Here are a few things to think about when setting up your e-commerce store,
1. Simple Navigation and Image driven Layout
A good website is usually image driven. Having a photo-slider on the top half of your website is a brilliant feature that frees up static space. With a photo-slider you can showcase more of your products to visitors on site.
Hypergrand.com is an online brand store that sells timepieces and watches. They’ve got a brilliant example on how to maximise space usage for captivating images.
Good photography and stunning photos is key to winning the hearts of online shoppers, especially if you are not competing solely on price.
2. Visible and clear ‘Call-to-Action’ button, be it ‘Browse Now’ or ‘Add-to-Cart’ options
‘Call-to-Action’ button placed at appropriate places is vital for good user experience. Providing option such as ‘Add-to-Cart’ instead of just ‘Buy-Now’ provides shoppers the flexibility to continue shopping. Navigation features such as ‘Save-to-Wishlist’ is also useful for shoppers to curate products before making a purchase. Be sure to test out which message on your CTAs works better in future.
Hipvan.com, a lifestyle e-commerce store that sells a variety of items from kitchen products to technophile gadgets, has a great example on how CTAs are visibly placed, and information on ‘free-shipping’ and ‘free-returns’ are presented to reduce the perception of ‘buyer’s risk’.
These little snippets of information presented may seem trivial, but it does affect the buyer’s decision in the long run. Keeping in mind that not having a tangible object in-hand for a customer significantly increases buyer’s apprehension and risk. We recommend that you include a review section or star-ratings section for customers who have made purchases to vouch for products. Every little good recommendation helps..
3. A Website Layout that is Mobile-Responsive
According to Shopify.com, more than 50% of online traffic to e-commerce stores are from mobile. Though not all transaction takes place via mobile out of all that traffic, having a website that is user-friendly on mobile and tablet devices is important.
Having a ‘mobile-responsive’ website is more pertinent now than ever. You can do a test on your web browser simply by dragging your view screen into a size of a mobile screen. If the layout ‘adapts’ to the smaller screen, (see pictures below), it means the site is mobile-responsive.
If the images and the CTAs/button merely shrunk in size, and the text are hardly visible to be read, chances are the website is not mobile-responsive. You can read more on mobile-responsive websites here.
4. Check-out Process and Payment Options
Be sure to make your payment process as simple as possible. The more payment options available out there, the better. Since Paypal is widely used, make sure you have Paypal integrated. Visa and MasterCard work in almost every country, research on e-commerce solutions that provide these payment gateways.
5. Customer Service Tools & Email Follow-ups
Some websites these days are providing ‘chat’ options to web visitors, to inquire about the service or product on the spot. These services are definitely useful, and will bump up your customer service ratings up a couple of notch. There are a number of third-party plugins such as Zopim that you can use to integrate on your website.
Another important feature for your website is your ‘subscription-box’. Most online shoppers would like to stay in touch with new product launches and promotions.
Having your email service provider synced to your check-out cart is a rather important feature, as most online shoppers tend to abandon cart for various reasons. Being able to update subscribers on promotions and retarget them on new product launches via email is key to sustaining your business. Email service providers such as Mailchimp is a good option for small and medium enterprise.
Using email to follow up with customers who ‘abandon’ cart purchase is key to winning your customers hearts in his or her next visit. You can read more on email retargeting on our previous post here.
May these 5 key points of a checklist be a good start to setting up your e-commerce store for the new year coming. We recommend using Shopify.com for its user-friendly support and wide options for plugins.