6 things to consider for ecommerce success

Ecommerce has grown exponentially over the past decade, and so too have the number of consumer complaints associated with sites that aren’t quite up to snuff for today’s fast-paced buyer. Simply put, today’s online customer has higher expectations than ever with regards to the user-friendliness, efficiency and speed of retail websites.

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To avoid the glaring problems that generate complaints and ultimately drive traffic away from your site (and put a beating on your bottom line), consider these six keys for success in the ecommerce market. And if you employ a website manager, make sure they’re aware of these must-dos as well.

1. Imagery
It may sound like a no-brainer, but, like in-store design (eye-catching signage, etc.) website attractiveness is of paramount importance for ecommerce success. Simply put, if you’re site isn’t pretty, you’ll lose traffic and therefore sales. Studies on eye-tracking show that web users scan first—then read—and like to see multiple images before making a purchase. This means well-rendered product images are highly important and could mean the difference between so-so and stellar sales.

2. Site Functionality
It’s been estimated that if Amazon’s checkout button was down for less than hour, the online giant would lose $2 million in sales. So if you have the feature on your site, make sure it works, and works all the time. And if there is a problem with site functionality, be open and transparent and provide an error message that thoroughly explains the problem.

3. Latency
On-line shoppers tend to be less patient and more impulsive than their in-store counterparts, so monitor your site constantly for problems and fix issues immediately; otherwise sales that would be sure things will disappear quickly.

4. Site Search
Studies show that online shoppers expect site search bars to work with Google-like speed and proficiency. So be sure your site’s tagging system is up to par and add advanced search features at every opportunity.

5. Navigation
If your site isn’t clearly labeled and easy to navigate, customers will leave. Make sure your popular items and sales are highlighted and your various interior pages are easy to find and navigate.

6. Discount & Sales Offers
One of the most alluring aspects of online shopping is web-only discounts and sales. And one of the biggest complaints is difficult to located code boxes. If you’re going to offer coupon codes and sales, make them easy to locate use.

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