6 essentials for a successful e-commerce site
Believe it or not, in a World Wide Web filled with department stores and mass retailers, small businesses have the opportunity to shine more than ever. A well-designed e-commerce site can be used to share your brand story, highlight the role your business plays in the community, and how your specialization in a given product or service is better than the competition.
If you’re looking to launch an e-commerce site of your own, or improve your existing e-commerce experience, read on for the top components of any successful e-commerce shop.
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1. Treat your e-commerce site like a live space (IRL)
By this, we mean you should give website design the same heart and thoughtfulness as you did when you first built out your physical store. Brick-and-mortar entrepreneurs who are exploring an expansion to online must remember that creating a thriving e-commerce enterprise can be done from scratch–but you can’t treat the online space as an afterthought.
This is where attention to design comes into play. Think about your existing storefront or the brand you aim to build, and make sure these elements (such as typography, colors, and graphics) transfer to the website’s aesthetics. There are many free resources that can help you easily create beautiful banners and graphics, such as Canva, Crello, and Easil, to name a few. And if you don’t have one already, take advantage of Namecheap’s free logo maker.
2. Brand relevance is key
If you already run a brick-n-mortar store, it’s critical that you choose a domain name that closely matches your physical brand. Consider alternative domain endings, like .US, .CO, and .BIZ to increase domain availability and create a short, memorable, and relevant URL.
A well-crafted URL will immediately let the user know who you are and what you do as a business. When it comes to domain names, the shorter the better to increase brand recall and drive more website traffic.
3. Don’t underestimate the power of SEO
It doesn’t matter how beautiful your new website is, if search engines can’t find it, then your customers won’t find you. This is where SEO (search engine optimization) comes into play.
Take the time to ensure your website is well optimized with keywords related to your product or service, increasing its visibility in the highly cluttered and competitive world of search engine rankings. And if you haven’t created the appropriate social media accounts for your shop yet, you want to make sure you create them and link everything back to your e-commerce site.
If you’d like to learn more about this topic, check out our guide on SEO for small businesses.
4. Make the checkout process quick & easy
For starters, try to offer as many payment options as possible, ranging from major credit cards to more innovative and automated payment systems like Apple Pay and Google Pay.
This is very important for an easy checkout process and better customer experience, especially if your shop serves both local and global audiences. Some countries prefer to use credit cards for online payments, while others prefer digital payment systems like PayPal, so having multiple payment options is crucial for success.
5. Target mobile audiences
Optimize marketing initiatives for mobile leveraging Google Ads and social platforms such as Facebook and Instagram ads. These channels host a primarily mobile audience and can capture in-the-moment shoppers. As mentioned, it is critical to make sure your mobile shopping site offers a great user experience, with easy navigation and checkout features. With cart abandonment rates of more than 75%, business owners cannot afford to lose customers due to too many redirects or required clicks.
6. Create an e-commerce with a soul
Use your site as an opportunity to connect with customers and develop a personal relationship, rather than just a transaction.
Anticipate their questions and needs with a Frequently Asked Questions section. Share your founding story and your startup mission by creating a compelling About Us page. Customers are interested in knowing who you are and what you stand for. If you are an expert in a particular area, think of creating a blog with useful tips and tricks for website visitors, or curate content related to your products and services. Your knowledge and dedication to enlightening your customers will speak volumes about your business and product.
Remember, developing and launching a website is an ongoing process, so the best piece of advice we can give you is to just go for it! Even a single-page website gets your store off the ground and into the virtual world. Start there and work on optimizing the experience as you go. If you haven’t already, reserve your business name now. If you’re looking for a domain that is uniquely you, look no further than .US.