Ecommerce, like any other field of business, is a highly varied field. What works for one website might not work with another. However, there are five traits that almost all highly effective (that is, profitable) ecommerce websites seem to share. Here are the five qualities that can make a huge difference in your ecommerce success.
Show your hand. There are fields where it is important to keep your advantages to yourself. Ecommerce is not one of these. What is the key advantage that you offer over the competition? Great service? Rare products? Low prices? Make sure customers find out what sets you apart from the competition on your landing pages and that they are reminded in every page of your ecommerce website.
Include a call to action on every page. Every page on your website should have a goal, whether it is to make a sale or to drive people to your own website. While it is crucial to know how you want for your customers to react, it is even more important that they know. You accomplish this with a call to action. This can be as simple as a ‘Buy Now’ button or as complicated as a detailed argument. The exact form of your call to action will vary according to your market, but make sure it is there.
Offer several sales options. Although you have probably thought a lot about your target customer and how they behave, it is just as important to remember that your customers are individuals. Offer multiple options for sales—different packages, gift options, and more straightforward products as well. In addition, give your customers multiple ways to find those options, usually in the form of search functions. Customers love to browse and make their own selections, so enable this in a variety of ways. It replicates the pleasant experience of browsing through a shopping center, and it probably won’t cost you anything.
Include the features that they love. What features will entice your market and keep them coming back? Is it gift options such as wrapping and enclosed notes, or free shipping? Are they micromanagers who want to follow the packing and shipping process down to every detail? Almost every group of people has a little extra something that will make them become satisfied, repeat customers. Your job is to figure out exactly what this feature is and then to find the program that allows you to offer it with the least ongoing management from you and your employees.
Make check out fast. Impulse buying can be an important part of an ecommerce website’s sales. However, you’ll lose out on this lucrative market if your checkout process is so long or complicated that customers lose the impulse. This can be accomplished with good shopping cart software, a streamlined checkout process, and clear details on how the checkout and shipping process works. In addition, it helps if you break your checkout process into steps and explain up front what these steps are. That way, customers can see from the start how easy it is to buy from you.