When you build an eCommerce website, you have one primary goal. The whole purpose of an eCommerce is, of course, to get people to buy something.
You might have thought that convincing people to buy products online wouldn’t be that much of a challenge. But it is easy to make some basic mistakes with an eCommerce site that will dissuade shoppers from pressing the buy now button.
If you want people to buy things on your website, you must make the buying process pain-free. That might sound like stating the obvious, but a surprising number of eCommerce sites lack the basic building blocks to make the buying process straightforward. Here are ten of the key elements you will need on an eCommerce site to help convince people to buy from you.
As soon as someone lands on your site, they should be able to identify who you are and what you sell. A strong brand is one of the crucial elements that you need to convince people that your site is worth exploring further. Even the simple branding elements, like a memorable name, a professional logo, and a consistent color scheme can make all the difference, and a strong brand will make it easier for people to find your site again or refer your website to other people.
2. Unique Value Proposition
You will likely be competing with many other eCommerce websites in your market. So, you will need to provide a good reason why people should choose to buy from you. To distinguish your site from the competition, you will need to have a unique value proposition. Your value proposition could be that you have a unique product that offers more significant benefits than your competitor’s offering. If you are selling generic products, the value you offer could be a low price, free shipping, or a more comprehensive warranty. Either way, you need something that will convince buyers that the total package you offer is better than that provided on competing sites.
3. Easy Navigation
The navigation on an eCommerce site should be designed to direct visitors through your sales funnel. Every click a user of your site takes should take them one step closer to buying something. The crucial elements of good navigation are clear direction and ease of use. Users should find what they are looking for fast and get there in a minimum of steps.
4. Prominent Calls to Action
Calls to action (CTA) should be easy to find and enticing. Whether it is to get a quote or buy now, CTAs should be unambiguous and forceful. Make CTAs stand out by using contrasting colors and large fonts. Use uncluttered and decisive language in your calls to action. Users should be left in no doubt about what they need to do next and what they will gain by following your CTAs.
5. Best Sellers
It would be advisable to make the most of your best-selling items by placing them in a prominent position on your homepage. You know that there is a demand for the best sellers, and it is likely that your best-selling products will have good customer reviews. So, it makes sense to highlight the most popular items in your range. Evidence of other people buying your best-selling items will also give visitors more confidence in your brand.
6. Comprehensive Search
Best-sellers on the front page will make it easy for most visitors to your site to find what they want to buy. However, you will still need to cater to visitors who want something different, and if you sell an extensive range of products, your best-sellers will only be a taster of what you have to offer. So, make sure that you have a search option that is always visible as people navigate your site. And use an advanced search function that uses predictive text and suggests alternatives for misspelled words.
7. Recommendations and Upsells
A shopper may decide that the product they are looking for is not for them, but you may still be able to make a sale if you can offer them an alternative. Visitors may also be tempted to buy additional, complementary products. So, take a leaf out of Amazon’s book and display related and complementary products prominently underneath individual products. If upgrades or add-ons are available, make sure that your customers see those before they reach the checkout, too.
8. Shipping and Contact Information
One of the most common reasons for cart abandonment is high shipping costs that only become apparent on checkout. So, make sure that your shipping charges are displayed to avoid any last-minute shocks for your customers. Even better, build the shipping costs into your product prices. Then you can use free shipping as one of your value propositions. Make sure that contact details are displayed on your site, too. Lack of means to contact you could make visitors to your site think that you have something to hide.
9. Easy to Use Shopping Cart
The shopping cart on an eCommerce site should be easy to find, easy to use, and easy to amend. A lot of shoppers will place items in their cart and come back to them later. So, make sure that items already selected remain in the cart until the customer buys or deletes them. The few seconds before checkout are critical. If a user finds the checkout process too much of a challenge, they will abandon their purchase and do their shopping elsewhere.
10. Wish List
Some people will not want to go as far as putting an item in the shopping cart, but they may want to save a product so that they come back another day to buy it. Providing a feature that allows customers to keep a wish list or favorites will encourage them to revisit your site when they are ready to buy. Collecting people’s email addresses when they create their wish list will also allow you to keep in touch with prospects. You might be able to tempt a customer with a wish list to complete their purchase by offering a one-off discount.
To sum up, the design of your eCommerce website is as crucial as the products you sell. The above is not an exhaustive list of the features that will encourage people to buy your products. But if you are missing any of the above vital elements, you could also be missing out on a lot of sales.