Your website allows possible customers to window shop without any real commitment, and you can take this a step further with eCommerce websites.
Online shopping is on the rise, as it’s straightforward for the customer.
The majority of people don’t shop in physical stores anymore, consumers value convenience.
This is why having an eCommerce site is important; your site must be well-designed and fully functional.
So, what makes an eCommerce site effective?
Clear and Intuitive Navigation
User experience (UX) is everything, if using your site is at all complicated or unpleasant for the customer, they likely won’t make a sale, and won’t consider using your site again in the future.
All listed products must be clearly categorised, so they can find the exact product or type of product they desire.
It’s also important to establish a hierarchy in the website structure, such as main categories of products, and then more specific subcategories for the variations.
You should also ensure you have an effective search function so that products can be easily found.
Responsive and Mobile-Friendly Design
You want to provide a seamless experience across devices for the user when they are using your eCommerce site, which is why responsiveness is important.
Nowadays, using mobile for online shopping is the standard, so a website that is ineffective on mobile will lose you many sales.
Many eCommerce web designers will take a mobile-first approach to design, this incorporates touch-friendly design interfaces, resizing, and design that is optimised for mobile.
High-Quality Product Imagery
When online shopping, seeing the products is one of the most important aspects.
A description can only tell you so much, so high-quality imagery must be available, so users know what the product looks like.
Visual content will have a massive influence on customer perception and their trust in your business and products.
It’s also important that high-quality imagery can be seen from different angles, either with multiple images or you can implement zoom and 360-degree product view for the user, which can also assist with customer engagement.
Streamlined Checkout Process
Abandoned carts are a hindrance for anyone with an eCommerce site, and ensuring a smooth checkout experience can help you avoid this.
You should always offer an account checkout option, so details can be saved, and you need a guest checkout option to reduce barriers for the user.
Secure payments and checkout are also important for the customer’s trust in you.
There is a large range of payment options you can offer, such as card, apple/Samsung pay, PayPal, and more; the more options you have the more people you will appeal to.
To assure the user that the payment is safe, you need to be aware of SSL certificates, encryption, and overall data security.
Trust Signals and Social Proof
You need your customers to have trust in your products and services, but you need to prove to them that you can be trusted.
Some good methods of proving your reliability include customer reviews and ratings, testimonials, trust badges, certificates, and social proof.
Users will trust previous customers more than they will trust your word, which is why you should encourage reviews and ratings on purchases for your products, as well as reviews of your business as a whole.
Social proof is also key, a good way of getting this is by encouraging customers to interact/post about your product online, many businesses do this through partnerships, where they will send free products to influencers for review.
More trust leads to more conversions.
Effective Call-to-Action (CTA) Buttons
If you think of your eCommerce site as a sales funnel, the CTA is the final level.
Your website should lead users to a CTA, and the CTA should encourage either a sale, getting in contact, or any action you want the user to take.
An effective CTA button should be prominent, visually appealing and persuasive.
The copy in a CTA is also important, you should use action words, and the copy needs to be clear, actionable, and convincing.
There are plenty of methods and actions you can take to ensure your eCommerce website is effective:
You must always prioritise user experience and website functionality, as this will drive sales and a positive reputation.
Implementing these elements to your eCommerce site is certainly our recommendation, but doing this alone or without a managed website provider can be tough.
If you need help building and maintaining a bespoke, user-friendly, and functional eCommerce site, we are the right option for you!
Contact our team and let us help you start your journey.
Chatbots have been around for quite a few years, but it is only in the last few years that they have become increasingly popular in eCommerce websites.
As technology continues to advance, chatbots are becoming more intelligent and sophisticated, and eCommerce businesses are taking advantage of their capabilities to improve customer experience, reduce workload, and increase conversions.
Improved customer service
One of the main benefits of using a chatbot on your eCommerce website is that it can provide 24/7 customer service support to customers.
This means that customers can ask questions, get help with their orders, and receive personalised recommendations at any time of the day, without having to wait for a customer service representative to be available.
This can improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, as customers feel valued and appreciated.
Plus, chatbots can handle multiple customer inquiries at the same time, reducing the workload for customer service representatives.
This can help businesses save time and money while improving response times.
Chatbots can also learn from previous customer interactions and improve their responses over time, providing customers with more accurate and helpful information.
Chatbots can help eCommerce businesses increase efficiency by automating repetitive and time-consuming tasks.
For example, chatbots can help customers track their orders, check product availability, and process returns.
By automating these tasks, businesses can reduce the workload on their customer service teams, freeing up their time to focus on more complex inquiries that require human interaction.
In addition, chatbots can also help businesses streamline their sales processes by providing customers with personalised recommendations and guiding them through the ordering process.
