5 Musts for an Effective eCommerce Website
Effective eCommerce web development is essential for the success of an online store. If the site is not properly structured, the entire business endeavor could be at risk. The key to the success of every business is to have a solid foundation to stand on. With an eCommerce business, the website that sells the products is a pretty important component.
Make sure it can handle the heat.
There are a lot of online companies out there that bring in millions of dollars per year. Each one of those companies had to start somewhere. There is no reason why a new online store couldn’t have the same kind of success.
Although there are millions of combinations of the right things to do for creating a successful eCommerce site, we believe these are must-haves that all sites should be equipped with to thrive.
First and foremost, the only way that an eCommerce business is going to make it, is if it has a website that is built to handle the demands of visitors. Some of the most important factors that ensure a smooth user experience without hangups are:
Exceptional web hosting
A big mistake that a novice can make is to go for the cheapest and easiest web hosting solution that they can find. When the site is hosted on a server that can only handle a small amount of traffic at once, there will be issues. Visitors do not want to deal with dragging pages or site issues; they will bounce to another site faster than a rubber bullet.
A worthy hosting solution will provide you with adequate bandwidth, security, storage space, and functionality. However, your developer team has to be worthy as well.
Even if the site is hosted on a powerful server that has tons of bandwidth and space, if the code is less than good, the site will most likely encounter a plethora of problems ranging from design flaws to complete failure.
Large product images that take a lot of time to load cause many websites to be much slower than they should be. Every image that is used on the website should be optimized to cause as little load drag as possible.
All of the components such as the eCommerce platform and messaging system that come together to make the website function should be easily integrated with the rest of the components so that the user experience is as smooth and pleasurable as possible.
You only have a couple of seconds to grab the attention of your first-time visitors when they land on your site; so you have to make the best of that short amount of time. If you understand your target audience, you can use your creativity for a web design that places images and headings that will grab their attention and engage them.
The very first thing the user sees when they land on a new page is the website design displayed at eye level. What you put there counts. This area is known as “above the fold” because it is before the visitor will scroll down below the “fold” of what they can see.
Don’t waste this space with long explanations or boring images. Get to the point and let your website visitors know you mean business. Relevant images with enticing headings will help guide your visitors through the process of turning from simple visitors into paying customers.
There are not many things more frustrating than a website that is difficult to navigate. One of the quickest ways to lose visitors is to make it challenging for them to find what they are looking for.
Clearly labeled menu items
Call to action buttons front and center
Having a user-friendly, well-designed menu with labels that clearly state the pages they are linked to is essential for easy navigation. Include top-tier navigation headings that host dropdown menu options so users can easily see which direction to take when looking for something in particular.
Another must for ease of navigation is to include a marked search portal where users can type keywords and be directed to pages that have what they are looking for.
While strategically placed call-to-action buttons are part of the plan to generate conversions, CTAs can also help users find what they are looking for, if they are labeled properly.
Another function that makes navigation easier has a well-designed footer menu that allows people to navigate from the bottom of the pages as well. Don’t forget that a lot of people are shopping on their smartphones. Make sure the checkout process is flawless for mobile devices as well!
The easier people get around the site, the more likely it is for them to stick around and buy something.
Clear Product Descriptions
Believe it or not, having detailed, clear, product descriptions on your product page are much more effective than typing in a few descriptive keywords and hoping for the best. For the best results, every product that is on the website must have a description of 300-400 words. If it goes beyond 400 words it’s OK, but if it’s less than 300, you’re at risk of losing potential customers.
Longer, more robust descriptions help to:
Maximize keyword opportunities
Reach search engine (SEO) visibility
Give customers a clear vision of what they are purchasing
Make your website look more professional
Depending on the eCommerce store that you use, you should be able to have a “short” description that holds about 80-100 characters, where the user will have an option to “read more.” That little tidbit of text should be enticing enough to provoke the user to want to know more.
The truth is that some of the online consumers that we depend on for sales are a little more educated than we give them credit for. When they get a sense that they are not getting all of the information that they need about an item they are getting ready to buy, they might go somewhere else that gives them the more accurate description they are looking for.
Flawless Payment Portal
Although there are millions of online transactions happening every day, when it comes to consumers putting their credit card or other payment method information into a new vendor database for their shopping cart or checkout, they may get a bit suspicious or uncomfortable. The best way to make potential customers feel comfortable in giving you their credit card details is to have a bulletproof payment portal in place.
The last thing somebody wants to do is get hung up in an online transaction where their sensitive information is at stake.
Some of the more trusted eCommerce platforms such as WooCommerce and Shopify can integrate with some of the biggest and most trusted payment platforms. The more options you can give your potential customers, the better off you are going to be when it comes time to get paid.
And if you prove yourself trustworthy…they might also tell their friends and family about you.
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Successful eCommerce Website Essentials
Having a great team to work with that you can count on to keep the business going is one of the biggest assets a company can have. From adding new items to ensuring constant search engine visibility, there is a lot of work that happens behind the scenes of a successful online store.
If you have a great team, a sound website with a beautiful design, and offer a stress-free journey for your customers, you are well on your way to running a successful and rewarding eCommerce endeavor.