prior to making a purchase. This underscores the importance of having positive reviews in places like Yelp, Google, Facebook and any other websites your target demographic will frequent.
- Appealing & Logical Site Navigation: When a customer arrives on your website, they must be able to find exactly what they’re looking for quickly and without frustration; otherwise, they will leave.
- Onsite Search + Facted Navigation: Provide your customers with the proper tools to find what they want and how they want to find it. You can do this with a system that filters products by color, size, price, popularity, and more.
- Store Finder: If you have multiple stores, having this feature is a must because it “shout sells” your products to other retailers.
- Payment Options: The greater variety of payment options a website accepts, the higher the conversion rates. If you don’t accept certain payment forms, make your website visitors aware before they checkout. Having a customer go through the entire checkout process just for them to learn that a form of payment isn’t accepted could result in frustration and website abandonment.
- Quick Load Time & Mobile-Friendly: Pay attention to the size of your website’s images and graphics as these can slow a website down. Slow site loads, as well as non-mobile friendly websites, will result in site abandonment.
- Prominent Contact Information: A contact page is essential, especially for smaller online websites. Having your contact information prominently displayed adds to your trust factor.
- Email Signups: Include a way to capture your audience through email signups and signups for other applicable social networks. This will help you to market to them even after they’ve left your website or made a purchase.
- Easy Checkout: You need to make it easy for your customers to buy online. This will help lessen any friction between your customers and the buying process.
- Strategic Calls-To-Action: Do not bombard the customer and clutter up the message. Instead, guide them with strategic calls-to-action.
Market Your Ecommerce Site – Drive Customers to Your Site
One of the most fun things about e-commerce websites is marketing them, and we know lots of ways to do it. Here are some of our best tips:
Abandoned Cart Remarketing: One effective way to target people who abandoned their shopping carts is showing them the items they left in their cart via dynamic advertising.
Similar Audience Remarketing: Retargeting, the process of showing your company’s ad to people who have visited your website, is a great way to remind your current audience about your brand. Similar (or “look alike”) audience remarketing takes things one step further and shows your ad to audiences similar to those who have visited your website.
Sending Wishlist Reminders: Wishlists preserve the products customers showed interest in but did not purchase. Sending these customers email reminders about their wishlists can be an effective way to rekindle that original interest and move them along the purchase funnel. Wishlists are also effective for items out-of-stock to alert customers when they’ll be available for purchase again.
Email Marketing: People who give you their email addresses are your most loyal customers. Therefore, it’s important to speak to them in a personal manner and cement the relationship.
Affiliate Marketing: Have other websites and even bloggers help drive traffic to your website by providing an incentive to send traffic your way.
Social Media Advertising: First, understand which social media outlet your customers use most often and then advertise on that platform. It’s important to note that you don’t need to advertise on all social media platforms if only one will be most effective.
Google Shopping: Google Shopping will showcase your actual products at the top of Google.
About the Author:
Experienced President with a demonstrated history of working in the marketing and advertising industry. Skilled in Digital Strategy, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), Integrated Marketing, Advertising, and Pay Per Click (PPC). Strong business development professional with a Bachelor’s Degree focused in Communications from Ohio University.