Successful online businesses take inspiration from of retail sales principles in building their eCommerce website. The most successful retail stores have great curb appeal with a simple entrance, easy checkout process, knowledgeable and available floor associates etc.
To run a successful online business, you need to understand what successful bricks-and-mortar businesses in your industry do and apply those strategies online.
To get you started, we’ve put together these 5 rules of eCommerce success to get your website visitors actually shopping online.
1. Have a Simple Design
Typically, we want to use new technologies and latest design trends on our website to impress our customers. But over-designing can be overwhelming and even scare away your online customers. You website’s goal is to generate sales. Skip the distractions on your eCommerce website and focus on a simple customer checkout experience. A simple eCommerce website design can include:
- User-friendly navigation
- Easy to use search bar
- Quality product images
- Detailed and unique product description
- Easy to find contact and support information
- Readable terms and conditions, return policy, shipping FAQ
2. Don’t Redirect to Pay
One of the worst things you can do on your eCommerce website is redirect on checkout. Your customers choose to shop online because of convenience. Adding the extra step of an off-site checkout makes it more difficult for them to complete their purchase. Shoppers will not wait. A redirect to pay process also brings up security concerns. Switching domains and seeing a new page for checkout can cause confusion for less tech savvy customers and lead them to bail on their purchase.
3. Seek Relevant Info at the Right Time
The instant killer of eCommerce sales is a checkout that has a million fields. Only ask for necessary details at checkout. If you’re taking customer through 4 or 5 steps to buy something off your website, you’re asking for too much information. Your goal is to get your customer to complete a purchase. You can ask for additional info after the payment is complete. These are the main elements of a successful checkout:
- Shopping cart/bag review
- Billing and shipping
- Payment information
- Confirmation/Thank you
4. Create Seamless Transition Between eCommerce Pages
As we said earlier, customers shop online because it’s quick and convenient. Nobody likes to wait, so don’t make your online customers wait. Amazon reports “every 100 milliseconds in loading time results in a 1% loss in sales.” Once it becomes a pain to shop online, your customers will go to a competitor with faster page load times. If you’re working with a website developer, have them do a code clean up on your website. Complicated code, especially from overly designed website themes, can cause slow page load times. De-clutter your code of unnecessary scripts and you’ll have faster page transitions that help you generate more sales.
5. Constantly Communicate Security Assurances
The biggest hurdle of an online business is to convey trust and security to your customers. The only thing you can do is to makes sure you constantly communicate security assurance at all stages of your website from product pages to checkout. Your website’s security message can be communicated in many ways using:
- Security badges and icons
- Easy to find contact/support information
- Return policy
- Shipping information
- Product ratings and reviews
- By following these 5 rules for eCommerce your business will be set up for success.
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