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What Customers are Looking For in an E-Commerce Website

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

As an e-commerce website owner, you need to be able to position yourself well in search engine rankings or online ads and attract customers enough to click and visit your online store. Once they do land on your site, you still need one more important thing to happen: get them to actually make a purchase.

Let’s take a closer look at a few things that customers look for in e-commerce websites to hopefully help your site close the sale.

Great user interface design

First impressions are important in any business. With e-commerce websites, the design is what makes that first impression, and the single most important element in keeping your customer to continue browsing.

If it’s possible, hire a qualified web designer to work on your site to ensure that the user interface makes sense for your customers. You’ll be surprised that the top reason visitors will leave an online store has nothing to do with customer service or price; it’s that they cannot find what they are looking for.

A great user interface design should be pleasing to a customer’s eye, able to get him to click on links you want them to visit, and attract them to those "add to cart” and "checkout” buttons.

Fast page loading speeds

While having a impactful user interface and nice-looking graphics should be definitely be considered, page loading speeds should not be compromised.

Dave Garr of User Testing has said that increasing site speed improved his conversion rate by 78%. On the other end of the spectrum, every second your website delays the information that the visitor is looking for, you lose 7% of your potential conversions.

Make sure your site loads fast and makes the necessary adjustments for mobile users. You can use Google’s Pagespeed Insights tool to help you out in deciding whether your site is up-to-speed.

Satisfactory product selection

Not every customer wants you to have a product selection wide as Amazon’s. In fact, having too many choices can actually lower a person’s decision to buy (aka decision paralysis). If you are starting a new store, the key is to strategically think about the range of products that you will be able to deliver most efficiently.

Moreover, ensure that you are able to help your customers browse easily. Most e-commerce websites provide brand or category listings, and a very good search function. Search results should be fast, and smart enough to match the customer’s intent.

Attractive product pages

Most online shoppers already know what they are looking for. Because of this, it’s important that the product pages they land on will be able to pitch the product to them enough to make them actually buy it.

Don’t underestimate the importance of above-the-fold content — which should most definitely include a short description and good quality photos. If you can afford it, have a video for your products.

Straightforward transaction processing

You’ve successfully made the customer to visit your site, view your products, and add some stuff in their shopping cart. How can your e-commerce website screw up now? Let me count the ways.

● Unexpectedly high shipping costs or taxes are a definite turn off so make sure you have this under control.
● Limited payment methods will also drive a customer away so make sure you accept all major credit cards, PayPal, and other popular payment options.
● Requiring users to create an account before they finalise their orders is not a good idea. You may even want to opt for allowing guests to complete orders in this case.

By considering what your customers are looking for in e-commerces websites, you will be able to understand where they are coming from as they browse through your website pages, and ultimately, help you improve your sales and maximise your profits.




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