Four Ecommerce Best Practices for 2011 – I

Why is it necessary to follow the ecommerce best practices? What are the areas that mainly affect if you do not follow the ecommerce website guide? Why to follow ecommerce website checklist, are the kind of questions that have only one answer – the CONVERSION!
What if there is no relationship between the E-COMMERCE WEB DESIGN and CONVERSION, hiring a professional ecommerce web designer is not just the solution. If you have an access of the Internet, you can follow the case studies, best guidelines, and ecommerce design best practices for the sake of success in Ecommerce Business.
The best practices for ecommerce website that I am going to share here is for the entrepreneurs, retailers, merchants who are planning to start an online business through the ecommerce store. In the beginning, whether you decide to start your online retailing business with small ecommerce website or large, success is in your hand and for this, you can follow this simple Four Ecommerce Best Practices.
Let’s see the areas included in this post of FOUR ECOMMERCE BEST PRACTICES for 2011,
  1. Best Practices for E-commerce Website Design
  2. Best Practices for E-commerce Marketing
  3. Best Practices for Product Pages in E-commerce Website
  4. Best Practices for Shopping Cart and Checkout
Let's start with PART I today, the remaining will be covered in our next posts...
Part I: Best Practices incorporate with E-commerce Website Design:  
Index Page:
  • Test your site – Let’s take 7 seconds test of your site by the one who has seen your site first time and close once after 7 seconds, ask them some questions about the company, the products they are selling, area where the shopping cart is, etc.,. If they do not have any answer of your questions, you may have some issues in your ecommerce website design. So fix them with the professional ecommerce web designers. 
  • Logo – Clear and designed in a way that it looks easy to read and understand. 
  • Tagline – It should be under your logo, which represents your company’s mission or vision. 
  • Banners – Highlight the primary products, brands of your store with the attractive graphics, link to the pages where you are offering discounts, coupons especially increasing sale during holidays.
  • Testimonials – You can use this feature to your site with the option of rotating each of your testimonials one by one to gain the comforts of shopping in your store. 
  • Link to your Blog – If you run a blog with your ecommerce site that guides your customer through the products or services you are selling, it is an added advantage to convert your potential blog visitors to buyers by contextual linking with your sites. 
  • Features products of your store – Use this feature o share list of products that mostly sold in your store with the title of features products and it should be 10 or less.
General:
  • Set up, track conversion – Use Goggle Analytics, and set up a goal conversion starting from your shopping cart page to the ending with checkout. You can use funnel feature of GA to tack systematic conversion process. 
  • Navigation – Categorized you products and fit them into the navigation in a way that it makes easy for the customers to find them. 
  • Breadcrumbs – It is good for SEO and easy to find the page that link to in the site.
  • Aware of Conversion rate – Create a habit to track your conversion rate and keep update in your site accordingly. 
  • Why shopping from our store – Include a page that lists all the reasons why someone should buy from your site and not competitors. 
  • Free Shipping – Offer free shipping to get more sales. 
  • Use of Trust SealsTrust Seals to Encash the Trust. Getting customers to rely on your company versus your competitors is the key to get more conversions. Use these trust seals, VeriSign, McAfee, SSL logos, payment logo (PayPal, Visa, etc.), Shipping options (UPS, FedEx, etc.). 
  • Easy to find contact information – You should include the phone number in header area of the website with large font. Make sure to include the email id, phone no. and other contact information that easily find in your site by the customers. 
  • Social Media Presence – We understand the The Relevance of Social Media to E-commerce so Engaging customers using social networks is the latest trend and you can create your website profile in facebook, twitter etc. and share them in the form of attractive social media icons to show that you are actively communicating with your customers. 
  • Call-to-Action items – Make sure to include the call to action items, links, buttons etc. where it is necessary to have and should engage customer to click. E.g. Add to Cart, Buy Now etc.
  • Site search featureSite Search feature helps when visitors could not find the product they are looking for in your site. It should be on top and you can track the queries that visitors used. 
  • Sitemap – For human, it helps to get an idea of all products that where it has been located, etc. For search engines, it helps to crawl all the pages of your site using the sitemap easily. 
  • Privacy page – Add a page for privacy policy, which should be clear and easy to read and understand. It is usually in the footer of the page and make sure it is short, and it clears about the information you are tracking and storing. 
  • Return and exchange policy – You must be clear about the return and exchange policy, which is easy to find and accessible.
Customer Services:
  • Offer excellent customer service – You should create a value of your business in customer’s mind by offering excellent customer services. 
  • Offer a chat feature – Customer like if your ecommerce site contains a chat option, which helps them in many ways like to get support services, to know the discounts, pricing anytime, even in some cases it can help customers for negotiating the prices for some products or services etc. 
  • Easy return policy – Always be clear in your return policy and make sure to complete this process if it happens with any of your customer by satisfying him. 
  • Free shipping on returned items – This is one more area where an online retailer wins a customers’ heart, if they offer free shipping on the items returned by them. 
  • Thanks you after purchase – Once customer puts an order and the items successfully delivered then call him to make sure they receive the product, which could be the first step to build longer lasting engagement with your customer for future order. Even you can send emails too.
  • Have a human answer the phone – I know I hate those automated systems that you get stuck in, so does everyone else. Have someone answer the phone. It will increase your chances of making a sale. 
  • Personalize everything – Make sure to include your ecommerce store name with anything you send them.
Hope you like this post!

In our next post, you will find what includes in the following area, 
Part II: Best Practices for E-commerce Marketing:
  • Marketing
  • Technical

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