Website development can be tricky and time consuming. Its not simple nor it’s a one man job. There are multiple factors to consider while building any ecommerce website. Be it user experience or shopping cart process, every aspect of an ecommerce website should be customized to meet business goals. An ecommerce website presents a lot of challenges. Many users will come to your site to just know about your product and so you should optimize your website according to users and buyers alike.
Here are some aspects of ecommerce website development process :-
1.Mobile Optimized Design
With huge availability of mobile devices, mobile ecommerce is growing at a faster rate than desktop ecommerce. Buyers want to shop comfortably from their smartphone anytime and anywhere they want. It is incredibly important that you account for mobile users while developing an ecommerce website. Implementing a responsive design strategy will go a long way in improving conversions and customer retention. You must pay extra attention to mobile screen real estate. See whats easier for your customers, do your customers need a full width image as category thumbnail or you don’t. You might want to display your products in grids similar to a mobile app interface. Special care and attention must be given to checkout and payment pages because this is where the real action is going to happen. Here are some screen sizes to test for
Customized vs CMS based website development
While you may use any existing CMS like magento to build your website, but do consider the rigidity and flexibility of the ecosystem you are going with. Magento is owned by adobe and is used by thousands of merchants across the globe. There are multiple extensions available in the market that can extend the functionality of your store, even we develop magento extensions for example the web push notifications for magento, they are just plug and play codebases that can be ported to your website and your website will then inherit that feature. While magento has its benefits, it has its pitfalls as well. Magento is limited in its ability to serve all ecommerce models. Your model might be very different and you might find that a customized solution can better convert your customers. For example, if you offer an online tailoring platform wherein your users can come and customize a blazer, magento should not be your first choice. For such ecommerce models a customized website is helpful.
Filling up lengthy forms is really a pain and people prefer to perform a guest checkout on the website, this way they wont have to setup a username and password. Ofcourse you will motivate them at some point to create an account and modern ecommerce setups have provided social signup feature that just simplifies the process for the user. But still always account for guest checkouts because it reduces the number of steps required by a customer to complete a buying action.
All major companies have accounted for suggestive search, this makes it easier for a customer to search and get to his desired products faster. A customer might not know the right spelling of the product but he still has the capacity to buy. By taking a step towards bringing a customer to the product, you are already helping him complete the buying action. If possible, include multiple search terms that lead to same result, this helps the user in quickly selecting the one he knows. Also you can go a step further and incorporate infinite scrolling in both category and search pages, this helps the customer because he doesn’t have to navigate from the page.
Minimal form fields
Keep the form fields to an absolute minimum. There is no need to provide 3 fields, salutation, first name and last name. You can simply have full name field, similarly, don’t make the customer select his country when you are only selling in your home country. Keep it simple, if you are a hyper local delivery company, as for name, phone number and address. You really don’t need to ask for state and country because you are only serving a defined region. The minimalistic approach goes a long way in retaining a customer. If the process of ordering is easy on your website, he would want to do it again.
Lets say that you have a website on which you sell homeopathic products. You must have a fair idea by how a user searches for your products or what does he first enquires about. Is it the brand, is it the actual disease / ailment. Here is what we did, we segregated the entire product catalogue disease wise and result based, we categorized the product based on the result or ailment. So our categories became, personal care, hair care, indigestion so on and so forth. After we implemented this structure we saw a spike in the conversion rates, a user was able to relate better to his ailment / or end result and hence it was easier for him to make the decision.
Be as descriptive as possible. You don’t have someone who can explain the product features to your customer, it can only be text and images that will speak on your behalf. Make the most of it, give details about the product, you never know what clicks with your customers. Lets say that you are selling a bed which can be turned into a sofa, you must show this in your product description. An added benefit might be your conversion trigger. So include as much information as possible with your product. Similarly if you are selling clothing, always include a size chart, so that a customer can check if it is going to fit him. This will help him make a decision and also avoid possibility of a return later.
Security is paramount in all website development projects. Include an SSL on your website. SSL is that green padlock on the left side of your website URL. It encrypts the communication between the browser and the server. Any website that does not have an SSL installed will be shown as not secure. You don’t want to convey to your customers that you are insecure, give them every element of trust they can possibly imagine. Let them feel safe on your website. Also use stronger password hashing algorithms, test your website for OWASP (Open Web Application Security Project).
If your website does not load in a fraction of a second, your conversion rates will go down drastically. Site performance is now a google ranking factor. Why do you think that is ? Its because, even google knows the importance of site performance. I have seen instances where site performance became a factor in developing a loyal customer base. The users would come back to a site because, the users could complete their tasks faster.