Post by Joe Davies
What do you think the secret to running a successful eCommerce website is?
If you answered quality products, satisfied testimonials or simple shipping options, you’re only partially right.
What turns an average eCommerce site into a sales machine, is accessibility, design and user experience.
The simple truth is, you need to have a great website when you are doing business today. The use of computers has made it easy for people to buy and sell online. As people can now find whatever they need by searching online at any time of the day or night, you need to make sure that you have a website that people want to spend time on.
According to the latest research, eCommerce sales are expected to account for 13.7% of retail sales worldwide. This shows that buying has moved from a traditional in-store experience to the digital world, and if you want to have that register ringing, you need to convince people to spend time on your website.
Having a website with attractive and compelling design, that ranks on Google, and is technically sound will ensure that you reach your target market and get sales to increase your bottom line.
So if you’re ready to build your eCommerce empire, here’s what you need to know.
How Do You Make Your eCommerce Website Stand Out?
Making sure that your website stands out from your competitors is very important, but easier said than done.
There are many web design trends to help you increase conversions. So your goal for your website is to be the first one that people visit.
From there your design, speed and user experience must tick all the boxes so that it is the only website they engage with.
Starting form gaining the attention of your eCommerce customers and moving through to pushing a sale, here are 6 simple design tips to help bring you more eCommerce sales.
#1 – Get Your SEO Right
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation.
This involves placing your website higher in the search engines by use of a range of optimisation tactics.
You want to have excellent SEO to get the greatest rewards. This way, your website will appear when people complete searches. The simplest way to get started on this goal is to create content around the products you are selling.
You should use what you are selling and put the keywords in your title and in your website so that you can be found easily when people are searching for products and services online.
Looking for more help writing SEO titles and tags? Find out how to effectively optimise your own website in 2019 here.
#2 – Check All Internal Links
While links typically refers to the process of creating backlinks that boost your rankings on major search engines, when running an eCommerce website links are also important to ensure your products can be found.
You need to make sure that all of the links are working on your website.
You can use free link checking tools like Broken Link Check to see if your website is technically sound.
Using internal links on your website should be a way for your customers to want to buy more from you. Do any of your products relate to one another? Recommend your site visitors explore further with related products or suggestions.
#3 – Add Captivating & Quality Photographs
If you are going to include photographs on your website, they need to be of high quality. And when you’re selling products, you’ll want to include photographs.
After all, providing a way for potential customers to look at the products they are interested can help to increase conversions. Your photos should show the details of the products or services that you are offering. It is important that the photographs be placed logically throughout the website.
However, you don’t want to have too many photographs because it can seem overpowering. Finding a balance between the words you use and the photos that complement them will go a long way to improving your results.
BONUS TIP: Use photos of real people enjoying your products. For example, clothing is more engaging when worn on a model so people can see the fit, and picture the clothes on themselves, as opposed to a static image.
This is a strategy used on the product page by the eCommerce entrepreneur Tierra Alma. She explains “with so many products, listing them statically would have detracted from the visual power. Instead, we use models to showcase our products in a natural environment. Our customers can get a feel for how the clothes would look, fit and feel on them, and it’s made a difference to our conversion rates for sure.”
#4 – Update & Upgrade Your Copy
It goes without saying that your copy should be free of spelling and grammatical errors. It should also flow easily and guide your site visitors through a sales funnel.
What obstacles would the average site visitor have? Your copy should address and overcome this.
You need to engage your readers so that they are entertained while they are reading the copy on your website.Keep in mind, too much copy and a person will get bored with too many words.
eCommerce copy should be simple and to the point. You want to create an impact, so use descriptive words that will capture your reader’s attention. How will they feel using your products? How will their life get better? What pains can they expect to leave behind?
Copy that answers these pain points can make a huge difference for site visitors because they will become engaged in what you have to say and will want to know even more.
With an example of how powerful this step can be, cake topping expert Pearl, from Pearl’s Creations, added copy to help her images have more power. She explains “being a cake maker, the draw of my eCommerce store was the visuals. But by adding copy – explaining the happy emotions people feel when seeing a custom, dream cake – we increased orders in the last quarter.”
If you’re struggling to add copy, or don’t feel confident writing copy yourself, try adding customer reviews or testimonials. 61% of online shoppers reported reading reviews before committing to a purchase. So by adding positive feedback you can tap into these 6 out of 10 people who are looking for validation before they hit ‘purchase’.
#5 – Offer Promotions and Incentives
Everyone wants value.
Whether you’re offering a discount, promotion or sale; providing value can increase your conversions.
Looking for a way to drive value AND build your audience? Try offering a newsletter to keep in touch with your audience as well as build your subscribers list.
This newsletter should keep your customers updated. You can also tell them about promotions and discounts that you are planning to offer. By making this newsletter free and easy for your customers to sign up for you will remove friction and give yourself the best chance of results.
#6 – Clarity Over Cleverness
Everything about you, your company, products, and services need to be clearly stated.
This is important because customers need to know this information and they need to find it fast.
Consider the following tips to promote clarity over cleverness:
✔︎ Always provide a clear way for customers to place an order.
✔︎ Don’t make it hard to understand the checkout process.
✔︎ Know that your customers do not want to have to look up words to find out what you mean.
✔︎ Tell them in a simple way the message that you want to get across.
✔︎ Do not make it complicated.
In short, the process – from finding products to comparing products, adding items to the cart and moving through the checkout – needs to be simple and clear so that all potential customers can do it easily.
BONUS TIP: Add a ‘view cart’ button. Use a bright colour to make this button stand out. This can help people to see their products and keep them focused on the checkout, helping to reduce the bounce rate.
This tactic is used by stress management expert Janine Brundle, she notes “I was noticing a number of drop offs between choosing a product and proceeding to the checkout. To manage these I added a clear ‘cart’ icon in my site header. Now, customers can always see that they’re got an item, and this small change managed to turn around the bounce rate and increase my cart-to-checkout success.”
Always Be Improving. Never Be Finished.
The Australian eCommerce market is expected to be valued at $35.2 billion by 2021.
This makes it the 10th largest eCommerce market in the world based on revenue.
Staying on top of your website, from ranking to design, copy to content, will ensure you’re perfectly placed to take advantage of the huge growth that is expected to continue.
While there are countless ways to design and develop your eCommerce site, the most important thing to remember is that your customer comes first.
You should always update your website on a regular basis. Make sure that you are always giving your customers more options to choose from and make them feel important.
Using all of these tips can help you to build the eCommerce site you want.
Follow these 6 simple steps and enjoy a boost to your site traffic, leads, sales and profits.
Joe Davies is an Australian freelance writer and Sydney-based university student. As an Interior Design, he has a passion for learning about global changes in business culture and specialises in entrepreneurship and innovation-related topics. When Joe isn’t at his desk, you’ll find him exploring National Parks.