10 Essential Elements Your Ecommerce Website Needs
Creating an ecommerce website is a big project and a huge step for a small business! This is where you get to finally put your products out into the world and start making money. But, just like a brick and mortar storefront, your online ecommerce website needs to provide your customer with the same experience as walking into a gorgeous retail location.
While new technology has made it extremely easy to build an ecommerce site from scratch (Squarespace, Wix, Wordpress, Shopify), there are still core elements you need to be sure you implement to provide the best customer experience and maximize sales.
In this blog post we provide the 10 essential elements your ecommerce website needs for maximum success.
Call to Action Placement
One of the most important elements for any website is the existence of a call to action above the fold. This can be done in a variety of different ways, but should always include a hero banner, a button, and text that drives the customer to click through additional content. You most likely spent a lot of time building your website and coming up with amazing content, but customers who are not driven to explore will most likely lose interest and go to another website.
High Quality Product Images
One of the best ways to elevate your customer experience and increase conversion is by having high quality product imagery. With online presence becoming increasingly more important, boring stock photos no longer cut it. Customers want to see high-quality, close up, detail-oriented imagery. Most importantly, they want the images to be beautiful!
The main difference between amazing websites and mediocre websites can be found in the quality of their imagery. While it may be difficult for some small businesses to afford professional high-quality images, there are ways they can take amazing product photos. An iPhone, quality lighting, and a little bit of research into photo-related phone tricks can lead to images that will drive the customer to purchase.
Zoom Option on Images
Another way to increase your conversion rate is by using a zoom feature on those high-quality product images. While good images are needed, many customers like to be able to more closely explore all the details, colors, textures, etc. Allowing the customer to zoom in and inspect the details of your products, the way they might in a physical store, will make them more likely to feel confident in their purchase.
Pro Tip: An even better way to increase conversion is to include a video of the product being used. When people can see the product / service in action, they are more likely to purchase.
Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews are easy to implement and one of the key drivers of ecommerce today. According to Trustpilot, 89% of consumers consult online reviews prior to making a purchase. Thanks to companies like Amazon providing customers with immediate ratings and reviews, customers have come to expect them to be present everywhere they shop online. Without reviews customers are more likely to move to another seller to make the purchase.
If you are a service-based business, customer testimonials are a great way to collect social proof and help potential clients see how happy your other customers are with your services. Most web service providers offer apps that will allow customers to leave reviews on any of your products for free.
Best Selling Products First
A great way to promote your top products is to list them on the homepage under “Best Sellers.” By promoting your best sellers, you are again allowing customers to purchase based on social proof. If a customer is coming to your website for the first time they will most likely opt to purchase your best sellers because they know your current customers like them the best.
If you are a service-based business, you can showcase your most popular package or offering. By using the element above and pairing your best seller with customer reviews you will see an increase in your click through conversion rates.
Once a competitive strategy, making sure your website is mobile-friendly is now a baseline for all online businesses in terms of accessibility. Luckily, almost all website builders automatically adjust to a mobile view and provide a seamless experience to your customers. But, in certain cases you could have website elements that may not transfer between platforms. For example, it is common for large hero banners to be cut off on mobile devices and for text sizing to vary and be difficult to read. To check for this, go through each page of your website thoroughly on mobile, desktop, and tablet view to ensure your site looks beautiful across all interfaces.
This is a powerful feature for those with product-based businesses. On websites like Shopify you are able to add an app that will allow customers to provide their phone number or email to receive product availability updates. The benefit of this feature is that it helps you continue to acquire customers, even based on sold out products, and provides you with the opportunity to reach out to them and notify them when new stock is available.
The goal of any ecommerce website is to increase the amount of money a customer spends on their transaction, or their cart value. One way to encourage customers to increase their cart value is by recommending products that are similar to what they’re already purchasing.
For example: if a customer is shopping for jeans, your website might also recommend a belt, classic t-shirt, and shoes to complete the outfit. When recommending products, try to include specific items within the same category or that compliment an entire collection. Most ecommerce web builders will automatically implement this option, but you will have to choose which products are displayed.
A seamless customer experience is critical to increasing your users’ time onsite and likelihood of making a purchase. One way to make sure your customers can navigate your online store easily is by having crystal clear navigation options. If a user is searching for a specific type of fitness gear, they should be able to find it easily without having to scroll through 5 pages of content.
One way to ensure your navigation is effortless is to ask your friends or family to test it out for you; simple as that! Because you know your business inside and out, the gaps in navigation may not be apparent to. But, those gaps could present a huge barrier to a new customer trying to find the products they want.
Simple and Easy Checkout Process
Once you have implemented all of the elements above, the final step is the checkout process. If you have your ecommerce site set up properly, most customers should naturally arrive at the checkout step.
In 2019 over 77% of consumers abandoned their cart instead of completing the checkout process. Seeing how high the abandoned cart rate is indicates that you have to go the extra mile to make sure the checkout process is as seamless as possible.
Make sure that there are limited steps in the process, allow customers’ information to pre-populate, and make sure all items are automatically listed with the set price.
Pro Tip: One way to decrease your abandoned cart rate is to have automatic abandoned cart emails trigger when a customer leaves their cart. You can also try including a small discount at the checkout window to entice customers to complete their purchase.
By implementing the 10 elements listed above, your ecommerce site will have a solid foundation for providing a great customer experience, driving conversions and clicks, and landing as many sales as possible. If you need help implementing these changes, please contact our team so we can help!
Ariella Yager is a serial entrepreneur with expertise in startup development and digital marketing. Ariella has a bachelor's degree in Entrepreneurship from KSU and has spent her professional career helping businesses grow using local SEO, paid marketing campaigns, website development and innovative business strategies. Fun Fact: Ariella's favorite hobby is cooking and baking, she loves to go kayaking on the weekends and spends her extra time playing with her Australian Shepherd, Krypto.