There is no need to introduce eCommerce to you. In the present day, eCommerce has become a way of life. It is almost unimaginable to not have eCommerce in our lives.
Though the beginning of eCommerce was shaky it has grown into one of the most successful industries of the current times and is estimated to still grow in heaps and bounds.
Nasdaq has estimated that by the year 2040, 95% of all purchases will be through eCommerce.
There are about 24 million eCommerce sites across the globe, and more and more are being created every single day.
Yes! The competition out there is fierce, but with the right planning and approach, you are bound to succeed with flying colors.
eCommerce websites are becoming easier to develop gradually. When compared to 5 years ago, currently you have a lot of options on the ways in which you can develop your own virtual platform.
You could either-
- Opt to do it all on your own and from the scratch
- Hire a tech team to do it for you
- Buy a SAAS platform
- Purchase turnkey solution
Whichever way you choose to do it, keep in mind that your eCommerce site design should be creative and eye-catching. There are basically three reasons to start a new virtual commerce platform-
- You’ve received funding for your startup, new product, etc and now you are required to open an online store, or
- Post being a successful brick-and-mortar store you want to conquer the world of online eCommerce as well, or
- It’s time to be your own boss and also expand your global footprint by developing your own online store since you have got successful and good experience from selling on other established platforms
Whatever the reason the end goal is the same. But though there might be a proverb that says — don’t judge the book by it’s cover, unfortunately, or fortunately this is what actually works in the marketing world.
Unlike your brick and mortar, the success of your online store lies in the conversion rate of your customers. For this to happen you will have to rank well on the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).
Through this article, we are providing you with a comprehensive guide on how to design an eCommerce website that is guaranteed to provide you with all the relevant information for you to develop a website that is loaded to succeed.
Let’s take one step at a time.
1. Choosing the apt domain name:
First and foremost in this quest of success is literally the naming ceremony of your website. You will have to choose your domain name with utmost care because your whole empire’s success relies on this domain name.
Meaning, the name you choose for your website will directly have an impact on the number of views and customers you will earn. In other words, your domain name should be SEO friendly.
Search Engine Optimization is a tool through which, if used the right way will earn you many customers.
For instance, let’s take that you are developing a new online store in order to expand your existing brick and mortar store.
It is natural that you will want to keep the same name, maybe for sentimental reasons or because your store is quite popular in your area.
However, if it does not have the keywords that are usually used to browse in the search engine then there are high chances of your website getting lost.
Hence you will need to think of it as a long-term investment and choose a name that will help you drive high traffic to your store. Here are a few tips on how to optimize the domain name of your eCommerce website.
- Keep your domain name crisp. Having lengthy names makes it difficult to remember in the long run. It is ideal to keep it to a max of 20 to 25 characters.
- Choose a name that resonates with your business. If your domain name says one thing and your website is about another thing then it might even lead people to not trust your online store.
- Make sure you use subfolders in your domain link rather than sub-domains itself.
- Try and use relevant SEO keywords in your name.
Once you have a domain name in your mind you can head to websites like GoDaddy, google domains to buy one and register it.
2. Choose an apt eCommerce platform:
As the subheading suggests, an eCommerce platform is where your website actually lives. There are many ways in which you can develop your online store platform.
Some are free but have limited options, and some offer you unlimited support with up-to-date features. Choosing an eCommerce platform is the very foundation of your virtual store.
Understand your business goals and limitations and then choose your platforms respectively. There are three ways in which you can develop your own eCommerce platform.
1. Building it from scratch( on your own or hiring a tech team)
This totally depends on how much time you have and your monetary investment.
Depending on this and the technical knowledge you have you can either develop your eCommerce website yourself or else you can hire a tech team that can exclusively build the platform for you.
2. Buying a SaaS platform (Soft as a Service)
This is one of the most preferred software solutions. This is a method of software lending where the Host/Server, Domain, and Software, are the developer’s but you will be labeled as the owner.
Also known as Marketplace-as-a-Service you will have to pay a monthly or yearly maintenance fee.
3. Purchasing a turnkey solution
Most efficient solutions of all. The fastest method to launch your website. These are ready-made software that you can also customize according to your needs.
You will also be getting the source code. Unlike the SaaS platform, you will be the owner of the host, domain, and platform. And there is no periodic maintenance fee required as well.
3. Secure your eCommerce website
Security is the most important thing in the cyber world. And given there will be financial transactions happening very frequently you will have to always be on guard. Client confidentiality is always of the utmost importance.
And customers will definitely expect that their personal information will be kept secure. SSL certificates authenticate the identity of a website and encrypt information and secure it.
