10 Tips For Creating A Successful eCommerce Website

[VIDEO TRANSCRIPT]

In today’s video I’m going to give you 10 tips on how to create a successful eCommerce website, so get ready to take some notes.

Hi, I’m Oliver Bannister co-founder of Mechanised and we build and design bespoke websites, eCommerce stores and provide SEO, paid advertising and social media marketing services.

So why am I making this video today?

Anyone can create an eCommerce store but not everyone succeeds in selling products and turning a profit. Setting up your business online is a smart move as online shopping grows year on year and due to the current situation there’s been a major shift in buying habits and there’s been an explosion in online shopping.

Customers that didn’t previously shop online are comfortable in doing so. So it’s up to you to take your business to them.

Before I get into it, if you like the video, like the video and if you have any questions leave them in the comments and I’ll make sure that I answer them all, so let’s get into it.

Tip #1 – A simple user journey and excellent experience.

To get the most sales out of your eCommerce site you want to focus on having a simple user journey and an excellent customer experience.

The more enjoyable your site is to use means your customers will stick around for longer, browse through more products and not get frustrated and leave. In doing so, you’ll start to increase your conversion rate and start to increase sales.

In fact, most of the tips in this video are to do with the user journey and experience, so make sure it’s your top priority.

Tip #2 – A solid home page layout.

Most of your visitors will see your home page so it’s important that it looks the part. You want it to look trustworthy, professional and better than your competitors.

So this is a Shopify store which we created for our client Beautiful Bambino and it’s a great example of what should be included on your home page.

So starting at the top there is an announcement bar to quickly draw attention to any discount codes and offers.

The logo is at the top and is clearly visible.

There is a search bar so customers can quickly find a specific item they’re looking for.

The navigation is simple, easy to use and uncluttered.

The hero images draw attention to their new products.

There is a category section showing the top categories so customers can get to them quicker.

There is a key feature section which is great for giving quick information and removing barriers around delivery costs returns and payment options.

There is a section to showcase new and favourite products. There’s a map showing the showroom.

There is an Instagram feed to show off what their social content is like.

In the footer, there are clear links to supplementary pages which are useful if customers are unsure about anything.

And finally, the business address, phone number, company number and vat number are clearly displayed at the bottom of the page. This increases customer trust because they know it’s a real business and they can get hold of them if needed to.

Tip #3 –  Simple, clear navigation.

You want to keep your navigation simple and uncluttered so customers can find their way around your website.

If you’ve got a large product list you really need to think about categorisation and how to present it so you don’t overwhelm the customers.

So let’s take a look at the navigation on Beautiful Bambino.

There are six major categories in the main navigation and all the minor pages have been moved into the footer to keep it uncluttered and clean.

We had to think about the drop-down menus and what we did is think about how the customer’s shop. So some know which brands they want to buy and some just want to browse the whole category.

So what we did is we split every drop-down to make it easier to read.

So the brands drop-down is split into alphabetical sections which keep it easy to read. Because if we just use a single list it would have just been too long.

All the other drop-downs are split into subcategories and it’s also split into brands so customers can quickly view a subcategory or they can just go straight to the brand if they know what they want.

Tip #4 – Show off your products.

If you want to sell more products online it’s important to have clear product images, allowing the customer to view it from all angles.

Your product descriptions must be able to sell the products including its practicalities and also use bullet points to list key features so customers can quickly scan it.

The price needs to be clear as well as any obvious options, add to cart and buy now buttons.

If your product has a long lead time it’s good to set out delivery expectations.

One thing Beautiful Bambino does really well is setting delivery expectations. On each product, there is a separate delivery time so customers know exactly when to expect it.

This is a really smart move as it reduces the amount of enquiries after checkout.

Tip #5 – Answer common customer questions.

You want your customers to check out as quickly and as easily as possible, but customers can quickly change the minds if they can’t find the answers to their questions.

Before you launch your eCommerce store make sure you have the following pages.

So you want a delivery information page which lets customers know which countries you deliver to, how much it costs and which couriers you use.

You want a returns policy or a terms and conditions page which lets customers know the process of returning goods.

You want an alternative way to order page because some customers aren’t confident in checking out online. So if you can offer them an alternative way to pay then you can still get the purchase. Also, sometimes debit cards just don’t work for one reason or another so if you offer an alternative route then you can still win that customer.

So you want an about page to let customers know who you are and what your mission is.

You also need a contact page listing your telephone number, email address, street address and a form as well is also handy. You want to make sure that your customers can get hold of you when they want to.

And finally, you need a privacy and cookie policy page, so this is a requirement since GDPR and it’s very good for the privacy-conscious customers.

Tip #6 – Keep customers coming back.

Make sure you have an email sign up on your website to build a list of loyal customers, but only collect emails if you’re planning to do something with them. Don’t just collect them for the sake of it.

Also, give customers a reason to sign up whether it be product discounts or pre-ordering new products. Don’t just say “sign up for a newsletter” because it’s boring and you’re not a local community group. So give your customers a reason to sign up.

Tip #7 – A happy customer is a repeat customer.

The best way to keep a customer happy is to keep them informed. Customers love to be kept in the loop about their orders and by sending follow-up emails you can keep them happy and reduce future headaches.

The first email should be sent immediately after purchase showing the customer exactly what they’ve bought and confirming their shipping details.

A second email should be sent once the item has been dispatched showing the customer that the order is moving along.

A third email can be sent by the courier. Some couriers send customers emails or a text giving them a delivery window and an opportunity to reschedule if they’re not going to be in.

If you can do all of this you’ll turn your customers into happy repeat customers.

Tip #8 – Don’t let orders slip through your fingers.

Customers can abandon the checkout process at any time.

They may have been distracted they may have lost connection or they might not have the bank card on them. To boost your conversion rates send them an abandoned cart email.

In the email, you can add a discount code to push them over the line to make the purchase or you can ask them if they’ve had any difficulty checking out and offer them alternative routes of payment. Either way, you can win the customer back and make the sale.

Tip #9 – Grow a loyal customer base by adding social media links.

Adding a live feed to an eCommerce site you can grow your social media accounts.

By creating engaging content showing your brand journey, discounts and new products you can keep your brand on your customer’s radar and when they’re ready to buy again, they’ll buy from you.

Tip #10 – Show your industry knowledge.

Show your customers you know what you’re talking about by creating articles and posting them to your blog.

The articles can be about anything you want but just make sure they’re interesting and ask yourself “would I read this article?”.

Articles can be about new products, reviews, buying guides, industry trends, listicles, you name it, but again just make it’s interesting.

When you’ve created a new article make sure you share it on social media. Post it to Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google My Business, wherever your customers are, make sure they can see it.

Also, it’s a good idea to sponsor the content. Put little money behind it to target a new audience and you can attract some new customers.

Finally, don’t forget to share it with your email list.

So those are my top 10 tips for creating a successful eCommerce store and all you have to do now is put it into practice and I’m sure you’ll be selling products in no time!

So if you’ve got any questions, please leave in the comments below and I’ll make sure I get back to everyone and thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time.

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