Retailing has evolved to be more convenient and accessible to customers. Online retailing does not only make it easy for people to buy their things from their home, or office, or bus, but make businesses more visible and have a wider market.
So, for example, if your business based in Utah decides to expand its market to other states by selling your product online, having an e-commerce website would the logical step to take. But before you contact a Search Engine Optimization or SEO consultant to see if your Utah-based business’ website is optimized for better search engine ranking, your website should be optimized for retailing itself.
So here are the best practices you can apply to your e-commerce website:
Direct to the Point
This is the most important point. People are on your website for the product they’re searched for. Your website’s content and layout should have less clutter, and its navigation and design should make it easy for your customer to view products and make an order. Your menu should be simplified and make it convenient to find products. And if you offer more than a handful of products or services, it would be best to have categories, as well. A search function within the website itself would go a long way to improve customer experience, and in closing that sale. In summary, make your website simple (less cluttered), easy to use, and well-organized.
Minimize or Forego Ads
If possible, minimize or eliminate ads on your e-commerce website; although it’s an extra source of income to have other brands advertise on your website, some customers are turned away by ads. Plus, ads make your website look like cheap and spammy. Again, they’re there for your product, not others’.
Simplify the Checkout Process
As if it isn’t stressed out enough, make your e-commerce website convenient. If your website’s checkout requires multiple steps (and pages), there’s a higher chance that your customer would get tired and abandon the order altogether. Make the checkout process easy and only get the most basic information from the customer needed to complete the order. Your website is there to sell, not to build a demographic database of your customers.
Provide Multiple Modes of Payments
Have multiple options for payments. Not all online buyers have credit or debit cards. Offer as much payment options as possible, and make it available for customers to use alternative options such as PayPal.
Provide Customer Service
Not all customers will be tech-savvy, and some have questions before finally clicking “buy”, so it’s not enough to have a FAQ page. If you can, make customer service accessible. Allow your customers to contact customer service to guide them through the process, or to answer any question about your products. Not only does it help close the sale, but it also improves overall customer satisfaction, and customers would more likely continue to buy or recommend your business to friends and family.
Your customers aren’t only using their desktops or laptops. A lot of customers shop through their phone or tablets, and you should make sure that your website is built for all platforms. Don’t let mobile shoppers miss out on your online business.
Having a good e-commerce website is just as important as having a popular one, if not more. Even if your website is optimized for search engine ranking and results, it’s still important to make it a website convenient for the customer. They are shopping online for convenience, after all. So keep these practices in mind. An SEO consultant, or applying SEO practices may be able to attract people to your website, but it’s still your website’s job to close the sale.