By all accounts, ecommerce is booming in the United States, and it shows no signs of waning. According to recent stats gathered by the U.S. Census, ecommerce providers continue to make a strong showing economically:
- In the retail sector, ecommerce retail trade increased annually by more than 14 percent.
- Retail ecommerce shipments account for around $300 billion in revenue.
- In recent years, clothing and clothing accessories ecommerce companies grew faster than other sectors.
What does this mean for emerging ecommerce businesses that want to build websites? They have to be ready to compete in a very strong, expanding marketplace — and that means their websites have to be incredibly robust, intuitive, and uncomplicated.
Tips for Designing Winning Ecommerce Sites
The biggest and best ecommerce sites share similar characteristics. While you may want your ecommerce site to stand out, it’s important to keep proven concepts in mind throughout the designing phase. yyes
Below are actionable steps to take to ensure your ecommerce site is ready to perform:
- Make it easy for visitors to find the products they want. In most cases, it shouldn’t take a user more than three clicks to get to a desired page on your website. As you create your navigation, follow a path that makes sense for the average buyer.
- Give visitors high-quality images. One of the downsides to ecommerce is that people cannot see and feel merchandise. It’s up to you to show as much detail as you can, which often means including several professional photos of what you sell. You may even want to add videos if you feel the product is best demonstrated to show quality, ease, and convenience. Never rely only on the images you get from manufacturers, which may or may not be suitable for your ecommerce audience.
- Provide some form of customer service. Although most ecommerce sites have a toll-free number and email system to maintain customer service, many are also including an online chat choice. Why? It allows people to make buying decisions faster, without leaving the website — and possibly getting caught up in other aspects of their lives!
- Streamline checkout from beginning to end. Why make your customers jump through hoops just to check out? Try to keep your checkout to as few steps as you can, and don’t ask for more information than you require. Although you may want to encourage customers to create a profile on your ecommerce site, you should also provide a “guest buyer” option for individuals who are hesitant.
- Provide valuable, reliable, accurate content. Think of all the details someone will need to make the decision to buy items through your ecommerce website. Then, make sure all content creation supports those buyer needs. Your content should be accurate, and it should speak to the user. This will help cut down on customer service questions that could be answered on the page.
- Tell customers how to take the next action. You cannot assume your visitors will instinctively know how to get around your website, so make it easy for them. Add buttons and visual cues to move them through the buying process. These calls-to-action (CTAs) are terrific navigation tools, and they will help avoid lost sales.
- Capture your prospects’ and buyers’ emails. When you get a visitor to your site, make the most of the opportunity to stay in touch. If a prospective customer or buyer is willing to give you an email address, you can start a relationship with that person. By adding them to your mailing lists, you may be able to upsell and cross-sell them, increasing their lifetime value to your company.
- Give sharing options. With the prevalence of respected social media platforms, browsers may want to share the items they purchase or wish to purchase. Your web design should include social media icons that allow for instant sharing. An added bonus to your ecommerce business is that when they share on Facebook, Twitter, etc., their friends will be exposed to your offerings.
Ready to make the move into the ecommerce world? It’s an exciting place to develop a business, and it can be highly lucrative. The more time you spend on your web design, the better your chances of higher conversion rates and sales.