So, you’ve identified an ecommerce product niche and you’re ready to launch your online store. You probably already know that having a website isn’t always enough to generate sales, and that great ecommerce sites are designed to optimise the customer purchase experience.
In the 12 months leading up to September 2017, the Australian online retail market was worth $23.4bn. This might be a promising and exciting growth, however online sales is a competitive space, so be sure to integrate the following elements into your ecommerce site to stay ahead.
1. Mobile-optimised version
M-shopping, or buying through a mobile device, is a growing trend, so optimising your site for smartphones and tablets is a must. This should also include designing for a seamless transition as shoppers browse on their tablet, switch to the mobile to get more information, and finalise their order on a computer. From checkouts to navigation, to button design and designing for taps, ensure it’s easy to find what you want and finalise the sale even if you’re on a mobile device.
2. Ecommerce mobile app
More than 80% of mobile minutes in all markets are spent in apps.
Apps are taking over how consumers navigate on their mobile. This doesn’t make the previous point any less important, however it does prove that apps are preferred for usability and navigation. With an estimated growth of an additional 6% of app usage per year for consumers, this is an opportunity worth executing. Having an ecommerce app available is proving to be a great way to enhance mobile friendly usability and navigation, as well as a great way to increase productivity.
3. Streamlined checkout process
A streamlined checkout process is important and includes a range of elements. Allowing guest or one-time purchases, and providing transparency for shipping costs are a few things that make a customers experience easier. Skip unnecessary stages by adding links, like those for order review, so customers aren’t likely to become impatient and abandon their carts.
Accommodate your shoppers no matter where they may be, by offering multiple payment methods.
- Credit/Debit card
- Pay Pal
- Apple Pay
- Pay ID etc.
For some products, click-to-buy buttons can be great, especially for returning customers who regularly buy the same product.
4. Direct links
It is beneficial to have links available across all your social media accounts so customers can have quick easy access straight to your site. Furthermore, you should apply a direct link or pop-up from both social media accounts, and the mobile website to inform customers about your ecommerce app, and make it easy for them to download.
5. In-depth product descriptions
The more detail you provide, the more confident customers can be about buying the item. Unlike a retail store, your customers don’t have sales staff guiding them through the details, so design your product pages with this in mind. As well as sales-driven copy (such as how it solves the customer’s pain point and call to action), include detailed information about the product and warranty details to boost trust and credibility.
6. Show related products for cross selling and upselling
Multiply your orders by including product suggestions for your site’s visitors. This can be based on their shopping history if they’re return customers, or it can be based on the product they’re currently viewing. By showing related products, you’re taking every opportunity to encourage customers to buy more.
7. Proof of credibility and trustworthiness
Add evidence, credibility and trustworthiness to your pages. For example, if your page is SSL secured (which it should be), show the icon to build trust. Highlight any awards you’ve won and any media coverage you’ve had with a visual badge or icon. You can also use graphics to communicate milestones and build credibility, such as “1 million sold”. And always highlight the payment security tools you’re using.
8. Social media integration
Social media is evolving into an additional form of ecommerce you can take advantage of. If you have an audience on pinterest, get them straight from there to the checkout using buyable pins. You can do the same thing on Instagram using their ‘shop now’ buttons.
More ways to amplify your marketing message through social media is through developing likes, followers and using social media influencers to advertise your brand.
9. Other online ecommerce platforms
Think bigger than just your own website and social media for online productivity. Integrate with large ecommerce sites such as Ebay, Google shopping, and amazon for the ability to increase your audience exponentially. You can even target more category specific retailers such as Iconic, and outreach to a larger but still targeted audience.
10. Easy navigation
If consumers can’t find what they’re looking for, they’re likely to become frustrated and leave. Support them with easy-navigation design. Use product categories and subcategories, search boxes, and search filters so they can quickly find the product pages that are most relevant to them. Take time to think about your product categories and how they’re structured and defined.
11. Accessible customer support
Customer support should be accessible and multichannel, so ensure the links to support are highly visible and offer a combination of outreach methods such as email, phone, and live chat support. You can also encourage customers to reach out through social media for general queries. Self-service forums and databases are a great way to cut down on direct customer contact time, and they can be highly effective for simple questions.
12. Data collection and analytics
Collecting as much data about customers as you can – with their permission of course – allows you to build a rich database to send out targeted offers, track shopping trends, run loyalty programs, and anticipate demand. So, have analytics tools built into the back end so you can devise strategies for encouraging return customers and maximising sales.
Receiving customer trends is just like feedback, and is also a fantastic way to analyse the progress of your business. You might find you need to adjust the navigation or checkout process for online platforms, or redevelop marketing strategies.
Create your top-performing site
Top-performing ecommerce sites are designed to build trust as well support the customer with relevant information and an easy checkout, no matter what type of device they’re using. By incorporating all these elements, you’ll likely have a high-performing website that attracts loyalty, confidence, and return customers.
EB Pearls is Australia’s most trusted full-service digital agency. We’ve been creating innovative, profitable websites and apps for our happy customers since 2008. To find out more about how our team of experts can deliver creative and results-driven solutions for you, explore our website or contact us for a discussion today.