While “good enough” ecommerce sites connect a user or consumer to a product, a truly “great” site does that and much more. A great e-commerce site not only connects users and the products they want, but is efficient, easy and fun, says Daniel Alves, the design director for the small business web design division at the digital marketing and web design company 352 Media Group.
Alves offers some simple pointers on making an ecommerce site that not only gives users what they’re looking for, but also contributes to increased profitability, repeat business, loyal customers and business growth.
Using a hosted WordPress ecommerce site can make it easier, more efficient and fun for you, too, as the person tasked with ensuring the site is stable, scalable, fast, and available. WordPress is a great back-end Content Management System (CMS) that can be used by developers of most any skill level. And, WordPress offers options for both standard desktop viewing as well as mobile devices, tablets and smartphones.
This is a crucial aspect to consider. As Anne Thomas, chief operating officer and cofounder at Wapple Ltd., a mobile Web agency offering mobile marketing, design, and consultation, says in this article, nearly 75 percent of smartphone owners access emails, and subsequently link to content, via their devices. “And many of them like to shop using their smartphones, prompted by fellow users with whom they interact by phone while shopping,” Thomas said.
“Such mobile interactions push the user through to a website, and if that site isn’t optimized for mobile, then the opportunity to engage with that consumer is lost,” she said. Thomas says that fifty percent – half – of all users will give up and abandon a page that hasn’t loaded within ten seconds, and three out of five users won’t ever return to your site. That’s a major loss of business, reputation, and revenue
The team at Blue Riot Labs has compiled a great list of ways to ensure your WordPress e-commerce site is delivering the best experience possible for your customers.
Use Common Field Names
Don’t try and get fancy when you’re naming fields, the Blue Riot team said. You want forms to be easily recognizable – and therefore, not intimidating – to users, and to make it easier for browser auto-fillers to input customers’ information. Your goal should be to make the shopping and checkout experience faster and more efficient, not frustrating and complex.
Make Inventory Easy To Buy
Make purchasing painless. Sure, setting up a registration option is helpful once you have loyal, repeat customers, making registration mandatory is a great way to turn buyers off and lose their business. “Instead, let your customers buy even without registering,” advises Blue Riot. “And of course, you’ll want to form incentives for signing in — and you’ll likely see a rise in your site’s conversion rates.”
Everything Should Be Two Clicks Away
It’s maddening when sites bury products under four pages of “click-throughs.” If you can, make it easy for customers to get to their desired products in two clicks or less, and your conversions and revenues will skyrocket.
Make Product Details Optional
Don’t go crazy wordsmithing lengthy descriptions for your products – users won’t be impressed. You can certainly use a short description with a “hover-over” option for a longer explanation, but keep it simple and concise. The bonus is that, design-wise, your products page will be neater, more organized, and easier to update. Everyone wins!
Build Your Site For Shoppers, Not Search Engines
Yes, you want to optimize your site for search engines, but remember who you’re really targeting – customers. Make sure your site is easy to find, visually pleasing, simple and quick to use and make checkout painless, and shoppers will come to you.
These tips will ensure your WordPress ecommerce site is the best it can be, and will keep customers engaged, happy, and coming back for more.
Sharon Florentine is a freelance writer who covers everything from holistic veterinary care to data center technology and occasionally blogs for cloud provider Rackspace Hosting.