User Experience and Mobile Responsive Web Design
Customer experience has always been one of the biggest contributing factors to a company's success, a fact that is just as true for eCommerce stores as it is for physical stores.
Speed, design and an intuitive layout are three crucial elements of a successful eCommerce site. If even one of these elements is lacking, customers aren't going to stick around.
With poor loading times your website can lose potential customers before they have even set eyes on the landing page.
For websites that are being newly built, keeping loading time in mind throughout the design and development process may actually help you increase your sales. It will likely have a greater impact on success than a flashy design.
It is also important to keep in mind that the speed of your website is something that will absolutely deteriorate if effort isn't put into maintaining it. For already existing websites, if tracking loading times and optimising speed isn't part of your web management plan then it needs to be.
For eCommerce websites, customers generally respond better to clean minimalist designs than sites filled with all the latest design trends. While those busy sites may create an exciting first impression, they often don't give the impression of a professional and trustworthy site that people need to feel comfortable spending their money.
The most important pages that will determine your trustworthiness to customers are your products, cart, checkout and front pages. That's not to say they can't be attention grabbing and well designed, just that the experience of your customers needs to come first, always.
Understanding the path that visitors to your site will take can help limit annoyingly deep menus or unintuitive design. Guiding visitors where you want them to go will help nurture them into customers.
All three of these considerations become even more important and complex when you add in the huge increase in mobile users. The amount of customers browsing and buying from their phones is only going to increase, so if your website isn't developed with mobile users in mind - especially focused on the speed, design and functionality on these devices - then you may end up falling behind your competition.
eCommerce Product Pages
When you are asking customers to buy from you instead of your competitors you are really asking them to trust that you will give them the best experience. Your product pages are one of the best places to prove this to them.
Having multiple, high quality photos of your products from different angles is a great way of showing that not only do you have nothing to hide about what you are selling but that you are proud of your products and want people to see them.
Similarly, great descriptions that give customers all the useful information upfront in a format that is easy to read reinforces the message that your products are trustworthy. The same goes for letting customers know if you are getting low on stock, with the added benefit that this may encourage people to buy sooner for fear of missing out!
Also, having more information readily available and easy to find on your website will cut down on the amount of emails from people wanting basic information.
Your contact button should always be easy to find, but especially on product pages. Generally, if a person wants to enquire about more information they are seriously considering your product. Don't lose them now by being hard to reach!
Search Rankings Are Crucial For eCommerce Success
Search ranking for eCommerce websites are often super competitive. It's not unusual to learn that you just aren't being found from the keywords you want to rank in, and worse, the search terms you do rank in have next to no traffic.
Although keywording product pages can be helpful for beating out your competition for a high ranking spot on that one page of a very specific search term, optimising the content of your entire site to mark your domain as an authority to search engines is a much more effective way of consistently ranking high across many different pages and search queries.
The best way of achieving this is by getting linkbacks from other high quality websites, increasing the amount that people interact with your website - both by choosing your link when searching and spending more time on pages on your site - and reducing your websites bounce rate.
That may sound complicated but is really just about creating stuff on your site that people want to read, engage with and talk about.
Having an engaging social media presence is constantly becoming even more helpful for driving traffic to your site and shouldn't be overlooked as a great tool for increasing your rankings.
Also, remember earlier when we were talking about mobile optimised websites? The growing number of mobile users in encouraging search engines to favour sites that are great for website users. Just another reason to not neglect different devices during your sites development.
If you didn't notice while reading this post, every point comes back to making everything the best it can for your customers. Ultimately, the things that will be the best for your customers are the things are going to be the best for you too.