Your e-commerce site is flashy; it loads quickly, and you’re selling a decent amount of product. But no matter how good your site is, it can always be better. There is always room for improvement. This is not meant as a criticism of any site, it is simply a fact. Technologies evolve and with them comes room for additional improvement to any site.
There are certain tips that that will work to ensure that your e-commerce site stays as good as it is, improves drastically, or will serve to benefit your site in some way. As with any suggestion, please don’t take it personally, and remember, I most likely have not been to your site (though I could have!). These suggestions are more like a compilation of different issues I have seen on the e-commerce sites that I frequent and feel that they need addressing so that others can constantly improve. With that in mind – the suggestions:
- Keep it Simple – as I have mentioned in a previous post, simple is better. If customers have additional questions about your products and services, they will ask (as long as you have a place for them to do so). Do not inundate your customers with information. Most online consumers already have a good idea of what they are looking for and have a basic idea as to what those products will entail. Give a basic description and that’s it. Have a place for them to add the item to the cart, a place to ask questions (like an easy to spot customer service email address or chat support) and you’re all set.
- Don’t Make Me Register to See Your Items – Seriously, this is one of my biggest pet peeves (and I’m not alone in this one). If your site makes me register to see what you have for sale, I’m either going to go somewhere else to investigate the product (like Amazon) or if I’m really curious and you’re one of the only places selling it, I will sign up with a completely fake name, fake email address, etc. You won’t get my real information, and I still most likely won’t purchase the item from the site that made me do that. Why? Because you don’t need my information. You’re not mailing me something that I bought from you, you’re trying to preemptively gather information on me, and that’s just not cool.
- Make Your Site Easy to Navigate and Make it Easy to Search – Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Etsy. I dislike trying to navigate through to find the cool stuff. The site is non-intuitive and clunky. I begrudgingly go there anyway, because it’s one of the few places to get handmade items, and I like that. I maybe visit the site once every six months, why? Because it is NOT easy to navigate. If it was easier to find things without having to look through hundreds of pages of stuff, I would absolutely spend way more money there. Thriftbooks.com is another site I would spend more money on if their search was more intuitive. I want to put in a book name or an author and just go. I don’t want to specify half a dozen things to try to find one or the other. Make it easy for me to search, like Amazon or Barnes and Noble and I will spend money all day long. Make it difficult for me and you will get little to no money. This basically goes back to the first point – keep it simple. Don’t over complicate things and you will get more money from consumers.
E-commerce can be rewarding, and it can be frustrating, but the key to making money is, as always, make it easy on your customers to spend money. This is why those little stands next to the checkout line work. Someone sees lip balm or a candy bar or a soda and thinks, man my lips are chapped/something sweet sounds great/I’m thirsty and grabs it. If those items were too difficult to find or too hard to get to, stores wouldn’t make as much on the little items. Your e-commerce website is a virtual store. Make it easy on your customers and they will reward you for making the experience a better one for them.
Image Source: U.S. Media Consulting. (2014). E-Commerce. Retrieved from http://latinlink.usmediaconsulting.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/Ecommerce-Latam.jpg