Today's guest post is by Preet Sandhu.
When you're designing a new website for your ecommerce business, it's important to think about more than where to place your company logo. Putting yourself in the shoes of a typical online shopper will help you figure out how to create a user-friendly experience and maximize sales profits.
Smooth Website Navigation
One of the main reasons why ecommerce sites fail to generate sales is due to their layout. Simply put, if a customer can't find what they're looking for, they'll find it somewhere else. It's tempting to use all the bells and whistles out on the market today to craft an intricate website, but simplicity can go a long way in terms of sales. It can be helpful to peruse the array of ecommerce website templates out there to find one that features a smooth and logical presentation.
- Make your search bar prominent – If a customer is looking for one specific item, it's helpful if they are able to use a search tool to find it immediately. This saves them time.
- Group products into categories – On the other hand, for casual browsers who have some idea of what they want but don't have anything specific in mind, categories can be useful. An ecommerce cms can help you set up these categories and place new inventory in the right spot.
- Provide gift guides – A third type of customer is one who may have no idea what he or she is looking for. You can guide this type of customer towards a sale with gift guides, shopping wizards or other tools to help give them product suggestions.
Appealing Product Presentation
If a customer easily finds what he or she is looking for on your website, you're one step into the sale. A unique challenge with online shopping is that the customer can't see the product in person, so it's important to ensure that it is presented in such a way that the customer will still feel confident purchasing it sight unseen.
- Photography – High quality photographs are a must-have for any successful ecommerce business. It's worth investing in the services of a professional photographer if necessary. Be sure that the photos are large enough to see details, with a neutral background to avoid distraction. A tool that allows customers to zoom in on details or a 360 degree view can also make the product more appealing.
- Description – Descriptions should be brief enough that they don't cause a reader to lose interest, but you can have fun with these. Be sure that your content matches the tone of your brand and remains consistent throughout the website.
- Reviews – Allowing customers to post reviews on the website is a way to boost confidence in your products. Online shoppers are not only savvy but they also want to know what others think about their purchase.
- Price – The price should be clearly marked. This is one of the primary determining factors when it comes to whether or not a customer makes a purchase. Allow your customers to search for products by price and make sales items prominent.
Easy Checkout System
This is the part of the sales process where ecommerce sites tend to lose the highest percentage of customers, whether they experience buyer's remorse or get distracted. Keep it as painless as possible.
- Use a single page checkout system – The more pages you add to your checkout process, the higher the chance you have of losing your customer. Questions should be kept to a minimum, and it's best to avoid asking for registration details before they can pay you.
- Offer an array of payment options – You can enable your website to accept numerous credit cards and other options such as Paypal, to encourage a wider range of customers to make a purchase.
- Make return policies clear – New customers will look for this policy straight away before making a purchase, so make sure it's easy to find.
Your customers will feel more confident making purchases if they know that they can contact you should anything go wrong. Having an instant chat feature available during checkout is one way to boost confidence. You should also make your contact information clear on the homepage and use your blog and social media profiles to communicate with customers so that they feel there is a real person behind the website who can respond to their needs.