The Secrets of a Successful Ecommerce Store

It’s easy enough to setup an online business, but having a successful online business isn’t always so simple. There are now thousands and thousands of competitors to think about, each with a slightly different offering from all corners of the world, so it’s not as straightforward as switching on your ecommerce store and waiting for the customers to roll in.

We’ve put together some key points for creating a user-friendly ecommerce store that will help to attract those all-important customers. Even if you’re currently enjoying online success, it’s worth going through and completing a health check of your website

  1. First impressions count
    You may be doing everything right, but if your site doesn’t look good enough, customers will instantly be turned away. Keep it professional, clean and relevant (i.e. don’t include any random pictures, no matter how cute/ funny you think they are!) It is especially important on ecommerce websites to have clear, high quality images. Try to keep product images consistent with the same background, shape, layout etc.
  2. Navigation and Search
    One of the biggest complaints by online shoppers is not being able to easily navigate a site to find what they’re looking for. Keep your structure as simple as possible by dividing products into relevant categories that can be accessed by a simple menu or page structure. Including a search facility can make it even easier for customers to find something specific and can cut down the browsing time. If you do include a search feature, make sure it works!
  3. Extra features
    Think about your customers and what they may find useful when shopping on your website. Maybe they’d like to see ‘Related Products’ and be encouraged to purchase even more from you? Or a ‘Wishlist’ facility may be helpful, so they can save items they like to come back to at a later date. However, be careful not to overcomplicate your website, keep it simple and in line with what your customers expect.
  4. Honesty is the best policy
    Don’t confuse customers with jargon-filled terms and conditions, be honest about your policies and clearly display your contact details in case they need to get hold of you. This isn’t just a requirement for keeping customers happy, some payment gateways such as Worldpay demand that this information is readily available on the website before they’ll allow any payments through.
  5. Are you browser friendly?
    Just because your website looks OK for you on your computer – that doesn’t mean it’s the same for everyone else. Check how it looks across all of the popular browsers (IE, Firefox, Safari, Google Chrome). You may be surprised at how different it appears on some! There may be some obvious layout differences which could be putting users of that certain browser off your website, so it’s worth taking a couple of minutes to check.
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