Tips For Ecommerce SuccessCategories: tips, business, top lists, guest article
Posted By Holli Dawson @ August 15th, 2011 12:12 PM
One common problem that businesses face is how to make the most of their e-commerce. It’s easy enough to set up an online store, especially with services like PayPal now readily available, but having a shop that’s usable in a whole different kettle of fish. Countless businesses miss out on millions of pounds worth of sales every year simply by having a web store that’s hard to use – and you don’t want to be one of them. So let’s look at a few ways that you can discover that delicate balance, and turn your website into a profit-generating juggernaut.
Learning about the importance of navigation may be web design 101, but it’s still a vital consideration for any company looking to boost their e-commerce, whether they are a moving company or a shoe store. The menus on your website are the signposts for your visitors, and if they’re impossible to read you’re going to end up with a lot of lost potential customers (in more ways than one). Putting a good amount of time, effort, and testing, into your menu system can boost your online profits big time – especially if you’re current navigation is archaic or hard to use. It’s up to you to decide whether or not this is the case, but you might find your answers if you ask a few ‘anonymous’ questions to a cross-section of your visitorship.
Looking at the pictures
One of the aspects of shopping in a ‘bricks and mortar’ shop that is hard to replicate online is the ability to see items ‘in the flesh’, to pick them up and get a feel for them. Because of this issue, it’s vital that websites provide their customers with plenty of images of their products. And the really popular websites tend to have a host of options to get an eyeful of the items on offer. Magnification options, multiple angles, 3D renders, and more. All are great ways to give your visitors the whole picture (pun intended). If you’re looking for new ways to engage your visitors and get them enthusiastic about buying from you, having a look at the way you display your stock is a great place to start.
No more hide and seek
One of the core elements of any e-commerce store is its search engine. There are numerous websites out there that have huge ranges of products which simply gather dust because consumers just don’t know they’re there. By investing in a top quality search engine for your online shop, you can feel sure that you’re not losing out on business by having visitors that can’t find what they need. Examples of handy search engine features include keyword suggestions (that appear as the user types), ‘did you mean’ functionality, and an understanding of common misspellings. Of course, Google is the giant of search, so take a leaf out of their book to what works and what doesn’t.
An offer you can’t refuse
Special offers and featured products are a mainstay of all the ‘big’ online stores. Take a look at Play, Amazon, and even eBay, and you’ll see a recurring theme: a front page full of special offers that funnel consumers to specific products. Whether a supplier has paid to have their product featured or you simply have stock to clear, special offers on the homepage are as natural as breathing, so make sure that your web store follows suit – or risk missing out on valuable business.
One of the best pieces of advice we could give is to do your homework. Scout out your competitors and see what they are doing, then implement the most popular features you find. Even if you’re not innovating, you’ll at least be keeping up with your peers. After that, it’s up to you.
Holli is a self-confessed gadget geek and lives something of a nomadic lifestyle. When she isn’t reading and writing about tech and web issues, she writes on behalf of a leading moving company and a few other sites.Photo Credit: foxforix
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