More often than not, when retailers make the leap to online ecommerce, they’re quickly dismayed by the lack of profit. No matter how much marketing they throw at their new online store, nothing seems to stick.

Why?

Because a successful online ecommerce website is much more than a place to buy goods online. It’s an experience—one that should be enticing, memorable and beneficial to any website window-shopper.

If you want to bolster revenue, win over new customers and create an online ecommerce website that can withstand today’s competitive online marketplace, consider adopting our five essential elements for a successful online ecommerce website.

  1. Mobile Friendly

Every year there’s a new statistic regarding the massive purchasing power of mobile users, and so far, 2017 is no different: roughly 20% of all ecommerce transactions are processed on a smartphone, with that number expected to increase to 27% by 2018.

Remember when every business had to have a website in order to remain relevant? That same logic now applies to mobile. Not only should your ecommerce website be optimized for mobile devices, but every website should be built with smartphones and tablets in mind.

When optimizing your online ecommerce website, consider the following elements:

  • Checkout and page navigation buttons are large enough to be tapped without interference.
  • Mobile navigation is easy and intuitive.
  • Images are suitable and scalable for mobile devices, and take advantage of retina displays.
  • Checkout cart functions on mobile the same as on your primary website.

Make mobile a priority, and you’ll ensure your bases are covered when it comes to attracting conversions, regardless of the device shoppers are browsing from.

  1. Easy Checkout

Make checking out of your ecommerce store smooth and painless. It helps to have a giant “checkout” or “buy now” button, right below the total cost of their shopping cart. Showing images of the items in their cart helps customers easily decide whether to edit or remove a particular item. Show shipping fees and taxes upfront, as this avoids any surprises down the line.

Checkout is also a perfect place to establish credibility and security. Remind visitors that they can contact your company at any time, and make it easy for them to do so. Ensure their credit card and personal information is secure and won’t be used for anything besides the transaction at hand.

  1. Great Content & Copy

As the saying goes, “a picture says a thousand words.” For better or for worse, this applies to ecommerce product photos as well.

The photos on your online store are doing the bulk of the sales process, enabling customers to imagine how an article of clothing will look like on them, or whether that new couch will go well in the living room.

Today’s online shoppers expect a level of professionalism from the photos, videos and text descriptions that go with each item. Ensure you have a gallery of multiple high-resolution photos for each product, and keep descriptions precise, detailed and punchy.

  1. Simple Return Policy

When it comes to a good return policy, you want to do everything you can to prevent a return from happening in the first place. That means writing accurate product descriptions that convey exactly what the customer is purchasing, as well as great photos that don’t skimp on the details.

That being said, returns are unavoidable in the ecommerce industry.

Be straightforward when it comes to your return policy. If your policy isn’t direct and to the point, you risk losing customers who may be irritated by the inconvenience.

  1. Intuitive Navigation

Take a look at any major online retailer, and you’ll notice that navigation is simple, fluid and unobtrusive. Ikea, Amazon, Best Buy and Gap all make use of a giant search bar near the top of the page, and dropdown menus that let customers shop by brand or department.

Keep links to a minimum and don’t go overboard with promotions. Draw each visitor’s eye to only the most important elements you want them to see.

Before diving into the results of any given search, users are met with a landing page of sales, bundles and special promotions. This is your storefront and should be just as detailed and well-designed as your individual product pages.

Invest in your Online Ecommerce Website and Reap the Rewards

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Published: September 15, 2017