It is an essential sign that indicates that all of their checkout processes are secure. You can purchase different types of SSL(Secure Sockets Layer) certificates through the internet itself depending on the purpose you want it to serve.
4. Make your site navigation user friendly
User experience is all that matters for the success of your online website. Here simplicity and frictionless navigation is the keyword for a great eCommerce site design.
The basic motive of shopping online is convenience and to save time. And if your customers feel that your pages are complex to figure out and it takes them too much time then there are high chances of them not visiting your website ever again.
Hence, in order to avoid this situation, there are a few tips that you can implement.
- Integrate a universal menu on the landing page. And sometimes even footer menus, top and sidebar menus where needed
- Provide a site-wide search bar
- Provide detailed descriptions of the products as a hover message or below it instead of on a separate page or link
- Integrate a search auto-complete function
- Provide sorting and filtering of options
- Provide quick-view of products, especially during checkouts, etc
5. Provide Specific CTA’s
Call-To-Action buttons are a must in sites that require taking multiple steps by a customer. Simply put, these are buttons that guide them towards what to do next or where to click for a particular action to be executed.
Is designed and integrated strategically CTAs can be a mode to increase your conversion rate as well. There are many ways in which you can implement CTA’s. Some of them are-
- As an action button
- Banner CTA
- Pop-Up CTA
and many more.
6. Implementing SEO
Search Engine Optimization is an age-old technique and a successful one in driving traffic to the websites that use them appropriately.
As iterated before integrating keywords in all the right places will get you your SERPs ranking and hence attract the attention of the audience you deserve.
You can always check your success through SEO using tools like- Google analytics. There are many ways in which you can implement SEO. Some of the best ways are-
- Implementation of keyword
- Develop your site architecture based on your keyword research
- Use keyword-rich meta tags and contents for an on-page SEO optimization
- Integrate technical SEO to increase your site’s visibility by the search engine
- Use link building strategy to help improve the authority for your website etc
7. Simple Checkouts
The cart abandonment rate is about 65% to 70% which is why it is one of the main reasons that an online store fails to make the targeted sales.
The success of your website solely depends on the purchase that is made. Hence, there is no need for a sophisticated and complex checkout page design.
Here are a few tips which will help you to design your eCommerce store in a more efficient way-
- Permit checkouts for guests without log in: Meaning, registration as an option not a mandatory field to make the purchases.
- Always keep it simple: There is always a possibility of overdoing things in the beginning stages. So keep a check on what are the necessary features and simple for the customers to navigate through.
- Provide multiple payment options: Try and provide as many payment options as possible as people have varied preferences, ranging from cash-on-delivery to NEFT facilities.
- Make error messages easy to understand. Do not use technical language to indicate an error, especially in the check-out procedure as it might just lead to cart abandonment.
- Offer support in each and every step. Given there might be loads of products leading to multiple pages it might sometimes get confusing. Hence, implement live chats or chatbots or provide mail IDs and contact info on every page so that it will guide your customers through a purchase.
- Include a purchase tracker or a progress bar in every page so that it helps customers to know how far away and if they are on the right track of making the purchase.
8. Implement feedback and an FAQ system
There might be customer queries or questions regarding multiple topics regarding the operations of your website or business policies.
And, understandably there is no time nor the manpower to answer every single one of them over and over again.
Hence it is best to have an FAQ section in your website with all the possible questions that might come at you once you are live.
Along with this, provide your customers with contact numbers and mail IDs in case of any queries that might not have been in your pre-mentioned list. And introducing chatbots are also a way of providing personalized services to your customers.
There will always be You need to give room for growth and improvement. Just because the platform works doesn’t mean that it cannot be enhanced or upgraded.
Implementing a rating and feedback system is a must in any kind of occupation you are in. One cannot get everything right the very first time. There are lots of trial and error testing even before the launch of the website.
And even after the platform goes live there will definitely be some remarks and feedback that will come your way.
And taking in the feedback positively and working on it is what counts and makes for a greater user experience. And this is the way in gaining a larger customer base and a greater retention rate too.
You can choose to implement in the form of-
- Online feedback form
- Followup email
- Call options etc
This list might seem long, but this is how you effectively design an eCommerce website that is guaranteed to succeed.
All the steps are prime essentials. So, make sure you understand them all thoroughly before jumping into conclusions. Hope the information helps you to make informed decisions.
However, in case you need any more information or help with any of the above steps or anything pertaining to developing your own online store do reach out to us.
You are just a click away.
Shopygen is a great platform that provides turnkey eCommerce software solutions, customized to build highly scalable marketplace startups in unique niches.