How to improve your e-commerce website
Having an effective e-commerce site for your company may benefit your customers and your business. Review these tips for getting the most out of your e-commerce site.
Getting the most out of your e-commerce site takes a lot of setup and regular maintenance, but as e-commerce continues to account for a larger and larger percentage of the retail market, the ROI from consistently upgrading your site may be worth it.
E-commerce sites aren’t just for retail businesses, either. Service and B2B companies can also implement digital tools into their websites to improve customer experience.
Here, we’ll brush up on fundamental traits your website should have, then we’ll dig deeper into how you can improve your e-commerce website.
The Basics Keep in mind, style is subjective, and how you want your website to look is different from what you need your website to do. So, while there’s room for creativity around your website’s display and format, the practical requirements for your website are a bit more rigid.
At a minimum, your website should be:
Secure. Make sure your site has an active security certification and display the badges of any additional security software you’re using.
Fast. If you’ve ever viewed a page that was loading too slowly, you understand why a business site needs to be as responsive as possible. If pages load slowly, work with your IT team to optimize the site for faster speeds.
Mobile. Making your website mobile-friendly is crucial as roughly half of all web traffic today comes from mobile devices.1 If you are really scaling up, consider looking into developing your own mobile app.
Optimized. To get your site noticed, you need to invest in search engine optimization (SEO). Boosting your SEO involves adjusting your URLs, headlines, links, and other text on page to rank higher in search results. Free tools like Google Analytics can give you insight into what terms are relevant for your business while also cueing you in to what customers are interested in.
Once the essentials are covered, you can move on to site improvements that benefit both your visitors and your business.
Improving your ecommerce conversion rate Part of improving your e-commerce site boils down to making it better for users. And in a world where web users are accustomed to one-click purchases and self-service features, your customers may have high expectations. While external-facing features bring value to the user, you can also make some back-end improvements that can provide insights for your business.
The correct mix of website features for the best user experience will differ based on your business type, but here are some concepts to start with:
Easy. The user experience on your site should be as seamless and functional as possible. For a retail business, this could mean well-organized and searchable product pages with plenty of information for the discerning customer. For a service business, this might mean self-scheduling capabilities or pricing information. Consider having a form for users to suggest features or conduct testing to find potential improvements. You may also be able to surface new ideas by browsing your competitors’ websites or industry leaders to find out which features improve the customer experience.
Payments. Your customers will likely expect to be able to make purchases anytime, anywhere. Look for solutions – known as payment gateways – to accept payments online that can integrate with your website. You may be able to help avoid cart abandonment by letting customers pay with methods they already use such as Visa Checkout®, PayPal, Apple Pay®, or Google Pay™. This way, they can pay instantly without having to enter their card information again.
Measurement. Tools like Google Analytics can show you which pages on your site garner the most traffic. This insight may provide information on which products or services customers are most interested in. Based on that information, you can approach new product development or new locations with data on what customers want and where they are.
Engagement. When your website starts collecting user information, you can stay in touch with customers who have provided their email. Email is a powerful channel to connect directly with customers. Cart abandonment software is also a strong tool for online retailers. This service sends a follow-up email to those who have left items in an online cart without checking out, allowing your business to potentially recover otherwise lost revenue.
Ultimately, your e-commerce site may become a powerful tool for your business and customers. Start with the basics, then move on to more in-depth improvements to make your site the best it can be.
1 “Desktop vs Mobile vs Tablet Market Share Worldwide - March 2020,” StatCounter, 2020.
Visa Checkout® is a registered mark of Visa®.
Apple, the Apple logo, Apple Pay, Apple Watch, Face ID, iPad, iPad Pro, iPhone, iTunes, Mac, Safari, and Touch ID are trademarks of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. Apple Wallet is a trademark of Apple Inc. The App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.
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