Your ecommerce site is there to convert browsers into buyers. But what are the best practice tips for your ecommerce site? The main points to remember are always keeping your customer at the forefront of your mind throughout any decision. Ask yourself, how does your customer navigate around a website? What drives their purchase decision? Plan out their customer journey through your website, addressing each stage individually. Look at what the main players in your industry are doing. Although their expenditure on their ecommerce website may be greater than yours, the ideas can still be adapted to your need and budget. Use any feedback from your customers and continue to review your feedback – stay ahead of the game! Keeping all this in mind, we’ve put together the definitive ecommerce checklist in 2014.
– Is your call to action clear? Your call to action needs to be prominent on your homepage, it needs to encourage visitors to explore your website and ultimately turn browsing into buying.
– Does your homepage tell visitors everything it needs to? Showcase your products and services on your homepage, if visitors have used a search term to find you, click through to your website and see no relevance to what they are looking for? They will immediately leave, and you will lose them as a customer forever. It’s vital you get across your offering quickly, in an attractive format – use large appealing imagery to display your products/services/offers.
– Is there a way for you to showcase key products? Having a “recommended for you” or “featured product” section is a great way of drawing in interest from your audience, as well as putting your key products on display.
– Have you cross browser checked your website? Make sure it works across all the latest browsers as a minimum.
– Is your website responsive? Having a responsive website is no longer a luxury, it is a necessity. With more people browsing the internet using their mobile phones and tablets etc your website needs to render down (change layout) to suit all possibilities.
– Are the checkout and cart buttons clear across each page? These need to be visible for the viewer, the larger the better!
– Is your search box prominent on each page?
– Is your navigation consistent throughout? People arriving to your website from search engines may not immediately land on your homepage. Make sure it is easy for them to still navigate throughout your website despite this.
– Are your return and exchange policies shown? These should be at the footer of your website throughout the site, so they are visible to your audience and easy to understand.
– Does your website show your accreditations? This is a great way to build the trust amongst your viewers – show your supplier logos clearly throughout your ecommerce site.
– Does your website fill visitors with confidence? Showcase your testimonials, ask for feedback, make sure your delivery information and contact information are clear to see, provide the customer with confidence in purchasing from you and you are more likely to retain them as a customer.
– Do your images showcase your products well? Images are everything – a picture says a thousand words! Investing in professional photography will benefit you in the long run.
– Are your product categories clear? Make sure it is easy for visitors to navigate between products and categories, don’t frustrate them and leave them unsure of how to get to their desired product.
– Can you provide filtering options? This is particularly key for an extensive product list. Make the purchase decision for the customer as easy as possible, the quicker and easier they can find their desired products the more likely they are to make a repeat purchase from you.
– Does your website allow for customers to save their favourite products? This is great for retaining customers. Don’t make them search through your site again to find what they need, providing a “save your favourite products” functionality will save them time and frustration and build their trust in your services.
– Is your “buy” button clear? Don’t hide it away in a tiny font, make it stand out to the visitor – the bigger the better!
– Do your product pages offer collaborate filtering? For example “other customers that bought product A also purchased product B”.
– How can you up-sell products when they have been added to the cart? Suggest a “if you buy this product you may also require” section, this is a great way of increasing the purchases made by the customer in a friendly, caring way.
– Are your product descriptions short, to the point and easy to understand? Bullet points are great, people don’t want long rambling descriptions – get to the point quickly with the key information highlighted.
– Do your products provide reviews from customers who have previously made the same purchase? Testimonials will enhance the trust the customer has for you, display happy customers with the products your audience are browsing.
– Are your visitors able to share or like products with social networking?
– In the background, are your pages generating automatic rich snippets to encourage click through from Google?
– Do your product titles contain keywords? Consider what your audience may type into Google to find your products and include these words/phrases within your product titles.
The Checkout Page
– Is gift wrapping an option for your customers?
– Is there a focus on checking out? Don’t confuse your visitors with further products when they have already reached the checkout page, let them checkout and purchase as quickly as possible.
– Is the visitor a previous customer? Ensure your ecommerce site has the ability to populate the checkout with the visitors details to make the process as quick and effortless for them as possible.
– Is your checkout process clear and simple? The checkout process should be in simple, easy to follow stages (we recommended no more than 5), with a “back button” functional for the visitor.
– Does your website offer real time support?
– Do you offer a variety of payment options?
– Does your checkout page include a confirmation section? Show the customer what they are about to order, their billing and delivery addresses and payment details before they finally confirm the purchase with you.