The hallmark of any successful e-commerce company is a strong, easy-to-use website. You simply can’t survive without one. Plus, an e-commerce website can help you reach customers (and get more sales faster) with less overhead costs than the common brick-and-mortar storefront.
Whether you’re positioning your company solely on e-commerce or are a traditional retailer looking to venture into online sales, building an e-commerce website is the most important foundational step for reaching your customers in the digital space. Yet all e-commerce websites aren’t the same — there are certainly some downright frustrating ones out there! — so building one that helps your business grow requires careful planning, know-how, and skill.
As you begin to create your company’s website, or aim to uplevel your current digital presence, here are six tips for building e-commerce websites that increase your customer’s loyalty and your profits.
Creating Your Digital Storefront: Six Tips for Building E-Commerce Websites
Provide Customer-Focused Content
This is the key mindset to remember while building e-commerce websites: it’s all about the customer. Ask yourself questions like these as you begin developing your website:
- Why would the customer use our website?
- Will this feature enhance our customer’s shopping experience?
- What resonates most with our customer?
- What keywords are our customers searching for?
- How can we stand out better to our target customers?
- How can our customer quickly grasp the value of what we’re selling?
- Why would customers choose our company over competitors?
By asking these questions above, everything — from the words on your website to the photos, layout, and color scheme — will be created with the customer in mind. This means your website will more likely connect with your customer base, leading to more sales.
Utilize a Simple, Scannable Layout
When building e-commerce websites, copious amounts of details can be distracting. You want to make it easy for your customers to purchase what they need quickly. Focus instead on adhering to a simple website structure.
Include a clear navigation bar at the top of the website only offering necessary pages, as well as a search option so customers can efficiently look for their specific items. Also utilize an easily scannable website layout for your customers to find products that appeal to their tastes without having to spend much time on any page.
Incorporate High-Quality Images
Think about it: would you buy something online without knowing what it looks like? Probably not. When building an e-commerce website, it’s vital to include images throughout. Your customers have learned to expect images when visiting an e-commerce website.
These images should be quality, high-resolution photos that don’t come across blurry, grainy, or unprofessional, as that negatively affects your brand impression. Photos also help customers more easily scan your website, a tip we mentioned earlier.
Feature Customer Testimonials and Reviews
Utilizing social proof throughout your e-commerce website build gives your brand (and your products) credibility in the minds of your customers. They want to see that others like them are using your products successfully before they buy, so make sure to feature testimonials throughout your site. If you have positive online reviews on social platforms, then link to these prominently on your website.
Ensure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
You can build an e-commerce website that looks excellent on a laptop, but if the site isn’t optimized for mobile devices, you’ll miss out on numerous online sales opportunities. It’s the reality of the world we’re living in today: more and more people are accessing the web via their phones. This means you need to not only build an e-commerce website for desktop computers, but also a mobile-friendly version. A good content management system will create a mobile version of your site for you. Bonus: This sets your company up for success in omnichannel retailing.
Offer Clear Product Listings and an Easy Checkout Experience
You’re building an e-commerce website after all, so you want to ensure your customer’s online shopping experience is convenient and enjoyable. This means offering a product listing that includes a clear, understandable product description. Your listing should also be transparent about pricing, as the last thing you want is for your customers to feel tricked with hidden fees and abandon their shopping cart. As your customer begins the checkout process, the experience should be straightforward, with easy steps to pay, select shipping options, review return policies, and receive a purchase confirmation.
Bonus Tip: Partner with E-Commerce Logistics Experts
Building an e-commerce website will lead to more online sales, which increases the need for better e-commerce logistics. Many companies like yours are partnering with a 3PL to help with their growing fulfillment, warehousing, and replenishment needs. At Smart Warehousing, our expertise helps you deliver customer orders efficiently and on time, making your shipping more affordable and reliable. As a result, you can market these selling points on your e-commerce site, and attract even more customers. Contact us today to learn more.