It’s no secret that ecommerce is serious business. There has never been a better time for businesses of all sizes to be selling online.
But how to make the most of your business’s online store? What are some tricks for maximising your customer’s shopping experience and persuading them to buy?
Here are a few handy tips to help you to create a perfect online store for your business.
1. Make your products the central focus
Don’t fall into the trap of making your online store just about the design.
Don’t get us wrong – the design of your online store is crucial; it has to stand out and be visually appealing.
But it’s a mistake to draw attention away from the products themselves with a bunch of busy fixtures and distracting bells and whistles.
First and foremost, your site should be designed to highlight your products, because that’s its primary purpose – to showcase the benefits of what you’re selling.
Every component of your online store should therefore play some kind of role in selling your products, so an uncluttered, simple design that lets these do the talking is generally the way to go.
2. Make sure your site is easy to navigate
Don’t give people an excuse to leave your online store. Your competition’s site is only a couple of clicks away. If you want customers to stick around and shop for items they’re interested in buying, make things as easy as possible for them.
Go for a simple, clear menu that’s straight-forward and presents easily deciphered links to each product category. Opt for an intuitive layout and uncluttered website architecture that allows for user-friendly browsing.
The name of each page should be clearly visible so that users know where they are and don’t have to fumble around, trying to re-orient themselves.
Ultimately, your visitor shouldn’t have to think about where things are or how they work - it should be self-explanatory.
3. Make your site mobile-friendly
A BI Intelligence report maintained that by 2020, mobile sales will make up 45% of all ecommerce, equalling $284 billion in sales.
With mobile ecommerce making up nearly one-third of online sales, designing your online store to be mobile compatible might be one of the savviest things you’ll ever do for your business.
Even as far off as 2012, a Google study suggested that if your online store provides mobile shoppers with an optimal experience, they’re more likely to actually make a purchase.
Two-thirds of mobile users say that when they visit a mobile-friendly site, they’re more likely to make a purchase. 74% say that they’re more like to return to that site in the future.
Moreover, 50% of people say that even if they like a business, they will use them less regularly if the site isn't mobile-friendly.
61% say that when they’ve come across a mobile-unfriendly site, they were more likely to leave the site and seek out another to make their purchase.
Can you really afford to not have a mobile-friendly online store?
4. Suggest related products
Lots of shoppers start out looking for products without a particular plan or knowing precisely what they want.
By making suggestions for related or alternative products, you can help them find items they might be interested in.
This can be useful for a range of different purposes: to deter them from heading off to a different site instead (that of your competitor, for example), to stop them from deciding against making a purchase at all, or to complement a purchase they’re already making.
Suggesting related products can also entice shoppers to buy something they hadn’t even previously thought of.
5. Maximise your product presentation
Like we said earlier, your online store is all about showcasing the benefits of what you’re selling.
It’s therefore vital to display your products in a way that maximises the amount of detail and information available, to make the shopping process as simple and hassle-free as possible, and to promote the advantages of your products to the nth degree.
High-quality, decently sized images – and lots of them – are everything here. Blurry, undersized photographs aren’t going to sell anything.
Consider modules or plugins which provide dynamic image views, allowing customers to see products from multiple angles and to zoom in on small details – magic zoom, for example.
6. Use your words
The copy on your online store should be sharp, snappy, and compelling but informative.
Dull, poorly crafted, or insufficiently detailed copy will lose you customers, and will put even the most outstanding products at a distinct disadvantage.
Great ecommerce copy should:
- Explain the benefits of what you’re selling
- Provide information about the product – what it does, how it works, etc.
- Tell a story about your brand and appeal to the emotions of the reader
- Entice prospective customers and encourage them to take the next step with compelling calls to action
Unsure about how to create content that sells? Consider engaging the services of a professional copywriter. An experienced copywriter will be able to write about your business and products from a marketing perspective, crafting each word to reflect the personality and message of your brand, and maximising your conversions.