The 5 Features Of A Successful Ecommerce Website
So you have an INCREDIBLE product that you’re ready to sell online…
How do you make sure it not only succeeds but rakes in all of the money? Create a website that has each of these five key features:
1) Clear Value Propositions Above The Fold
You can’t substitute for a great product, but you can muddy the message with a set of not-so-great value propositions. Make sure you have clear value propositions for your product, easy-to-understand reasons why people should buy your product, and then make sure they’re above the fold.
above the fold = printed in the top half of the front page of a broadsheet newspaper and therefore visible when the paper is folded.
Your value propositions must be visible and positioned in the upper half of a web page, and therfore visible without scrolling at all. That goes for desktop and mobile devices. (See #3)
2) Lightning Fast Site Speed
In our world of instant gratification, next-day shipping, and shortened attention spans, it is imperative that your website keeps up. There’s a lot to lose if potential customers have to wait for your content.
Optimize your website speed by first becoming familiar with your current site speed at tools.pingdom.com. It will determine your current site speed and outline the size of your assets, how many there are, and the speed at which they load.
You want your site to be as lean as possible. Once you’ve determined your site’s problem areas, make sure you lighten file sizes, shrink images, decrease the number of fonts, and remove pages you’re not using.
3) Mobile First Design
A couple of stats for you:
80% of internet users own a smartphone. (Smart Insights)
57% of users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed mobile site. (CMS Report)
83% of mobile users say that a seamless experience across all devices is essential. (Wolfgang Jaegel)
In 2017, there is no excuse for having a website that doesn’t work properly on a mobile device. No excuse. From start to finish, your shipping experience MUST BE mobile-friendly, or you’re simply draining money.
We often recommend that you start with mobile and then build out the desktop presence and then tablet after that. But if you can’t start over from scratch, choose a responsive site theme, apply these same tips, and invest in ensuring that your site’s seamless checkout process translates to mobile.
And test it on your iPhone and Android!
4) Easy Checkout Process
Every action you take should create the least amount of friction possible for potential customers. Like a map to buried treasure, the more complicated things get, the more likely you are to lose people along the way. And when people get lost or things take too long, customers leave.
Make sure that your site has a clear path to conversion and a smooth checkout experience with minimal clicks.
We recommend Shopify or Shopify Plus for their smooth, intuitive checkout processes. There are also a bunch of smaller ways to streamline the conversion process:
- Allow for a guest checkout option.
- Show a progress bar.
- Remove the excess from the checkout pages.
- Choose a plugin that auto-fills portions of the billing/shipping address fields.
- Provide excellent return and exchange policies.
5) Customer/Influencer Testimonials
What are the two things that influence a customer to purchase? Price and a recommendation from someone they trust.
Positive testimonials from influencers and other customers validate your product and brand and build trust with the prospective customer. This invaluable sales tactic has become so commonplace online that now, consumers have come to expect reviews and testimonials when shopping online.
Use a review aggregating integration like Yotpo. Create content using influencer testimonials. Embed feedback into your site’s design.
People want to share what they love and what they don’t, so ask your existing customers for their input.