Five Crucial Elements of an Effective E-commerce Website
An e-commerce website enables your existing as well as prospective customers to get in touch with you from anywhere and at anytime. If your site isn’t properly set up, however, it will not be able to attract visitors, or, more importantly, influence those visitors enough to strengthen brand recognition and make them return.
To be successful and constantly profitable, an e-commerce site should be made of these essential elements:
Short Yet Rich Product Information
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Check the product pages on your website. Do they list all the significant features? Imagine being a site visitor with no knowledge about the products. Is there enough information for you to make an informed shopping decision? Definitely, all the important product details must be there, but don’t make people wade through paragraphs just to find what they want. Place the key information first, then add any supplementary extras and a professional photo of the product (with a short description if possible).
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Onsite Search Engine
One of the worst experiences an e-commerce site can offer users is an onsite search engine bringing tons of irrelevant results. Make sure your search engine software runs on a refined filtering system, especially if your product inventory is sizable.
Easy Checkout Process
Generally speaking, customers are easily turned off when they have to cycle through so many pages when buying a product. It’s ideal to have the entire checkout process completed with just one page, but if you can’t do that, at least have them put all of their information in one page, then make them confirm their order on just one more page. People these days are almost always in a hurry, and they don’t want to be wasting time on a very complicated checkout process when they know it doesn’t have to be that way.
Your whole e-commerce site needs to be realistically easy to use. A good user experience will keep visitors on your site, and make them return as well. Place menus or links to product categories in a place where they are easily found, and everything – both categories and products – must be named properly. In addition, each page should give users an easy way to return to the home page, look for contact information, choose another category, or go to the shopping cart in one click.
On top of showing information clearly and having all the necessary features – ability to change quantities, being able to enter promo codes, shipping options and the rest – a shopping cart layout should as well be simple and consistent with company branding (colors, logo, etc.), and include conspicuous checkout buttons. Lastly, speaking of options, never limit your customers to just one or two payment methods. The more you can provide, the better.