Characteristics of the Best eCommerce Websites
In today’s saturated eCommerce economy, the competition for selling your products online has gotten tougher and tougher. The possibilities of getting your eCommerce products purchased over another companies are darn right difficult. That is why you must have a leg up in the design and the way you run your eCommerce business online.
Logically the analogy for this could be made that walking into physical store that has poor products, aesthetics, organization, and presentation would make the customer leave that store. The same concept can be applied to an eCommerce business online. Think of the customer and how they will be effected by your eCommerce website.
1. Ease of Navigation
This is one of the most important aspects on your website. If the navigation is lacking, then your customers are not able to browse through your store and find products they are looking for. This will not only irritate the customer, but will cause a customer to never return to your website. Making sure that your company does some user testing and design impact testing prior to launching their website is an easy fix to navigational problems.
2. Fast Load Times
Having fast load times is essential to getting a good ranking in Google. Besides that, glaring reason having a website that loads slow is subpar to a customer’s expectations. If the website isn’t loading, they will most likely bounce from the website and take their business elsewhere. Unfortunately, an online customer has a lot less patience for anything to go wrong than a customer in a physical store.
3. Clear Polices
Clear Policies are crucial to having a successful business whether it is a physical store or an online store. Policies are what protect not only the shopper but the merchant. For example, having a clear return policy can mitigate any future conflicts with customers who want to return a product too late. Or having a clear shipping policy will invoke confidence in the buyer that the seller has a reliable system in place. This is all part of creating a culture of reliability and confidence in your customer. Many individuals are still questioning the safety of using their credit card online so having clear signals and policies to provide a safe environment is helpful to becoming a good business person online.
4. Seamless Checkout Experience
The checkout experience is where a lot of shoppers become part of the shopping cart abandonment statistic. When there is a problem in your checkout system your Google Analytics will also not be able to calculate your conversion rates. Some of the best checkout systems are at Amazon.com. Having customers create profiles where they can store their addresses and payment methods can speed up the checkout experience and really speed up the time your customer has to spend on your website.
5. Design Isn’t Distracting from Shopping
Let’s be honest, sometimes the design of a website drives us absolutely nuts. The design of a website should not take away from the shopping experience. Remember that simple is always better when it comes to design. Websites that are simply designed are ranked higher than websites that are cluttered and hard to navigate. When a design takes away from the shopping experience the customer is unable to navigate and complete a purchase.
Branding is important to establishing a business, and becoming a business that customers will remember. Branding is essentially a symbol of the entire package that your customers will experience. Your brand is the associations, experiences and characteristics that are melded into one construct. Branding and marketing is what will make a customer come to your website in the first place and also recall your website. If your branding doesn’t draw a customer into your website, then you are doing something wrong, or the market is very over saturated.
7. Promotes Related Products
Related products are so important when a customer is shopping on your website. Due to the fact that a lot of customers are looking for specific things, different designs, colors, or materials that the product is made out of showing related products can help make a sale. When shopping around I always feel relieved that I don’t have to re-search for a product and I can just go look at things that are pretty similar.
8. Accurate Product Descriptions
There is nothing worse than going to a product and reading the description and then receiving something completely different. It not only ruins the experience for the customer but it ensures that they will not be a returning customer. Having the wrong description also does not mitigate having customers’ expectations that cannot be fulfilled. Most often if you describe exactly what your product is then your customer will not be confused on what they are receiving in the mail.
9. Effective Search
This is a no brainer, but not having an effective search is a common problem that eCommerce websites have. The site is either so poorly organized that the customer cannot find the products they want or the products do not accurately get recalled when the customer searches with key words. Either scenario is not good. Unfortunately, unlike in a brick-mortar store you are able to ask an attendant for help you are not able to ask for help on an eCommerce website. The website should intuitively recall products that customers want even when the customer is being vague about what they want.
10. Quality Photos and Videos
There is nothing worse than having a website with unclear photographs and videos. The customer is unable to really accurately evaluate whether the product is what they want to buy. Also it makes the customer have unrealistic expectations about the product. In this day and age where even our cellphones are creating high resolution photographs there is no reason to not be up to snuff on your photograph that is being featured on your eCommerce website.