Since 1995, when only 1% of the world population used the internet, the number of active internet users has increased to an incredible 40%. This is why the global network has become so tempting for entrepreneurs. Reaching customers and penetrating markets around the globe became much easier than it was in the past.
The first seminal act of ecommerce happened back in 1972, when students in the USA used ARPANET to arrange cannabis sales. Since then, online shopping became very popular and had undergone a rapid development during the first decade of this millennium. For instance, this year, B2C e-commerce sales worldwide are expected to reach 2 trillion U.S. dollars.
Perhaps you are starting to see the big picture. You will need to have a killer online store if you want to be competitive in this market. The odds are of you failing are very well stacked against you. The chances that you will manage to succeed are less than 5%. This is why you will have to implement latest solutions and stay up-to-date with online store design trends. Don’t worry, we have compiled a list of design tips to create a web store that will make you stand out from the crowd.
Make Your Store Available on Various Devices
In last few years there was a huge surge of developments in mobile website design. There are many new tools and cutting edge technologies out there to help you attract more customers. Currently more than half of the internet traffic is derived from mobile device users. It is of utmost importance to have a mobile version of your site if you want to make money online.
Many companies don’t want to take any chances with doing this right, so neither should you. Outsource this project to one of many professional responsive website design companies. After they tune up your online store, it will be able to automatically resize to fit the screen of the device that it is being viewed on. It wouldn’t matter anymore if a potential customer is using a 34-inch desktop monitor or a 5-inch smartphone screen.
Make sure to check if your website suits touch screen gestures. All of the buttons on your pages have to be clearly visible and large enough. The same goes for pull-down menus and fields users have to interact with. Also, in mobile website version, make sure to place Call-to-Action statements in the upper left part of the webpage, where it will be easily visible.
Create Killer Product Pages
These pages are the place where your web store’s fate is going to be sealed; they will either break or make your website.
You’ve put the effort to attract a visitor to your website. He or she has found a product of interest. What else can you do to sway them into clicking that “Buy Now” button? What you need is to create such a positive experience that it motivates a good portion of your visitors to become actual customers. All the experts in the marketing industry say that there are three key elements to perform this visitor-to-customer transformation: information, assurances and motivation.
You can start by avoiding unnecessary cluttering of product pages. Having dense text, too many images, reviews, recommendations and some other “neat” feature will make a maze out of your product page. Visibility comes from web page simplicity. With fewer elements you will be able to emphasize the ones that you want to attract the attention of potential customers.
If you opt for simplicity, your “Add to Cart” and “Proceed to Checkout” buttons will gain on visibility and consistency. If you take a look at your product page and don’t see these buttons standing out, something has gone terribly wrong.
Top conversion killers are snappy and unresponsive product pages loaded with poor quality photos. You should really take the loading of a product page seriously. Ask the website coders to make sure that they don’t overuse CSS styles for border elements or the background image. And make sure to test loading times before you go online.
If you want to ensure that the visitors make that purchase decision, present them with return policies and customer service commitments. Product reviews and testimonials are also something that will serve as a social cue. Website visitors will be able to see that they are not the first to purchase from your store.
Drive Conversions with About Us Page
The statistics are fairly simple. If a website visitor reads your About Us page, there is a five times bigger chance that he or she will make a purchase than those that didn’t read it.
Don’t turn this page into a boring history document that no one but you will ever read. Feel free to be creative. And by creative I don’t mean attaching a photo of your company building or a photo of the CEO. Another common mistake is writing in third person; the story will sound like it is more “About Them” than “About Us”.
A good About Us page should make visitors familiar with the things you can do for them. And you have to pack that up in an implicit way. Don’t try to make it a hard-sell; your visitors have probably seen the products or services you have on sale, and are trying to check if you are a legitimate company. Let them get familiar with your brand and you will start building trust. Personalize the story to address the needs of your specific target audience, if you write in a way-too serious tone, there is great chance nobody will get interested.
Wow Your Customers with Top-Notch Customer Support
It is not a secret that a good and efficient customer support is a back bone of any online based business. It will help in customer retention, attraction of new customers and cutting the expenses of your business. Thanks to rapid development of web-based technologies, live chat software is available for anyone who wants to bring customer support to another level for a ridiculous amount of money.
After you integrate live chat software in your online store, you will be able to directly address any customer-related issues in real-time. Also, the customers will be able to talk to a relevant person that can guide them through the purchase process. Help them decide what product to choose by providing additional information on the customer’s request. On top of that, your ecommerce website will be more human-friendly, making the visitors to feel more comfortable.
Another great perk of having this software is that it will always be on. Even when there is no one working during nights or weekends, it can be set up to generate emails out of customer inquiries and send them to the desired address. Over time, you will be able to use chat transcripts to generate user manuals and FAQ document, which you can publish on your website and make it accessible for any visitor.
Prevent Cart Abandonment with a Supreme Checkout Page
The checkout page is the place where the final decision is about to be made. To increase conversion rates, it has to be able to provide your customer with the last bit of information so he/she can complete the purchase quickly. The best way to achieve this is to keep it as simple as possible. The odds of making the purchase go up as the number of required clicks go down, simple as that.
Purchase is all about money, and when people are giving their money they want to feel secure. Always display security seals on this page. This will be a sign to your visitors that they are in a secure and trusted place to do business. Also, don’t forget to display logos of all supported payment types.
Make it available for your customers to return shopping from this page, without them losing all the items from the cart. Imagine the frustration in case this happens. Another neat trick is to allow them to purchase without having to get registered first. Respect their privacy and you may expect it in return. You can always ask them if they want to register after they have completed a purchase.
Use Everything at your Disposal
Social media is a very powerful prospect that should never be ignored, because it benefits the business on so many levels – customer retention, improves conversion rates, free marketing and exposure, attracting more customer etc.
By adding just a few social media buttons on your ecommerce site you can achieve wonders. When people share or talk some of your products and services, it will be much more personal and it will attract other customers. Don’t hesitate, create accounts on all major platforms. Keep in mind Facebook and Twitter also support paid ads.
Consider starting a blog. Adding a blog section to your online store is a great way to drive attention to your products and services. You can also provide content of value for your audience and make them interested in you online store. Try to stay practical you can, for instance, create step-by-step guides.
If you decide to follow these tips you will definitely increase the chances of your online business success. It is not something to be taken lightly. These are just some ideas. Feel free to go online and do some detailed research. We are sure that there are many similar articles to be found that could be helpful in perfecting your online store.