Although it got off to a relatively slow start, ecommerce website is now the largest retail environment growth area in the world. Everything from gifts, books and perfume through to the weekly grocery shopping can be bought online. If you are selling a product or service, an ecommerce website is your virtual shop window, letting your visitors see your products from the comfort of their own home. So what do you need to make an ecommerce website effective?
Bringing in the customers
For any ecommerce website to be effective there are a few things that need to be in place before you open for business. Like any shop window, an ecommerce website has to be eye-catching, effective and offer potential customers what they want. So the first thing that has to be right is your SEO or search engine optimisation. Without a good page ranking, your shop will remain empty and the customers will be spending their money on your rivals sites. An effective ecommerce website should be vibrant, easy to navigate and well laid out, just like any other real life shop. Ecommerce is all about the user experience, and your shop has to give your visitors the best user experience it possibly can.
The reason that ecommerce websites took a while to gain precedence is that many people were worried about typing in their credit card details into the Internet because of the fear of fraud. So your site has to be secure. Offering an https checkout page is a must. Https notification indicates that the site is protected and that visitors card information will be safe from hackers or scammers. The advent of PayPal has also made things more secure online, so accepting PayPal payments is now a necessity if your ecommerce website is to be successful.
A Site Thats Easy to Navigate
If you walked into a high street shop that was a mess of piled up clothes, lose shoes or unmarked goods, you would quickly walk back out again without buying. You want to go into a shop where everything is laid out and easy to see, clearly marked and attractively arranged. Your online visitors are looking for exactly the same experience when they visit your virtual shop, so a good ecommerce website has to be easy to navigate. Sitemaps are vital, letting your visitors find their way around your virtual shop easily. However, there also has to be a clear roadmap that guides them gently (without the hard sell) towards the end goal, namely a checkout cart filled with your products. Good ecommerce websites have a strong call to action on every page, encouraging the visitor to convert that click into a cash buy.