The retail market is now online. If you are starting a retail business, you must have an active online status. Otherwise, how do you think all your clients are going to find you?
Walking down the street? – I think NOT
You should be aware that your storefront is your e-commerce website. Make it attractive and you will notice how your sales boost. Well, you still need to spread the word, don’t you? But with an SEO friendly site, that will come easily. First focus on the design with my 6 fundamental design laws.
The Fundamental Design Law #6. Checkout means Checkout
People who click the checkout button are trying to buy something from you. Don’t let them go anywhere else!
The checkout process needs to be simple and easy to understand. Some people will be discouraged from buying at this point if the process is strict. Keep it simple. That is the number 1 golden rule when it comes to the checkout process.
Remember that checkout means just that. Anything else will not add value to the transaction. From your visitor’s point of view, you are wasting their time, and they will not take it nicely.
The Fundamental Design Law #5. Light Content and a Reliable Host
The objective with our fundamental design law #5 is to decrease waiting times. Engagement goes away faster than it comes.
Think about your own.How many times have you closed your web browser window when the content doesn’t show?
I must say I do it all the time. The average for most people is 4 seconds. I close the window in 3.
If you don’t want your audience to disengage, make sure you deliver light content with a reliable host. That is a sure way to avoid unnecessary lags. Test your website with Google speed checker just to be safe. Also remember that Google have built a speed checker into their Google Algorithm so your rankings have a direct coloration with the speed of your website. Also, you never know what a broken link can do to your business.
The Fundamental Design Law #4. The Search Box
If you are showcasing products that need over one page to be found, do not forget to add the search box. This is one of the most useful inventions on shopping cart websites. With the incredible amount of information around, the user may need help. It has come in the form of a search box.
Make sure your search box utility has an autocomplete function to make it truly useful. Remember that Google is the king of search boxes. Yours should work as good as this famous search engine.
Besides, the search box serves a more practical purpose. When your visitors have something in mind, there are 50% more chances that they get it from your store if they find it quickly. This means that searching it will be more effective than browsing through your e-commerce store.
The Fundamental Design Law #3. Test to get the Best Conversion Rates
Conversion does not just happen. It takes hard work and observation to obtain them. There are no rules in getting them and the best approach is to do some testing. But what is testing when it comes to marketing? Well…, it is more like following an old-school methodology.
Do you remember the scientific method? It required to set an experiment and then observe the outcome. This kind of testing is the best way to increase your conversion rates.
Set two sites. Set one link up as normal. The second link should be for testing purposes. Then redirect traffic 50%-50%. Observe, and conclude if you are improving or not. Use your conclusions to improve your site.
The Fundamental Design Law #2. Simplicity
I will not stop saying this: simplicity is your best ally when it comes to web design. E-commerce websites are no exception to this rule. It is a fundamental 101 Web Design Law you should never forget. If you make it complex, you will never sell a thing.
Remember they are on your ecommerce website because they want to shop.
Would you get a product from a site that is difficult to understand? I wouldn’t and I bet you would not either. Then, go for the winning combination of simplicity. This should be the king of the fundamental design laws, but we have something even better than this coming up next.
The Fundamental Design Law #1. Make Error Indicators Crystal Clear, particularly during Checkout
It is really annoying to get errors whenever you are at the checkout virtual counter. But the worst thing is not to get a clear understanding on why is the page not letting you get your stuff. A broken website gets on my nerves so I really think it will get on to the nerves of your potential customers. They truly want to become a buyer, but you are not helping.
Simply make error indicators foolproof. And we are not saying that your customers are fools. They may just be distracted, or too excited to pay attention. Or maybe you simply forgot about the error indicators. Whatever it just highlights the error message. Put it in a blinking box. Use big red letters to indicate the missing information. Place an indicator right next to the item that needs to be corrected.
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