By Nikole Haiar, Director of Marketing at Hostway Services, Inc.
When it comes to creating a website that will not only attract customers, but also keep them coming back for more, e-commerce company owners may be at a loss. It can be difficult to distinguish the essentials of a lucrative e-commerce platform from the items that are merely bells and whistles.
Let’s take a look at the top tips offered by experts on how to establish a website that will position your e-commerce brand for success:
1. Ensure your website’s navigability.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised by the number of e-commerce firms that don’t factor website navigation into their considerations. If a product is directly featured on the homepage or otherwise easily accessible, customers need a way to find the item they are seeking in a streamlined fashion. If a shopper can’t find what they’re looking for on your website, they’ll just go elsewhere. SumAll contributor Brian Honigman noted that navigability should extend not only to an easily discoverable search bar, but also to the inclusion of overarching product categories and sub-categories as well.
2. Presenting and describing products: It’s all in the details.
Another main consideration to keep in mind with any e-commerce website is the fact that shoppers can’t get a full sense of the product they will potentially buy without all the necessary details. Clients can’t physically view or pick up the item, so they are counting on the information on the website to help them understand what they will be getting. Designer Daily advised using quality photos with more than one angle of each product to better showcase each item. In addition, anything that can’t be gleaned from the images – and even details that can – should be included in the product description. This section should provide answers to any and all questions customers would have if they were in a physical store.
“Don’t let your customers doubt; otherwise, they’ll go to another website,” Designer Daily stated.
3. Provide clear contact information, address inquiries quickly.
When shoppers are considering a purchase, or have already made one, and want to reach out to your company, they shouldn’t have to jump through hoops to do so. Every e-commerce website should include clear, easy-to-find information that provides a range of avenues for clients to contact you, suggested iThemes contributor Kristen Wright. While some customers prefer a direct phone call, others may want to send an email or post to the organization’s social media outlets. Make it simple for them to do so.
Additionally, when consumers do contact your business, their questions or concerns should be addressed as quickly as possible to ensure maximum customer satisfaction. If you find that your company receives the same question from several clients, consider adding a FAQs page that is easily accessible from the contact information page.
4. Make checkout easy.
Wright also noted that the process customers go through to make their purchases should be streamlined and as short as possible. Only the most essential information should be collected and the shopping cart page should be clear and concise. In addition, this page should also include all the essentials clients will want to know – what the shipping cost is, the total cost of the purchase and an estimated delivery date. As with product descriptions, consumers shouldn’t have to guess about any aspect of their transaction.
In these instances, organizations need e-commerce software that will meet their unique needs. Hostway’s custom online store software allows companies to use the shopping cart of their choice in connection with a shared hosting environment. Hostway can provide the best-in-class foundation your e-commerce company needs to guarantee its success.
With over a decade of experience in technology-focused B2B marketing, Nikole Haiar is responsible for the marketing, strategy and execution for Hostway’s retail and white-labeled cloud applications, which includes websites, email, online marketing, SEO, business productivity and web security tools.