Building an e-commerce site can be complicated. There are dozens of things to consider, right from creating an intuitive design and planning the product layout to integrating the payment gateway and securing the website. Unlike most other websites, e-commerce sites are meant not just to inform the users and showcase your product line, but also make them purchase from you. What if people visit your site but don’t shop from it? The purpose of building an online store will be defeated, right?
In other words, your e-commerce site has to offer an above-par experience that makes your users stay for a long time. This will improve the odds of their buying from you. To make sure this happens, you have to keep in mind certain things when creating your online store.
Let’s discuss these one by one.
The look and feel of your website need to be coherent with what you are selling. This simply means everything from images, colour scheme, and font should define your website. So, for instance, if you are selling women’s products, the design has to look feminine. If, on the other hand, you are selling gadgets, the design has to be modern. (See image below) Just by the appearance of your website, your visitors should get an idea of what you are selling.
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The purpose of building an online store is to sell your products. So, it’s vital that you highlight your products well on your website. First of all, use high-quality images that are likely to get the attention of users. High-resolution images make your customers understand how the product actually looks.
For showcasing products, it is good to have a layout that emphasizes your products. Your visitors should not find it difficult to search for a particular product. If they find it too hard to get the information they need, they will bounce off your site.
In addition, if you enter wrong or inadequate information regarding a product, it will create a bad first impression on your users, and you risk losing some of your prospects. It is essential that you describe your products accurately and in detail. As your customers are not purchasing the product from a physical store, they need to be given as much information as possible so that they can picture how an item is going to be. This may include its colour, size, weight, fit, and the instructions they should know before making the purchase.
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Many e-commerce sites offer products at discounted rates but include a high shipping charge. If this happens, the customer is likely to think twice before making a purchase. Why would he buy from you if the overall cost is so high? He would be better off buying the item from a regular brick-and-mortar store. Low to no shipping charges tempt your customer to shop through online means.
Several e-commerce websites make it mandatory for users to sign up and create an account before they can buy from it. While this may be convenient for you as an online store owner for it lets you communicate and follow up with your customers, it isn’t something your customers want to do. They want everything as hassle-free and as quick as possible.
A customer just wants to buy from you. He doesn’t want to fill in long forms soliciting his details. In case of a guest checkout, the customers are not required to fill in a lot of personal information before buying anything from your site. Such an arrangement eliminates the barrier of creating an account and boosts your conversion rates to a significant degree.
In addition to allowing guest checkouts, your online store should make it as easy as possible for customers to check out their products. The easier the checkout process, the higher the motivation for your customers to make repeat purchases from your site.
So, make sure your customers do not have too many pages for checking out. If the checkout is a single-page process, it won’t become overwhelming for your customers. If you are acquainted with the basics of building a website, you can easily get a good check-out page designed from a web development company.
As per a study, over 30% of users visiting an e-commerce website use the search feature to find the products they are looking for. This simply means you have to ensure your site has a search functionality. Besides, this search functionality needs to have an autocomplete feature that can help your users find products easily.
If you have a large range of products, a faceted search can be especially useful. Faceted search allows the shoppers to narrow the search results using a variety of attributes-price range, size, brand, keywords, etc. This functionality helps users to select the features they find essential and eliminate the ones they don’t need. This way, they have a manageable list of items to choose from.
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Regardless of how appealing your online store looks, it will remain incomplete if its security settings are inadequate. Your site should support SSL and encrypt all kinds of information that should remain secure. This includes everything from customers’ personal details such as full name, date of birth, mobile number, social security number to credit or debit card details.
Remember: Your customers expect their online information to remain safe and secure when they shop from your website. Installing an SSL certificate can be an important step towards winning their credibility.
Besides, SSL also helps you comply with the PCI DSS (The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) requirements essential for businesses accepting payments through credit cards.
It is vital that you do not store your customers’ card numbers on your website’s database. Such a move poses a grave security risk to you as well as your customers. If there is a security breach, your business will have to deal with financial and legal repercussions.
Loading speed dictates the overall user experience of your visitors. A webpage that takes more than 3-4 seconds to load ruins the browsing experience of your visitors. They may even bounce off your site, and not come back again, and that’s probably the last thing you would want to happen.
To ensure your site delivers an impressive loading speed, you need to have a hosting plan that offers ample processing power, RAM, storage, and bandwidth to support your site even when traffic surges or your site becomes heavier through the addition of new pages/images/videos.
Technology companies like Cyfuture offer an array of web hosting plans in different price ranges, so you can choose the one that fits your needs perfectly and provide your users with an impeccable experience.
Integrating your e-commerce site with social media can have long-term benefits. Social media is a great avenue to promote your product line, discounts, and new offers. You can collect data from visitors and provide recommendations on products that are likely to match their preferences.
By fully integrating your website with social media, you can deliver a coherent user experience. You can also use social platforms to gather positive reviews on your products. So, after a user completes a purchase, you can offer him the option to post feedback on your Facebook or Instagram page. This way, social media can go a long way in streamlining your branding efforts.
So, these are certain aspects of an e-commerce website that you need to consider when building your online space. Keep in mind that there are many more elements that should be taken into account during e-commerce website development. e.g. search engine optimisation or targeting different user bases. If you need assistance in starting your e-commerce store, feel free to connect with our custom software development experts. All you need to do is to fill out this form. We will offer you a consultation free of cost.