A lot of enterprises have realized that the best way to remain competitive is by moving their businesses online, and this is one of the reasons that has led to the burgeoning of the e-commerce industry. In a study by eMarketer, the e-commerce sales have recorded annual double-digit growth in the past decade and by 2020, it is expected that annual sales will top $4 trillion.
With that said, there is a lot of competition, and only a few businesses have penetrated the market. There is also a multitude of website creation tools that allow anyone to build and host a website at cheap rates. We have researched, and we have identified the following eight actionable tips that will help you create a powerful e-commerce website. However, only the businesses that are focused on going the full eight miles will use the tips below.
How to Create a Powerful E-commerce Website
Building an e-commerce website is not only daunting, but the algorithms keep on changing. However, with proper website design, your business can remain afloat, despite the changes, and keep enticing customers to make purchases. Here are the eight tips to consider.
Use Responsive Design
It is no secret that smartphones are fast becoming the preferred point of access to the internet and, according to a study published on Similar Web, 56 percent of consumer traffic on e-commerce websites was from smartphones, and that was back in 2015. The numbers are higher now, and this makes it vital that you have a responsive design for your site.
Responsive design means that your customers can view your e-commerce website on both a PC and on mobile devices. Besides, Google gives more preference to mobile-ready websites on their results page rankings.
Choose the Right Platform
Ideally, you want an e-commerce platform that is easy to use and flexible to allow for customization. You will benefit more from a platform that enables you to build your website from scratch in a few easy steps without all the back-end coding involved. You have many options to consider, such as Magento, Shopify, WooCommerce, WordPress and many more. Each of these platforms provides different themes, templates, and plugins for your website.
Plan Your Product Presentation
Looks are everything on the internet, and there is nothing that makes you look like a serious business more than high-resolution images of your product. Your e-commerce website will not entice customers to buy if you have small product images that are out of focus and shot in bad lighting. It pays to have professional product photography.
Besides this, the layout theme you choose for your website should enable you to display your products without making the site look crowded or cluttered. You should also provide all the necessary product information and mark the items that are out of stock.
Include a Search Function
This is a necessary inclusion for any e-commerce website, and it is used to entice customers to find products they are interested in with ease. When creating your e-commerce website, ensure that you include text search options, as well as filter by category.
Also, ensure that your preferred website theme can allow you to highlight your best-selling products by incorporating a badge or a banner. This action gives your e-commerce website social proof and credibility. Also, be sure to include a product review section and product rating to help customers verify the quality of the products they wish to purchase from your e-commerce store.
Tell Your Story
The author of: What Great Brands Do” Denise Lee Yohn notes that the top-selling brands do not sell customers on contracts, but they reel them in with emotional connections tied to the brand’s story. The truth is that many e-commerce websites are aggressively pushing their products to their leads, and this is the biggest contributor to low conversions.
Stand out from your competitors by telling your customers about why you set up the business, along with your motivation. This way, you will not have to keep telling them why they should choose you over your competitors. Engaging the customers on an emotional level will also prompt them to act as your biggest marketing resource.
Leverage Twitter for Customer Support
You cannot hope to create a powerful e-commerce website and ignore social media. Most businesses who are privy to this fact have crowed to Facebook, but have overlooked the power of Twitter. Statistics show that if you follow back with your customers on Twitter, it will increase their chances of buying from you by at least 45 percent. Twitter is the perfect social media platform to update your customers on market trends and business news. It is also the ideal place to deal with customer queries and complaints.
Build A Mailing List
Social media is an e-commerce nightmare since there is no guarantee that you will get access to your intended customers. Email marketing gives you direct access to your customers and, with the right incentive, you can get the emails opened, read and the customer to take action. Add an on-page or pop-up subscription form on your website with a powerful CTA to collect emails and build your mailing list. Incentivize your customers by offering freebies such as a free eBook or discounts to get them to subscribe. It is also a perfect way to retarget your existing customers.
Give Purchase Feedback
Many e-commerce websites are plagued by the situation known as Shopping Cart Abandonment. This is where a customer adds an item to the shopping cart but does not follow through to making the payment. To avoid this, incorporate mechanisms on your website that give the customer instant feedback whenever they add items to the cart and pop-ups that direct the visitors to make payments.
However, you should also make your website trustworthy by having an “https” prefix to your URL, and dedicated servers for the best hosting service. This increases the chance you will not have to contend with low storage space, which is a common case on shared servers.
Finally, the more information you provide about your products, the more powerful your e-commerce website will become. With the above tips, your customers will have a better UX/UI, which contributes to increased sales on your e-commerce website.
The original version of this article was first published on The Marketing Scope.
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