If you still want to set up your own website and your business involves selling products through an online shop here are some important factors to consider to get the best out of the process. You need to make your website the best it can be.
- E-commerce requirements
- Product descriptions
- Product photos
- Site map
- Calls to action
- Checkout process
Being profitable online means you must make the customer follow through on all stages of the buying process. Your customer will look for signs that your site has credibility and that their information will be protected by adequate security measures.
- Always display all the payment options you offer
- Display the icons for the credit cards you accept
- Display the PayPal logo if used
- Keep your security certificate current
- Keep your ‘mini shopping baskets’ accessible throughout the whole shopping process
- Use a consistent layout of products and the pages
- Show that the product is available or sold out
- Focus on the product itself with a tidy layout
- Provide unique product descriptions, even if the products are similar
- Provide specifications, visual details, sizes and how to use information
- Link to customer reviews for each product
- Use product comparisons
- Make sure the price is clearly shown
- Use the best quality images possible
- Keep the image clear and as detailed as possible
- Describe the image
- Provide larger, more detailed views of the product
- Include the product image in the shopping basket when they purchase
- Make sure your design targets your customers
- Keep the font and colours the same throughout your site
- Keep adequate white space so not to clutter the page
- Keep paragraphs the same width – consistent page formatting
- Keep the information logical and shown where it is expected to be seen
- Allow the text to be enlarged if needed
- Keep the pages small for faster loading (less than 50K)
Site maps are an important feature for both visitors and search engines. It is imperative that your site map is an easy and pleasant experience for your visitors. You can create a simple site map yourself or use an XML site.
Providing a site map for your users with links that direct them to each of the pages of your website assists your visitors in finding the information they want quickly and easily.
Update your site map frequently as this helps your visitors know that new content is being added to your website regularly.
Calls To Action
- Place calls to action beside each product eg; BUY NOW, ADD TO CART etc
- Keep your specific call to action consistent throughout your site
- Your call to action should specifically tell the user what to do – BUY, DOWNLOAD etc
- Consider a strong alternative colour for your call to action buttons
- Create a sense of urgency with phrases like – Only for a short time or offer ends 31st December.
- Add incentives to get customers to buy – free gift with this purchase
- Cheap prices imply cheap products
- Price your products on your current and future costs and not your historical costs to determine the cost basis for your pricing
- Pay attention to your competition but do not try to compete with them on pricing. Be sensitive to what your customers will pay.
- The product lifecycle will also determine your pricing on the life of the product. How you price, and what value you provide for that price, will change as you move through the product lifecycle.
- See our wholesaling page for pricing options
- Suggest products that compliment the product the customer is looking to buy or has added to their cart
- Offer bargain products when customers have added products to their shopping cart
- Offer ‘bundled products’ or ‘sets’ at better prices than buying them individually
- Have a ‘popular products’ section easily accessible on your website
- Offer a ‘save on postage costs’ – eg; Spend over $50.00 and get free postage or a free gift
- Repeat customer discounts
- Sale items always available
- Always provide a receipt and order confirmation by email
- Reference orders by an order number so the customer can contact you about the purchase
- Always thank the customer from purchasing from your website
- Provide an estimated delivery date or time frame
- Provide a returns policy and guarantee
- Be upfront with all postage fees so there any no hidden surprises
- Provide a customer registration for easier checkout – make this optional
- Keep the checkout process short and efficient
- Inform the customer when items have been posted