If you are thinking about starting your own e-commerce business, we think you would find our guide very useful: How to start your e-commerce business from scratch.
The estimated number of e-commerce websites is currently between 20-24 million worldwide – and it’s growing every day. Those with a keen eye for long-term trends see these numbers as a depiction of the future of retail. If you are looking to tap into the burgeoning e-commerce market and sell tangible products online, it is crucial that you establish a powerful digital presence that helps your business stand out among your competitors.
To stay ahead, you need to provide customers with a simple, well-organised, and efficient online shopping experience. Although the perfect webshop doesn’t exist, you can ensure you come close by continuously ensuring that your customer’s needs and wants remain a priority. But how?
Here are our top webshop best practices to keep your checkout page booming.
Premium web hosting service
Both the intrinsic and perceived value of any successful webshop relies on speed: the faster your pages load and present your content, the more likely users are to remain on your site and increase your conversion rate. Adversely, pages with slower page loads experience higher bounce rates and lower conversions. This is why enlisting a reputable web hosting service is crucial to the overall success of your webshop.
Apart from page loading efficiency, having a reliable and credible web host safeguards your site from experiencing glitches, error reports, and dreaded crashes thanks to reputable and sophisticated architecture. Should you encounter any of these issues, premium web hosting services will have a team of technicians to assist you in solving your technical issues and get your webshop up and running in no time. Don’t place the success of your business in the hands of unreliable web hosting.
As an e-tailer, your job is to ensure an online shopping experience that is simple and fast for your customers. You don’t want to bombard them with information that distracts them from making a purchase. Ensure a streamlined user experience by reducing the clutter of your layout to make your products and promotions stand out clearly. Research shows that simple layouts have higher conversion rates.
To increase conversions, create a design with a clear visual hierarchy to guide customers to the focal points of your webshop, particularly your CTAs. Creating a relatively simple structure and intuitive visual hierarchy will help your customers navigate your webshop easily.
Clear value proposition
This may appear simple in theory but we see many e-tailers not hitting the mark in practice. It is essential that your homepage has a strong hook that immediately grabs the attention of your consumers and encourages them to shop on your site.
To add flair and elements of excitement to your value proposition, aim to be concise and engaging when describing the benefits of your products and promotions. The use of short and sharp sales copy and tasteful colour pallets will help clearly state your USP and reflect your brand personality. Try to ensure your value proposition is clear and visible throughout your webshop.
Ever-present search bar
If you want to achieve any success with your e-commerce business then you need to streamline the path to purchase in every possible way. One way to achieve this is by having an ever-present search bar clearly visible on screen no matter where your users are navigating through your site. The point of this is to allow your customers to browse your products at any time far quicker and easier than endlessly scrolling through your site.
Making it difficult for your shoppers to find your products will spell disaster for your business. Users want fast and simple online shopping experiences, and having an ever-present search bar encourages them to browse your catalogue further and stay longer on your webshop.
The secret to e-tail conversions lies in reducing user confusion. Long and complicated menus drive users away quickly and go against the principles of creating a simple and easy shopping experience. If users cannot find what they are looking for quickly then they will leave your site and jump onto your competitors’.
Apart from a host of minimal design and layout tricks, you can simplify your menus in other ways. For example, don’t make your menus too specific because it will lead to long dropdowns with far too much detail and clutter. On the other hand, having a vague menu will likely confuse and annoy your customers who will struggle to find what they are looking for. Categorise your products in intuitive ways that not only simplify your menus but also allow your customers to easily navigate through them. Sounds elementary, but you would be surprised how many webshops fail in this regard.
The only way people are going to be able to find your products is if you take the necessary steps to establish a strong online presence for your webshop. You can do this by prioritising your SEO to ensure your website features high on search engines (how many times have you been to the second page of Google results recently?).
Place a fair amount of time, money, and resources into establishing strong SEO capabilities to make your site visible to attract online shoppers. You want your webshop to be featured ahead of your competitors in the search rankings, so take time to cleverly optimise your content to attract the algorithms to lead traffic to your site.
To increase your conversion rate you must do everything possible to streamline the path to purchase. Every unnecessary step in the checkout process will increase the likelihood of your customers abandoning their carts. When the checkout process is too long and complicated, shoppers bounce off your site quickly and often never return, so getting this right is crucial.
The aim is to reduce data input to provide and receive only the essential information from the buyer that makes a transaction possible: billing information and shipping address. Try to create a one-click checkout process that allows shoppers to skip the “add to cart” step and proceed directly to check out. In fact, one-click checkouts can shorten the checkout process by up to 90%.
Easy and safe payments
In your ongoing pursuit to streamline the path to purchase, offering your customers various payment options will have a huge impact on your conversions. Making payments must be easy for your shoppers, so ensure your webshop supports payments from common methods: credit and debit cards, bank transfers, digital wallets, e-invoices, and digital currencies, among others.
In terms of payment security, make sure your webshop supports HTTPS or SSL for safe and secure payments. An e-commerce industry must-have is a PCI-DSS compliant payment option which your platform must be able to support natively or through platform customisations. Read our list of the best online payment gateways for 2020.
The secret to increasing your webshop conversions lies in creating a simple and easy online shopping experience and streamlining the path to purchase. By employing these best practices, you will be well on your way to seeing a vast reduction of abandoned shopping carts and a checkout page bursting with purchases.