Are you planning on starting an eCommerce business and looking into an eCommerce website?
Before you start anything you’ll need to understand the eCommerce website essentials that will make sure you succeed. There are a lot of complex issues behind eCommerce and your website is one of them. This post will help give you a good direction for your website.
There’s of course also the back office tasks of an eCommerce business and that comes with its own challenges.
These six essential parts of your eCommerce website will help make your customers happy and safe once they find your shop. Each one is important and none of them should be left out of your eCommerce website.
Even though each one of these eCommerce website essentials are important, this one is the most important. You’re responsible for all customer information that is transmitted to your website. That means you need to take customer’s information serious and secure it.
Even if you don’t store credit card data there’s still personal information transmitted. Credit card information may transfer through your website to the processing company. You also send and store names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses.
For any website, keeping customer’s data secure is is the most important, for eCommerce security is even more important. That means your website needs to have an SSL certificate so customers data is transmitted privately and securely.You are always responsible for keeping your customer's data secure. Click To Tweet
Ideally your entire eCommerce website is secure too, not just the payment gateway. Going beyond a secure certificate, the platform that runs your website also contributes to its security (or lack of).
Keeping your platform up-to-date is an eCommerce website essential. Every update for an eCommerce platform contribute to its overall security. If you are lax on your updates then you’re potentially inviting malicious people to steal your customers data.
Remember, you’re always responsible for your customer’s information.
Without amazing pictures for your eCommerce website, your products are unlikely to sell.
How do you shop for a product in a store?
Do you look at it closely, perhaps even test it out? Look at all sides of it?
Customers who buy online like to do that as much as possible also. Customers aren’t able to touch the product but the pictures can show them all they want to know.
Big, clear, detailed pictures are an eCommerce website essential you can’t do without. Pictures of your products need to be clear, not blurry. They need to also show as many details as possible. That means you need pictures that show the product from far away.
Pictures that show close-ups and important parts of the product are also essential. If you visit a product page on Amazon you’ll notice many different pictures for each product. You’ll even notice that some show people using the product.
Pictures in Action
Showing someone using your product helps your customer visualize themselves using your product or plan how they’ll use it.
Putting your customer in the shoes of someone using your product helps them visualize how great it is and the actual size of it.Showing your product in use in a picture helps your customer imagine themselves using it. Click To Tweet
If you can’t show someone using your product, at least give your customer a good idea of its size. Dimensions area great but showing its size relating to something else is even better. Put an item people will know the size of next to your product in the picture.
For example, if you’re trying to show how small a product is, put it next to a coin or something equally small.
The better your customer can visualize your product or themselves using the product, the more likely you are to sell it.
How you describe and lay out the details of your product is essential. Some people prefer to have dimensions and details of a product.
While a picture might show relative to something else how big a product is, actual dimensions are far from precise. Precise details will help a customer understand sizes and what it’s made of better.
Before I buy a product, if size is relevant, I’ll get the dimensions and bust out my tape measure to figure the size out in terms I can better understand in person.
You’ll want to describe your product as best you can in the description and give many details on the measurements, color, material type, etc.
As much information you can give to your customer the better. All this information also helps rank you better in search engines. It’s a win-win for you to provide lots of details.
4) Mobile Friendly
Even though mobile shoppers don’t convert as well as desktop shoppers (desktop computer shoppers convert 2x better than mobile device shoppers in the US according to Google), that doesn’t mean it’s not as valuable. While a consumer may do the final purchase on their desktop computer, the shopping process is likely to have begun on a mobile device.
In an increasingly mobile world, your eCommerce shop needs to be ready for mobile users. A mobile friendly shop is an eCommerce website essential because mobile use is growing and your website is the most visible part to your customers.
5) Email List Sign Up
The last thing you want to do when growing your eCommerce business is to always have to fight for new customers. Keeping your old customers and staying in touch with them will make it easier for you to grow your business.
A customer who has purchased from you is more likely to buy from you again than someone who’s not a customer. Giving your customers a way for them to stay in touch with your company (and you to them) is an eCommerce website essential.
An email list will help you stay in touch with past customers if they sign up for updates from you (you just have to give them a reason). There are lots of different ways you can encourage your customers to join your email list too.
If you haven’t got to the point of having your eCommerce website yet there’s even a way you can grow your email list without a website.
Once you have your customers in your email list you can send things to bring them back such as coupons, special access to sales, etc. You can even announce new products to them before everyone else sees it.
There are many different perks you can give your email list subscribers. Offer them something special to make them feel special and bring them back to your shop. You’ll keep your customer base intact better plus you’ll be more likely to reach new customers.
6) Easy Checkout
Your customer has probably been through a lot looking through various websites and products. The last thing you want to make them do is work to check out.
That means the process should be extremely easy and have as few fields as possible. Every cost of their order should also be broken down before they start filling information out. There’s nothing worse than filling everything out, making it to the last screen, then discovering there’s an unanticipated shipping charge.Put the customers needs first on your online shops checkout process. Click To Tweet
If possible, focus on the customers needs first. Collect the shipping details first before you begin to focus on payment details.
If your checkout is difficult and costs aren’t clear at checkout you risk leaving people with a bad taste of your shop.
If your store requires a customer to sign up for an account then you are putting an unnecessary roadblock in their way. It would be nice to have them sign up for an account but never at the expense of the purchase.
A guest checkout process should always be the primary option because it’s simple and quick for the customer. If guest checkout is chosen then it can be an option to create an account out of the customer’s details but never required.
The Essentials In Practice
If you put these essentials into practice on your shop your store will have the building blocks to success.
Make sure you have a plan to implement these six eCommerce website essentials. I also encourage you to get your free personalized Online Presence Report which will help you determine where you need to focus to make your shop succeed online.