Are you looking to create a successful online shopping website? If so, then you should know that it’s not as easy as simply setting up a website using a template-based ecommerce platform, nor is it as simple as creating a website with links to every single product that you sell and then placing a ”buy now” button beside each one.
It’s actually a lot more complex in that you have to consider very specific elements that relate to user experience and customer conversion. Neglecting these can put your website at a disadvantage when it comes to conversion or even attracting visitors in the first place.
So, if you’re interested in making your online shopping website a success, take heed of the tips we’ve provided below.
Hire a professional website design agency
Let’s not mince words here: creating a successful e-commerce website is a challenging prospect. Even if you’re creating a Shopify website, a process that’s already made so simple and streamlined that even a complete tech newbie can do it, there’s no guarantee that what you’ll come up with will be a hit with your target audience.
As such, you may as well cut through all of the guesswork and confusion by hiring a professional digital design agency to help you instead. Hiring an expert agency ensures that your website will be up to contemporary customers’ very exacting standards when it comes to aesthetics and user experience. More than that, your digital design agency will also have the expertise and experience needed to recommend the best designs and layouts for your specific needs, which further increases the chances of your website being a huge success.
Have a streamlined sign-up process
When it comes to signing up for a new account on your website, it’s in your best interest to ensure that it’s as streamlined and simplified a process as possible for your prospective customers. This ensures that there is very little separating your visitor from being converted to a paying customer. If your sign-up form takes more than a few minutes to fill out, or if it asks for way too much information other than what’s usually needed, then you run the risk of your potential customer simply closing the tab and looking for the products or services they need somewhere else. The key here is to maximize user convenience as much as possible. As such, consider just asking your visitors to provide their name and their email address when they are signing up for the first time.
Allow customers to make purchases as guests
Another way to make your e-commerce website easier to use for your customers is to give them the ability to make purchases even if they haven’t registered for an account yet. This is yet another way of ensuring that the transition from visitor to customer is as smooth as possible. More than that, it also helps make the checkout process frictionless, something which you definitely want as it prevents the customer from getting second thoughts or canceling their order altogether. You can then just add a small call to action at the end of the checkout process, one that informs the customer that they can complete their orders quickly the next time they shop if they do it with a registered account.
Be upfront with taxes and shipping costs
Sticker shock is a very real thing, even when e-commerce websites are involved. What usually happens is that a prospective online shopper finds out at the end of the checkout process that their order’s shipping and tax fees are higher than they originally thought. A nasty surprise like that can easily force someone to leave their order uncompleted.
While it’s true that you can’t do much about shipping and tax fees being quite high for some of your customers, you can remedy the cold-shower effect somewhat. This is by having the shipping and tax fees as visible to the customer as possible, preferably as soon as they’ve put the product in their cart. By getting the sticker shock over and done with before the checkout process begins, you’re giving your customer all the opportunity they need to think about the purchase they’re about to make, restoring that important sense of consumer confidence.
By being honest, you will be in a better position to convince your customers to be amenable to paying those taxes or shipping fees. It also precludes any feeling that they’ve been duped into paying for “hidden charges.”
Provide a detailed product preview, preferably with images
Every product you sell should have a detailed product preview. Make sure that full-sized images are available for prospective customers to view. A list of features or specifications should also be legible and complete. Reviews and testimonials are also ideal, but aren’t necessary in the long run, as you can expect the typical online shopper to look up product reviews on their own before committing to a sale. Basically, your priority here is to provide all the information that you yourself might look for when buying a product online.
Reduce clutter, especially at the checkout page
Finally, cut down on clutter as much as possible, especially on the checkout pages. The last thing you want is for your customer to be distracted or put off by something on the checkout page, which could result in them canceling their purchase at the last second. Remove any animated banner ads, animations, auto-playing videos, or auto-playing sounds. Keep any text content concise, or eliminate it entirely if it doesn’t serve any important purpose.
The key to a lovable e-commerce website: great user experience
Making an e-commerce website that’s easy for your customers to love isn’t all that hard. All you need is to focus on delivering a seamless and frictionless user experience that will keep them coming back for more, as well as keep them away from your competitors. Adopting and implementing the tips we’ve listed above is a great way to get started.