Whether it’s web design, ecommerce customisations, checkouts, product pages, or otherwise – there are a number of elements and features any ecommerce website will need in order to be high-performing.
So what are the essential elements to ensure your ecommerce store is high-performing, and gets you the results you need?
Effective On-site Search
Having an effective on-site search can make a huge difference in both customer experience, but also for your conversion rate.
An efficient on-site search helps to relieve user frustration, allowing them to find the products they are looking for.
A competent on-site search will also allow for filters to cater to larger inventories, so customers can find exactly what they are looking for.
Xanthos has developed an effective on-site search that allows for quick navigation, and instant display of results.
Product information is imperative to giving your potential customers extra detail on products they are considering buying. But ensuring your product information is concise, while providing all the detail needed, can be a challenging balance.
It’s also important to not simply copy product descriptions from elsewhere – as Google will see this as duplicate content, and will damage your chances of organically ranking highly for this product on Google. You will also need to ensure important keywords are included.
Mentioning the most important features first can also help with customers who are scanning the page, but make sure you cover all the benefits and features your customers will be looking for.
Product information also required decent, professional product photos – as bad images will damage the chances of a purchase.
Simple Checkout Process
While you will need to make sure your checkout has all the necessary steps, your focus should be on making this as simple and efficient as possible.
The checkout process should be painless for customers, and it makes the path to conversion much quicker. The checkout should be a couple of pages, and should be contained to one page where possible.
The mailing and billing address, card number, shipping options should all be featured on one page in order to make sure the process isn’t overly long, with confirmation on the following page.
Allowing for guest checkout is also a great option in order to streamline the process for those who don’t wish to sign up.
Additional features such as checkout progress, and easily accessible cart summaries can also help with conversions.
When customers will buy in bulk, allowing for quantity selectors without returning to the product page allows for an efficient checkout process for additional sales.
Unsurprisingly, ensuring your website speed is up to scratch is imperative for customer conversions.
Not only does it help your customers find products, without hitting the back button due to slow speeds, but it will also help your rankings on Google.
Your on-site search should also be fast, or offer instant display to help customers find products quickly.
Brand Promises and USPs
Your USPs and brand promises should be displayed prominently on the home page, and anywhere else suitable.
Think about your brand message, what sets you apart from the competition, and why customers should choose to shop with you.
Also, displaying popular products, promotions, trials, or anything else you have to offer in prominent places can help increase your conversions. Ensuring your return policy is clear, and any other important elements specific to your industry, can really help in building trust.
Cross-selling and Up-selling
If your store doesn’t currently cross-sell or up-sell, you could be missing out on potential sales.
By offering related products, accessories, or suggestions for similar products on product pages or elsewhere around the site, you could generate more sales.
Whether a customer finds additional items they are interested in, or finds the product they are looking for while browsing the wrong one, cross-selling and up-selling are powerful tools for any ecommerce store.
Not only does it boost product sales, but it also helps enhance the customer’s experience on your website.
Images and Visuals
High-quality product images are a huge bonus when shopping for products, and providing multiple photos as if you were shopping in person can help customers make a purchase.
Displaying photos of the product in use can help customers determine the size and scale of the product in question, and judge whether it is suitable for their needs. Supplying multiple photos of a product can help customers see the overall look of the product as if they were inspecting it in person.
Visuals that display particular looks or collections can also help customers visualise products in their own home or set-up.
Download times must also be considered, so ensure images don’t take too long to load.
Reviews or other forms of social proof can help convince customers to make a purchase, with positive reviews adding to the desirability of products.
Potential customers will need some form of encouragement to make a purchase of certain products without physically seeing it – and so social proof can confirm that other customers were happy with what they received.
Ratings can also help in showcasing popular products.
When evaluating certain products, potential customers may not look to buy straightaway. A wish list can therefore help with future conversions, so that they do not forget about the product in the future.
Many customers will not be sold on the product yet, or ready to make the purchase, and so this is a great way to ensure they return to you in the future.
Social Media Integrations
Social media is a powerful marketing channel for any business – but can have a huge impact for ecommerce.
Not only does social media help increase your traffic, but it also helps with brand awareness, and your followers will be sure to see any upcoming promotions you have while they browse.
Delivery and Returns
Unexpected delivery charges can put off many customers, so ensuring this is loud and clear is most likely the best choice.
Displaying the shipping cost before product page can help avoid abandoned baskets, as well as displaying the total cost before the final page.
While it’s not suitable for every business, live chat functionality can help answer any questions potential customers may have.
If they can’t find information on a certain product, they may be likely to search elsewhere. A live chat can help keep them on your site, and also to engage with your business.
Video content is becoming more and more popular, as mobile devices have become better and mobile internet becomes faster.
Video can be consumed wherever and whenever, and product videos can help improve a customer’s understanding of the product.
Video content can also be much more engaging than simple photos or other forms of content, and can show the functionality of a product, and showcase it’s looks and how it handles in practice.
Effective Call to actions
Many aspects will impact how your calls to actions perform – so getting it right is essential.
The size, colour, copy and contrasts of your calls to actions can all affect how enticing it is to a customer to click or engage with.
For instance, certain colours will denote different things to customers, and evoke different emotional responses. You want the right colour for your call to action. The contrast with the rest of the page can also have a huge impact on the performance of your call to actions.
Particular examples include how audiences in the US will add products to the “cart”, while UK customers will be more accustomed to the term “basket”.
Top Customer Experience
This encompasses many things, but ensuring you have customer-friendly navigation across the website is essential for any high-performing ecommerce website.
Your website should be easy to navigate, and makes life easy for customers to find what they are looking for – whether it’s products, content, reviews, or otherwise.
Keeping visitors on your website comes down to the experience they have, and will depend on having effective menus and product categories. If they can’t find what they want, or the site doesn’t meet expectations, they’ll likely head back to Google to find an alternative.
You should also ensure customers can find the home page, contact information, or the basket quickly.
Multiple Payment Options
Offering more than a couple of payment options can be what stands between a potential customer making a purchase, or choosing a competitor.
If you can offer multiple ways to pay, then you’re more likely to please customers with their chosen payment method. This will open up your store to more customers.
There are many different design choices, functionalities, and marketing channels that lead to an effective ecommerce website.
The team at Xanthos design and develop ecommerce stores with results in mind. To see more of our work, visit our portfolio page.
If you’re looking to increase your online sales, get in touch to see how we can help.