Online retailers, also referred to as e-tailers, is any business-to-consumer (B2C) company that sells a product online to its customers. They predominantly sell their products through eCommerce platforms, such as via their own website, or marketplaces, such as Amazon or Walmart. According to etailinsights, there are 7.1 million etailers in the world and, of that number, 1.8 million etailers are located in the United States. With millions of online businesses fighting for your customer’s attention, it’s vital that you create a stress-free shopping experience on your eCommerce website to maximize the opportunity for profit and customer satisfaction. Consider these five best practices to implement:
SSL Certification on Your eCommerce Website
Both Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and its successor Transport Layer Security (TLS) are methods used to secure and encrypt sensitive information that is sent over the web, such as credit cards, usernames, and passwords. A customer can easily see if your eCommerce website is secure by looking at your URL. If your URL boasts “HTTPS” before the domain name, your customer knows your company has taken steps to secure your website. If “HTTP” is present before the domain name, there is a lack of security.
“HTTPS is needed on any site so that you don’t share your private information with anyone snooping in.” said M&R’s Full Stack Developer Will Hawthorne. “Buying something online over HTTP vs HTTPS is the difference between going to the grocery store and screaming out loud your credit card number and information during checkout instead of paying using the machine and putting in your private PIN.”
Major web browsers have made a push for SSL on websites to be the standard. Google Chrome even advertises a ‘not secure’ message by the URL. With the threat of hackers very real, it’s vital to reassure your customers that your website is safe to shop.
Seamless & Simple Checkout Process
A user-friendly eCommerce website design is a non-negotiable to keep your customers browsing and shopping, and its user-friendly nature must be imbedded into the checkout process, as well. Your customer has decided to choose your product and company of your competition – congrats! Don’t lose this big win at the finish line. Make sure you minimize the chance of shopping cart abandonment by implementing the following practices:
- Offer guest login and returning guest login
- Provide a “save” option for personal information
- Keep it short as possible, basic information only
- Show progress indicators
- Use *field required* indicators
- Offer rush processing and shipping
- Extend customer support during checkout
- Provide an opportunity to review and modify
Calls-to-Action Throughout Your eCommerce Website
Ad dollars, social posts, eNewsletter campaigns, and other marketing tactics often share the same goal – drive traffic to your website. To keep potential customers engaged, it’s important to tell them what to do by implementing calls-to-action throughout your eCommerce website. Calls-to-action guide the customer to act on the surrounding information. For example, if your customer is viewing your popular products page, you may have a call-to-action that autopopulates, “Act fast for 20% off your purchase!” or you can have a button that simply states, “Buy now!” Calls-to-action encourages your customers to act, increasing the chance of completing their purchase.
Thorough Descriptions & Authentic Product Images
One drawback of selling items online is that the customers are not able to touch or see the product in person. They must rely on the product descriptions, images, reviews, and other information that you provide. When you’re putting this information together, more is more. Do your best to cover all the information a potential customer would want to know about your product – dimension, weight, color, texture, size, benefits, just to name a few.
If you leave out important information, you are making your customer take an extra step in their buyer journey – to contact your team with their question. Unfortunately, many customers will opt to find the product elsewhere instead of reaching out with questions.
Easily Accessible Customer Support
Even if you have the most thorough descriptions listed on your product pages, your potential customer may still have a question for a sales rep. It’s vital that you provide customer support that can be easily accessed from mobile, desktop, and other devices. We mentioned in Part 1 of this series, “6 eCommerce Website Design Feature that Can Increase Sales,” that a live chat feature can help a customer receive an answer to his question both quickly and easily. In addition to live chat, there are several other options you can provide for customer support:
- Email support
- Interactive voice support
- Phone support
- Self-serve customer service
- Social Media support
Which support works best for your company? If you can implement several options, great! Offering several customer support options enables your company to meet more of your customer’s preferences.
M&R Marketing Can Create Your User-Friendly eCommerce Website!
Creating a user-friendly eCommerce website that accurately portrays your brand identity is no small feat. This task must be entrusted to a team of experts who can bring your vision to life! Our team has extensive experience, and we would be happy to partner with you to create an eCommerce website that exceeds expectations. Ready to get started? Give us a call today: 478-621-4491.
Stay tuned for part three of our eCommerce website series:
- Part 1 – 6 eCommerce Website Design Features that can Increase Sales
- Part 2 – How to Create a Stress-free Shopping Experience on Your eCommerce Website
- Part 3 – 5 Critical Mistakes to Avoid in Your eCommerce Website