Five Essential Tips for a Successful eCommerce Site

Product image courtesy of Norwood

Product image courtesy of Norwood

An eCommerce site is an online store that allows products, either physical or digital, to be sold. eCommerce websites are increasingly becoming the preferred way for consumers to shop for products. A successful site makes the journey to the checkout as simple and easy as possible. Here are five essential tips to get you started on the road to eCommerce success:

1.    Keep it Simple! While you may want to jam as much content as you can into your site, this will only overwhelm your customers and make them exit your site sooner than later. Removing unnecessary clutter will give your site a simple yet elegant layout. Some of the most successful sites on the Internet today use a simplified approach; examples include Google, eBay, Apple and Amazon. All these sites keep their product pages clean and have sites that are easy to navigate.

2.    Professional Product Photographs. One of the biggest mistakes on new eCommerce sites is to make a fantastic looking site and populate it with bad product photographs. The pictures on your site should look as professional as the rest of your website. Where should you look to? Sourcing vendors usually have a library of professional photographs that you can use, or try and find a photographer that specializes in product photography. A great product photo will have the proper lighting, placement, and background to make it pop on your store. Professional photographs give the consumer confidence in your products and bring life to products you are trying to sell.

3.    Make your logo VISIBLE. Your company logo should be clearly recognizable when you click on the store. A clear logo is a reassuring symbol and an element of trust of the company or organization. Today’s shoppers are very cautious, and the first impression that you make is with your logo, so make sure it looks professional and catches the customer’s attention.

4.    Market your site, once it’s live. It’s not enough to build a website these days. You need to make an effort to market and promote your website to new and existing customers. Collect email addresses and consider a newsletter or email blast. Social media plays a big part in search engine optimization and back links. The more ways you get the word out about your online store, the more sales your site will produce.

5.    Think like a customer, and put your products in more than one category. Sites with an easy layout and products in multiple categories reap the rewards as customers will have a greater overall buyer experience and purchase more frequently. Try putting on your customer hat and use the five second rule. Would you be able to tell what you are selling on the site in five seconds? If the answer is no, it’s time to start working on your site. What might entice the consumer to make a purchase? Examples include deals, freebies, or free shipping. You should be thinking over a customer’s actions and impressions, continually amending the existing online store, always questioning why this or that should look exactly a certain way, why it is better than other variants, and most importantly – how much it can contribute to your success and customer satisfaction.

With any new eCommerce store, it’s important to be adaptable and flexible to make changes to grow your store. Stick with it! It takes at least a year to know if your site is a truly successful and sustainable business.

AboutChristopher Range

Christopher Range started with Proforma in October of 2009. His primary areas of expertise are e-commerce, marketing, management and training with interests in consumer products. Chris has lead the development of hundreds of successful stores for many Fortune 5,000 companies. He is also highly experienced in webex demonstrations and site management training. Chris graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. When he’s not writing a blog article, he can be found kayaking, mountain biking or watching college football on Saturdays. Go Bucks!


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