It is official! Online shopping courtesy e-commerce websites have proven to be successful venture if certain factors related to home page designs and layouts are taken into consideration. It is no longer a niche market, but caters to customers across all age groups and economic strata.
A good eCommerce website calls for the website to be trendy, user-friendly, desirable and above all trustworthy. Here are some of the features, which are not obligatory but we believe can make your e-commerce website desirable by improving the usability factor of your online store, build online credibility; thereby making it a profitable business opportunity.
# Clear and Impressive Logo
Logo can play a defining role for an e-commerce website as it not only helps build your brand identity in the saturated online marketplace, but is more like a business card irrespective of yours being a branded or a start-up venture.
# Attractive Shopping Deals & Discounts, Freebies and Free Shipping
Websites have just 5 seconds to grab and hold a site visitor’s attention or lose them. While designers are busy giving their best for creating the right UI and UX design, an interesting study of web user behaviour has noted that nothing attracts faster and better than attractive shopping deals. Online shoppers many a times buy non-essential things from online stores just because they are available at discounted prices or have freebies attached.
Another attractive feature is free shipping offers, mainly when you are procuring from global brand stores. So, it is sensible to position enticing banners flashing out the best deals, discount offers and special mention of ‘free shipping’ on strategic parts of the online store home page.
# Latest Updates/News and Most Popular Products
Keep your customers informed and updated about the latest deals, product launches and any upcoming events by designing banners on the home page, instead of making it too difficult for them to look for exclusive and discount deal. Creating a client database and sending mailers about upcoming promotional events and sale is also a profitable idea.
# Display Brand Products
A web user visiting an eCommerce website is largely unpredictable mainly for unique visitors who has landed up at your site with little knowledge as to what exactly he or she is looking for. However, it is not feasible to display all your products on the homepage – mostly with large retailers with a wide range of products. Here, the best option is to design a display of brand products with interesting offers and exclusive deals, even providing options like ‘shop by brands’.
# Integrate Functions like Login Box, Search Box and Shopping Cart
While Login Box is a strategic functional feature integrated in all credible eCommerce website for the much required data of its customer base, it serves to be a great asset to reach out to your account holders with exclusive promotional and discount offers. At the same time, Search Box is important as it works well to retain unique visitors to your online store who are looking for a certain product but aren’t really familiar with the website.
Shopping Cart feature (mostly seen with a basket/trolley icon) is a must-have for any eCommerce website. There is also provision offered by many retailers to offer customers exclusive accounts, which helps them check their current and previous product choices or buys.
# Integrating Payment System Icon
Most eCommerce websites cater to customers from across the globe, each country having their specific preferred payment system. So, to avoid any technical glitch that may arise out of certain limitations to a payment method or option, it is suggested that convenient, universal payment options (like credit and debit cards, PayPal, cash on delivery, etc.) be offered. Make your payment system noticeable at the home page with icons either at the footer or on top right corner, so as to clarify the payment system at the onset.
# Social Media Links, Phone Numbers and Online Chats
Studies have shown that about 20 percent of online shopping materializes after customers visit and review products through social media sites. A strategic use of social media in eCommerce website can prove to be a profitable business proposition considering the fact that this powerful media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) not only offers excellent scope for self-promotion, but also as a means to recognize the online community that can play the role of influences for your business. So also beneficial are the 24-hour hotlines for online support and live chats as value-added customer service.
# Store finder
This is a must have tab for eCommerce websites with an offline presence. Not only does it add to the credibility of the website, but also allows those customers who would like to see the products for themselves and then benefit from the special discounts at the online store.
Trustmarks are an integral part of any eCommerce website. Not only do these small logos indicate a security guarantee by an external party that it is safe to shop on the site, these accreditation certificated from trusted names like Verisign, TRUSTe, McAfee, etc. give customers a sense of security and the confidence to use the site, to shop and share their transaction details.
# Detailed Product Description & User Reviews add to Reputation
A clear design layout with convenient, user-friendly menu and detailed product description with credible user reviews add to the reputation of an online store. And it is reputation that builds on trust and vice versa – one of the most important asset to ensure the profitability of your eCommerce website.
There is however no fixed formula as to how to make an eCommerce website profitable. The ones aforementioned are tried and tested methods which can guide you to build a successful eCommerce website, but there are several other associate factors like geographical locations, user shopping pattern and the current economic scenario that would call for corrective action as and when required.
Do you have an e-commerce website strategy for your business?