Does Your Ecommerce Site Measure Up?
Online shopping has come a long way. In fact, the number of consumers switching to online shopping rather than in-store shopping has increased dramatically. This is greatly attributed to the convenience factor. No matter what your work schedule, no matter how many children you have running around your ankles, the online store is always open.
Now, you can’t expect to just setup an online store and expect the customers to roll in with little effort. There are certain aspects of a successful ecommerce site that you should consider implementing. Seeing as how they are the most successful online shopping site, Amazon.com is an excellent example of what you should have on your ecommerce site.
1. Clear and Present Search Options
Your customers will vary widely. Amazon.com has a highly visible search bar that is sure to catch even the most distracted shoppers. It allows you to search the entire site or narrow down to a certain department. You don’t want your customers to become frustrated before even having a chance to select a product. Give them a clear and visible search bar to start their online shopping experience.
2. Filtering for Even Better Search
Sometimes buyers need a bit of help narrowing down the options available. This is especially important if your ecommerce site carries hundreds of different products in dozens of different categories. The more you offer, the stronger your filters need to be. When consumers can’t find what they need, they’ll move on pretty quickly.
Amazon has a huge selection of products from books to coffee mugs and sofas to hair dryers. Pretty much anything anyone could ever want can be purchased right there on the site. The side filtering menu makes finding a particular department much easier than a simple search, since keywords could return anything that closely resembles the phrase. With the filters, buyers can drill down to the categories they need, and then further to get sizes, colors, styles, and even brands. This kind of filtering system is highly recommended for any ecommerce site, no matter how small your niche may be. If you don’t make it easy, you’ll likely lose the sale.
3. What Can Go Wrong?
You should automatically live by Murphy’s Law. Assume that whatever can go wrong, will. This will allow you to be more prepared for any shipping snafus, incorrect products, or wrong sizes that may be sent out. The best way to keep on top of the bad side of the online shopping world is to provide your customers with a way to contact customer service immediately.
Amazon.com has a help link at the very top of their website that takes you straight to their help and customer service section. At the bottom of the page, buyers have several different options to reach customer service. These options are clearly listed to help buyers determine which department they need and what kind of problem actually needs solved. By directing buyers to the right department the first time, you’ll cut down on frustration that might discourage consumers from returning. Even better, you’ll save time and effort for all involved.
4. Money Money Money
You can’t have an online shopping site without a method of taking payments. It seems as though the nightly news are constantly reporting on security breaches of websites where customer’s precious financial information has been stolen. This makes it highly imperative that you provide your customers with an incredibly secure payment system.
Amazon.com allows customers to pay with credit, debit, and gift cards. However, they also allow customers the security of paying with a program called Amazon Payments. There is no additional cost to use the payment service, and it prevents customers from having to re-enter their payment information. Consumers can keep financial information private, and given the rise of technology, that is definitely important.
Take it from the largest ecommerce site on the internet; success is possible as long as you keep your customers and their online shopping concerns and desire for convenience in mind.