ecommerceSelling your products online opens your business up to vast quantities of prospective new customers. Owning an effective Ecommerce website can transform your business overnight, but what are the things that distinguish a top performer, from a lame duck? We look at what makes a top performing Ecommerce website and consider the features that the leaders of online retail all have in common.

User Friendly

Top performing Ecommerce websites are always user friendly; the simpler the navigation, the quicker the load, the higher the conversion. With today’s abundance of technology, over-complicating a website is easily done but the old adage still remains, a website only has a few seconds to grab attention and if it takes too long to load, or it is too difficult for the user to see what they need, the website is less likely to deliver. Google is starting to focus more on engagement metrics a part of its algorithm updates and the only way to guarantee engagement is through having a user friendly interface.

Browser Compatibility

New websites don’t automatically perform across all browser and operating system configurations. Some features that work on one browser may not work on others. New websites may not work on older browsers as developers naturally begin to phase out older browser considerations in favour of more modern platforms. A professional Ecommerce website will be fully compatibility tested against all modern browsers. This means that the website will display consistently no matter what browser or device the viewer is using. Websites that have over-lapping text, misaligned areas or un-clickable links do not instil the confidence that good Ecommerce sites require.

A worthy investment

A good Ecommerce website is an investment and will cost several thousand pounds. Whether using an open-source platform or a bespoke developer, a website that is designed to make money will always cost money in the first place. It is unrealistic to expect high earnings from a website that was bought for little value. You get what you pay for with top performing retail websites and it is worth the investment that it will take if you are looking to enjoy high volumes of online sales.

Regular quality content

Top performing retail websites have continuously evolving content. Adding new products, adding a review platform and on-site reviews and blogs are all ways that content can be grown. The search engines love websites that evolve, the retail buyer has new and fresh content to browse and the website will perform better as a result of this. Having copy-written text, good quality images and where possible video sets a good retail website apart, poor quality content can cause more harm than good and with first impressions counting so much online the top performers have top quality content as a given.

High-end ecommerce websites have easy navigation

What a website looks like is important but functionality is also vital. Ecommerce websites are designed to facilitate the sales process but customers may quickly switch for competitors’ ecommerce website if the lay-out is not clearly road-mapped. High-end websites have easy navigation; at the same time, they aren’t cluttered with links. Since most customers go online to save time, professional designers make sure they can reach the necessary information with a couple of clicks. A clear hierarchy is especially required for websites offering a wide range of products and services. To make the search process easier and quicker.

Marketing strategy

The best retail websites can always be found. Techniques include good search engine optimisation, regular social media and online advertising and a website that has a strategy to include the best elements of each will enjoy organic growth. Digital marketing can always be tracked through analytics and if something isn’t working it is quite easy to see. Focus on the elements that work but try as many methods as you can, buyers will find you through all manner of channels.

Easy Pay

Top performing websites always make it easy for buyers to pay. It is widely recognised that when someone has clicked from the basket to make the payment, all distractions should be avoided. The payment aspects of the website should be light on graphics and fast loading to aid conversion. All website pricing should be clearly displayed before adding to basket and the shipping pricing and options should be clear. Nasty surprises when customers decide they are going to pay is the fastest way to lose conversions and so transparency is the key.

Owning a top performing Ecommerce website is just like employing a great sales person. Just like a sales person an Ecommerce website requires investment, it needs to continuously evolve based on what works and what doesn’t and it needs to be visible.

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