Over the last 2 years most companies have shifted most, if not all, of their business from the traditional offices to working online. With this transition, we have had a boom of e-commerce websites. These are websites that enable businesses and individuals to sell physical goods and services over the internet.
Platforms like WIX, Shopify & SquareSpace have made it easier for small business owners to create their own websites by making use of pre-made templates. While these are helpful, they may not fully guide you on the essentials that every E-Commerce website needs. Here are 9 essential elements for any e-commerce website that will help improve your website experience, and turn visitors into customers!
Bonus tip: Add a banner at the top of the header if you have any store announcements such as Free Shipping for orders exceeding a certain amount, or a discount for a certain number of purchases. Whatever it is, make it enticing.
This is a big one. Think about all the times you have read product reviews before purchasing a product, or better yet think of a time you made a purchase without checking product reviews. Difficult to remember right!
Having product reviews from customers who have used your product will help influence a potential customer’s decision to purchase your product. In a recent study it was shown that 97% of the participants said customer reviews influenced their decisions! We don’t know about you, but we think reviews are an essential feature for an e-commerce website.
One of the leading causes of abandoned carts and incomplete orders is ambiguity of the shipping, returns, and refunds information provided. Before customers commit to your product or service, they would want to know how long it would take for products to ship, and how returns and refunds are processed. It is essential that this information be readily available and free of any ambiguity.
Most customers tend to have the same questions, so to avoid answering the same thing over and over again, you should add a FAQ section to your website. If your business is new and you don’t have any yet, answer the most general questions that you think the customer might be interested in. You can always add more later.
Be sure to include a note below your FAQs to let potential customers know that if they have any further questions, they can just pop you an email. Adding a few more resources they can check out is also a good idea and something your customers might appreciate.
Email Marketing is one of the most powerful marketing tools available to businesses. Email is the most used feature on smartphones so you can imagine the reach this type of marketing can achieve in the current technology-driven climate. That is why when running an e-commerce business, it’s good to collect email addresses so you can let subscribers know when new products have launched or when you have a sale.
It is advisable to fully communicate with your customers why they should subscribe to your newsletter and the benefits associated. Including short statements like “Get the latest promotions, new products, and sales directly to your mailbox” could draw more people to subscribe. You could even go further by offering an incentive for new Subscribers such as 5% off their first order!
Payment options should be easily visible on all pages of your website, which is why in most cases, the footer is the best place for them.
We advise having logos of accepted payment methods so your customers know if your store accepts the payment method they intend to use. These also bring some form of comfort to your customers about the legitimacy and security of the payment.
This could easily be the second most important page on your website since this is where you tell your brand’s story, connecting with your customer. Remember, people buy from people BUT, your About page isn’t really about you, but it’s more about how you intend to help your customers with their pain points. You could introduce yourself briefly and then move on to explain why you do what you do or what made you want to start the business. If your passions are aligned with your business, you could even mention this. Throw in your mission statement in there too!
You could go on and use this page to highlight some features about your products such as the fact that your packaging is recyclable, or the raw materials used to create your products are ethically sourced. More and more people would rather buy from a conscious or ethical brand, so if this is your brand, be sure to mention this. In bold letters.
Make it very easy for a customer to contact you by displaying your contact details in the footer or on a separate Contact page. A quick contact form would make it even easier for customers to contact you without leaving your website. Lastly, add a note to let the reader know the maximum period of time it usually takes for you to respond to enquiries. This would help minimize nightmare customers that are quick to leave bad reviews when they don’t hear back from sellers.