Ecommerce is essential to the online business experience. It is a difficult field to master because the times are always changing. Despite the evolution that ecommerce experiences, there are some tried and true best practices that can be implemented right now so that a positive effect on sales can be experienced. Here’s what you’re going to want to do if you aren’t already doing it.
1. Focus On The Content.
Most ecommerce websites base the content of their products or services off of manufacturing descriptions that have been released to retailers. The problem with taking the easy way here is that the content duplicates itself every time another site posts the same content. Eventually the canonical rules of SEO will dictate link equity be provided to the most valuable description site and chances are it isn’t going to be your business.
Focus on your content and provide unique descriptions for everything. Suggest how items can be used. Link similar products to the content so comparison shopping can happen. Even consider incorporating social networking feeds to encourage sharing and conversations to boost the appeal of your ecommerce presence.
2. Be As Transparent As Possible.
There’s a good chance that your ecommerce presence isn’t a nationwide brand name. There’s also a good chance that you’ve unintentionally created some customer anxiety about what you’re offering. Customers that don’t know who you are don’t care what magazines you’ve appeared in, what television interviews you’ve given, or how many sales you’ve created. They want to know if you’re authentic.
If you’ve been in magazines, link to where people can find this information. If reviews have said your stuff is fantastic, then prove it. When it comes to modern ecommerce best practices, this rule applies in all things: either put up or shut up.
3. Just Be You Because You’re Awesome.
It’s good to look at what the competition is doing so you can see what works and what doesn’t work. It’s also good to find a way to distinguish your strengths from every other similar ecommerce platform. Make your uniqueness take point when it comes to your pitch and the rest of your product or service details will filter through when needed.
If it is your product is the primary thing that makes you unique, then focus on the specific features of the product that set it apart. Is it more functional? Is it adaptable? Does it look awesome sitting on someone’s shoulder? Point out how you are awesome, prove it, and people will think the same thing about your ecommerce presence.
4. Avoid The Slideshow.
For awhile, slideshows seemed to be the answer to everything. It allowed users instant access to several different links and helped people shop quickly from a home page. The only problem is that the average ecommerce visitor never looks beyond the first slide that they see. If only one slide is being seen, then only one product is being seen.
What’s the better alternative? A mosaic of images that show the best products in whatever you’re attempting to promote. If you have multiple menu options on your ecommerce platform, then each primary sub-page can also have product or service related image mosaics that naturally lend to eyes being put onto the image.
5. Write a Great Novel In 100 Words Or Less.
The ultimate goal of your ecommerce platform is to create a beginning level of trust between yourself and the person you hope will use your platform. To accomplish this, it becomes necessary to let people get a glimpse of who you are. It shouldn’t be a huge page of long-form content. The best About Me pages tend to be 100 words or less because this creates information that is easy for people to consume.
Here are the highlights to stress when creating this initial introduction.
Tell your story.
How you reached this point in time is important to people. It’s an easy way to relate to others who have had similar experiences.
Let your awesomeness shine in 100 words or less to create a lasting positive first impression.
A picture is worth 1,000 words.
Put up an image or two that gives people a behind-the-scenes look at your operation so that you give people an enhanced level of transparency.
Don’t forget to put links to other places within your site on this page to make sure people don’t get lost or feel like they’ve been trapped and decide to leave. A FAQ link or a way to get people to see your top selling products are good options here.
6. Make It Clear How Stuff Gets From You To Them.
Shipping is one of the top priorities that consumers have when shopping online. It’s such a priority that K-Mart was able to take the concept viral with their “Ship My Pants” campaign [not to mention the play on words]. Be clear about shipping costs and don’t hide anything. If you offer free shipping on certain orders, be very clear as to own consumers can earn this from your ecommerce platform. Don’t forget about international shipping.
A surprise shipping fee at the end of a purchase is one of the fastest ways to lose a sale. You can make a few mistakes in some areas of the ecommerce best practices, but this is not one of them.
7. Include Comprehensive Filters.
The online shopper wants to get in and get out of the shopping experience as quickly as possible. Instead of sorting through want is sometimes tens of thousands of different products, a filter that lets them narrow down their choices can create a better overall shopping experience. It also removes one of the strongest barriers that prevent a sale because customers can find the products that they want to purchase.
Size, color, and product types are common filters that are seen on ecommerce platforms today. Don’t forget about other options, such as price, shipping options, or even brand names so that people can speed up their shopping experience and spend before they have a second thought.
8. Pop-Ups: Let Your Customers Tell You What They Want.
Some pop-ups are wanted because they offer people a chance to save money on your ecommerce platform. Others are annoying – especially those 5 minute survey ones where nothing is given to the consumer in return. A few are problematic because a customer’s pop-up blockers don’t allow access to it and it freezes the site.
Some say pop-ups are great. Others say you should avoid them at all costs. An ecommerce best practice is to use the feedback you receive from the people who use your site. If they want them or like them, then use them. If they create an unnecessary barrier, then don’t use them.
These ecommerce best practices will help to get your online store or service scheduling site on the right track. Incorporate them today and there is no limit to the success you may be able to experience.