It is unlikely that you will be able to find a business which works by sales in this modern age which hasn’t at least considered using eCommerce. Selling online is the future of consumerism, whether it be services which are exclusively available online (i.e. streaming songs on Spotify and Soundcloud) or purchases online which lead to real items being sent to the customer’s door. But, in the middle of this eCommerce bubble, there lies a simple question - how do you create an eCommerce website which users find inviting and friendly, and, most importantly of all, that they understand how to use? This article is here to give you a few handy hints on how to keep up, when competitors keep churning out website after website full of purchasable things which customers want, and also allowing them to have easy access to their desires.
Before you do anything, you have to be aware that many customers, while accepting of eCommerce, are also curious and wary of this relatively new advancement in the world of sales. There are many concerns about websites, which could be ‘fakes’ or contain malicious viruses which could ruin a customer’s computer, at worst stealing their sensitive credit card information and any personal data which they have given to the website. Making your website rise above these murky depths and giving it an air of legitimacy, as well as taking the proper precautions in order to make your website actually legitimate, is very important. But how can you achieve this?
Registering with the relevant authorities (applicable in your location and specific area) is one of the first steps, since, if your business is just starting with this eCommerce venture, you will need to become legally able to trade before you can actually do any trading (i.e. selling products to customers). As well as this, you will need to take certain precautions with the layout of your website: keep the copyright up-to-date and visible at the bottom of the page, make sure a copy of your privacy terms are available for visitors to peruse, offer ‘badges’ from credit card companies who are partnered with your business and take many more measures to keep your website looking legitimate, and, therefore, earning your customers’ trust.
Keep The Customer In Mind
“Once you’ve got your website legit, and up and running, that’s all great, but no one’s going to buy anything if you’re not offering what people want, in a format that’s relatively familiar to them,” says Ann Knapp, a project manager at Write My X and NextCoursework, “and you need to make sure that you’re giving them all the information they want. Do you know how long shipping generally takes, on average? Display that on your website! Look at other eCommerce websites and take on their ideas about design, and make sure that your products are going with the trend of your target audience, and not becoming horribly outdated by the minute. At the end of the day, your customers are the ones who are buying from you, so make sure that you design your website with the customer in mind.”
If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, then you’re doing something wrong. An extremely high percentage of customers shop on their phones, since it gives them mobility and the chance to go and buy whatever they want, whenever they want - as long as they have an internet connection, they’re good to go. A shoddy website design on mobile (which often happens when website owners aren’t quite as tech-savvy as they’d like to make out) can turn a customer off in seconds, and cost you many sales. Check your website on both mobile and desktop, and try to make the designs mirror each other, or at least compliment each other, so that viewers don’t see the websites as alienated from each other but also don’t have a terrible experience on either version.
“In short, when a customer comes to you with a website bug, you should already be half-way through sorting it out!” Laughs Vance Legault, a marketer at Britstudent and Australia2Writef. “But seriously, testing should take up the majority of your time and resources after the main website has been completed. Check every button and every link, because just one non-working feature can spell disaster for your traffic, and needless clutter for your customer support team!”