The convenience associated with online shopping is the topmost reason why many people prefer to shop online. Online shopping allows customers to purchase whatever they like at any time and without even leaving the house—ultimately saving time and effort. Furthermore, the buyers of today prefers purchasing online due to the ability of a hassle-free comparison in terms of product prices, promotions, quality, and customer reviews.

As a result, it’s no surprise that e-commerce is growing much faster compared to traditional retail. In fact, Nasdaq remarks that the ecommerce statistics for 2017 predicts that—based on current trends—around 95% of all purchases are expected to be made through e-commerce by 2040.

Current statistics also reveal that:

It is then critical for businesses to be well-informed about the latest e-commerce trends. In the same way, it’s the best time to start developing ecommerce website and interpret consumer behavior data to stay competitive.

Choosing the right kind of website for your business

There’s more to an online shop than just great product photos, prices, and a shopping cart. A profitable ecommerce website thinks about its users too.

When building a website, you should think about the best structure, features, and design. Your e-commerce site should be suitable to your business, your products. It should be appealing to your target audience or prospective buyers too.

Your website should not only look nice, but it should also be user-friendly, and gives a good online shopping experience.

Structure

The structure of your website is very important. It helps users to easily find what they are searching for. When your site has a good structure, it creates a good user experience, which is a factor for Google to show your site more.

The first thing to focus when your building your site is the structure of the navigation menu. It should readily show what your website is about and what products or services you’re offering.

A well-structured website (i.e. well categorized products, shipping information, etc), up your chances of showing up in Google Search. It helps improve your SEO, and prevents you from competing with your own content for a higher page rank.

Features

Your ecommerce website’s features are as equally important to its structure too. Basic features should include:

  • Ease of use
  • Functional features (i.e. mobile-enabled, payment system)
  • Payment options
  • Shopping cart
  • others

Design

Another essential for an ecommerce website is its design—meaning, its visual effect. First impression is very important. Most buyers decide right away whether to purchase or to leave your site depending on its design and usability.

Email Marketing Campaign

Ecommerce also implies Email Marketing campaign realization. Consistent sending of newsletters, promotions, company news, and others—to your subscribers is necessary. In fact, recent statistics show that the average ROI of email marketing is 3,800%, which is way better compared to other marketing channels.

Email marketing strategy matters a lot especially if you are considering a high ROI. However, email campaigns will not be effective if you are missing pieces of customers’ data. Incomplete information about your customer can result to ineffective marketing efforts.

Thus, it is crucial to foolproof your database by data appending. Enriching your customers’ info by data appending, helps fills the gaps in your database. It can also get rid of the incomplete, non-existent or inaccurate information by means of reverse data appending.

Other than the above mentioned points, the following are 7 must-haves for eCommerce website to stay competitive.

1. High-resolution photos and videos that loads fast

High quality images sell—not heavy text. So investing in good quality product images is important. Your ecommerce website therefore should include high-resolution images with good lighting.

Customers nowadays also want to get a feel for the product. They want to see multiple photos per product that are shot in different environments and angles, and can be zoomed in.

Aside from quality photos, it should also be optimized for page load. Customers prefer to have a quick view of the product. And Search Engines like images that loads fast as it helps your site load faster.

2. Mobile-friendly website

More than 55% of online buyers shops using mobile devices. Your online shop should take advantage of this because it will exponentially improve your sales and site ranking. A highly optimized mobile-friendly site also has a better chance of repeat customers.

3. Suggest similar products

Your website should also have a “related items” feature. This section suggests to your customer that you have a similar product that they may like. This is an up-selling and cross-selling tools that are proven to boost your sales.

4. Payment Options

Advance payment option is also one of ecommerce website must-haves. Having payment options allows flexibility, hence improving user-experience. Customers loves paying conveniently with just a click.

5. SSL and security

SSL and security features are also an integral part of your ecommerce site. It helps protect your business as well as your customers’ sensitive information.

Google also penalises sites that doesn’t have an SSL certificate. So it’s important to submit your sitemaps to Google Webmaster Tools. Also, a secured website makes you appear more credible to your customers.

6. Return Policy

A clearly visible and well-defined Return Policy also help build trust. It allows room for your customers to thoroughly think before purchasing any item.

A well-written Return Policy can help prevent product returns. And in case the buyer is not fully satisfied with their purchase, they know what to expect based on your Return Policy.

7. Social media buttons

Linking your social media accounts is also important as it can increase your brand exposure online. Adding social media buttons to your website open up opportunities for self-promotion. Engaging with your customers using social media is a powerful way to keep them abreast of your latest company news and offerings.

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