Tips for a Great Site
In a bricks and mortar environment, customers generally ‘browse’ a lot longer than they do when shopping online. If you do not provide a great user experience, with great product information and customer service, then they will leave your site within seconds and more than likely never return. That’s why it is critical that you invest the time and resources in developing a great eCommerce site - help customers really enjoy the online shopping experience and they will be more likely to purchase from and return to your site.
It’s all about usability
As tempting as it is to focus on the design of the website, the usability of your site is paramount.
It doesn’t matter whether you are custom building your website and eCommerce platform, or you are using a standard issued template. The ease of adding products, navigating the website and security on the site is most important for the user experience (UX as it is commonly known).
UX incorporates what you know about your customer - what they are most interested in - and developing a site that best caters to their needs and wants. This means considering the type of operating system they use, the browser, where they are located and the language and currency they want to use on the website.
It also incorporates the need to consider what areas of the website are likely to be “hot spots”. For example, if they read right to left as a language, does this mean you need to reconsider what is on the left side of the webpage to draw their attention?
The aesthetics also matter - whilst usability is the most important consideration, you also want beauty in the functionality of the site. Consider your colours, images and layout. These elements all contribute to usability.
Think carefully about your hero products and services. Build every page on the site in such as way that it becomes an integral part of your sales and marketing team! After all, this is the first interaction visitors to the site will have with your business or brand.
Make sure every product on your site has solid SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) capability - use keyword rich page content. Develop a solid content strategy that will help you sell your products or services across all your social media channels - not just your website.
Make sure you have an easy to find “About Us” page that helps explain who you are, what you do, and what you are about. Customers like doing business with companies they can relate to. Tell them an interesting story about you and the company.
Be clear about your policies, such as returns, shipping, delivery options and time. It is important to be transparent about how much your buyer will pay for these types of services. Further, don’t forget that in a data driven world it is important you have a clear policy on how you will collect and manage site visitor and customer data - from orders to cookies on the site. Give your customer the option to reject the use of the data and leave the site, or provide them with an alternative buying option (off site).
Don’t be afraid to chat
Provide visitors to your site with the ability to contact you easily. Online chat systems (automated or live chat) are expected on websites today. Customers don’t care if you are based on the other side of the world - when they need to get in touch, they expect that they will be able to so easily. Give the customer what they want.
After thinking carefully about how she will safeguard her customers and what hosting option will work best for her needs and expertise, Jordan has decided to use a hosted eCommerce site for her wedding destination travel business.
Jordan has engaged a web developer and they have asked her: “What are the most essential aspects you require in your Jordan’s Just Travel website?”
What do you think potential customers (soon to be married couples) might want to experience when visiting a wedding destination travel company website? Post your ideas in the discussion area and vote on your favourite ideas from other learners.
© RMIT University 2016