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6 Things eCommerce Companies Should Focus on When Developing a Website

While the eCommerce market was already growing at a fast pace, its growth has exploded ever since the pandemic. Despite Covid and lockdowns, the eCommerce industry added 20 million new shoppers in 2020

This is a good sign for anyone looking to start an eCommerce store - there is active demand, and people are willing to spend on online shopping.

That being said, there is also heavy competition in the world of eCommerce. Although the market is not saturated, your store will need to stand out and grab attention in order to thrive.

How your eCommerce store is designed and developed will greatly impact how many visitors you attract, how engaged they are, and how many products you sell. This is clearly an area you should be focusing on when starting an eCommerce business. In this article, we give you 6 tips to implement when developing an eCommerce site to help you increase engagement and conversions.

1. Define your brand and tailor the site around it 

You're looking for more than just one-time buyers, you're looking for loyal customers, and customers are loyal to brands, not products. Loyalty comes in many forms - repeat purchases, great testimonials, word-of-mouth promotions, and so on.

For consumers to be loyal, they need to connect to the 'brand' emotionally, and you have to give them something to connect to. That something will be your brand elements - your eCommerce store name, logo, brand colors, tagline, and so on.

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The first step in designing and developing an eCommerce store should be branding. Select a name that consumers will remember, design a simple and elegant logo that will stay imprinted in their minds, and choose colors that will be consistent throughout your company's assets.

2. Choose a platform that is specifically built for eCommerce

Choosing the right platform is very important, especially for eCommerce brands because they rely completely on the website for revenue. The platform should be easy to use so you can get a site up fast, it should be flexible enough for you to build a custom store, adding and managing products should be easy, and it should be reliable in terms of uptime.

Building an eCommerce store from scratch is a time-consuming and costly endeavor. A better option is to choose from existing platforms that are leaders in the market, like Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento, or WooCommerce (via WordPress).

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Another advantage of going with these platforms is that you can use third-party plugins to implement any functionality you want. For example, you can easily implement product recommendations on Shopify by purchasing a plug-and-play Shopify recommendation engine from the Shopify store. This saves you a lot of time and effort.

3. Design the UI and UX for simplicity of use

The purpose of an eCommerce website is to give consumers the information they need and make a sale. Unlike other domains, eCommerce sites don't need to be fancy with excessive bells and whistles. They need to be simple and easy to use.

The UI and UX should be designed for ease of use. Consumers should be able to understand what you sell, find the product they want, get all the information they need, and make a purchase, seamlessly.

Design a convenient navigation bar with all important links, and use features like a search bar, categories, and filters to help visitors move around the site and find products easily. Make sure you apply this principle of keeping things simple to the checkout process as well. One of the top reasons why people abandon eCommerce shopping carts is because of a long and complicated checkout process.

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4. Use high-quality pictures and videos

Pictures and videos are going to be the key selling points in your eCommerce store, so invest in getting high-quality images and videos.

Consumers today are spoilt for choice and make snap decisions when deciding whether to continue shopping on a site or bounce to another one. Brands have a very short window to grab attention and hook the consumer.

Images and videos will play a key role in grabbing attention and keeping the consumer engaged on your site. You can also provide a ton of information through these assets, especially through videos. If you don't want to invest in shooting new photos and videos, sign up with a service provider like Shutterstock to get stock images and videos and then edit them to make them unique to your brand.

5. The site has to be responsive across all devices

In 2021, over half (54.4 percent) of the global website traffic was generated via smartphones according to a report by Statista.

Consumers are going to visit your store through multiple devices - phones, desktops, tablets, smart TVs, and so on. It's important to cater to all of these devices, or you will risk losing customers.

Another important reason to create a responsive design is for SEO. Search engines will analyze your site for each device and if it is responsive, you stand a better chance of ranking higher on SERPs.

Plan for a responsive site right from the design phase. Create separate designs for different devices so you know how the end result should be for each device.

6. Implement social proof to increase conversions

Social proof is a powerful tool when it comes to increasing conversions. In fact, something as simple as showing recent customer activity for a product (like John Doe purchased this product 15 minutes back) can boost conversions by up to 15 percent.

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What is social proof? It's providing proof of quality for a product through reviews, recommendations, testimonials, and other customer-based interactions. Surveys have shown that a product page with 1-10 reviews is 52 percent more likely to convert than a page without any reviews.

Social proof is potent because consumers trust the word of other consumers. Implement different modes of social proof on your eCommerce store and create a process for gathering feedback from customers who buy your products.

Conclusion

Your site should be built to deliver a frictionless experience for the user. This may require investing some time and money at the start for UI and UX designs, purchasing a premium platform like Shopify, buying solutions like recommender engines, and so on, but this initial investment will be returned many times over once the site starts performing.

These 6 tips will help you get started on the right foot when you begin developing your eCommerce store. Remember, with eCommerce, simple is better.


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