E-Commerce Website Essentials: The Six S’s

Prairie Magic Design E-Commerce Website Essentials

Prairie Magic Design E-Commerce Web EssentialsHave you ever been shopping on a website and decided to click away or cancel your purchase because something just felt… off?  Maybe the product photos were fuzzy. Maybe the checkout process was too confusing. Maybe you didn’t see any “secure” or “verified” logos on the shopping cart page. Whatever the case, this scenario happens all the time―resulting in lost sales opportunities for e-commerce retailers.

That’s why we’ve put together the following essentials for e-commerce websites. Keep these Six S’s in mind if you’re currently selling your products online (or thinking about it in the future):

This one tops the list because it’s a top priority for most people―especially when sharing their credit card information online. Without a secure shopping cart, you can say sayonara to those cautious customers!

A quick terminology lesson: SSL (which stands for Secure Sockets Layer) is a global standard security technology that enables encrypted communication between a web browser and a web server. SSL certificates are installed on a web server to authenticate the identity of the website and to encrypt the data that’s being transmitted. WooCommerce (one of the e-commerce plug-ins we use) is also audited by Securi, which is the industry leader in reviewing and certifying the safety of WordPress plug-ins.

Have we lost your attention yet? Okay, all the tech talk aside… leave the security stress to us. That’s part of our job when we’re building a website for our client!

From product selection to the final checkout screen, the process should be a smooth one that keeps your customer moving down the sales funnel. Keep the navigation clean and simple, with as few obstacles as possible. Make it easy to add or remove items from the shopping cart. Display prominent call-to-action buttons where appropriate (such as “Add to Cart,” “Buy Now,” or “Place Order”).

High-quality photos are oh-so-important when they’re taking the place of the in-store shopping experience. Remember, you’re compensating for the fact that the customer can’t physically handle the item. When designing an e-commerce website, we make sure the product page is built to showcase multiple photo angles. This is often in the form of one primary image with a slideshow of smaller thumbnails which can be enlarged. The ability to zoom in closer on pictures also helps the customer get a better feel for the item.

Detailed descriptions, specifications, and store policies are a must. These can be organized in an easy-to-digest format so the customer doesn’t get overwhelmed with too much to read at one time. Most importantly―just as in a retail setting―all prices should be clearly displayed!

Every online store should have a basic search function. For retailers with multiple product categories, a sort/filter menu is another helpful feature. This makes it easier for customers to narrow down the choices. If someone has to scroll through pages and pages of products, he might give up before he finds what he’s looking for.

Incorporate social share buttons on your product pages and post-purchase page, so customers can share their newest purchase with friends. This is an easy thing to do, and it’s free word-of-mouth―which can often be the best form of advertising!

And there you have our Six S’s. It’s also worth noting that behind every e-commerce website should be a solid framework, which is why we often work with WordPress. It allows us to create a customized design for every client, with room to grow and integrate additional features.

Are you ready to take on e-commerce to grow your sales? We know it can be a daunting task, so give us a call. We’ll walk you through the options and help you decide what’s best for your business.