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David Ziguras October 14th, 2015

Whether you’re already operating an eCommerce website or are looking to launch a new online store, there’s never been a better time to get into eCommerce. And while online sales is set to continue its significant growth you can only expect to benefit from this exciting opportunity if you tackle eCommerce in the right way.

We have compiled 10 top tips for eCommerce Website Design that will help boost your chances of success with online selling.

1. The Customer Always Comes First: Simplify everything. Make the browsing and buying process as easy as possible. Make use of smart product categories, show plenty of images and different views, offer images that can be enlarged, outline product options such as sizes, colours, etc, use graphics and calls to action to display special deals and sales, prominently list new products or best sellers, and keep your checkout process to as few steps as possible.
2. Mobility: Smartphones and tablets play a huge role in eCommerce. And don’t forget Google now penalises websites that are not mobile friendly, pushing them to the bottom of the search results. Build with mobile in mind.
3. Help Me Find What I’m Looking For: Lead customers to the products they are looking for, as fast as possible. Don’t expect visitors to become customers if you’re not providing a decent search feature.
4. Breadcrumbs: Customers want to know where they are during the buying process. Show them how many steps there are in total, where they are at, and how many steps there are to finish. This helps reduce cart abandonment.
5. Suggested Products: If the customer is buying a lawn mower, suggest a petrol can, and garden tools etc. Suggesting related products not only saves time for the customer and boosts revenue and customer satisfaction.
6. Don’t Force Them To Register: Once the decision has been made to buy, customers like it to be efficient and fast. They don’t like long and boring forms. Focus on the sale, and instead ask them if they want to sign up after buying by suggesting it will help with making their next purchase on your site easier. Removing the need to register before purchasing has been proven to increase sales and minimise cart abandonment.
7. Delivery: It’s not broadly acknowledged, but online shoppers place big emphasis on delivery costs and timeframes. This issue is responsible for a significant percentage of cart abandonment at checkout due to customers only finding out at that point the delivery costs or timeframes being advised don’t meet their needs. Don’t wait until the final step in the checkout process to share shipping costs and timeframes. Show this information early on, before the purchase cycle begins. Online shoppers expect more than 1 shipping option. They’ll expect standard, express or overnight options, and are prepared to pay more if it means they get the product faster. Capitalise on this expectation, and offer multiple choices. Offer free shipping once a certain spend amount has been hit, as stats tell us that online shoppers buy more in order to qualify for free shipping. A good example of where you can make use of related or suggested products.
8. Test Absolutely Everything: Test, test and test again. Test during the build, before launch, and post launch. Try to find a break in the process, an error or something that just doesn’t seem right. So many businesses get this crucial element wrong. They fail to test properly and fully, and end up with a site that could have been incredible but instead is subject to a high percentage of abandonment due to problems resulting from a failure to test properly. Make 100% you are providing an error free shopping experience for your customers.
9. Marketing Your eCommerce Website: Success with eCommerce doesn’t stop at launch of the site, even if the site is truly remarkable. You must market your eCommerce site adequately in order to get traffic, and make sales. Online marketing should be a combination of Social Media Marketing & Advertising – both organic and paid, Google AdWords, and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). I’ve seen so many companies fall into the trap of spending their entire budget on the site and end up left with nothing to promote it, and generate sales. Don’t make that mistake.
10. Customer Care: Customers feel at ease when they know they can contact you via a number of methods. Offer contact forms, an email address, a phone number to speak with someone and self help tips such as FAQ or Q&A. For those that can, make live web chat available. Crucially, don’t forget customer care continues after a purchase has been made. Put systems in place to notify customers about each stage of the process such as order confirmation, picking/packaging, shipped confirmation along with a tracking number. Finally, don’t forget to follow up not too long after to seek feedback on their experience, and satisfaction with the goods they purchased. Integrate an online survery, or ask a series of set questions, and use that data to tweak your process where needed.

Following these steps will help your chances of success with eCommerce website design.

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