Selling products and services online opens up huge new markets for any business. Online sales give your business the advantages of being accessible at all times and the ability to reach a global market. Along with these benefits, an online store also brings many responsibilities and there are several things to consider before you start selling online; one of these things is good design features. Good design features is key to ensuring happy customers which in turn give you (the business owner) the maximum benefit of your online store. Here are some features you should include in your ecommerce site to ensure that you make online shopping an elegant experience for your customers.
This is a very important factor to look at for your online store. If a customer can’t find what they want on your site in 2 to 4 clicks, they usually leave. It is important that your categories and navigation elements be well thought out before adding products to your catalog. Ensure each of your categories contain products. If you have a category without products, customers may think that some parts of your site is broken. You also need to ensure that your navigation makes it easy for customers to browse categories, get to their shopping cart and move around your site without difficulty.
If a customer knows what they want, they may decide to just use the search instead of going through all your categories and products. You need to ensure your site’s search functionality works well and the results can be sorted or filtered. Usually a store can have many products for a particular search term which is why the option for sorting and filtering results are important. The easier you make it for a customer to find what they are looking for, the more likely they are to buy.
Easy Checkout Process
A lengthy, confusing checkout process is one of the worst things an ecommerce site can have. It is of utmost importance that you make it easy for customers to fill in their credit card details and complete their order. The longer it takes between a customer placing an order and actually paying for it, the higher the chance of them leaving before completing their purchase. The ideal checkout process should be a single page to enter credit card, shipping and billing information and a confirmation page. If you’re not using the ideal model, try to shorten your checkout process as much as possible.
Imagine if you had to become a member of every site you ever purchased anything from – it would obviously make you think twice about buying. Now put yourself in your potential customers’ shoes and imagine how they would feel if they had to become a member of your website to make purchases. Your goal should be to ensure that customers can make their purchases as easily and as fast as possible. Requiring a customer to signup is just another obstacle in the path between the customer and his/her purchase. You should allow customers to make their purchases as a guest then allow them to become a member after the checkout process is complete so their next purchase can be faster.
Good Shopping Cart Design
Your shopping cart design is also very important. It should allow customers to add multiple products, revise product quantity or other options and it needs to remain transparent at the same time meaning it should not come in the way of shopping. Users should be able to add an item to their cart then return to the last page they were on. An even better option would be to allow them to add products to their cart without even leaving the page they are currently viewing (by using a mini cart). Your cart should also let customers preview prices and shipping charges before the checkout process.
Ensuring that your site has most or all of these features already put you on the path to success. Of course there are many other factors involved in ensuring your online store is successful however at least now you can be sure that your website design is not one of them.