The Five Things You Must Consider Before Creating an eCommerce Website: Your Customer

July 20, 2016

The customer is always right. That’s why this is the first thing you must consider before building an eCommerce website. Attracting, engaging, and retaining customers is the goal of any business and an eCommerce site should be built to do just this. Achieving this begins with a contemporary web design and an intuitive user-experience.

Have you ever walked into a store that was a mess? Displays are crooked, light bulbs are out, items are scattered on the floor; you can’t get out of that place fast enough. The same is true with an eCommerce website. Just like a brick and mortar location, an online store should feel comfortable and engaging and make shopping easy and intuitive for customers. You would never stand for disorganization in your store – it’s vitally important that same commitment to your customers is communicated in your eCommerce website design.[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]

It All Starts With Design

If your customers aren’t saying “wow” when they get to your site, it still needs work. The foundation and credibility of an eCommerce site begins and ends with web design. No matter how great your product is, no one will buy from (or trust) an ugly website.

Website Photography

Beautiful, custom web photography is a must for any eCommerce website. Investing the money to have professional photography of each of your products will always pay off. Do not settle for poorly lit iPhone photos to represent your company. Even if you’re currently working out of a basement, quality web page pictures can turn your online presence into that of a big city boutique.

Messaging

Business owners love to talk about their company, but there’s no time for that on an eCommerce site. Website copy should intrigue a visitor to complete an action in the most efficient and cleanest way possible. Crafting effective web content that compliments an eCommerce site’s design is akin to an art form. Leaning on the talents of an SEO copywriter is a smart way to get an outsider’s perspective on your company’s messaging and gain insights into what your customers are expecting on your website.

Great Design Breeds Great User Experience

Every website should focus on crafting a great user experience. This is even more important when trying to get visitors to give you their money. There are many factors that go into building user experience, but three of the most important for an eCommerce site design are: Site Speed, Product Selection, and The Transaction.

Have you ever been to a website that is brutally slow? It’s painful. A slow website is a surefire way to stop customers in their tracks and send them to a competitor. Work with a professional eCommerce web developer to build your site correctly and ensure that it is able to handle the size of your business at a speed that will leave your visitors saying “wow.”

Help your visitors find and buy what they’re looking for fast! Customers don’t want to spend hours searching for what they need, so create an organized product structure that’s easily searchable. Define products by categories, brands, or sizes to help visitors narrow your inventory to their needs. Invest upfront to build a custom product search engine that will deliver exactly what a visitor is looking for in the first few results.

Now that the customer has their wallet out, don’t blow it. 69% of online shoppers abandon their cart right before purchase. Why is this? They likely feel apprehensive about the purchase and leave the site to do more research or browse other sites for a better price. The goal is to make your customers feel the most confident when on the shopping cart and transaction pages. Here are some ways to do just this:

  • Shipping Costs: Avoid the surprise of high shipping costs by letting your customers know earlier on. Some sites display their shipping costs on the product pages or even the home page to avoid the surprise at checkout.
  • Accepting Payments: Give a customer every opportunity to give you money. Your eCommerce platform should accept multiple payment methods including major credit cards, PayPal,, and even money orders. There is no excuse for losing a customer because your store doesn’t accept American Express.
  • User Accounts: Forcing a customer to create an account in order to complete their purchase often leads to a last-minute decision not to buy. Creating an account has no immediate benefit for the customer and unnecessarily prolongs the transaction. If you’d like to offer the option of a user account, wait until after they’ve completed the purchase before bringing it up or present it in the context of making future purchases quicker and easier.

This is Just the Tip of the Iceberg

Attracting, engaging, and retaining customers online is not easy. Business owners need to spend hours sketching out the design and user experience of their eCommerce store. Partnering with a digital marketing agency that specializes in eCommerce design and development ensures that this process remains efficient and cost effective. Contact Brandography’s eCommerce team to learn more about creating a successful and profitable online store that your customers can’t wait to shop at again and again.

Stay tuned for our next post in this series: The Five Things You Must Consider Before Creating an eCommerce Website: Your Goals.

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