In today’s fast-paced world of ecommerce, a properly working website is the critical element that will make or break a business. It’s your digital storefront, the key to the success of your brand and to the happiness of your customer. Just like a traditional brick-and-mortar business needs to be stocked, friendly, and clean, so also your website needs to be modern, savvy, and fast-running.
Nevertheless, one can’t help asking if there is a special set of qualities that can set a successful eCommerce website apart from the rest? We all get the importance of website design and user experience. But what else gets the customers eager enough to return?
If we consider global brands like Amazon, BestBuy, or eBay – what critical elements are there that set these major names apart from the pack? By the same token, what if we step back and ask ourselves about the features we appreciate most in our favorite websites.
To help with this task, we’ve compiled a list below of 7 core qualities that every successful eCommerce website absolutely must have in place if it’s going to attract customers. Without these features, your business is effectively sunk. So pay attention!
Deals and Freebies
People work hard for their money and are busy, usually without much time to focus on one website for too long. Everyone is always attracted to a promo or discount of some kind. Try to give your visitors a little extra incentive to do business with you, either by offering free shipping or a 10% discount for a first time use. The kind gesture will pay off in the long run with repeat customers who appreciate the special deals.
Users require simplicity and ease of use. When a visitor lands on your eCommerce website they’re probably looking for specific item. They are usually in a hurry. Navigation through your site must be logical and intuitive . It’s crucial to make sure, especially with larger websites, that customer has options for easy and fast searches without the need to wade through several layers of pages. Bear in mind – lost visitors equal lost sales. Keeping things simple and intuitive will pay rich rewards for your customers.
Have you ever had one of the most unpleasant online experiences of trying to figure out how to pay for a product? I swear I felt like they intentionally made the check-out process a guessing game!
Stats tell us that nearly 70% of consumers abandon their carts before completing the sale. If consumers feel they are being led in a circle, they will give up!
One CTA at a Time
From the moment end-users hit your page you want to give them a clear reason for why they should stick around. To do this you need to deliver your Call to Action as quickly, clearly, and convincingly as possible.
Don’t make your home page so convoluted that folks don’t know what action to take. Use large font, go generous on the content, and create clear pathways to the channels they need to purchase your product, period, end of story.
Fast Load Time
Research shows a clear relationship between web load speed and customer conversions. The faster a page loads the more likely customers will be to visit and do business on your site. The inverse is also true. The slower a page the less likely customers will be willing to wait around and engage with your brand.
It might be nice to have a trendy looking website, but if it takes 10 seconds to load visitors won’t hang around long enough to appreciate all the bells and whistles anyway. Pay close attention to your load times and web performance and your customers will thank you!
Seamless Integration of Social & Mobile
We all understand the inevitable tendency of today’s market – mobile’s taking over. In fact, forecasts tell us that by 2020 M-Commerce will comprise 45% of all online transactions.
The same with social media; giving customers the best ways to connect with you through social sharing features is critical for a successful website. But to really set your E-Commerce site apart, it’s important to make sure your customers can easily find you on all channels. The best ecommerce websites on the market today will allow customers to integrate their mobile and social features seamlessly with great user experience.
Having a website that is secure, and which backs that up with the proper authentication, is so important in today’s market of rampant identity theft. If you sell goods and services online, then not having an SSL certificate is not really an option.
Don’t avoid going the extra mile to make sure your website has an SSL certificate. This gives your customers peace of mind and ensures that each check-out is encrypted. Brands like VeriSign, TrustE, Entrust and GeoTrust will also put your customers at ease and give them the confidence that your E-Commerce website is a safe and secure place to do business.
[Additional Useful Tip!] Learn about Real User Monitoring and what can it do for your ecommerce website!