Expert Tips To Improve Your eCommerce Website Experience
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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
The Three-Step Framework
Commerce has always been a 3-step framework:
- 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?
- Can I find the right product here?
- What options are available?
- Can I compare products?
- Can you help me choose correctly?
- 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
Homepage – First Job
- Answer the question – Am I in the right place?
- Tell your customers who you are – Know your differentiator
- Establish trust
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
- 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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