Want More Customers? Follow These E-commerce Best Practices

E-commerce-Best-Practices | img via http://www.bigstockphoto.com/image-52434685/stock-photo-stop-doing-what-doesn-t-work

Many of my clients often come to be frustrated that their site is not bringing them more sales. They think that increasing their social media efforts will be the answer to their problem, when in reality the real problem is their online storefront.

Even if you are using a template e-commerce site there are several usability best practices which will help ramp up your business.

  1. Photography and Design are key – I can’t say this enough. Good presentation  says a lot about your brand. Having beautiful photography that nicely displays your product, including shots from different angles, will help turn browsers into buyers. Make sure that your design is clean and modern. Use online shop templates if you don’t have access to a web designer. Here are some great templates, I recommend: Shopify Templates, Prestashop Template, WordPress Template, Squarespace Templates
  2. Display your products in the homepage – Your customers shouldn’t have to look for your products – make it easy for them to buy and find items they need. Your products must be displayed front and center in the homepage. You should also include clear descriptions for your products. Take the time to write copy that is engaging and tells a story. Additionally, adding descriptions and Alt Tags to your images will help your SEO. On your secondary product pages you should include zooming functionality on all of your products and pictures. Users need to get a good understanding of the type of product they are buying. Zooming in enables them to get a sense of what they are about to purchase. It’s akin to them picking it up in a store and looking at it closely.
  3. Clear navigation & search functionality – Your site must have a straight forward navigation that is  easy  to understand. Do no try to reinvent the wheel. The user experience is similar on most e-commerce sites for a reason. People are used to navigating a site in a particular way. Changing things significantly will likely confuse your audience. If you have a big inventory – YOU MUST include a search functionality and bread crumbs. Ensure the result page includes recommended products and has filters such as color, sizing, to help user find specifically what they are looking for.  Add an auto-completion feature as it will help suggest products to look for on your site.  You need to ensure that users can easily find what they are looking for beyond navigation.
  4. SEO Optimized keywords & Copy –  Many e-commerce store under-estimate the power of copy. Including copy with SEO optimized keywords will help your google ranking.  Be playful while making sure that keywords relevant to your brand are used frequently enough to help you google rank. You can find relevant keywords by simply using Google Ad Words. You will need to include descriptions and Alt tags on all of the images you upload.

You need to work to have your e-commerce site stand out from the crowd, whether it’s through the story you have to tell or the uniqueness of the product you sell. Photography, engaging copy and clear website navigation is key for an e-commerce site to succeed. Following these few e-commerce best practices will seriously boost traffic and conversions on your online store.

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