When you’re building a website for your ecommerce business, the goal is to encourage people to buy something. You can’t focus solely on the site’s appearance (though that’s also important); you’ll need to make sure every component of the website’s design guides visitors further into the buyer journey.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to build an ecommerce website, whether you’re going the DIY route or hiring someone. Whichever strategy you use, take these steps to make sure your site will meet its goals.
Organize the Site Based on Visitors’ Shopping Behavior
One of the first things to do when building an ecommerce site is to decide which categories and pages to include. Obviously, you’ll want a well-designed home page, as well as a page for each product you’re selling. But, how can you organize those pages so buyers find just what they’re searching for? Think of how a potential buyer is likely to browse and get more info on how to build a website architecture that fits those habits. Anyone who visits your site will quickly be able to narrow their search based on their needs, and by grouping similar items together with the Shop by Brand extension for Magento 2, it’s easier for buyers to choose what they really want.
Make the Site Responsive
According to recent trends, roughly one-third of online shopping happens on phones, tablets, and other mobile devices. If the site for your ecommerce business isn’t well-suited to mobile, you’ll miss out on many potential sales and your SEO will suffer. For most sites, the best way to become mobile-friendly is to build with responsiveness in mind. A responsive site provides the same images and info no matter which device it’s on, but those components are positioned so that each page fits the screen. Thankfully, responsive sites have become the norm, and most designers and builders offer responsive options.
Don’t Forget the Search Bar
Most of your site’s visitors will be perfectly happy to browse until they find what they need, but some will come with a specific item in mind. A built-in search bar allows these visitors to get there directly, and every ecommerce website should have one.
Include a Shopping Cart Function
Most of the time, people don’t go online to buy just one thing; they’ll spend a bit of time browsing for other stuff. Shopping carts allow visitors to “save” the things they want to buy as they browse, and they make the purchase process seamless and simple. And, for a visitor who puts items in their cart but doesn’t buy them right away, it’s easy to follow up with reminder emails.
Include Customer Reviews
More than 50% of online shoppers say that reviews play a big role in their purchase decisions. Reading customer reviews is now a regular part of the buyer journey, and by including them on your website, you let your customers hear directly from one another. Enabling third-party reviews shows your buyers that your offerings can stand up to honest feedback. If those reviews are mostly positive, your sales will only increase.
Offer Guest Checkout
When someone creates an account on your site, it gives you numerous opportunities. Your customers can use some of the features we’ve discussed here, and you can provide them with reminder emails and promotions when they come around. However, account creation takes time, and it may feel like an inconvenience for some. With guest checkout, you’ll expedite the process for first-time buyers.
Prominently Display Your Contact Info
Though you should make every effort to answer customers’ most common questions, most buyers will need to get in touch with your company at some time. When that time comes, make the process as easy as possible. Don’t make customers dig through the site for a phone number or email address. After all, it’s impossible to provide great customer service if those customers can’t find you!
Do Several Rounds of User Testing
Building a website for your ecommerce business requires a lot of guesswork as to what will elicit a response from your customers. Even if your site is designed based on their perceived behaviors, you probably won’t get everything right the first time. Before launch day, put the website through some usability tests. Bring in a few outsiders and have them take steps such as creating a site account, making purchases, and signing up for a newsletter. Your testers will offer first-hand feedback about any inconveniences or difficulties they experience, and you’ll be able to use that information to make last-minute adjustments.
Design Your Site With Quality and Usability in Mind
Online businesses succeed and fail based on the quality of their sites. With due diligence, the tips in this guide, and the Shop by Brand extension for Magento 2, you can build a long-lasting, successful ecommerce website.