So you might have an online store already or are now 100% ready to build an online store, and you want to know how to make it professional and effective to sell online.
The main idea of an eCommerce website is to provide an excellent user experience (UX) towards the primary goal of the website (selling), and that is mostly made by avoiding friction rather than adding unnecessary stuff to “make it professional” somehow.
Take a look at the best overall eCommerce website design winner of 2020, New Chapter. They successfully created a great user experience through friendly UX, branding consistency, and mobile responsive design. New Chapter managed to do so by providing a personalized experience for its customers.
So how do you enhance your eCommerce website, help it convert more visitors, and make it professional?
1. Start With the Right Platform
With seemingly endless options on eCommerce platforms, you might have difficulty choosing the right one for you. To help you narrow down your choices, I’ve provided a few essential features to keep an eye out when selecting an eCommerce platform:
- Easy-to-build website – look for a platform that has a user-friendly interface and templates.
- Support – choose a platform with excellent customer service that’s ready to help you in a moment’s notice.
- SEO-friendly – the platform needs to be able to help you rank high on SERPs.
- Mobile-friendly – as people now use mobile more than ever, the platform needs to ensure that your site can operate on mobile browsers.
- Security – every eCommerce site should have ample protection.
An example of a great eCommerce platform is Zyro online store. They provide pretty much all of the essential features that I’ve mentioned, and they have very affordable plans.
2. Add Security and Trust Signals
Trust signals are essentially visual or graphic representations that make customers feel safe when shopping from an online store. Here are a few lists of necessary trust signals that your online store should have:
- Website quality – your site needs to look professional and reliable. This can be by having an easy to navigate user interface.
- About us page – to make customers feel safer, you should provide important details about your business. It can be your mission and vision, history of your business, and your contact information.
- Social media – by connecting with customers through a relaxed environment.
- Shipping and return policies by having policies, customers will feel more at ease when buying.
- SSL certification means that communication between customers and your website is safe and secure because the data is encrypted. You can score a free SSL through a provider like Cloudflare.
3. Don’t Make Users Guess
Ensure that your online store has a straightforward UX design so that customers know where everything is located. Some tips on how to improve your website’s UX include:
- Fast loading speed – when customers click on your website, you’ll want it to load as quickly as possible. Customers tend to leave the page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
- Simple and easy navigation – make it so that customers are guided by the interface to navigate through your site easily.
- Filter and sort products – customers should be able to do these to see the products they are looking for more easily.
- Use product images – this visual representation, so that customers know what they are buying.
- Simple checkout options, ensure that you make the transaction process smooth and to the point.
4. Provide the Best Checkout Experience
One of the places where customers often leave a website is the checkout page. Sometimes they find it too difficult or complicated. So here are some tips on how to provide a smooth checkout experience for the customers:
- Prevent shipping cost and other fee surprises – you can always try to offer free shipping. If that’s not possible, then provide the fee before the checkout process, like in the review or cart.
- Don’t require customers to create an account – you can offer a guest checkout, which allows customers to immediately do the transaction by just writing down their email address.
- Create progress indicators – show where they are at the buying stage so that customers know that the process won’t take long.
- Offer alternative paying methods – by giving them more options, customers are not limited to just using a debit card or credit card.
- Make a clear and user-friendly error validation – if customers mistake anywhere in the buying process, they should quickly fix the issue with your error guidance.
5. Make It Seamless to Change Between Mobile and Desktop
About 4 out of 5 Americans are online shoppers, with more than half purchasing from a mobile device.
Your online store must be optimized for mobile use too. Customers won’t go to a store that is hard to navigate on mobile. You should aim to create a similar experience from shopping on a desktop to mobile. Here are some mobile eCommerce designs to consider:
- Avoid large blocks of text.
- Enable smart search to help users find the thing they need easier.
- Use easy to read fonts.
- Place Call-to-action buttons where it’s easy to reach and see.
- Use visual hierarchy, place essential things from your site upfront, products or sale, new collections, etc.
6. Make Sure Load Times Are Lightning Fast
To keep a professional feel, your website should provide very fast page load times. A study found that 53% of visitors leave your page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load and that 47% of them expect the page to load in 2 seconds or less. Here are some things you can do to improve your load time:
- Compress images.
- Optimize your code.
- Improve server responsiveness.
- Reduce redirects.
- Optimize caching.
7. Use High-Res, High-Quality Product Photography
Product photography is crucial. It might be the difference between making or losing a sale. Your visitors are more likely to be drawn to an image rather than texts, meaning you need to create your images as high-resolution and high-quality as possible.
Some ways to do it include:
- Use a Tripod for photo consistency.
- Get your lighting right – you can use natural lighting if you’re on a tight budget or use studio lighting for the best result.
- Get the right camera – you can use your smartphone as the technology keeps on improving, and with the correct settings, will do a good job.
- Make it better in post-processing – you can retouch many things like the background to color correction.
8. Support Your Products With User Reviews and Social Proof
Social proof is essentially a demonstration that people choose to buy or use a product or service. It can be in the form of reviews, testimonials, or sharing through social media. At its heart, it’s a sign of trust.
This is the last necessity to make your site professional. Customers tend to feel more comfortable when buying from a store with great and positive reviews. About 72% of customers see reviews first before purchasing. Some of the ways to gain user reviews are:
- On-site customer reviews – have customers write reviews of the products they purchased from you, and display it on your site.
- Off-site reviews – manage the reviews written on Google or other platforms, ensure that many positive reviews are available and when there are negative reviews, solve the issue immediately by reaching out to the customer.
- Social media reviews – encourage customers to review your product online. This can be through an unboxing video or user experience.
You now know some tips to make your eCommerce website look professional. Follow these suggestions starting from choosing the right platform all the way to support your products with user reviews and social proof.
All that’s left is for you to implement those tips on your website. Good luck!