This can help reduce cart abandonment rates and increase sales.
Chatbots can use customer data to make personalised product recommendations.
By analysing a customer's browsing and purchasing history, chatbots can suggest products that the customer is more likely to be interested in, based on their preferences and past behaviour.
This can help increase conversions and customer satisfaction by showing customers products that are relevant to their interests and needs.
Simplified ordering process
Chatbots can guide customers through the ordering process, making it easier and quicker to complete a purchase.
By providing customers with real-time information about product availability, pricing, and shipping options, chatbots can help customers make informed purchasing decisions.
This can help reduce cart abandonment rates and increase sales.
Chatbots can also provide customers with order confirmation and tracking information, reducing the workload on customer service teams and providing customers with a better overall experience.
Collecting valuable customer preferences, purchasing habits, and feedback data are more helpful benefits you get by using chatbots.
By analysing this data, businesses can gain insights into customer behaviour and preferences, which can be used to improve marketing strategies, product offerings, and customer experience.
This data can also be used to personalise the customer experience further and provide more targeted recommendations and promotions to customers.
Chatbots can engage customers in conversation and provide them with relevant information, such as product details, pricing, and availability.
Chatbots can increase the chances of a sale by keeping customers engaged on your website and improving customer satisfaction.
Additionally, chatbots can also provide customers with personalised recommendations and promotions, further increasing engagement and the likelihood of a sale.
Chatbots can help reduce errors in customer orders by confirming details before processing the order.
By asking customers to confirm their shipping address, payment information, and other important details, chatbots can help ensure that orders are processed accurately and efficiently.
This can help reduce the number of returns and increase customer satisfaction.
In addition, chatbots can also help prevent errors by providing customers with real-time information about product availability and pricing, reducing the chances of customers ordering products that are out of stock or that have an incorrect price listed.
By providing 24/7 customer service, personalised recommendations, simplified ordering processes, data collection, increased engagement, and reduced errors, chatbots can help eCommerce businesses stay competitive and meet the growing expectations of customers in today's digital age.
As technology continues to evolve, chatbots will only become more sophisticated and capable of delivering even more value to eCommerce businesses and their customers.
Implementing things such as chatbots on your website doesn’t have to be a stress, contact our team and find out how we can improve your eCommerce site.
Your website will set the tone and allow prospects to get an idea of who you are and what you do, but your identity will change and evolve with time.
This means that if your website was created to reflect your business years ago, it may not do its job now.
At PageNorth, we offer managed website services, so that you can update your website regularly, but if you don’t have a managed website and opted for a one-time service, then your website may need to be updated.
So, what are the signs to look out for when it comes to needing a website refresh?
Outdated design and content
We always aim to create a website that looks timeless, but small updates are essential to keeping it visually appealing to your users.
Take a look at your competitor’s website, or any businesses in the same industry, you’ll start to see some trends and get inspiration for what you do and don’t like.
An outdated website can cause a sense of distrust among the users, as an older site will often be less safe and secure.
It also seems unprofessional, making it less likely that users will want to convert on your site.
As you can see there, our current home page looks a lot more modern, professional, and attractive, compared to our home page in 2014.
Outdated web design will also struggle to be responsive and compatible with a range of devices.
Your content must also reflect your business’s current truth, and not showcase incorrect information.
If your website content is all obviously dated, old, and incorrect, then users will be wondering if you’re even still in business, not thinking about getting in touch or making a purchase.
Has security risks
Security is so important when it comes to your website, for you and your users.
Even though it is so important, it is often overlooked and can cause you many issues.
A cyber attack on your website can expose customer information, which violates data protection laws and will make them lose trust in you, and it can compromise private business information.
If you haven’t checked, we recommend getting a security audit done on your website to check for vulnerabilities or consider updating your website so it can be fixed in the process.
Slow site speed
Speed is everything when it comes to modern websites.
As well as users being more likely to bounce, slow loading times will also decrease your website’s rank on search engines.
Any crawlers will index the load time of your web pages, and the quicker your website is, the more likely it is to show when somebody searches your keywords online.
There is a large range of causes for a slow website, including large images, videos, slow hosting, or excessive plugins.
Sometimes these issues can be fixed, but a full website redesign/build is the only salvation for some websites, that have simply gone too far.
To check your web page speed, you can use Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool.
If your score is below average, then having a chat with your current web provider or considering a redesign may be your best option.
Your SEO is lacking
If your website hasn’t been updated much since launch, it’s safe to assume that your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) practices won’t be up to current standards.
Your page titles, URLs, and content should all have relevant keywords, backed up by keyword research.
