Today, the easiest way to start a business is to have it online. Here are some basics that every business owner should consider.
1. High Quality Product Photos
One cannot emphasize enough on how important good visuals are. Even if you don’t have an in-house designer managing your website assets, you can count on your product photos if they’re aesthetically pleasing and descriptive. If you can’t hire a professional product photographer, websites like Airbnb and Etsy have tutorials on how to take good photos of your products in order to boost sales:
And definitely plenty more if you search on the internet.
Make sure to have multiple angles of each product, and if it requires a little more description as to what it does, take photos of how someone can use it. A photo of a person actually using the product can be very helpful to the buyer as well. Videos are now all the rage in for e-commerce websites, it can help the patron to understand and purchase the product, but beware of bandwidth issues on your website.
2. Well-Written Product Descriptions
A picture’s worth a thousand words, but sometimes you would want to have some supporting text to the image to give it context. It is encouraged for you to include technical specifications, especially if it’s an electronic product, or something that comes in various sizes. However, that may not be enough to entice someone to buy it. Depending on your branding, product descriptions can go from casual to corporate, and especially helps if it is written in layman terms instead of technical jargon. You would want to highlight some benefits and features of the product, but be careful not to oversell the product. Try to keep product descriptions short and sweet, or if they are long, divide them into bite-sized sections so it’s easy to absorb. Or have a fun yet specific description within the name of the product:
3. Free or Paid Shipping
More people are willing to buy items online only if it provides free shipping. This may be difficult, as some items are extremely heavy, like books or jars of gold. If that’s the case, use a flat rate for shipping items, or have a transparent pricing on shipping so the customer can consider it before checking out their purchase. Alternatively, going for economy shipping (with the product arriving later) could reduce the costs too. There are other options like membership programs (e.g. Amazon Prime) where you pay a yearly subscription fee to enjoy free shipping throughout the year. Free shipping for returns can also appeal to buyers as well, and be sure to note that during check out if you do have it.
4. The First Fold Should EXACTLY Describe What You Sell Or Do
Just by looking at the landing page of your website, the viewer should know exactly what you’re selling or what your business is about. This applies to all websites, not just e-commerce. Visual elements such as color, type, images, tag lines describe your branding so consumers know if it’s suitable for them. If you’re selling a high end product, having a poorly designed website loses your credibility for your expensive products, as people do judge them based on the first impression. Likewise, if your products are economical items that are catered for everyday use, it would not be appropriate to have a fancy website that might scare your target audience off.
5. Ease of Use
It is highly recommended to use single-page checkout in order to speed up the check out process, though there are incentives for multi-page checkouts as well. First, you definitely want to make sure that the check out process is as quick as possible, so as not to deter customers from purchasing the product. The last thing you want to happen is for your visitors to have a really hard time trying to buy the product that they bounce out of the website and go elsewhere.
Second, most people aren’t willing to sit through pages and pages of forms in order to buy something. it just takes too much time, and it’s a hassle if you decide to go back and change something, and find out you have to re-fill everything else when you move forward with the process. So make sure that fields don’t get disrupted when switching pages (with the exception of course, to credit card fields).
Third, having everything laid out in one page determines how much they have to fill, so the buying customers can mentally prepare themselves of how much information they need to give.
6. Search Bar and Filters
Search bars are definitely essential to e-commerce websites. Nobody wants to go to your store and have to sift through hundreds of links in order to find something that they want. It’s important to have the search function easy to find so it can be utilized. The next step is to have filters so your products can be sorted out to more specific sections so the searching process is shorter. Overall, the more efficient it is to use the website, the more sales will be converted.