3 E-commerce Website Fundamentals

The benefits of e-commerce are well-known – lower initial and fixed costs, exposure to a larger audience and plenty of affordable opportunities for marketing and promotion. At the same time, the competition for customers on the web is very high and continues to grow in practically all industries. The fast pace of technological development also poses a challenge for online retailers as they cannot afford to stay behind. How do you get competitive and achieve success in an environment like this? Let me take you through the main prerequisites for a successful e-commerce website.

Responsive Design
We live in a digital world in which consumers use multiple devices to browse the web and shop online. The list includes desktop computers, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Data from the third quarter of 2015 shows that 49% of e-commerce transactions in the UK were made with the use of multiple connected devices. With responsive design, your website will have equally influential presence and dependable functionalities on all gadgets.
The layout and navigation are modified to match the screen size, features and capabilities of each specific device while the content remains the same. The website will work equally well with mouse clicks and swipe gestures, for example. Responsive design will not only help you facilitate the making of purchases at your online store. It is also effective for lead generation as Google now gives higher ranking to websites optimised for mobile.

Well-Developed Purchase Funnel
The purchase funnel is the journey which the customer makes from the moment they land on your website to completing the payment. There are two questions that have to be answered here: how to make this journey smooth and pleasant and how to increase the chances of completing the transaction? You can achieve both with the right website design elements and functionalities related to marketing and performance.
Attractive product presentation is key. Card design and large digital images will increase the appeal of your products. Sleek menus offering more options when you click or tap on them will make the products stand out even more. Clutter-free pages with large CTA buttons will simplify the purchase process and help for higher sales. A convenient and well-organised shopping cart will make purchases even easier. It is now mandatory for all brands and retailers to offer secure shopping experience online and a comprehensive set of payment options.

Reliable Management System
The checklist of tools which you will require to run your online store is quite long. It includes inventory management, procurement and shipping, customer relationship management, marketing and analytics. It is neither productive nor cost-efficient to get a software program which lacks any of these functions.
The best solution is to have a web-based software integrated with your e-commerce website. This gives you a higher level of automation and increases productivity immensely. When the software is custom made, it will fit your needs precisely and develop and expand along with your online business.

Finally, for growing your e-commerce business, you will also need a complete digital marketing strategy. The goal is to increase the number of visitors to your website and the level of conversion and to keep them high in the long term. As an e-commerce development consultant, I can help you at every stage of the building of your online business.

For consultation and e-commerce website development, get in touch with me.

5 Ways to Reduce the Shopping Cart Abandonment Rate at Your Online Store

Why do shoppers on your e-commerce website abandon the shopping cart before making a purchase? Finding the answer to this question and making changes based on it can cause your revenue to jump considerably. As a web development consultant, my approach is comprehensive and involves studying the online store in detail and making recommendations for the improvement of the design and functionalities. Here I share tips on how to avoid some of the major checkout mistakes which lead to cart abandonment.

Be Clear About Costs
Being presented with unexpected costs at the time of checkout is the most common reason why shoppers just leave instead of making a purchase. The solution is to clarify all costs before the visitor reaches the payment page/section. Make sure that they are included on the shopping cart page. Ideally, you should place them right below the product price. Shoppers should also be able to find them on purposefully created information pages.

When it comes to online shopping, people are most sensitive about shipping costs and delivery times. Ideally, these should be present on the shopping cart page. If you offer free shipping and/or express delivery, it pays off to include this on the product pages to give visitors greater motivation to buy. If you offer several shipping options priced differently, describe them in detail to help shoppers make the best choice.

Offer a Guest Checkout Option
Unless you have a large loyal customer base, most of the visitors to your online store will be one-time shoppers (who you can turn into loyal customers). They just want to buy one or more products easily and quickly and leave. Forcing them to go through an account creation process before making a purchase is highly likely to put them off. Being more flexible will give you tangible results.

Avoid Distraction
Is your checkout page filled with offers which are not related to the items inside the shopping cart? Do you have large flashy fields for entering coupon codes? These are common mistakes which practically urge shoppers to leave the page with the prospects of them returning being quite vague. Make the checkout page clutter-free. Use minimalist design and include product photos. The checkout buttons should be large and brightly coloured.

Ideally, the coupon code field should not be the first thing which the user sees at checkout. Shoppers who have a code will take effort to find the field so you can make it less obvious and attractive to avoid putting everyone else off.

Use a Checkout Progress Indicator
The idea is to indicate the number of steps which have to be taken for making a purchase. The fewer they are the lower your shopping cart abandonment rate will be. To help shoppers feel more at ease, you can combine two steps into one provided that you will not have a page which is too long and requires the entry of too much information.

Integrate Multiple Payment Options
People want to buy products from you so why would you put them off by not offering a payment option which is suitable for them? Generally, the greater the diversity is the better. Still, it is more effective and cost-efficient to study your target audience and give them exactly what they want.

Take measures for optimising your shopping cart and checkout to increase your conversion and revenue.

If you are looking for productive e-commerce solutions, get in touch with me to receive consultation.