How to build your eCommerce Website to look, feel and perform better
Now, more than ever, having a strong online presence is crucial for businesses of all sizes. Websites have become an essential tool of modern retail. Think of your website as the front door to your digital store, welcoming customers from all corners of the world. But, here's the twist: not all online stores are made equal. To thrive in this competitive world, businesses need to level up their eCommerce game.
If you’re a business owner looking for ways to make your eCommerce website look, feel and perform better, there are a number of things to look out for. Let's discuss a total of 10 things you should do to improve user experience, credibility, and sales for your eCommerce website.
Make your website clean and welcoming
In eCommerce, there's no one-size-fits-all. But here's the deal: You need to make your online store a comfy and easy place to shop. When your website looks good, works well, and feels trustworthy, you'll keep customers coming back in the tough eCommerce game. Here’s a few steps for you to consider:
Declutter your website: Less is more
Focus on a clean, organised layout that guides users seamlessly through your content. An uncluttered interface creates a sense of order and directs your visitors' attention to what truly matters–your products or services.
How to Create a Streamlined and Scannable Design
- Minimalist layout: Keep your website layout simple. Remove unnecessary elements, such as excessive text, distracting graphics, or redundant features.
- Clear navigation: Implement a user-friendly navigation menu, including product categories, featured products, and the shopping cart.
- Whitespace: This gives your content room to breathe. It helps create a sense of order and makes your website visually appealing.
- Prioritise information: Place the most crucial information, such as product descriptions, prices, and call-to-action buttons, at the front and centre. Use compelling visuals to draw attention to key products or promotions.
Hold back on pop-ups and banners
Pop-ups can be an effective tool for capturing leads, promoting special offers, or engaging with visitors. However, you don’t want to fill your websites with a lot of pop-ups and banners because it could cause visitors to bounce off your site. Instead, be strategic in your use of pop-ups and banners, ensuring they enhance the user experience rather than disrupt it.
Thoughtful Pop-Up Strategy
- Timing is key: Set a reasonable delay of around 5 seconds before a pop-up appears. This brief delay gives visitors a chance to explore your website before encountering the pop-up.
- Targeted pop-ups: Tailor your pop-ups to specific user behaviours or segments. For example, display exit-intent pop-ups to visitors who are about to leave or show personalised offers to returning customers.
- Mobile optimisation: Ensure that your pop-ups are mobile-friendly and don't disrupt the user experience on smartphones and tablets.
- A/B testing: Experiment with different pop-up designs, messaging, and timing to determine what resonates best with your audience.
Show, don’t tell, with better digital content
In the eCommerce space, the competition is fierce, and customer attention spans are shorter. This is why producing digital content that truly resonates with your audience is paramount. The "show, don't tell" approach isn't limited to words alone; it's about creating an immersive and visually stimulating experience that will capture your audience's attention.
Mesmerise the Audience with Your eCommerce Website
- High-Quality imagery: Invest in high-resolution images and videos that showcase your products from various angles. Visuals can communicate more about a product than words ever could.
- User-Generated Content: Feature real-life photos and reviews on your website provides social proof and demonstrates how your products are used in the real world.
- Storytelling: Share narratives about your products’ origins, the craftsmanship behind them, or the problems they solve. Storytelling creates an emotional connection with customers on a deeper level.
- Consistency: Maintain consistency in content quality and style throughout your website. This reinforces your brand's professionalism and trustworthiness.
- Tutorials and How-to’s: Show customers how to use your products effectively. Create video tutorials or step-by-step guides that visually demonstrate the value and versatility of what you offer.
Minimise risk, maximise sales with return policies
A transparent and customer-friendly return policy is vital to a successful eCommerce website. Shoppers are more likely to make a purchase when they know they can return or exchange items hassle-free.
Transparent and Competitive Return Policy
- Clearly define your policy: Make sure your return policy is easy to understand. Use plain language and provide step-by-step instructions on how to initiate a return.
- Highlight benefits: Emphasise the advantages of your return policy, such as hassle-free returns, free return shipping, or a generous return window.
- Competitive edge: Research your competitors' return policies and strive to offer something better. A standout return policy can be a powerful selling point.
- Prominent display: Don't bury your return policy in fine print. Make it easily accessible from product pages and the shopping cart.
Spell check, spell check, spell check: The credibility booster
eCommerce websites are a reflection of your brand's professionalism and attention to detail. However, typos and grammatical errors can harm this credibility. Sometimes, it's the small details that often leave the most lasting impressions. So, create clear, error-free content in establishing trust and credibility with your audience.
Proofread Carefully and keep Brand Consistent
- Professional editing: Invest in professional editing and proofreading services to ensure your web copy is free from errors. Fresh eyes can catch mistakes that you might overlook.
- Brand voice: Maintain a consistent brand voice and tone throughout your website. This not only helps with credibility but also reinforces your brand identity.
- User testing: Ask trusted individuals to navigate your website and provide feedback on any typos or grammatical errors they encounter.
- Regular updates: Periodically review and update your website's content to ensure it remains error-free and aligns with your evolving brand message.
Knowing how to spot bad copy, and improving your own copy on your eCommerce website is a mission worth understanding and mastering so you can speak to your target audience better.
