eCommerce as an industry segment and business type is blooming at an incredibly rapid pace. The explosion in the number of eCommerce businesses over the last few years has given business owners and marketers a new lease of life – and novel avenues – to reach their customers.
Today, we are at a stage where eCommerce and mobile commerce has become the norm. Given the amount of time people spend online, the digital shopping ecosphere has become a highly competitive space. However, there is a long list of things that eCommerce businesses can do to sustain themselves and thrive.
Since your website is the single point of contact for your online shoppers, it is important that you ensure it delivers an exceptional user experience. Having worked extensively on eCommerce projects, we have put together this definitive checklist of best practices for your eCommerce website.
10 best practices for eCommerce website that you must follow
1. Design for mobiles
The mobile-first approach has been doing the rounds for over half a decade now and for good reason. Unsurprisingly, mobile commerce is expected to account for approximately 73% of eCommerce sales by 2021. It is essential that you prioritize the mobile user experience by designing your eCommerce website for mobile.
- Design important interactions in the thumb-friendly zone
- Create tap-friendly call-to-action (CTA) buttons
- Provide a hamburger menu for easy access to navigation elements
2. Don’t make your site too heavy
Waning patience levels and short attention spans are the new normal. Any delays in terms of page load time can have a direct and detrimental effect on your conversions. This can also have a long-term impact because it leaves customers with a bad taste and impression of your brand. Here are a few things you can do to optimize your eCommerce site so that pages on it load quickly:
- Monitor the site speed and server performance regularly
- Keep a tab on the image size
- Avoid including heavy videos
- Keep an eye out for unfriendly plugins
3. Keep your navigation clean
An overcrowded the navigation bar and homepage is a strict no-no. When you have a prospect on your website; you do not want them to be confused about where to go next. Ensure that your navigation is well structured and easy to follow. Ideally, only the most important links to resources on your eCommerce website should be a part of your navigation.
- Use standard, legible and recognizable fonts
- Ensure that the search bar is easily accessible to visitors
- Keep the design and layout as simple as possible
4. Don’t let your CTAs merge with the other content on a page
The last thing you want is for a qualified lead to abandon your website because they did not know what the next action to take is! It is important that your CTA buttons stand out in every section and on every page of your site. Here are some tips to make your CTAs loud and unambiguous:
- Place CTA buttons in such a way that they are easy to spot
- Use large, bold fonts for the text on your CTA button
- Make use of contrasting colors for your CTA buttons
5. Personalize the user experience
Ever noticed how successful supermarkets stock and arrange products and sections? Think of your eCommerce website as a superstore and drive your customers around based on their interests. The idea is to make life easier for the user by showing them what they are most likely to purchase.
- Use data and analytics to understand user behavior
- Upsell and cross-sell related products
6. Offer deals and discounts upfront
Allot a dedicated space on your homepage, and other key pages, to showcase promotions and special offers. After all, no one can resist the temptation to check out a super-saver deal, right?
- Display your sale and promotions loudly and clearly
- Feature a separate banner below your navigation
7. Don’t talk like a machine
The best eCommerce websites are those that speak to you as a human would. Imagine a friend, who knows a thing or two about a certain product, telling you about why it is so great. Now apply the same concept to your product pages.
- Focus on utility and benefits over technical specifications
- Provide multiple appealing images and demo videos of the product
- Make sure your product page is well structured
- Include customer reviews and ratings
8. “You can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave!”
Let these iconic lyrics written by the Eagles’ be the mantra for your website. Make the checkout process on your website as quick and simple as you can. A majority of eCommerce website visitors abandon ongoing transactions because the process is either too lengthy or complex. Avoid cart abandonment by making sure that you:
- Offer guest checkout option, without the need to register for an account
- Provide multiple payment options and secure payment gateways
- Ensure that the checkout process has minimal steps
9. Offer free shipping
Admit it – nobody likes to pay extra for shipping. Imagine completing the entire buying process only to realize right at the end that there are additional charges for shipping! Unexpected cost additions contribute to cart abandonment. Your customers are already expected to pay taxes on top of the basic price for a product. Save them the agony of having to pay for shipping.
10. Don’t ignore website SEO
Almost half of the online shopping populace begins their journey via a search engine. If your eCommerce store is not visible for relevant search phrases or keywords in the top results, you are doomed. There is every chance that your potential customers will buy the same product from a competitor. Proper website SEO, and local SEO, is integral to your eCommerce strategy and should be a priority.
So, there you have it. This comprehensive list of dos and don’ts should hold you in good stead when you create your own eCommerce website. At QualDev, we offer a bouquet of eCommerce web development services that are customized to meet your needs.
Learn how you can take your eCommerce business to the next level with us. Drop us an email or call us at any time!