I f you’re selling online, you need a good ecommerce website – it’s that simple. Yes, you can make healthy profits by sticking to Amazon, eBay, and other major marketplaces. Yet the top ecommerce websites allow you to sell more products, connect with more customers, and ultimately build your brand.
At least, that’s the case if you possess an ecommerce store with the right foundation.
While a professional ecommerce agency can ensure your website’s design and functionality hit the right notes, many newcomers to the world of online selling decide to go it alone. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, admittedly, but it can lead to a number of mistakes that damage sales potential.
To prevent that from happening, here are our guidelines for creating good ecommerce websites and the important aspects a quality ecommerce website should always include.
Make It Quick & Responsive
In this day and age, performance is imperative. If your website is slugging along, where it takes an age for pages and images to load, this creates a bad impression. Not only will potential customers consider your business to lack professionalism, but it will also see them ditch your site and utilize the services of a competitor.
Due to this, your online store has to be lightning-fast – and at all times. Regarding the latter, ensure you use the best software for ecommerce websites and a reputable web host that is known for fast server speeds and dependable uptime. There are also various steps you can take to optimize site speed, including:
- Limit HTTP requests
- Compress images and other media
- Enable browser caching
- Use a CDN
- Upload larger files to external hosting platforms (for example, YouTube for videos)
- Optimize CSS delivery
- Keep the number of installed plugins to a minimum
Remember, even a single-second delay can have a detrimental impact on engagement levels and your ability to make sales. Create a fast, responsive site – one that’s also optimized for mobile devices – and you can avoid this potential pitfall.
Product Pages That Sell What You’re Offering
Often, an ecommerce platform will have a wide range of products available, but they won’t put in the time to describe these products effectively. Sure, they might include a picture or two alongside a brief description. Yet, so much more can be done to truly sell your products.
After all, your product pages are the main selling tool you possess. Potential consumers may be drawn in by competitive pricing, for instance, but this alone won’t convert your products. Customers need to be 100% sure they’re making the right choice and an informative, visually persuasive description is one of the main ways to achieve this goal.
Firstly, the product description. Now, this doesn’t have to be overly long and flowery, although this can help to some degree for SEO purposes (more on that later). What it should be, however, is packed full of relevant information, covering all the main features of the product.
Furthermore, it makes sense to split the description up into two sections. The first section should be two or three paragraphs that briefly explain what the product is and the other section should be a bullet point list of its features.
Words are not all you need to use. In fact, high-quality imagery is a must. Shots of your product are what catches the eye. They also do more than what words can achieve. Selling the same items as the competition? Instead of simply using stock images of your products, take the time to get professional photos done. It makes your product listing stand out against the competition, while you can also spotlight specific product features in a better light.
Also, consider producing a video for each product. When you factor in the advantages gained from a video, this element can make all the difference in turning a curious browser into a paying customer.
Harness the Power of SEO
Do you want your ecommerce store to rank high in Google search results? Of course, you do. Well, to make this a reality, you have to harness the power of search engine optimization.
SEO is an effective way to advertise your website to search engines. This is done via various tactics. This includes targeting specific keywords, creating engaging content, and incorporating internal and external backlinks. When you combine the right mix of SEO techniques, your site can quickly rocket up the search results and enhance your page rank.
Nevertheless, there are two significant issues with SEO. One, it takes a heck of a lot of time and effort to implement successfully. Two, it requires expert knowledge and the ability to continually adapt to the ever-changing SEO landscape. These two reasons are why many savvy businesses opt to utilize a specialist ecommerce digital marketing agency to do the job on their behalf.
An Easy Way to Pay
Having a single payment method on your ecommerce store is not enough. Customers demand convenience. When they press that “add to cart” button and go to purchase their goods, they expect to be presented with a wide range of payment options.
There are many payment methods available these days. Obviously, you don’t have to use all of them – in fact, this is something you should avoid. Stick with popular, proven options like direct debit payments, PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay. ‘Buy now, pay later’ financing is becoming increasingly prevalent while cash on delivery is ideal if you’re selling and delivering locally.
A Clean & Visually Appealing Appearance
As web designers will tell you, the most essential elements of the best ecommerce website design are its appearance and functionality. If your site appears outdated or is difficult to navigate, this will turn people away within a matter of seconds.
Fortunately, most website building platforms offer premade templates with a clean, modern design. These provide a nice starting point, although they may lack the customizability you will seek later on. Most importantly, you want the site to make life easier for users. There should be no inconvenience between them visiting your online store and making a purchase.
A clear ‘add to cart’ icon, contact options, and effortless methods to browse menus and product pages – there are many, many different elements to include for a logical, user-friendly, and visually appealing site design.
Ryan Flannagan is the Founder & CEO of Nuanced Media, an international eCommerce marketing agency specializing in Amazon. Nuanced has sold $100s of Millions online and Ryan has built a client base representing a total revenue of over 1.5 billion dollars. Ryan is a published author and has been quoted by a number of media sources such as BuzzFeed, CNBC, and Modern Retail.