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Expert Tips To Improve Your eCommerce Website Experience

If you don’t feel like reading, you can click here to see this blog post as a video.


eCommerce was already growing, but Covid-19 accelerated it. There is now a permanent shift to online shopping, but some basic rules still apply.

How then do you transform great real-world retail experiences to online?

  • Be competitive – Why should a customer buy from you? – Unique product, product selection, price, service
  • Focus on the entire customer experience – That is how you will be judged – Customer service, logistics, responsiveness, site design
  • Make life easy for the customer – Competition is just a click away – Navigation, site search, contact details
  • Quality content is your sales assistant – Product description, educational content
  • Trust is the basis of all commerce – You have to earn it

ecommerce websites and digital transformation

The Three-Step Framework

Commerce has always been a 3-step framework:

1. Learn

  • Is this the right store?
  • Does it have the products or solutions that I’m looking for?
  • Is the type of business I am comfortable doing business with?

2. Shop

  • Can I find the right product here?
  • What options are available?
  • Can I compare products?
  • Can you help me choose correctly?

3. Buy

  • Can I buy it easily?
  • Can I pay for it?
  • How will it get to me?

For an ecommerce website to be beautiful is nice, but not essential.

Simplicity, clarity, and functionality are essential (but hard).

Speed is important – the average load speed for top ranking sites is 1.9s.

Step 1 – Learn

The homepage of your website is the first place to start. So, what are the key elements that your homepage design must have?

Homepage Design Elements

ecommerce website homepage elements

Homepage – First Job

  • Answer the question – Am I in the right place?
  • Tell your customers who you are – Know your differentiator
  • Establish trust

Additional elements

  • A long scroll page is fine
  • Include image navigation
  • Showcase featured products or bestsellers
  • It’s not all about products – Link to other useful content

Homepage Header

  • The header is the first thing a visitor notices – Am I in the right place?
  • Include phone number, search box, site navigation, shopping cart, tagline/ key messages

Homepage Footer

  • Trust signals – include security, shipping info, payment methods, contact details, live chat
  • Navigation – include social channels, review content, site search

Homepage Main Body

  • Help navigate the catalogue – include image navigation
  • Direct traffic – to key categories and products that convert
  • Engage the visitor
  • Move the visitor deeper into the site

Does It Work On Mobile?

  • Design for mobile-first – easier to scale to desktop, drive simplicity, larger and visual elements, less clicks and more scrolling
Step 2 – Shop

Make it easier for your website visitors to shop.

Product Category Page

  • Help the customer find what they want
  • Help them compare options
  • Pricing should be visible
  • Configurators, selectors, customization – these are powerful engagement tools, customer feels in control and invested, adds to a differentiated experience

Product Page

  • Good quality images
  • Product sales video, if available
  • Make descriptions scannable – headlines, bullets, legible on mobile, clear and simple
  • Clear add to cart button
  • Include unique selling points
  • Add social proof
  • Include warranty, returns information

Video Is A Key Content Element

  • 90% of consumers say product videos help them make purchasing decisions
  • Integrate video into all pages, starting with your most important products
  • Include sales, reviews, testimonials, “how to”, and “unboxing” videos
Step 3 – Buy

Help close the transaction.

Checkout Page

  • Once it’s in the cart, the job is less than half done
  • Remove distractions
  • Show them where they are in the process – one-page checkout
  • Scroll, not click
  • Don’t force registration – offer guest checkout option
  • Cross sell and upsell are great, but don’t lose the first sale
  • Offer multiple payment options, including instalment options
  • Provide clarity of shipping options and costs
Design Should Be Guided By Analytics
  • Enable eCommerce tracking
  • Tag all URLs so you can see the impact of campaign traffic
  • Review your funnels – they show the health of your process
  • Identify your key metrics – conversion rates, abandonment rates, bounce rates, return on ad spend
  • Examine site search queries – they tell you a lot
  • Email should be a huge part of your traffic generation efforts – else you’re missing a big trick
  • Too many choices can overwhelm us and cause us to not choose at all.
  • Even if you sell a product, you are in the content business. Quality and clarity is key.
  • Customer experience is paramount. Fast, easy, and helpful builds trust.
  • Understand your metrics. Dive deeper than averages. Prioritize.
  • You are never done. Your site is always a work-in-progress.
  • Website design is only part of the story. Spend as much time on the entire experience – online, operationally, and after-sales.

We, Gr8 Services, are a WSI agency. WSI is the world’s oldest and largest digital marketing agency, headquartered in Toronto, Canada, with 1,000+ offices across 80+ countries. As the digital marketing pioneer, WSI has paved the way for success for 100,000+ businesses and can help you too.This blog post is adapted from a client webinar by John Leech, our WSI Digital Marketing Consultant. 

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