E-commerce is growing so big that it is killing off shopping centres that don’t have other facilities that encourage people to visit like movie theatres and indoor recreational facilities. E-commerce is shutting down many brick and mortar stores, though some remain in business as websites only. Even if you have a brick and mortar store, you need to be selling online to remain in business. Here are four easy ways to improve your e-commerce website’s layout and maximise the number of visitors who become paying customers.
When you create an e-commerce page for each product, use at least one high quality image of the product per product listing. First and foremost, make certain the image you are showing for the product is what the customer is seeking. There’s no point in putting an iPhone 4 in a listing for an iPhone 5. Show the wrong model or brand, and customers who realise it won’t buy from you out of fear they’ll receive the wrong item or give you bad reviews when they don’t receive what they saw in the image.
The image should be placed on the far left, since this is what people will notice first. Ideally, you would show two or more relevant images, such as showing the sides and the back of the item or showing it in use. All of these images need to load fast enough to not drive away mobile users from the website.
Video in product listings increases conversion rates, but the downside is the load time. One possible solution is hosting product videos on YouTube with the embedded video on the page that only loads and shows if the customer clicks on it.
One common mistake for product pages is having SEO that is completely irrelevant to the product listed. For example, you see toys with tags like green and stuffed instead of “crib-safe” and “ages 6-12 months” that customers are searching for. You should use the same keywords entered in the product setup process to properly categorise the product in your product description, whether 12 volt plug, CARB approved, ISO 9000, eco-friendly or organic. While the product categorisation certainly impacts the search results for the products found through your search results or e-commerce platforms like Amazon, adding these terms as part of e-commerce website design aids search engines in bringing people directly to your product page when searching for that type of product.
Your e-commerce site should be set up so that it takes no more than three clicks maximum to get to the product page they are seeking. This does not include the check boxes someone may click to narrow down the options by size, colour, style, model or manufacturer. It should involve navigation on your e-commerce site as someone moves down the product tree, such as men’s clothing – pants and shorts – cargo shorts. Implementing this without errors may require calling in a pro to improve your ecommerce web site design.
The surest way to convert visitors to customers is to have the shortest path possible to purchasing your product. This is the reason Amazon implemented its one click buying process, and it explains why ordering at the click of an app button is the holy grail of so many business apps. Every other e-commerce site should seek to streamline the checkout process as much as possible. Auto-fill everything you can, since mobile users will love this. For example, copy the delivery address into the billing address. The only caveat is that people must be able to edit the auto-fill in case it is wrong.
Eliminate as many data collection fields as possible. If you have a drop down box to make things simpler for mobile users, keep the number of options so short that the drop down box fills only one screen.
Use high quality images that promote your product without hurting website performance. Video is useful but not necessary. Use SEO terms on the e-commerce page that match up with how customers search for your products. Keep the product directory structure as flat as possible, and optimise the checkout process to prevent shopping cart abandonment.