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Top 15 Ecommerce Best Practices

The landscape for online retailers is always changing. Online software has made it easier than ever to start a business. Whether you are just beginning to build your ecommerce site, or you’re looking for ways to improve it, you have come to the right place. 

In this blog, we will highlight ecommerce best practices that will help you grow your business and keep customers happy.

Start from the foundation: technical features

When starting a project, it is wise to do the most global and time-consuming things first. The tips provided will give you a rundown of the basics and technical features that are mostly invisible to visitors. Although invisible, these features make the usage and experience much smoother and attractive.

#1 Finding a good hosting provider

First, we have to start from the basics. Choosing the right website hosting provider is essential.  It provides your site with better security, helps with SEO and site speed and ensures a better experience for your website visitors.

hostpapa

There are plenty of reliable paid hosting services like InMotion, HostPapa or BlueHost.  If your website is currently being stored on a free hosting provider, we recommend changing it to a paid, more reliable service. It’s simple to transfer.  If you’re having trouble, here’s an excellent tutorial on WordPress website migration.

#2 Professionally built templates

If you haven’t hired a professional web developer to create a unique and original website – you need a high-quality template. It doesn’t matter what CMS you decided to use – there are millions of marvelous themes for all existing content management systems. There are free variants, of course, but the situation here is similar to the one with the hosting. A free template has less functionality than the paid one and doesn’t include some of the most useful features. If you want your website to be good-looking – buy a premium theme.

thememonster-example

For example, if you decided to use WordPress for your site, check out the Monstroid2 template. It is a top multipurpose product of TemplateMonster marketplace, and it can be an excellent solution for any ecommerce website. It is straightforward to use and customizable.

#3 Mobile responsiveness

Your website has to be suitable and convenient for mobile devices. Mobile web traffic is on the rise (and has been), so make sure your website is responsive. Most of the modern templates are made to be responsive. If your site is not – use a plugin, like WPtouch or WordPress Mobile Pack.

#4 Page loading speed

google-pagespeed

It would be great if your website and all of its pages load in a blink of an eye. Or at least in about three seconds. Because if the customer has to wait longer, the chances are he or she will leave without saying “goodbye.” Test your ecommerce website on GTmetrix or Google PageSpeed Insights – they give a detailed picture of loading speed. These tools will provide you with details on why your site may be slowing down.

#5 Having a blog

thememonster-blog

Blogs can help your business build brand awareness and increase search rankings for your target keywords. Coming up with what to write about can be easy. Do you have a clothes store? Write about fashion trends, about famous designers or about different styles. Does your shop sell handmade stuff? Write tutorials about how to create paper sculptures or wired jewelry. Is your business connected with cars? Tell the stories of the most famous automobile brands. If you’re having issues coming up with topics, ask your customers what they would enjoy reading.

#6 Advertisements

Ads on your site can harm the user experience even though they might help you generate revenue. We recommend you save the banners and popups on your site to promote your own products and capture leads. 

#7 Rating system

rating-widget

Product ratings bring a sense of credibility and trust to your customers.  The rating system can help customers decide on which product they should purchase. Some website templates already have a rating system built in. In other cases – download a plugin like Rating-Widget or GD Rating System.

#8 Collecting Payments – purchase without account

When you try to force users to create an account, it gives them a reason to walk away from the purchase. And since nearly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned, you’ll want to eliminate any additional steps a customer takes. Therefore, your website should allow visitors to purchase items without signing in. 

nike-example

For example, when you click the button to check out on Nike.com, the system offers you to become a member of Nike customers’ society. The members get free shipping, which is a good incentive for customers, but there is also a guest check out option.

#9 Simple purchase flow

In general, you don’t need much information from the customer to make a deal – only the billing data and shipping location.

ikea-example

A great example of this is IKEA. Their online site has only three steps in their purchase process.

#10 Multiple payment options

The more payment options you will be able to manage – the more comfortable it will be for customers. You should add the most popular types of payment and consider newcomers like Venmo.

#11 Abandon cart emails

As stated early, almost 70% of website shoppers leave without finishing their purchase.  A simple email reminder can be a good way to encourage visitors to come back and make a purchase.

yoox-example

YOOX.com has a simple yet, effective cart abandonment email. They also provide a 25% sale to give an extra incentive to customers.

#12 Using high-quality photos

You’ll want to make sure that each of your products are displayed in the best light. High-quality product photos with a white background create a clean, beautiful view for shoppers. You should also include several viewpoints (front, back, sides) to ensure the customer sees the entire product.

#13 Product descriptions

Along with high-quality photos, well-written product descriptions can make a customer buy your product.  Do your best to give enough information, so that the customer won’t have to search for additional details.

#14 Navigation improvements

The ideal scenario for every online store is when a customer comes to their site, they can quickly find what they are looking for. 

Here are a few pieces of advice about how to make the optimal user experience for online shoppers.
  • Allow customers to sort and filters products.
  • Add an intuitive search bar.
  • Create a sidebar shopping cart.

#15: Customer service and feedback

addthis-net-promoter-score

Quality customer service is a golden rule for every modern company, and ecommerce websites are no exception.

Here’s a little list of recommendations I assume to be the most useful to create an excellent customer service on your ecommerce website.
  • Answer quickly.
  • Add popup discount messages.
  • Ask for feedback and reviews.

Wrapping up

We hope these 15 ecommerce best practices will help you grow your business and keep customers happy. Spend time on creating a decent plan before developing your online store. You’ll benefit from your initial effort in the future.  

#16 Run a referral program (Bonus!)

Remember the last time you bought something online because someone you trust gave you a recommendation? We buy things through word-of-mouth all the time. Setting up a referral program is an easy way to encourage your customers to do more of that, to recommend your store to their friends and family, by giving them incentives to do so. The best part is, you can use software to automate referrals tracking and rewards payout!

Apps like ReferralCandy allow ecommerce stores to run customer referral programs without doing all of the busy work or writing a single line of code. With custom themes and a choice of referral rewards such as cash or discounts on future purchases, you can make sure you’ll be encouraging your customers to go the extra mile and generate word-of-mouth around your brand.


Guest post by TemplateMonster.

Last modified:  June 14th, 2019