If you are running an ecommerce business, you know how important it is to have a well-designed and well-serviced website.
Here are some key elements of an ecommerce site that contribute to a great customer experience:
Design and Appearance
Your website is the “face” of your company. You could have the greatest products in the world and provide customer service that’s second-to-none, but potential customers will never get to experience this unless they actually make a purchase. First impressions count!
Keep in mind that the number of products on your site also won’t necessarily determine the success of your business. Sometimes too much choice can cause customers to become overwhelmed. It can also make it harder for customers to find products on your site, period – and can make it tough for you to fulfill orders.
Searchability / Navigation
An often-overlooked element of an ecommerce website is an onsite search engine. An effective search tool should provide an optimal number of relevant results quickly. Successful ecommerce sites allow customers to search for products by category, by brand, by simple keyword search, or even by color or size, where applicable. Take the time here to really think through how different visitors may search. You can’t sell something that cannot be found!
Describe the product in clear and concise language and provide crisp images, product reviews, ratings and – where applicable – suggestions of accessories or complementary products. Keep your product pages neatly organized and don’t skimp on detail.
The Point of Sale
At the point of checkout, your website must be able to process customers’ transactions smoothly. Barriers to completing the sale can include:
- Asking for more information than you really need
High shipping costs, and/or vague shipping costs. Be transparent here and you’ll save yourself a lot of headaches
- Inconvenient payment methods. Be sure to list all payments on the product page and provide the option to pay using at least 2 types of credit cards plus PayPal, at a minimum.
Speed is especially important for an ecommerce site. Customers are impatient and the faster you can get them to the purchase point, the more likely they are to buy. Website speed is also a way that customers evaluate your reliability as a merchant.
After the Purchase
After the transaction has been completed, your customer should be able to view an order summary and receipt, which should also be provided by email to them. Including links in the receipt that direct the customer to a page on the website where they can track their order is a great way to improve your customer’s experience and build trust.