Your e-commerce plans starts with website goals. Who are your target customers? What do they need? Are they getting information only, or can they buy products at your site? These key questions, asked and answered early, will determine how much time and money you'll need to develop and maintain an online presence.
Second, decide what products or services you will offer. How will you position and display them? Will you offer both online and offline purchasing? How will you handle shipping and returns?
Additionally, don't overlook the customer's need to reach a live person. A toll-free phone number should be prominently displayed that customers can call anytime to get their questions answered by a live person.If you decide to sell online, you'll need a shopping cart component, which is a means of handling credit card processing, and an organized order fulfillment process.
Finally, even if you build an amazing website, don't assume people will find you on their own. If you want to develop a consistent flow of traffic to your site, it's essential that you plan and maintain an ongoing and multifaceted promotional strategy that's carefully targeted to your audience.
In 2015, 90% of people purchased from mobile devices rather than from PCs and laptops, so ensuring that your ecommerce website is mobile friendly is a must. Mobile’s increasing market share means that your online shop should have a mobile first strategy to ensure you’re getting conversions no matter what device.
The biggest conversion killer for your online store is potentially your checkout process. You could easily be losing up to 67% of customers if your checkout is poorly planned or designed. Striking a balance between good functionality, usability and building trust are key to offering a good checkout experience.
Laborious registration forms can increase the likelihood of your customers abandoning a purchase at checkout so give customers the option to checkout as a guest rather than register an account. Online shoppers are keen to make their purchases quickly and can easily be distracted, so help them achieve their goal by giving them a quicker option to check out as a guest user.
Product photography could be the single most important aspect of your ecommerce site. This is what helps your user get ‘buy in’ and is often the first experience of your product, so make it count.
The first part of a good returns policy is to try to prevent the return. People return their products when they’re disappointed so write clear and accurate product descriptions. However having a well structured and easy to find returns policy can actually help your customer make the decision to purchase because they feel confident they can get a refund or exchange easily if there’s an issue.
This may sound obvious, but clear and accurate descriptions about your products are important to help buyers make the decision to purchase. Your descriptions act like your store’s sales staff so it needs to be informative and the right tone for your target. Include an FAQ’s section too to help alleviate any doubts about your products.
Get clear about your shop categories and how you’re online store is structured. Poorly structured sites don’t perform well and struggle to convert. The goal is to make it easy for your customers to find what they’re looking for. Work with your web designer and your team to understand how your products should be categorised. Make sure your navigation is intuitive with labelling that makes sense to your customers. Sometimes how your company labels something may not appeal to, or be confusing to your customers.