The 7 Must-Haves of an E-Commerce Website

It’s always the same story: You spent a ton of money on a cool website design. It looks great. It grabs your attention. And it looks exactly the way you wanted because you and your designer spent countless (billed) hours working on making it picture perfect. Yet nobody is buying your stuff, and now you’re over your budget with little to no ROI.  

Design and web copy (content) is constantly evolving to keep up with Google standards. There are currently more websites in the world than there are people, so in order to get the attention of potential customers, you have to stay on top of things. Here’s how:  

1. Your design must adapt from desktop to mobile.  

More shoppers are using their mobile devices than ever. Simply put, if they can’t easily purchase something via your mobile site, you’re more likely to lose them before making a conversion. Your design needs to be versatile, easy to navigate, and mobile-friendly.

According to ExactTarget, 2014 Mobile Behavior Report, “37% of consumers are more likely to purchase on a mobile-optimized site.” 


2. Your site must load quickly.  

If you have too many unnecessary bells and whistles, it’s going to slow down your site, which is the opposite of a good user experience. It also lowers your Google scoring, which is what helps you get seen. Using platforms that prioritize load times is key. If your site takes longer than three seconds to load, it’s too long. 

3. Your content (images and words) must be rich and relevant.  

Alt text is often underutilized. Search engines can’t see pictures. Also, when writing content for a page, make sure that you are answering a question that customers would naturally ask. Many make the mistake of cramming keywords, which seems contrived and creates a poor user experience.   

4. Integrate social media on your website.  

In whatever context best relates to your business, the existence of social media links on your website gives you more street cred, according to Google. Allowing users to login via their Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ will increase the odds of a conversion because all it takes to lose somebody is to force them to fill out too many lines on a form.  

5. Making a purchase should be fast and easy.  

One-click purchase options make the mobile experience extremely gratifying for impatient people. And in case you haven’t noticed, people are becoming more impatient than ever. Trust us, the whole world is changing in efforts to keep up with Amazon.  

6. Offer shipping options galore. 

Shipping costs are one of the most common reasons for cart abandonment. There you are, ready to take the plunge and make the purchase, and then BOOM, a huge extra fee is tacked on for shipping, tipping you over the budget. Offer multiple shipping choices so that the user can have options that work for their schedule and budget.  

7. Nurture abandoned cart customers.  

Whether it was shipping costs, a lack of time, or an ugly checkout page on your website, you lost somebody who was about to buy your product. A small offering can make a huge difference in a person’s decision to buy from you. Nurture your abandoned cart customers! Odds are, you can probably bait them into coming back and finishing what they started.


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