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What customers love in an eCommerce site

There are many factors to consider in an eCommerce site, it’s not all about selling. Yes, sales is a major part of an eCommerce site but companies also have to consider orders and payment (on both ends) and also the dispatch of items. One of the most important things in a site such as this is ensuring that visitors are impressed, unimpressed visitors will not lead to sales.

That which is good is always beautiful

First impressions count, would you go into a shop that looks run down, messy and where the staff looked like they don’t know what they were doing? Of course not, you’d go to their competitors down the road. The same can be said about an eCommerce site, it has to look good. A design is a reflection on your business; a strong, well thought out design reflects a strong, well thought out business and vice versa. There is a reason salespeople always have to look good, they’re in a customer facing role – an eCommerce site is a customer facing site and the same philosophy should be applied.

The design of your site should be a priority, it’s the first thing a visitor will see and the first thing they will make their judgement on. If you don’t think you have the relevant skills to design a great looking website then it is definitely worth looking into hiring a website designer. Feel free to take a look at our web design Bradford business to see if we’re a good match for you. To get an idea on how important the design of your website is, take a look at our post about how web design affects the bottom line.

The need for speed

Nobody wants to be sat around waiting for a page to load, we live in an age where people want things and they want them now! The same can be said about a website, if it takes too long to load, they’ll go off to one of your competitors with a faster website. Quicker loading times will give an all round better browsing experience, a better browsing experience will lead to more sales.

External feedback company, usertesting.com found that increasing your site’s speed will increase conversion rate (the amount of visitors to your site that are turned into sales) by a whopping 78%! Next time you think a second doesn’t really matter consider that stat – site speed will affect the bottom line. Again this comes down to design, a good website designer will consider load times when helping you build your site, our web design Bradford business certainly does!

A little side note, a site that loads fast is not only good for mobile browsing but Google’s algorithms will recognise this and give your site more authority – ultimately pushing the website further up its rankings.

Choose wisely

Don’t try to be Amazon, you’ll never compete – one day maybe, but not this day! Amazon have a huge range, they sell everything! Following their example won’t necessarily lead to success. Getting back onto speed, customers wants to find what they’re looking for quickly, they don’t want to be trawling through a whole range of different products. In addition to this, having a large range of varying products can cause a lot of logistical problems, a customer will not want to use you again if they ordered something and it never came as there was a problem on your end. Try to find a gap in the market or serve a niche market, just make sure the market is there though.

Look at your search capacity as well, make sure it’s great – consider investing in a good one. A good search facility will improve visitors browsing experience and will certainly have a positive effect on your conversion rate.

The best thing since sliced bread

Sales is an important part of eCommerce, it’s how you get your money after all. Producing content for the internet is unlike writing copy for anywhere else. As an eCommerce site it is easy to get bogged down into writing loads of sales copy on your product pages, but avoid this – less is more. Ask yourself why should the customer buy this and then tell them why in two or three snappy sentences – every word should be fighting to stay on the page, you have to make your product seem like the best thing ever in a short space.

Take advantage of images, and if appropriate video, if pictures say a thousand words how many words will a video say? A product becomes much more appealing if the customer can see it. The use of white space works well here, having a lot of blank areas on the page will make everything else stand out, or be ‘louder’. The less content there is, the more attention is paid to what it there. Again design is key here, a good company like our freelance web designer Bradford business should really be taking this into consideration – however you are responsible for the content, consider hiring a copywriter if you’re not up to scratch.

The final hurdle

The shopping cart is full, the customer is ready to proceed to the checkout but it’s far from a done deal. Many eCommerce sites loose customers here as they overlook this part, thinking that the customer will just checkout. It’s very important to include all the payment methods you can, PayPal is a little pricey but is arguably the easiest method of payment over the internet. Avoid excessive delivery and admin charges, this is a kick in the teeth as the customer thinks they’re paying one amount but these hidden costs pop up, bringing the total up and driving the customer away. Also try to avoid forcing customers to sign up prior to making a purchase, this will loose a lot of potential sales, why not offer them 10% off their next purchase if they sign up with you? It’s a much less aggressive tactic and the customer is more likely to return.

Aftercare

Customers should receive an email promptly after a purchase, even on the page following a purchase it should direct customers to check their emails for a receipt and offer them a point of contact if it hasn’t arrived. The receipt itself make sure to include more than one point of contact should there be any problems, i.e email us on 123@abc.com or call us on 01234 687 891 (try to avoid using an expensive 0845 number). A tracking number is always useful on a receipt as it allows customers to track the status of their purchase.

It’s always good to follow up with an email a few weeks later from the CEO or customer service manager wishing them well and asking for any feedback that they would like to give. This email should be lighthearted and friendly. It’s the little things like these that make the big difference overall and keep people coming back to your site – which is the ultimate aim.

 

 

 

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