Offering an ecommerce business solution where customers can experience your products online is just the first step toward success. It takes a branded, easy-to-use design coupled with awesome site functionality to grow your online business.
What Makes An Awesome Online Store
You may have done some reading on what to look for in an ecommerce platform, but even with an out-of-the-box configuration, you’ll still need to know how to optimize essential features (e.g. inventory management tools, drag-and-drop landing page design, etc.)
Recent surveys have found that consumers highly value–and, quite honestly, expect–design characteristics like website usability, search and filter options, and review functions on an ecommerce site. Taking it a step further, consumers also seek features and functionalities like onsite search and navigation, comprehensive product information, and a product detail page that provides a rich sense of the product.
1. Easy site navigation.
This is the first and, arguably, the most important step to optimizing your ecommerce site.
Easy site navigation is essential because it’s what customers use to find your products!
There a few key components to site navigation that you’ll want to pay attention to.
When customers visit your store, one of the first features they will interact with is your guided navigation.
Often located beneath the site header, the guided navigation is tied to your company’s categories and subcategories, referred to as product taxonomy, and can include other promotional or seasonal categories (e.g. new arrivals, back to school, Mother’s Day).
It is crucial that your merchandising team lives close to the taxonomy to ensure all products are located in the correct category.
Let’s set up an example: Mary wants to search for a specific necklace that she heard about from her friend Suzie. Mary goes to the search bar and types in gold necklace, but is overwhelmed when she finds 50 results.
By optimizing your search to include category specific filters (e.g. jewelry metal, chain length, pendant style) and sort by options (e.g. low price to high price, featured), you provide your customers with an easier and more direct solution. This search solution is commonly known as faceted search.
2. Easy checkout, shipping options and payment process.
Your customer has placed items in their shopping cart, and they are ready to complete their purchase. Generate conversion by making sure you have a seamless checkout experience with easy and optimal shipping and payment process options in place.
Some tips for creating a seamless checkout process:
- Minimize the amount of pages customers have to experience.
- Offer multiple payment options (e.g. debit or credit card, Apple Pay, PayPal).
- Allow quick account registration.
- Avoid over-validating forms.
3. Quality website design.
Fun fact: 48% of consumers claim a website’s design is the top factor in determining the credibility of a business.
Crowded web design is one of the most popular mistakes made by small businesses. Too much content (e.g. text, visuals, advertisements) can steer customers away from your site due to feeling frustrated and overwhelmed.
Other common mishaps include lack of call to action (CTA) buttons and whitespace, poor web typography, and hidden navigation.
What can you do to attract your customers? Implement a flat design, a modern-day user interface (UI) approach – recognizable by its simplistic, clean, and less data-heavy characteristics.
4. High-quality photos and excellent copy for product descriptions.
You have a beautifully designed and branded website, so it’s no surprise that you need high-quality photos and superb product descriptions, right?
To set the stage as to how important this is, 47% of users look at product detail pages before exploring any other landing page.
Your high-quality product image standard should include these three rules:
- Each product should be captured at different angles (bonus points if you enable 360 image view functionality).
- Each product should be displayed on a solid color background (preferably white).
- Each product should have a marketing styled photo (e.g. a modeled handbag).
When it comes to product descriptions, your standard should include these three rules:
- Each description should be clear and concise, only including attributes and product type.
- Each description should be written in title case.
- Each description should include relative search engine optimization (SEO) product keywords.
Your online business’s marketing strategy will benefit from high-quality photos and product descriptions.