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Top 7 Do's and Don'ts of Your E-Commerce Website

By Andy Scherer

Top 7 Do's and Don'ts of Your E-Commerce Website

Whether you are selling products or services on your website, there are specific mainstays that a business either should or should not do to ensure that your site is successful, productive, and efficient.  To help you enhance your e-commerce site and improve your user's experience (and loyalty), here are the top 25 areas to either do or don't do with regard to your business website.

  1. Test Like Its Going Out of Style -- The very first thing that you need to do is make sure that you are consistently testing everything throughout your website.  It's utterly the most important thing to do to ensure that your site performance is running to your (and your clientele's) expectations.
  2. Unfulfilled Promises Will Get Your Inbox Filled (with Angry Messages) -- While it's great to guarantee something like the time of delivery, make sure that you don't cut things too close.  In fact, you can spin this around and make your company look like a superstar by  under-promising and over-delivering.  For example, if you say that a product will be delivered on the 18th, your company should aim to get the product to the client by the 16th.  Instead of angry messages, you'll receive gold stars from your customers.
  3. Encourage Those Impulses by Up-Selling -- Let's face it, people (in general) operate on impulses, and if someone is buying from your e-commerce website, you need to ensure that you act on their buying behavior.  In other words, if they are about to checkout and receive that euphoric gratifying feeling of an outstanding purchase, bring them back and ask them if they want more.  As an example, if the clients are buying an mp3 player, during the checkout process (right before they are to pay), bring them to a screen that asks them if they want to include a docking station to their purchase because the docking station will significantly improve their experience with the mp3 player.
  4. Product Buried in Clicks May as Well Be Dead Products -- While a deep and robust website is fantastic to have because it means that you have a ton of content for your users and the search engines, do not make your products accessible only through multiple clicks.  To be more clear, your products should be easily and readily accessible to your clients; you should be able to reach the product and checkout within 3 or 4 clicks.  The key to all of this, though, is making sure that the user is able to understand how to navigate to the product and checkout with that ease.
  5. Full Transparency Results in More Satisfaction -- In my years of online purchasing, the best thing that I have experienced was an e-commerce website that allowed me access to the step-by-step process of my transaction.  Make sure that you emulate this within your site and give your clientele access to updates either through e-mail updates or an online login and tracking system.  Yes, this requires more work, but it also shows that you care about your clients.
  6. Failing to Plan is the Same as Planning to Fail -- Blindly entering into an e-commerce website is not the smartest or safest way to begin (or continue with) your e-commerce site.  However, if you develop an online marketing plan that integrates offline strategies as well, you will realize more success in higher frequencies/volumes.  So, as you move forward with your e-commerce site, make sure that you implement both a corporate and produce/service marketing plan to escalate your sales.
  7. Images Speak an Infinite Number of Words -- If you haven't already, hire a professional photographer (unless you're one yourself) to take detailed, clean, crisp, and engaging images of your products and services.  Nothing does a product more justice than a bright focused image that describes the product through the picture.  Along with that, the images need to be implemented throughout the product page and the entire website itself.

As mentioned before, e-commerce sites are being developed and implemented by companies both locally and nationally.  In fact, the trends for e-commerce sites prove that most businesses will have e-commerce sites in the next two years.  However, you can get a jump-start or a complete site revitalization that takes these do's and don'ts into account along with multiple other factors.  So, feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comment section below, or contact us today for a free consultation for your site.

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Image Source: HubSpot, “The 2011 State of Inbound Marketing”,

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Web Design
Published on August 5, 2011

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