Online retail sales have increased 14 percent since July, according to a recent MasterCard report, and now eMarketer is optimistically predicting these numbers to double during the upcoming holiday season, despite a global flailing economy.
As the online space continues to grow, more businesses are building out ecommerce websites in an effort to reach wider, often global, audiences to boost sales.
So with that in mind, here are five helpful tips to building an ecommerce website.
Each page on your website should have a clear purpose. For example, your homepage should entice visitors to move forward to other pages like your category page or a direct product page. Many homepages suffer from over listing and providing too many choices that often overwhelm and confuse visitors. Instead, try organizing your homepage into simple categories that will guide visitors off your homepage to the pages they are looking for.
Look for opportunities to bring your visitors back regularly to your website. The more a visitor visits your website, the more likely they will make a purchase. For example, Maxiestores.com brings visitors back by sending regular emails announcing new deals near their location about products they might find interesting.
Create a checkout process that makes it effortless for your visitors to get their products. For example, don’t ask for unnecessary information from the customers. It has been proven that the more fields there are in a Web form, the fewer people fill it out. Also, the pages in your checkout process should be clearly labeled and free of clutter. For example, visitors should be able to easily distinguish between a shipping form and a credit card form.
Display your contact information visibly for your customers. This way they know how to contact you if they have a question. Don’t frustrate them by having them scour your entire site to find your contact information or it could lose you a sale.
Shopping online offers a lot of benefits but many customers are still hesitant to buy because they are worried about having their information stolen. Do everything you can to keep information of your customers safe. And display those trust symbols (i.e. VeriSign & McAfee) proudly on your site, indicating that your checkout process has been verified and is secure.
Your ecommerce website should be effective in converting your visitors into customers and having them become repeat customers. Building an ecommerce website requires skilled professionals with knowledge of the industry and a proven track record.