Tips for An Effective eCommerce Website
Billions of dollars (or other currency) are paid online every day, and the rate of online purchases is only continuing to grow. Clearly, if you have an eCommerce website, you want to be a part of this! Help your site get to the head of the pack with these usability tips.
- Look authoritative
A clean design is a great way to gain people’s trust. Once they start reading your site, display every sign that you are an authentic business, including a street address, phone number, and clear policies. Display the logos of organizations your business is a part of, like the Better Business Bureau, or payment systems that people are familiar with, like PayPal. Have an SSL certificate to assure customers that their information is being transmitted as securely as possible.
- Think fast
Your site needs to be quick. Some users might find exactly what they want and check out instantly, but online shopping can turn into window shopping very easily, and you will lose their attention if your site can’t keep up with the speed that someone is clicking through its inventory. Make sure that thumbnails and other images are no larger than necessary so they don't slow down your site
- Be accurate
Use an inventory management system, so that every item online is marked accurately as being in stock or out-of-stock. Don’t frustrate users who order something and wait for it to arrive, only to discover that it was not available at the time of purchase. Updating the site by hand isn’t fast enough anymore, so set up a system that can grow with your business. Luckily, WebsiteBuilder has this function integrated already!
- Find it all
Let your customers search and group your products by category. If users are looking for something and can’t find it, they could easily give up and look somewhere else instead of digging a little deeper. You can use the category feature in WebsiteBuilder eCommerce to organize your products.
- Up close and personal
Customers don’t get to try on your products before they buy them, so make your website the next best thing. Include high quality photos from multiple angles, a detailed and accurate report of the condition of the item. Measurements, compatibility information, and other technical details should be presented clearly.
- Cost breakdown
Make sure that your store is set up to calculate the proper tax and shipping charges before the customer makes the purchase. If you are using integrated shipping through WebsiteBuilder, this is as simple as making sure you set the proper weight in the settings for each product and make sure you’ve checked your tax settings.
- Be flexible
Can users pay with PayPal? What about all the different credit card brands? Be as accommodating as possible – after people decide they want to spend their money, don’t give them an excuse not to. We have PayPal and Stripe available to allow your customers to pay with the most convenient payment method for them.
- Draw them in
Utilize discounts, sales, or coupon codes to draw customers in! You could also use these as incentive for returning customers! If you send out a coupon code for an existing customer to get $10 off their next order, they are more likely to come back!
- Use available information
When a customer places an order, you receive their information, like name and email, and a business relationship is created. At this point, you have implied permission to contact them with information about your store. Use a program like Constant Contact to market to these customers via email to let them know about new products, sales, etc.
- Test it
Of course, this usability tip needs no explaining – the more that you can test how the store works in action, the better. You can use the Preview function in WebsiteBuilder to walk through a purchase as if you are a customer. This will allow you to tailor your site to the needs of the people using it.