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William Harrington

The world as we know it has changed drastically over the past several years. The digital landscape is growing at a blinding pace and impacting every aspect of businesses.

Online shopping has become one of the most popular online activities globally and, in 2019, retail e-commerce sales worldwide amounted to 3.53 trillion US dollars. It doesn’t stop there! E-retail revenues are projected to have grown to 6.54 trillion US dollars by the year 2022.

It makes sense, then, that so many are jumping on the bandwagon and selling their wares online. There are numerous things to take into consideration when building an online store, the following being just six of the many traits which successful e-commerce websites have in common.

1) Simple and Easy to Use

Simplicity and ease of use are things that users look for in any e-commerce site. When buying online, consumers expect their shopping experience to be quick, simple, and hassle-free. If they are faced with a site that is difficult to navigate they will, in all likelihood leave without even making it to the checkout.

When a site is outdated and poorly built, it won’t be generating any sales. Prioritize usability over appearance – simplicity is the key! The design needs to be clear, clean, and simple with the focus on the sale. A clear path needs to be provided for visitors to find the information needed for them to buy from you.

Make sure that user experience is the top priority for your site. Constantly evolve and update the site, using customer’s feedback to make improvements and better the consumer experience.

The top three reasons why consumers leave an online store are:

a) They don’t know how to use the site.

b) Product value isn’t clear.

c) Navigation is difficult.

The best sites will allow their customers to integrate mobile and social features seamlessly, with greater user experience. By ensuring that the site is simplistic, navigation is easy and that product value is clear from the very beginning, consumers will be more likely to return and also recommend the site.

2) Make It Responsive With a Faster Load Time

As Forbes notes, customers are more in control than they used to be, and they also have much higher expectations. Online shoppers are looking for convenience. This being the case, it’s paramount that websites have quick load times and are more responsive than ever before.

To capture customers who prefer to shop on their phones or tablets, it is crucial to have a fully responsive website design.

All successful business websites focus on giving their customers phenomenal user experience, nor do they shy away from emphasizing the convenience which shoppers will experience. Website performance is crucial and correlates directly to profitability in e-commerce sites.

3) Brand Promotion and Marketing

The success of an e-commerce business is dependant on the success of its brand. The brand embodies a set of values related to a business’s central endeavors and is at the core of its identity. Having a USP (unique selling proposition) that differentiates the product from others in the market will ensure that consumers choose your product.

Effectively promoting your brand will ensure that you have customers. A successful promotional campaign depends largely on timing, content and the marketing channels used. Incentives, such as free shipping or discounts on first-time purchases, will attract the attention of customers looking for a deal.

Using organic social media outlets is a great way of boosting brand promotion in real-time. Sharing useful and concise information about promoted products will allow customers to engage with the brand, thereby boosting brand awareness.

Quality and value are critical to any brand and essential in any online business. A successful brand exceeds the expectations of the customer and keeps them coming back for more.

4) Provide Multiple Points of Contact

Giving customers a clear channel of communication so that they can reach you whenever they want to is another trait of a great website. If customers struggle to find a way of getting in touch with you, it will seem to them that you don’t want to hear from them.

Consumers need multiple ways of making contact. The easier they can reach you, the quicker you can respond to their queries, hence there will be a much better chance of them being enticed to buy from you.

5) Security

In today’s age of cybercrime, criminals are targeting high-value sites like e-commerce sites, endeavoring to capture financial information. Protecting customers is paramount, and having an SSL certificate and extra security will give shoppers peace of mind knowing that their checkout is encrypted.

Without security, you could lose a lot of potential sales. Let your customers know that you value their protection and that your e-commerce site is a safe and secure place to do business.

6) Easier Checkouts

Statistics show that nearly 70 percent of consumers abandon their carts before checkout. A lengthy checkout process kills sales. It’s always best to ask for only the most essential information, thus reducing the number of checkout steps and ensuring the customer’s satisfaction.

Be sure to accept all major forms of payment and be crystal clear on all return/refund policies. This goes a long way in giving the consumer a hassle-free checkout.

Out With The Old, In With The New

Long gone are the days of brick-and-mortar businesses dominating the world …

E-commerce is in, and the digital landscape is here to stay. While all businesses are unique, there are certain factors that all successful e-commerce websites have in common, and applying these six points will allow you to stand out in the saturated crowd and ensure the success of your business.

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