Best Practices for Building Your E-Commerce Website

The number of digital buying worldwide is constantly growing. According to a report from Statista, this number is projected to reach 2.14 billion by 2021.

Giants like Amazon and eBay aren’t the only companies that are contributing to these skyrocketing numbers. Small online stores serving local communities are also thriving.

With sales at brick and mortar stores giving way to online sales, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your business is taking the right approach to e-commerce.

The best way to do this is to create a website that invites visitors in and converts them into customers with as little friction as possible. Design and content both play a huge role in enabling visitors to find the information they’re looking for and can make the purchase process a smooth journey when properly executed.

Read below to learn about the critical practices that can make web design and e-commerce strategy a success.

Use Customer Testimonials

Testimonials can be used to showcase customers’ satisfaction with your product or service in a clear and authentic way. Whether you include them as part of the product description or have a separate page dedicated to testimonials and reviews, this type of content is essential to building trust with potential customers.

Adopt a Minimalistic Style

A simple website design, including a straightforward navigation menu, improves the flow of your site, reduces friction, and directs visitors to the necessary conversion points. Distracting links, videos, pop ups, and other clutter can cause potential customers to click away from your site and onto your competitors’.

Make Honesty Your Go-To Policy

You shouldn’t have to deceive visitors in order to make a sale. Be as honest and upfront as possible, especially about prices and policies. Visitors can easily see through deceptive tactics, and a lack of clear information about your services will diminish their confidence in your brand.

Make Essential Info Easy to Find

An FAQ page and easy-to-locate search bar both help improve site navigation. If a customer’s question can’t be answered through either of these elements, they’ll want to be able to get in touch with you. List your contact info on its own page or at the bottom of the homepage, and include as many details as you can: an email address, phone number, and hours of operation are the bare minimum.

Prioritize Mobile Optimization

Don’t make the mistake of losing a customer because they couldn’t navigate your website on their mobile device. Use a responsive layout that easily adapts to all screen types (desktop, mobile, and tablet) and operating systems rather than creating separate mobile versions of the site. Don’t forget to perform tests from a variety of devices and operating systems so that you can get a feel for what your visitors are experiencing.

Maintain Uniform Branding

Your company’s branding, including its logo and color scheme, should act as a through-line for every page on your website. A consistent look doesn’t just project a more professional image for your brand, it can also prevent customers from thinking they’ve been directed to a different site. The need for consistency also extends to your navigation menu and design, which should remain the same from page to page.

Get a Second Opinion on Website Usability

It can be tough to see your website through the eyes of a visitor who is unfamiliar with your business. Hiring a professional to rate your site on its appearance and usability can provide you with an objective understanding of any improvements that need to be made.

Choose an Easy-to-Use E-Commerce Platform

An e-commerce platform can transform your website from a source of information about your company’s services to a successful e-commerce store. Be sure to select a platform that is easy to configure and works well on all devices. Some of the most popular, secure, and flexible e-commerce platforms include Shopify and WooCommerce.

Maintain a Flexible E-Commerce Business Model

Franchises have several options when it comes to taking their business online. A distributed e-commerce model is one of the most flexible of these options. Through this model, franchisees operate standalone websites while the franchisor retains complete control over branding and pricing. This helps avoid confusion among internet consumers and prevents uneven user experiences.