Nowadays, the thought of living without eCommerce websites seems incomprehensible to many. It wasn’t until only a few decades ago that the idea of eCommerce had even appeared.
eCommerce was introduced 40 years ago and, to this day, continues to grow with thousands of businesses entering the online market each year along with new technologies and innovations. But what guarantees your business eCommerce success? While the growth of eCommerce websites isn’t going to slow down anytime soon, you can only expect to see results if you approach it the right way. This Easter weekend we are going to share some tips to focus on for eCommerce success.
Having a strong brand identity not only increases the value of a company and provides employees with direction and motivation but also helps a company acquire new customers easier through brand recognition.
Think of how we instantly recognise the apple logo on the back of our computers or the golden arches of the McDonald’s ‘M’. It’s bizarre to think that a simple graphic becomes everything that a company is known for. Logo design for an upcoming business is critical because that simple graphic will be on every piece of correspondence and advertising. If you already have a strong brand identity then brilliant, but if not, Hush can help launch your new eCommerce business with a professional brand identity that is simple yet memorable, recognisable throughout the website via graphics, written content, imagery and colour schemes – all tailored to convey the desired message of your company.
You know the saying “looks aren’t everything”? Well… sometimes they are! Especially when it comes to attracting new and curious customers to your website, as eCommerce sites are becoming smoother experiences for users, designed to showcase products to their fullest, which means imagery is getting bigger and sharper.
Imagery can be anything from the big slider images that greet your users on your homepage, scrolling through your new-in, featured range, sale or promotional items, to the product imagery sitting on each individual item’s product page.
Which website would you feel more comfortable buying from: one that has dark and fuzzy images or one with bright clear images, with zoom and 360 rotation features that show exactly what you are going to be buying? You’d go for bright and clear, so why showcase images of a poor quality that wouldn’t even convince yourself to buy a product online.
Anybody who is savvy in the eCommerce scene could tell you that keeping your content fresh is the best way to keep your customers interested and will help them come back for more! The content can be anything from banner slogans, product descriptions, blog write-ups, article posts or even your company social media feed! They all help keep your customers engaged and cause them to develop loyalty towards your brand, which translates into returning traffic adding great value to your website.
Not only does fresh content help keep your customers interested, but it keeps the mighty search engines happy too. Just like your customers, if a search engine sees that your content hasn’t been updated for a while, it will lose interest and deem your content irrelevant and unreliable, and even rank you lower on the search engine results page, affecting your traffic and therefore sales.
If a customer finds your site and begins to read through your content and finds it is outdated, do you think that they would stay or go? What would you do? I don’t know about you but I wouldn’t mess with a website who had an blog from 2013 featured on the homepage! I want to know the business is active, alive and continuously working to keep both their website and products are up to date and the latest on the market.
A website’s navigation needs to be just like a road map: simple to use, and easy to find where you want to be. If the navigation is easily understandable, customers will have a good experience and will be more likely to find what they want, which ultimately leads to more business for you. If you make it hard for your customers to find what they desire, they’re likely to give up and go elsewhere.
When it comes to eCommerce, especially sites that are selling hundreds if not thousands of items, the secret to an user-friendly navigation is great categorisation. If you’re selling clothes for example, categorise these in the way that your users shop. Do most users land on your homepage and browse for dresses? Have that category in prime position within your main menu. Perhaps most visitors like to browse and buy from your new in category? Position that category in an eye-catching area and even create a banner area for this area too.
An internal search bar is one of the most ignored features of eCommerce sites. If you don’t have a search bar then we’d recommend that you considered adding one. If you do, is it working the way it should? Is it bringing up the right results for relevant searches or is it even showing the results that you want people to see first? If it isn’t you may be costing yourself potential customers by not showing them what they want and making it more difficult than it needs to be to find a simple product.
If you have an eCommerce site with a search bar, try it out yourself. Does it bring up the best results you want your customers to see? Whatever you decide to do with your eCommerce website it’s well worth spending a few minutes looking and testing out your search bar to make sure it’s not holding back any potential sales. Lots of eCommerce websites name their products with memorable names and ranges, so they are easy for your visitor to find when they revisit and decide to purchase. Nothing is more frustrating than losing a visitor that was ready to buy because they couldn’t find the product they were after!
Getting people to make a purchase online is tough, but when they’re browsing a product that they’ve been after for ages or even within the checkout area, we’d recommend that you take advantage of cross or up-selling features, because companies who don’t may be leaving revenue on the table.
Firstly, what’s the difference? Upselling is when a seller encourages the customer to spend more money by offering a higher priced alternative to the product they have picked. For example, if you are looking for a new mobile and add the cheaper iPhone to your basket, the website may try to persuade you to go for the newest one with a better camera, for just a little bit more cash!
Cross-selling, on the other hand, is when you recommend your customer to buy a product to go with the existing purchase. So if you cave in and go for the newer iPhone, the website will then try to tempt you with some new headphones or a shiny new phone case to complete the essential collection.
Most online shoppers are very careful and want to know that their payment information is going to be safe before entering them into your website. If you have an eCommerce website, it’s absolutely imperative that you make sure your site has all the necessary safety and security features, including a SSL certificate. Your customers are trusting you with very important information that allows access to their hard earned money. If an identity thief gets access to your customer’s credit card information because you didn’t take the necessary precautions, it can be devastating not just to your customer, but to you and your business.
Your customers need to know that you value their security and privacy and are serious about protecting their information. Especially these days as more and more customers are becoming savvy online shoppers and won’t buy from you if you don’t have a SSL certificate installed. If you have all the essential security in place, why not show the relevant certification or accreditations within the footer of your site to instantly install confidence if the safe shopping experience that your website offers.
The platform that you want to use to power your eCommerce site is a big decision. How do you know which one is best for you? All eCommerce platforms have the same basic features. They let you take payment online, and showcase your products to the world. It’s difficult to know which small features are going to have an everlasting impact on the success of your eCommerce website when you aren’t an expert, which is why we always listen carefully to your exact needs before recommending the platform for you.
For fairly straightforward online shops that don’t have a ginormous product library and don’t need anything too far out of the norm in terms of eCommerce functionality, platforms such as Magento and WooCommerce will do the job just fine, and allow you to keep to a smaller budget. If you’re online shop needs to feature numerous elements that are quite unique and need to be customised to suit your exact needs, we’d recommend building your system on a bespoke framework that allows every single element to be tailored to your wish list requirements.
Competition is fierce within the online eCommerce marketplace. With the number of purchases made online continuing to rise all of the time, you’ll want to ensure that your site is performing at its best if you want to keep up with the growth, and with more and more commerce businesses heading to the the web to keep up with their competition digital marketing is a must-have!
Digital Marketing tools and techniques provide business owners the best chances for online survival from competitors and even online growth. It’s the best way to provide your business, no matter how big or small, with the chance to compete and attract your targeted audience through SEO, PPC, social media, email marketing and much more. Make sure your strategy is tailored exactly to your needs though, as required hours and spend is very much dependent on your competition, popularity and end goals.
To find out more about our eCommerce website solutions, give us a buzz on 01325 361 729 and our team of experts would be more than happy to find out more about your requirements and how we can help make your eCommerce site a true success!