An e-commerce website enables your existing as well as prospective customers to get in touch with you from anywhere and at anytime. If your site isn’t properly set up, however, it will not be able to attract visitors, or, more importantly, influence those visitors enough to strengthen brand recognition and make them return.
Below are the most important elements that should be present in an e-commerce site so it can be successful and consistently profitable:
Product Information to the Point
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Check your site’s product pages. Do they have all the key features listed? Picture yourself vising the site with absolutely no knowledge about the products. Is information sufficient for you to make a smart shopping decision? Of course, you want all the important details there, but don’t make people wade through paragraphs to find what they need. The key information must come first, followed by any extras and a professional picture of the product (with a short description).
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Onsite Search Engine
One of the most frustrating features an e-commerce site can have is an onsite search engine that offers totally irrelevant search results. Make it a point to use search engine software with a refined filtering mechanism, especially if you have a huge product inventory.
Easy Checkout Process
Generally speaking, customers are easily turned off when they have to cycle through so many pages when buying a product. It would be ideal to start and end the checkout process in just one page, but if that’s not possible, at least have them enter all their information in one page, and confirm their order on another page. Everybody’s busy these days, and no one wants to have to waste their time on a very complex checkout process, especially because they know it’s don’t need to be that way.
Your entire e-commerce site has to be reasonably user-friendly. A good user experience will keep visitors on your site, and make them return as well. Put links or menus to product categories in a conspicuous place, and ensure that all categories and the products under them are correctly named. Moreover, every page must provide users a convenient way to go back to the home page, pick a new category, look for contact information, or go straight to the shopping cart.
On top of showing information clearly and having all the necessary features – ability to change quantities, being able to enter promo codes, shipping options and the rest – a shopping cart layout should as well be simple and consistent with company branding (colors, logo, etc.), and include conspicuous checkout buttons. Finally, speaking of options, don’t restrict your customers to but one or two methods of payment. The more you can provide, the better.