E commerce is now a popular business model throughout the world. Businesses are either transitioning completely to digital store or combining their offline store together their online store to earn more profit.
And with the internet being easily accessible, everyone has a chance to become an online merchant. Some might choose to do so via the existing e commerce platforms while others might prefer to own an e commerce website suited for their own personal branding to improve brand awareness for consumers.
What are the key features of an e commerce website needs? I am going to list down a few features here to help you all get started.
Keep it Simple Stupid (KISS)
This literally means that keep your website layout simple. You can do this by arranging your website content into different pages. You may set Home as your main page and other pages like About, Product, Contact us and etc. This enables your visitors to easily browse through your pages and able to find what they search for as quickly as possible.
Do not put unnecessary things into your website. Focus on what you want to display to your visitors about your company and the product or services that you are offering. Do not put unrelated info in your website as this will show that you are not professional.
Remember, everyone likes fast websites. According to Google, 53% of mobile website visitors will leave if a webpage doesn’t load within three seconds. Keep in mind that loading speed is one of the Google search ranking factors to place your website in Google search results.
You can, of course, put photos and videos into your website but make sure you know the limit. Use a combination of both text and infographic to send a message to your visitors. As mentioned above, split your content into different pages to reduce the content of each page and hence a faster loading website.
Let’s take a look at the 2 websites below.
[insert apple website photo]
The Apple website did a very good job with their website with vivid and easy to use navigator panel which tells the visitors what kind of products or services they are offering. Scrolling down the page there is the Apple latest flagship product, iPhone 11 and other featured products as well. Users can easily get what they are looking for when they visit the website.
[insert bad comparison photo]
The website above is awfully designed with poorly use of colours and poor navigation. The colours used are dull and not attractive with words all scattered all around the page. Visitors are bombarded with images when they enter the website and with unclear information provided, visitors will soon lose patience and eventually leave the website.
[insert customer reviews photo]
According to research done by GetApp Lab, about one-third of customers vote customers reviews as the most crucial feature when rating the trustworthiness of an online shop.
Potential buyers think that customers’ reviews provide them with unbiased opinions compared to product description given by the retailers themselves. They are more interested in the real user experience of the products that they are going to purchase rather than the product description given by the retailers themselves.
People who bought a product from you give fresh and organic reviews and this drives more potential customers to your store and thus increase conversion.
From customers’ reviews, you can collect feedback to get valuable user experience and customers buying behaviour. These feedbacks tell you what they really want from the product you offer. You will be surprised to know that what you think customers need may not be the same thing that they ask for. Hence this helps you to further improve your offers and boost customer loyalty across your customers.
Just remember, even big companies like Paypal is constantly asking comments and feedbacks from their users to keep improving their services. So why exclude this in your website?
Check Out Flow
According to baymard.com, the average shopping cart abandonment is 69.57%. What does it mean? It means that out of 10 shopping carts created, only 3 carts will proceed to payment and the other 7 carts will be cancelled by customers before proceeding to payment. Of course, the main objective is to improve the conversion rate of prospects into sales. So what are the steps to take to achieve this goal?
[add checkout flow image 1]
We can see that from the chart above done by baymard.com, 23% of the surveyed customers admit that their cart abandonments are due to too long/complicated checkout process. It is obvious that checkout flow does play a role in cart abandonments. People do get bored and frustrated when they got engaged in the long process and this get worse when they get lost in the middle of nowhere without any guides appear. So how do we improve the checkout process to increase the rate of closing sales?
When it comes to the checkout process please remember a rule: the lesser the better. As mentioned above, nobody likes long and complicated processes. Use a clean add to cart section to tell users what to do next with all the important information.
Shopee does a good job in this section with clean designs, important information such as shipping fee, product colour and product variations being displayed clearly.
[add checkout flow image 2]
Social Media Integration
The number of people engaging in social media has been increasing lately. According to an article on techjury.net, internet user spends an average of 2 hours and 22 minutes per day on the 6 popular social media platforms, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger. While there are 3.48 billion social media users, 2.23 billion of them are Facebook users.
With a massive number of active users being on social media platforms, it is a great opportunity for online retailers to promote and build brand awareness using social media. There are many companies which have invested money into social media platforms for digital marketing purpose to build up their brand and reputation online.
Do you all still remember a while ago Shopee signed football star Cristiano Ronaldo as its brand ambassador? The video of Shopee 9.9 Super Shopping Day featuring Ronaldo has gone viral on YouTube with over 3 million views. This is one of the successful social media promotion for the online retail platform.
As we can see, companies are setting up Facebook pages to connect with their customers and fans, you should begin to do so if you don’t have one. The page can serve more purposes than what you can imagine. Besides informing followers with their products or any upcoming events and promotions, it also acts as a medium to connect the company with their customers. People often like to share thoughts and ask any questions they have in their mind. Page admin, usually representatives from the company can answer the questions. The response given can make customers feel warmth knowing that their opinions can be heard by the company.
Keep Everything Updated
Knowing that online retail is a major trend right now and boosting the sales of an online retail store is a long-time battle for online retailers out there. With new online retailers emerging every day across the globe, it is crucial for online retailers to deliver fresh content and provide the best shopping experience for online shoppers.
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