Last editedJan 20233 min read
What makes an ecommerce store a success? A user-friendly design, eye-catching imagery, and smooth checkout process are all part of the winning package. Follow these ecommerce best practices to make yours a site that visitors want to return to.
1. Prove your website is trustworthy.
The internet is a vast and lawless place. New customers might be hesitant to make a purchase from an untested website. If you’re just starting out, consider using a recognisable hosting service like Magento or Shopify to build trust. You should also prominently display any positive customer reviews and press coverage. Create an ‘About Us’ page to tell the customers more about your brand, putting a face to the name. Display SSL certificates and security badges at the top of your landing site.
2. Do away with unwanted clutter.
Simple, responsive designs are always best practices in ecommerce. Online shoppers are easily distracted. Overly complicated graphics and lengthy intro videos can be a turn-off to visitors who want to see your products instead. Furthermore, they can overload your website and lead to slower load times. Your products and checkout pages should be easy to find, with clear calls to action.
3. Put attractive product images front and centre.
Appealing imagery is at the heart of ecommerce site best practices. It’s estimated that 65% of us are visual learners, meaning we respond more effectively to images over words. On top of this, visual content receives 94% more views when compared to written content alone. In short, you want to get eyes on your products, so invest your time and effort into taking high-quality photos. Don’t forget the text though; you should include clear, accurate, scannable descriptions alongside them.
4. Offer a product search tool.
Even if you don’t have a vast catalogue of products for sale, it’s a good idea to include a website search bar. It helps your visitors navigate to where they want to go. Users can filter search results to quickly find the products they want or answers to their questions. Along those same lines, an FAQ page is also considered ecommerce best practices.
5. Encourage customer reviews.
According to Dixa research, 93% of customers consider online reviews before making a purchase. While it can be scary to ask for customer feedback, it shows transparency and helps build trust. Ask for a review after each purchase, allowing them to be posted without any moderation.
6. Show recently viewed products and personal recommendations.
Ecommerce site best practices often boil down to the personal touch. As shoppers browse through your products, it’s helpful to display any recently viewed items. This lets them quickly find something they’ve already viewed and make a purchasing decision. By tracking a visitor’s view history, you can also offer personal recommendations of similar items they might appreciate.
7. Cut down on the checkout steps.
According to Canstar research, a whopping 70% of Australian shoppers abandon their shopping carts at the last moment. How can you improve your ecommerce conversion rates? One of the best ways is to make the checkout process as easy as possible. Put purchase buttons on each product page, with a clear shopping cart icon in your header. Keep your checkout page to the bare minimum: shipping, payment, and billing information.
8. Offer a guest checkout option.
Although there are benefits to creating customer accounts, you should always offer the option to checkout without logging in. Creating an account is an extra step in the checkout process that your business can’t afford. Time-stretched or easily distracted shoppers will just give up on the purchase.
9. Offer a variety of payment methods.
When it comes to the best ecommerce practices for payments, it’s best to cater to as many preferences as possible. While many Australian shoppers still pay with credit cards, many now prefer alternative methods like buy now pay later (BNPL), Apple Pay, Google Pay, and others. GoCardless can increase checkout conversion rates with an out-of-the-box, fully customisable checkout flow. You can embed this on your ecommerce website to accept payment from over 30 countries in the local currency. It’s easy for customers to pay as well; with payment set-up taking only two minutes on average.
10. Offer free shipping and loyalty rewards.
Finally, don’t neglect the appeal of free shipping. For customers on the fence, the offer of free shipping is often the tipping point they need to make a purchase. You can build this into your product price or simply work it into your cost of customer acquisition. To retain customers, follow up with the offer of loyalty rewards and perks. Ecommerce loyalty programs help you hold onto those new customers you’ve worked so hard to convert.
By following these ecommerce best practices, your business will be poised to increase conversion rates and revenue all at once.
We can help
GoCardless is a global payments solution that helps you automate payment collection, cutting down on the amount of financial admin your team needs to deal with. Find out how GoCardless can help you with one-off or recurring payments.