How to Properly Design and Optimize New E-Commerce Websites
There are so many critical factors when launching new E-Commerce websites, find out what you should focus on to properly design and optimize your new store.
Every business providing services and products to the public has a vested interest in an online presence. In a world where most turn to the internet before they pick up the phone, capturing the interest and business of consumers can only be fully accomplished with a website that guides them.
It is crucial to understand that business websites reflect heavily on your brand and can leave good (or bad) first impressions that influence whether consumers choose to buy from you. This is especially true for e-commerce websites, where the entire purchasing process takes place often without human intervention. Your website – and its design – may be the only influence in a customer’s decision besides the product/service itself.
Designing and optimizing a new e-commerce website is easier said than done, but it is not impossible – even for those new to the process. To ensure your products and services are highlighted under the best conditions, this process is absolutely necessary.
To help make the process a bit smoother, let’s look at some factors that are crucial to designing and optimizing new e-commerce websites.
Ensure Essential Elements Are Immediately Visible
When selling products and services to potential customers, it is crucial that you make the process as easy as possible. In an age where instant gratification is often expected, users will quickly look elsewhere if they cannot find what they need from you easily.
As such, a great e-commerce web design ensures that all vital elements are immediately visible from the moment a visitor lands on the page. This includes menu and navigation options, product descriptions, contact information and purchase options.
In a matter of just a couple of seconds, a first-time visitor has already formed an opinion of your brand based on the website itself. You want to ensure that everything necessary to creating a positive impression is visible from the moment they land there.
Utilize a SEO-Friendly Store Solution
Depending on the number of products and variations your store plans to provide, you need a comprehensive search engine optimization strategy to rank all these products in search results.
Ideally, you want each product page ranking on the first page for one or more targeted SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages). However, an out-of-the-box website will not necessarily be designed nor optimized to ensure this.
Those building an ecommerce website for the first time often use all-in-one online services. This not only makes the process of building a store-front from scratch much easier, but it helps in organizing and displaying product pictures, descriptions and other information. One such example is Format: you can build your site through format.com and ensure that your ecommerce website complies with SEO requirements, thereby improving your visibility in targeted search results.
Prioritize Customer Service Options
One of the easiest ways to ensure a higher rate of purchases and conversion is to provide as much product information as possible. However, descriptions, specifications, and photos may not always provide all the answers that shoppers need.
Customer service plays a huge role in ensuring both first-time and repeat business. For those who cannot find the answers they need, it should be easy for them to quickly contact you. One such way is to integrate quick and easy contact options on each product page that tie directly to the product. This will allow shoppers to message you about a specific product and will ensure you know exactly which product they’re wanting to discuss.
Additionally, options on every message to allow shoppers to contact you via chat, social media and even phone should receive the utmost priority. Many people will not commit to a purchase until their questions are answered so ensure they can easily contact you (and likewise, receive a fast response).
Highlight Your Unique Selling Points
Any established ecommerce website will tell you that promoting their unique selling points played a huge role in carving out dominance in a niche. When you can offer something that the competition does not, that becomes a huge benefit for shoppers looking for that benefit or service.
For example, free shipping or bulk discounts should always be promoted if your website provides them. If you provide overnight shipping or bonus products, make sure people know that as well. This information should be clear and specific, and the more you promote it, the more likely you are to increase sales.
Always Be Honest and Clear
One of the biggest reasons shopping carts are abandoned is because an ecommerce website effectively misled the shopper. This can come in many forms, from deceiving shoppers about the cost of an item to misleading them about its benefits, shoppers often do their research before committing.
For example, hiding prices until somebody adds it to their cart does not increase sales. Likewise, advertising “free shipping” when it is only truly free after ordering a minimum amount doesn’t help your cause either. As such, be upfront and clear with your customers, list the actual prices and do not try to trick shoppers, otherwise they’ll remember your brand as dishonest.
Ensure Security and Trustworthiness
The vast majority of shoppers research any ecommerce website before making a purchase. After all, customers want to make sure that they can trust your business. To facilitate that trust, it is vital that your website takes the concept of security seriously.
Securing your website via HTTPS certificate is practically mandatory these days; this ensures that consumer data (such as credit card info) cannot be stolen when being transmitted. It is also a good idea to install one or more trusted security solutions to further protect customers.
Additionally, once your brand begins to develop a reputation, making it easy for shoppers to find out about it is strongly recommended. Whether this includes linking to your business reviews on various platforms or acknowledging any certifications you’ve received, give the customer every sense that they can trust you.
Make Your Promotions Unmissable
When shoppers first land on your website, what should they see? In addition to providing them with all the needed elements such as navigation and product listings, you also want to entice them with the latest deals and discounts.
Whether you are offering a special deal on free shipping, store-wide discounts, one-of-a-kind products for a limited time, or something else, don’t expect the customer to dig in order to find them. You need to be proactive in ensuring this information is front and center.
Many ecommerce websites use homepage promotions in their feature bars, which combine colorful imagery with clear, simple descriptions. Whether it’s a special promotion or a great discount, make sure that nobody can miss what great deals they’ll enjoy if they buy today. The evidence is clear: conversion rates go through the roof when shoppers are given access to great deals and those deals are pushed aggressively.
There is a plethora of considerations that go into designing and optimizing a new ecommerce website from scratch. It can feel overwhelming to those who have never done it before, but knowing what to focus on for maximum results can make the process easier.
Whether you decide to use an SEO-friendly store solution to handle most of the work or build the site from scratch, the real work begins when optimizing pages, products, and elements with marketing in mind. By building trust, focusing on security, being honest, and ensuring important information is front and center, you’ll establish a strong base from which to grow a mighty digital empire.