While there are some tips that work for nearly any type of website design, there are some very specific things you can do to improve an eCommerce site over other types of sites. Your eCommerce site has a very specific purpose – selling the exact product or products you offer. This makes your site unique from every other site out there.
eCommerce is a $1.2 trillion per year industry globally. More and more people are shopping online these days. If you aren’t already spending a significant focus on improving your eCommerce site, the tips below will help you get started.
1. 360-Degree Videos
360-degree videos were traditionally used to show real estate to interested buyers, but today they are used in a number of ways to improve the overall experience of the consumer. Imagine that you are interested in purchasing a new dress. Now, you can see it from all angles – front, back and sides.
Take a look at this 360-degree video of a roller coaster ride by Universal Studios in Florida. Not only do you get the VR sensation of riding the coaster in the front car, but you can adjust the angle to see the ride from different viewpoints. It’s breathtaking or perhaps a little motion sickness inducing, but quite entertaining.
Some eCommerce sites are jam-packed with products and details. If you don’t keep the navigation simple for the user, you risk losing them altogether. Imagine that you’re the shopper. You land on the page because you saw an ad for a cute pair of pink sandals that you just have to buy. But, once on the site, you can’t find those sandals anywhere. Not only do you need a search feature, but you need to clearly label categories and add filters so the person can easily find pink sandals on your website.
3. Close-Up Images
When looking at flat images online, it’s difficult to know how that item will look in real life. Offer as many different angles as possible in your images and consider showing the product in use. This allows the consumer to get a good idea of what the item will look like when it arrives and how it will function.
Take a look at some of the items on the Dover Jewelry website. The images are clear and crisp. Click on any piece of jewelry to go to the product description page. There, you will find a variety of images of the jewelry on a person with the ability to zoom in and move the image around. This gives the buyer a good idea of what the item might look like on them or on a person they are buying the jewelry for.
4. Mobile Accessibility
Mobile Internet consumption continues to grow. The average consumer spends 69 percent of his or her time online via a smartphone. If your site isn’t easy to shop on via a smaller device, then you’re missing out on a lot of traffic. You have a couple of options here. You can create an app specifically for shopping on your site, such as apps created by stores like Kroger or Kohl’s. On the other hand, you could just focus on making your website as mobile friendly and intuitive as possible. Perhaps you need to attack your mobile accessibility on both fronts – app and website.
5. Virtual Reality
Faster internet speeds and better 3D images have made Virtual Reality (VR) more popular than ever before. You can utilize VR in your own marketing by adding the ability for the consumer to see your product in action. Virtual reality is the next best thing to putting the product in the hands of the consumer.
Nike offers VR videos featuring a variety of soccer scenes and other venues with the main character wearing different Nike shoes. The VR scenes show what you can do in these sports shoes. You might not be able to try the shoes out in a game, but you can get a real feel for how they might work.
6. Integrate with Instagram or Other Social Media
The statistics on Instagram are pretty impressive as the social media platform continues to grow. Daily Instagram users are about 500 million, which makes this site second to Facebook, but growing quickly. It is a visual medium, so is a good way to get out fast and effective marketing campaigns with the use of photos and videos.
7. Curated Bundles
If you sell a number of products centered on a single focus, consider adding the option for customers to by a bundle. For example, if you sell food and the person buys pancake syrup, you might offer them a bundle that includes pancake mix, the syrup they chose and a variety of pancake toppings.
Thrive Market does a good job of suggesting other items by letting the user know what other customers who bought the item also bought. This alongside reviews can help consumers make a decision about which products might be best for them. This is one way to curate products on your site. You can also offer bundles in the way that sites such as Trunk Club do where you choose the styles you like and they suggest a full outfit.
8. Conduct A/B Testing
It’s difficult to improve your website if you don’t focus on what needs to improve and change. Conducting A/B testing shows what is working well for those who land on your page and what isn’t. If you change the Call to Action (CTA) button on your shopping cart, what is the impact on conversions? Something as simple as swapping green for red can have a big impact on conversions.
9. Customer Service Matters
Yes, you need to focus on creating a beautiful and functional website, but at the end of the day the reason that customers come back to you time and again is because of the level of service they received. Train anyone who has contact with your customers about your customer-first policies. Go above and beyond to ensure everything about the experience is positive.
From a design standpoint, you can add features such as live chat and send follow-up emails, but customer service starts the minute the customer lands on your website, to the way you pack the box you send to the customer to what you do after you’ve delivered the product. Make each step as perfect as possible and customer-focused.
Improving Your eCommerce Site
Making your eCommerce site the best it can be isn’t a one-time effort. You must continually strive to improve the overall customer experience and to make your site better than the competition. Following the nine tips listed above is a good place to start in order to gain more customers. However, don’t limit yourself to any one technique. Try different ideas until you find the perfect mix that your target audience adores.