In order to successfully build and run an eCommerce website, MLK Marketing shifts from the business perspective and examines the matter from the client’s point of view. What is it that client’s are looking for when they visit your eCommerce website? We take a closer look.
These days, it is not uncommon for most (if not all) people to browse and shop online. For those who run an eCommerce website, it is safe to say that it is not an easy task by any means. In order to operate a successful and growing eCommerce website where business goals are met and exceeded, there are many factors involved including making sales, completing orders and ensuring all payments are received. Because it is so crucial that these components and many others such as making sure that customer experience and satisfaction is always a priority, your eCommerce website must tick all the boxes.
The First Impression Is The Only Impression.
Just imagine walking into a store. The shelves are stacked high with items that are for sale and the price labels are clearly written in front of them. You look around and notice that there are items that are scattered along the floor, some items even appear to be worn out or broken. The store space is not utilised properly and in short, the whole area is just a plain, big mess. How likely are you to stick around, let alone make a purchase? Not very likely.
Or think about it from another extreme point of the scale. Your store is well designed, cleverly thought out and makes the most of the available physical space to offer the best experience to the customers that visit and want to purchase from you. Much more inviting and appropriate? Whether you have a physical store or eCommerce website as your selling platform for your business, design makes an invaluable contribution to your overall sales and profits. For the purposes of this article, we will be looking at the website design (we leave physical store designs to the talented interior designers!)
With a professionally designed eCommerce site, you will leave a highly positive first impression to the prospective client, meaning that you can strongly convey that you are a professional business that highly values its customers. Your online store is the face of your business, which ultimately means that a clean and sleek website layout strongly portrays the message that your business and brand is trustworthy and a leader in the industry. Therefore, it is highly important to invest as much time, money and effort into the design of your eCommerce website to ensure it impresses your visitors and is much more likely to convert those visits into repeated sales.
Slow And Steady Does Not Win The Race.
When was the last time you visited a speedy website? For your sake, we hope not too long ago. Each time you visit a website with slow load times that also lags, we know the frustration you can feel. This frustration may even be amplified during times you are searching for a specific product or brand on an eCommerce website. What does this mean? Potential and existing clients always have and always will prefer website load times under less than 2 seconds. Information is delivered faster, the experience is enhanced and you are more likely to lead a simple browsing session to a sale.
The importance of website speed is often overlooked and underestimated, however speed can do wonders for the volume of sales. The design of the website can impact the speed, for example the inclusion of flash on the site. Many different customers’ needs must be met, and one of them is to receive a load time of 1 to 2 seconds. If the load time is anything above 2 seconds, it can influence the buyer’s impression of your business. Don’t lose out to fierce competitors because of slow loading times.
Be Careful In Your Selection.
Ever been flooded in too many product or service options that made you think “where do I start?” We definitely have, and if you are anything like us then too many options may actually be doing more harm than good. It is a common misconception amongst all new business owners that their eCommerce site must have a large array of items available for selling. If you are new to the field, having too many options to offer to your clients can mean you may have bitten off more than you can chew. In the initial phases of your business, it is a general rule of thumb to only sell the products that you are extremely familiar and comfortable with.
Limiting your selection and being mindful of the amount of products or services you have available can actually bring you advantages and enhance the customer experience. For example, by having a limited selection, you can prevent your customers from having a difficult time making an accurate decision. It is usually a good idea to remember that quality should always be prioritised before quantity. Another advantage is that having a smaller range of products to choose from enables your potential and existing customers to find whatever they are looking for much easier. This can alleviate any frustration and can also help save a lot of time. After all, we now live in a very time poor society.
A final but very important point is that having a smaller amount of products or services for sale can increase the likelihood of converting visits to sales as a result of the significantly limited number of clicks to checkout. Be careful during the process of selecting what to sell and do thorough research in order to ensure that your eCommerce site caters to your target audience’s needs.
Never Fail At The Finish Line.
So you have a cleverly designed eCommerce site, made sure the load speed is nothing short of lightning and have carefully chosen the products or services you are going to sell to your target market. Clearly, all of these strategies have worked quite well for your business if the customer is at the stage of placing the chosen item in their shopping cart and getting prepared for purchase. You may be thinking you have got it in the bag, but think again.
There are some simple yet highly disruptive factors that can ultimately ruin all the progress. For example, having high shipping costs is one of them, and a big one at that. It is a great idea to ensure all shipping costs are on the page in which your customer is viewing the product. Why? Because it makes sure that the customer does not get any nasty surprises during check out if they can see how much the shipping will cost along with their purchase. To make sure your customers avoid disappointment and can effectively consider the pricing before they make it to the checkout, list the cost and conditions of both national and international shipping.
Imagine the disappointment you would feel when you finally find the perfect pair of shoes you have been looking for right before your best friend’s wedding but you are unable to purchase it. Well, the feeling is not very pleasant and can often leave customers in a highly distressing situation when they discover that you do not accept the only payment method they have. It is absolutely imperative to ensure your business accepts most payment methods to achieve a fair shopping experience amongst all of your customers. Accepting most payment methods also makes your business look much more professional and trusted, which is a great bonus when it comes to building solid and lasting relationships between your business and buyers.
It is also a bit of a downer when you come across eCommerce websites that almost lock you into creating an account before you can place your order in your shopping cart. This can make the customer feel annoyed as it may make your business look like you prioritise the customer’s signup details as opposed to their satisfaction and experience. It offers nothing to the user except feelings of frustration, especially if they are in a rush to make the purchase in the first place. Letting the customer create an account after placing their order is a much better option. Be mindful that many customers choose to shop online to avoid lengthy lines at the register, or to avoid the frustration of shopping in a busy shopping centre. Make sure that your eCommerce business site offers the full convenience of online shopping to maintain and grow your clientele base.
MLK Marketing are industry leaders when it comes to digital marketing. Contact MLK Marketing today to discuss how we can plan, design and setup your eCommerce website in a seamless and professional manner. We guide you through the entire process to ensure your business stands out from your competitors. We also specialise in branding, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), app development and social media management. Get your business in the spotlight today with MLK Marketing.