A Comprehensive Checklist For Your E-commerce Site
Posted on Friday, May 26th, 2017
Push Beyond developed this checklist with first-hand experience in e-commerce site developments. Through our constant exposure to the e-commerce world we want our readers to know how:
• To always think about the customer: they should find site navigation effortless, fast and fun which will result in quicker purchases and repeat business.
• To follow leading examples. The biggest and most successful e-commerce sites have spent large periods of time and resources in finding the best online selling practices, so it’s a good idea to make use of their learnings.
• To listen to feedback and analytics. It’s essential that customer feedback and visitor behaviour is tracked. This set of data is a vital part of improving your online store.
Indeed this list focuses on how to have an amazing e-commerce website, but just remember that an amazing website also needs to be paired with a great marketing strategy to drive traffic.
Your homepage is your shop window, so it’s important that information can be understood quickly and in an appealing way. Ensure your call to action buttons are prominent in order to encourage visitors to explore the site. Bold and high quality images clearly displaying products, offers and other promotions are also key. There is no harm in investing in a professional photographer in order to make your homepage images both appealing and clear what your brand selling.
By including ‘Top Selling’ , ‘Featured Products’ and ‘Recommended’ sections you can generate interest to other parts of your site, allowing users to find coveted products or want to buy something they weren’t even looking for in the first place. Finally, consider starting a blog in order to promote your products. This type of content allows you to engage with customers on more than just a synthetic level.
A category introduction page is extremely useful as it allows an overview of the products to be seen. Ideally an accompanying image that is representative of the category is a bonus. Ensure stock and availability is shown clearly so customers know immediately if the item they want is available. This will reduce shopper frustration as they can see if the item is available at a quick glance rather than having to click each product.
Additionally, a “recommended” section which allows you to showcase offers based on what the visitor viewed or purchased last time is a great way to boost sales. Once all this is taken into account it is very important to have a filter option to sort your catalogue. It makes finding products as easy as possible.
Your Product Page
The product page should be clear, bright and high quality. Visitors will want to be able to zoom in on the product in order to have a closer look at materials and size. The photos should also have a variety of different angles of the product. Wherever possible, videos are a great way to allow the customer to see the product even further and is always appreciated. Ensure the BUY or ADD TO CART buttons are visible and bright to entice the customer.
Reviews are also a great way to persuade customers to buy a product and increase your credibility: good reviews never go unnoticed. You should also notify buyers of stock levels below a certain threshold, e.g. “almost gone!” to instil a sense of urgency in the purchase.
Make sure ALL fees are shown in the shopping cart before checkout, including delivery . Hidden fees are the number one reason for cart abandonment. You should also provide an easy way to update cart items such as remove products or update quantities. Wherever possible, it is always best to show estimated delivery times and if you are offering same-day shipping or free shipping conversions will be boosted. Finally, don’t miss out on upselling: show suggested products based on the current cart contents and add a return to shop button to allow users to do this.
Your Checkout Process
Your checkout page should be stripped back and free of navigation in order to keep visitors focused on checking out. Guests much prefer to checkout without creating account, or linking it to one of their social media accounts. Additionally, make sure that there are several different payment types, so the customer can choose one they trust/know. An off-site option like PayPal is especially important for less established online shops as people already trust Paypal. Security badges and testimonials, an SSL certificate signing authority badge, logos of payment methods (e.g. Paypal, Credit Cards) and any other security or payment details that will help gain visitors’ trust.
Always include a final confirmation page that shows what the customer is about to order, with their billing and delivery address and the payment details they have entered. Allow them to secure this with a ‘Confirm’ button. Once the visitor has completed the checkout, a clear ‘thank you’ page should be shown. The page should include: what happens next and the ability to create an account, providing an incentive to do so (like the ability to track their order).