One great way to improve this is by having an SEO audit on your site, as this can tell you which areas you are lacking in and can provide valuable insights on how to improve.
When building and managing our websites, we will keep SEO in mind since without it, your website will struggle to rank, so this is something we can help you with.
Another thing that helps with SEO is having a blog on your website, every industry will have topics that can be discussed, so if you have the time creating blog content will help bring new users to the site.
When you think about your website, you’ll know whether you are happy with it or not.
There is a lot of anxiety that comes with redesigning your website or switching your website provider, but a good web agency will make this process simple.
We make switching to PageNorth easy, and when you are working with us, your website will be consistently monitored, managed, and updated with anything you want, at no extra price.
As any business does, as an online store, you have to plan and strategise how you will go about your marketing.
You have to drive traffic to your online store using a whole range of SEO and other marketing techniques.
In any type of marketing, creating a strategy is your best plan of action.
So, how do you go about creating an eCommerce marketing strategy?
How are you supposed to plan effectively if you aren't armed with the knowledge you need?
Our first bit of advice is to always research and monitor your competitors, especially if you are a new business in your market.
Look at what your competitors are doing right, and what they're doing wrong, so that you can avoid the same mistakes.
Never copy, simply acknowledge, and utilise what you see.
The biggest thing to research is your keywords.
Keyword research will show you the terms and phrases most commonly used by your target customers, so you can use these terms and phrases will promoting your products.
You can track and monitor your keywords using a range of software.
On-page SEO is used so that search engine crawlers can understand what your pages and website are about so that it can be shown to the right people.
Your meta-title is the heading that shows when someone searches for you or your service, so making sure that this is accurate and relevant to you is essential.
For us, our landing page meta-title states three main points:
It very simply summarises PageNorth, so the search engine knows what we can provide to searchers.
A meta-description is a snippet of text that shows on a search engine's result page (SERP).
It gives a more specific description of the page, the description is there to help the searcher decide if they want to click on your result.
It should target human readers while still using keywords to help the search engine understand what's on the page.
Images and alt text
For eCommerce products, having high-quality images is key.
You should take clear and flattering photos of your stock, to then list on your website.
There should also be consistency with the images, the lighting, background, size, and quality should all be the same so it looks professional.
The images shouldn't just look good, they should have descriptive alt text and titles.
Having accurate and descriptive alt text is great for accessibility, but it also helps with ranking as you can include keywords.
Alt text should describe everything in the image, if there's text within the image this should be added as a screen reader may not pick it up.
Similar to images, a great description can drive a sale.
The description should clearly describe the product, with lots of detail and specifics that can't be covered in a product title.
This helps the viewer understand what they're looking at, if they are debating a purchase, they will want to know all the details before they decide.
The product description is another great way to work in keywords so that searchers looking for something very specific will be led to your product.
The point of technical SEO is to improve user experience.
Nobody wants a slow website.
More importantly, nobody wants to use a slow website.
There's likely to be an abundance of images, videos, descriptions, links, customisation options, you know the drill.
Due to all of this, your website can end up pretty bulky and slow, so you must work with your website development team to ensure you avoid this.
A slow-loading website will put many people off, possible customers are likely to bounce before the site is even finished loading.
The way that search engines, such as Google, will rank your website on a results page will depend on the crawl results.
The engine will 'crawl' your site, meaning that it will go through your site and follow the natural navigation path to view all the pages, decide on the relevance and quality, then place your website in the search results where it seems fit.
If your website has no clear navigation paths, neither the search engine nor users will be able to make their way through it.
Pages should have a hierarchy, parent pages should link down to related child pages.
Child pages should also link back up to parent pages so the user doesn't get lost.
This is sometimes referred to as 'breadcrumbing', it ensures that everything is easily located and organised logically on your website.
Again, this is something that your website development team will understand and deal with, but if you are building your own website it should be kept in mind.
Last, but certainly not least, responsiveness!
The way that consumers shop will vary from person to person, but if you shop online, think about how you do it.
Large, planned purchases will sometimes be done on a desktop, but for casual or impulse browsing?
Mobile is the key.
Some businesses opt for the app route so that customers can shop on their phones or tablet, but having a functional and responsive online store isn't difficult if developed right.
Responsive eCommerce stores will follow the same basic guidelines as any responsive website.
You're looking for a good text/image ratio for smaller screens, simple navigation, and all other usability aspects.
It's all about adaptability, you want your site to work for everyone on any device.
There's plenty more that'll go into creating your eCommerce marketing strategy, but that was some of the basics.
At PageNorth, we can handle creating your marketing strategies and ensure that any eCommerce sites we build are have on-page SEO and technical SEO.
Get in touch with our team to find out more about how we can help you.