A strong online presence will help just about any business. But for an e-Commerce business, a well-thought out website is a necessity.
Your e-Commerce site is like a storefront. Your store may be full of all kinds of hidden and valuable treasures, but if it’s jumbled, cluttered, and dirty, few will be brave enough to venture in.
The key is to make it effortless for people to find what they’re looking for on your site and make sure it’s easy to do business with you. Don’t make anyone work too hard—they’ll only get discouraged and quickly move on. After all, there’s likely another store just a click away.
#1 Rock Your Homepage
First impressions count—and nowhere is this more evident than online. Unless you’re a well-established brand, chances are your potential customer’s first introduction to you will be on your home page.
If you have a physical storefront, you spend a lot of time making the façade look pretty, and your windows appropriately styled to entice people walking by to come in and have a look.
Here are a few other extras to include on your home page:
- Link to your FAQ’s, so a new customer can easily figure out your return policies, what payments you accept, warranties and how long they’ll have to wait for their order to ship.
- Have social sharing buttons to take advantage of free word of mouth advertising.
- Display free shipping, or your flat-rate if that’s what you offer.
- Consider using live chat software.
- Display your phone number and a physical location if you have one to enhance your credibility and trustworthiness.
#2 Build Trust With Your About Us Page
If you’re the likes of Target or Nordstrom, people have probably heard of you. They may even have visited your physical stores. But what if you’re exclusively an e-Commerce business without a physical storefront? New customers may not know anything about you and may be wary of making a purchase from you.
Enter the about page. Your about page is where you can build trust with prospective customers and allay their fears. You want your customer to part with their money—so you need to let them know that you’re legit. They need to have faith that their order will arrive.
#3 Make It Easy To Load Up Shopping Carts
Imagine a customer arriving at a grocery store and having to search for a shopping cart to put their goods in. There’s a reason stores put their carts front and center right near the entrance. The same should apply to your e-Commerce website.
Shoppers do not like surprises, and they do not appreciate barriers. eMarketer found that 28% of shoppers didn’t finish the purchase because of shipping costs. Another 23% abandoned their goods because they didn’t want to make a new user account to complete the purchase.
Make it as easy as you can for your customers. Don’t make them sign up for something. Let them check out as a guest and then give them the option to create an account at the end.
#4 Bring In More Visitors With Your Blog
You may have wonderful products that throngs of people would love to have, but if no one visits your site, they’re not going to move from your shelves. All e-Commerce businesses need traffic to their site to make the sale.
If you’re at a loss about what subjects to cover in your blog, here are a few ideas to give you a kickstart:
- How-to tutorials. Let your potential customers know how they can use your products to make their lives easier.
- Post about events that your target audience would be interested in.
- Let your audience know about an upcoming sale so that they can stock up on your goods.
- Talk about industry developments so you can set yourself up as a go-to source.
- Describe how your products are made. A behind the scenes tour can be exciting.
Whatever you write about, find an interesting angle and don’t focus solely on your company. If you provide something of value, people will soon be flocking over to your website for more information, and to hopefully make a purchase.
#5 Use Customer Reviews To Pump Up Credibility
For all our bravado and supposed daringness, most of us don’t like to be the first to try something. We prefer to hear about how it went for someone else first. Same applies to making an online purchase. Your customers want to know that others have gone before them and what their experiences were like.
Here are some ways to attract reviews:
- Use third party review providers. They authenticate purchases, so your customers know the reviews were written by real people.
- Email customers after a purchase and ask them to leave a review. This is a tactic Amazon’s third party sellers often use.
- Offer incentives. It takes time to craft a review, so why not give your reviewer a chance to win a prize.
Reviews also provide unique content for your site, which benefits your SEO. Plus having reviews directly on your site also helps with keyword searches. Who hasn’t plugged in “product name + review” in the search box when looking for an item?
Your Website Is Just The Beginning
Your website is not in a vacuum. A strong online presence is just the start. You need to carry over what you’ve started on your site into your real-world customer interactions. This means always providing excellent customer service by following up, delivering goods people want, and keeping your promises.