eCommerce website success (and failure) rates depend on many factors ranging from pricing, product quality, product availability, brand recognition, and overall company trustworthiness. There are things you can do to promote products, increase sales, make more conversions, and gather more data than you ever have before. We are going to introduce the items your eCommerce website needs to ensure a better fiscal year.
There are millions of eCommerce websites in the world. The more successful companies include Taobao, Amazon, eBay, and Etsy to name a few. They’re successful because their websites have evolved through years of extensive research, testing, and adaptive design through user reviews and intervention. They consistently offer better services including shipping rates, the lack of upfront fees, product promotions, a massive library of reviews, and time-developed customer relations. They make billions every year because they have their acts together and their ducks in a row, so to speak.
Here’s what these eCommerce giants do to make sure they succeed. You might want to follow suit.
A good eCommerce website says everything about trust and nothing about the “maybe”. The “maybe” is the uneasy feeling you get when you visit a website you heard about from a friend and it just looks bad. It’s the feeling throughout the purchase process that a bad experience is on its way even though your buddy had a great experience. Wanting a product from a website like this is a hard pill to swallow. It boils down to design and legitimacy. You believe the website is less legitimate due to a lack of professional design or user experience. The intangible by-product of this is untrustworthiness. If you don’t trust a provider, for any reason, it makes it that much more difficult to give them money in exchange for products and services.
Product reviews add a human element to your storefront and enhance your online credibility. They can explain to a customer, if they’re genuine user-provided reviews, that others had a great experience with a product. They tell the story about the handling of a return and even a negative experience. This is great for trust because it makes the website and its products reliably believable and more accepted by its users. It’s right there in plain english (or whatever language is your native) that a user had an experience and that they were validated.
You’ve just built and launched a professional eCommerce website. What next? Marketing, marketing, and more marketing. The largest eCommerce websites are continuously marketed. Companies budget for ever-increasing marketing goals and update their budgets throughout the year based on user response, gross sales, and competition.
eCommerce website successes typically do not happen overnight. This isn’t Field of Dreams, and building it does not mean users will come running with bucks in hand. It means you need to start marketing your website effectively.
Marketing your website is essentially marketing your products. It’s important that you market your website using services like Google AdWords, Social Media, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). The more people who know about your website (and its products) the more opportunity you have for them to utilize it. You could have the best and least expensive products in the world, but if people don’t know they exist, you really don’t have anything.
When you have a product you want to sell fast, you promote it. Put that product or group of products in a place where users will see it quickly. If you’re selling school supplies for a back-to-school sale, make sure parents see that like eBay below. Also, make sure they see more than one product in your sale at any given time. This increases the probability of a sale.
Amazon is selling the Kindle fireTV Stick. They currently have it showcased on their home page at the top in a creative way. They did not use stock photography for this. Read #5 on our previous post about stock photography and why stock photography is a no no.
People want to see product images that give them more insight into the product’s capabilities, overall appeal, and general quality. If you showcase products with really low quality images, you’re doing this at the risk of cart abandonment. Make your images clear, concise, and high quality so users can see the product in the best possible ways. Your users will thank you for it. Nielsen conducted a recent studyregarding the use of less than stellar imagery.
Product descriptions are extremely important. They enhance a user’s perception of the product through detailed information. A good example of this would be Apple computers. People will look at a Mac and see a computer that’s beautifully crafted. Apple visually showcases their products with professional high contrast photography. Apple documents every product’s capabilities and details with exquisite specificity. Their product detail sections tell about each product’s size, color, power requirements, software compatibilities, RAM capacities, and their well-known “What’s in the Box” information. When buying a MacBook or an iMac, these descriptions could probably be of more benefit to a user during the purchase process than anything else unless the user has already made up their mind to purchase the product.
Products can be standalone and never have anything else to do with other products. That can happen, but it doesn’t happen often in successful eCommerce websites. We’ve all seen “Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought” and “Frequently Bought Together” sections of eCommerce websites such as Amazon above. This type of influential marketing works, and works well because it lists products that others have purchased along with the one you’re viewing or purchasing. It provides an avenue for Amazon to produce more sales by letting users know “it’s okay to purchase that product” with this one because others have done the same thing.