9 top tips for a successful ecommerce website
We know how challenging it can be to keep up with the ever-evolving world of ecommerce. While trends come and go, we’ve found that the best sites keep a few simple principles in mind. Above all, they recognise customers will always want quality service.
To make sure your ecommerce website is successful, we’d recommend taking a look at the following elements:
- Design for mobile responsiveness
- Data capture
- How great photography can boost sales
- Content that drives engagement
- Content designed for ecommerce
- Core Web Vitals for ecommerce
- UX & UI for ecommerce sites
- A customer journey that converts
- Easy checkout
Don’t ignore your mobile audience; cater to them specifically.
Mobile usage for browsing and purchasing online is an ever-expanding part of the digital landscape. Having a strong desktop site is no longer the sole requirement, so consider how your site operates on mobile.
1. Responsive design
Of course, users interact with your site in a very different way on mobile. Responsive design that adapts to a variety of screen sizes can be a great help here, especially if you don’t have a separate design specifically for your mobile site.
2. Easy-to-tap buttons
We’d recommend double-checking that any buttons on your site are easy to tap, not just click. A simple redesign here can make all the difference.
3. Is your workflow optimised for mobile?
It’s worth looking at your checkout workflow, and making sure it’s optimised for mobile as well as desktop. Keep the process as simple as possible, so you can adapt your existing desktop checkout process to suit mobile devices.
4. Compress images
Compress any photos and other multimedia elements to reduce load time on your mobile site, and keep your copy streamlined - no one likes scrolling through bloated paragraphs!
Data capture and online security isn’t talked about as much as design or paid advertising, but we believe it should be at the forefront of your ecommerce site. Following the steps outlined below puts your customer’s minds at ease. After all, simplicity and reliability builds trust in your brand over time. Which in turn, results in more purchase opportunities for you. We love a win-win.
GDPR compliance is a requirement of any ecommerce site and company, so take the time to ensure your site is built with security in mind. Be wary of particularly vulnerable parts of your site, such as the checkout page.
2. SSL certificates
Go beyond GDPR compliance with SSL certificates and a secure hosting platform for your site. These measures reduce headaches further down the line, and help your customers build trust in your brand and site experience.
If you can, track each order made through your site. This is especially useful for building customer trust. They want to know as much as you do where their purchases are!
Don’t just write about your product and service features; showcase them with engaging and striking photography.
The online space is increasingly visual, and the power that lies in attention-grabbing photography cannot be underestimated. This is your opportunity to create a memorable visual impact on your audience. Quality photography can help sell your products and services, develop trust and help establish a brand identity that can introduce you to new demographics.
Read more about how to ‘Create great photography to boost online sales'
Aside from the visuals on your site, your brand identity is best expressed through engaging copy on your website. Once the visuals of your site have hooked a user, you can retain their attention if you write with them in mind.
1. Why content is important
If you put customer-focused content that entertains, inspires and engages users on your site, you’ll give them a reason to stick around, reducing bounce rates in the process.
2. Tone of voice
Be specific about your tone of voice and positioning in reference to your audience. Most importantly, write with purpose!
We’re living in a ChatGPT era where content is often pushed out at speed, frequently with a quantity over quality end goal. This is clearly not effective marketing, so focus on writing that is authentic and inventive.
You don’t want that carefully curated content to go to waste, so be mindful about where it is placed on your site.
- Put your most important offers, products and features above the fold, so even a casual browser can see the very best of what you have to offer.
- Separate your content with easy-to-navigate headers that bring answers to your customers at speed.
- Don’t make it a challenge for them to find what they’re looking for; show them the way.
- If in doubt, reduce the amount you’re trying to fit onto one page. Keep things simple to avoid complicating the user experience for your customers.
There are a few behind-the-scenes elements of your site creation that can make a huge difference for your users.
- Page speed: Optimising for faster loading times reduces the bounce rate on pages and can contribute to higher conversion rates over time.
- Server response time: This enhances user experience and keeps customers returning to your site with confidence.
- Site performance: Image and text formatting, video load speeds and overall reliability of your site are vital.
Plenty of your User Experience (UX) concerns are covered in your Core Web Vitals, but make sure you match this with an optimised User Interface (UI).
- Intuitive navigation: Simplicity and clarity are king. Make it as easy to use your site for a first-time user as a dedicated returning customer.
- Consistent brand identity: Fonts, colours, buttons and icons should all look cohesive and planned as a group visual.
- CTAs: DIrect users in the most efficient way to use your site through strong CTA’s. Buttons can be a real game-changer here, with simple commands like “Add To Cart” and “Checkout” instructing your customers to the next step in their purchase.
1. Keep it simple
Don’t put unnecessary steps in between users finding your site and making a purchase.
2. Count the clicks
This is a simple test you can do very quickly to see if your site is easy to use. Count how many clicks a user would need to make to go from your homepage, through to completing their purchase. Again, simplicity is key here.
3. Easily accessible
Your FAQs, product pages and 'About' page for your business should all be easily accessible from the main menu on your site. It’s worth ensuring your contact details are clearly signposted, too.
1. A simple checkout process and design
The checkout area of your site should be built with simplicity in mind. Make sure you optimise for mobile along the way. Speed and efficiency will help you get more returning customers who will be happy with the ease of making a purchase on your site. A great option to offer is an auto-fill for returning customers
2. Offer multiple payment options
Flexibility is key here. Offer multiple payment options and the ability to save card details securely for repeat purchases and returning customers. If you’re open to it, consider one-click payment options or express checkout options for returning customers. The last thing you want is users abandoning their cart mid-sale due to a time-consuming checkout experience.
Summary of creating a successful ecommerce site
There are several areas to keep in mind for a thriving, fully optimised ecommerce site.
- Consider the visuals. Are they enhancing the user experience?
- Take your copy into account too, you’ll want everything to be relevant and engaging.
- The nuts and bolts of your site, the Core Web Vitals and the mechanics of your site performance should be prioritised.
Essentially, if you make decisions based on a strong user experience, with your customers in mind, you’ll have a successful ecommerce site!
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