Drive results with your eCommerce website
Creating an attractive eCommerce website is a great start, but it's not enough on its own. To make your online store successful, you should have a range of strategies in place to not only attract visitors but also turn those visits into actual sales. Some tactics include:
Have a marketing strategy to drive traffic
You've built a fantastic business website and you’ve got a great product or service offering, but where are your customers?
The age-old thinking of “build it and they will come” isn’t so true in today’s noisy world. Many eCommerce businesses stumble because they underestimate the importance of marketing and traffic generation. Having a website is just the beginning; you need to actively drive potential customers to it by building a digital marketing strategy using our MMM Framework:
- Know your position in the market: Your location, your delivery methods, price point, and where you sit amongst your competitors, are some important things to consider when identifying where you fit in the market. Understanding this will help you discover your strengths and weaknesses, and allow you to leverage what makes you different while working on where you might fall short.
- Know your audience: Before you even think about the design and content of your website, you must know who your ideal customers are. Conduct market research to gather insights into their demographics, interests, and online behaviour. This knowledge will guide you in tailoring your website and its content to meet their specific needs, speak to their pain points and challenges, and provide what they desire.
- Utilise the right online and social platforms: Knowing where your audience hangs out enables you to focus your marketing efforts effectively, reaching the right people with your message. Are they active on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter? Do they frequently visit industry-specific forums or blogs?
- Build a content marketing strategy: Content is king in eCommerce businesses. Whether it's blog posts, videos, infographics, or podcasts, valuable content can establish your authority in your niche and keep visitors coming back for more.
- Run brand awareness ads: These campaigns can help you gauge interest and gather valuable data on how your target audience responds to your offerings. Use this feedback to refine your marketing strategy and make data-driven improvements to your website.
Put the customer experience first
Putting your customers first in your website build is not just a good practice; it's a strategic decision that can lead to improved user satisfaction, increased conversions, and a stronger online presence. A customer-centric approach is an investment in the long-term success of your website and your business as a whole.
Key Elements for a Better User Experience (UX)
- Engaging and relevant customer-centric content: Your website's content should revolve around your customers' needs and interests. Answer their questions and provide valuable insights. Make them feel that you understand their challenges and can offer solutions.
- Optimise website navigation and UX: Make your website easy to navigate with clear menus and intuitive layouts. Pages should load quickly, and the design should be responsive to various devices. A smooth user experience reduces bounce rates and encourages users to explore further.
Exchange customers’ currency with trust
Trust is the currency of eCommerce. Customers need to feel confident that their personal information is secure, that they'll receive the products they ordered, and that you'll provide excellent customer service. Failing to build trust can be a significant barrier to success.
How to build trust:
- Display trust signals: Showcase customer testimonials, reviews, and case studies to demonstrate the positive experiences others have had with your products or services.
- Be transparent: Be open and honest about your business practices. Transparency builds credibility. Include your website's clear contact information, return policies, and pricing details.
Implement a robust security system
Website security is non-negotiable. A breach damages your reputation and can result in legal and financial consequences. So, it helps to implement robust security measures to protect customer data.
Essential Security Measures:
- SSL Certificates: SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates encrypt data transmitted between your website and your visitors, ensuring that sensitive information, such as login credentials and payment details, remains confidential.
- Secure payment gateways: Choose reputable, trusted payment processors with robust security measures. These gateways are designed to handle sensitive financial information securely, protecting your customers and business from potential threats.
- Strong password policies: Enforce strong password policies for all user accounts and regularly remind users to update their passwords. Consider implementing multi-factor authentication for added security.
- Security plugins: Utilise security plugins and firewalls to protect your website from threats like malware, DDoS attacks, and SQL injections.
Listen to customer feedback
Your customers' feedback, opinions, suggestions, and concerns can provide valuable insights and essential guidance. This helps improve your business online and enhances the overall shopping experience.
Gathering Feedback and Taking Action
- Address concerns promptly: Ignoring feedback can be a costly mistake. When you receive feedback, act on it. Address customer concerns promptly and use their input to make necessary improvements to your website and offerings.
- Conduct surveys and collect reviews: Regularly gather feedback through surveys and encourage customers to leave reviews. Use this information to make data-driven improvements to your website and products/services.
On your way to building a better eCommerce website
Building your eCommerce website to look good and perform well is a necessary investment in the long-term success of your eCommerce business.
- It builds confidence in your visitors to trust your brand. When customers trust your website, they are more likely to make purchases and recommend your store to others.
- A well-designed and functional website allows you to stand out in an increasingly competitive digital marketplace
- Whether or not you run paid advertising campaigns, your eCommerce website will still be able to drive organic traffic through search engine visibility and allow for continuous accessibility
Need a hand?
You don't have to go it alone in your eCommerce journey. Having the right business partners can really boost your online store's design and performance. That's where Dilate Digital comes in. We're not your run-of-the-mill digital agency; we're your partners in creating a shopping experience that's awesome for you and your customers.
Our team of website developers, designers and content strategists are dedicated to crafting an online shopping experience that is effortless and seamless for visitors. So when you're ready to take your online business to a better level, let’s talk.