Hey, Nick Ponte here. I own a digital marketing agency in Maui. Every week, I share tips for small business owners to improve their online strategies and increase leads, conversions, and revenue. Lately, I’ve been giving practical advice about various aspects of websites, like driving leads through CTAs.

This week, I’m sharing essentials for eCommerce websites. With the mass amount of products available in various markets, every eCommerce business has its own audience and methods of reaching them. Every website can’t have the same setup. But, that doesn’t mean that basic principles don’t apply.

Also Read: 3 Essentials for Small Business Owners’ SEO Strategies

Eliminating Missed Sales Opportunities

How many times has a customer gone to a site with the intent to browse or purchase, but ended up leaving because they got frustrated with the website’s functionality? It happens more often than you think, and we want to make sure your website doesn’t end up within those ranks. 

My agency helps a wide variety of businesses set up successful eCommerce websites using the best practices out there. While every business has unique goals, we use these principles across the board. We can help you create a unique brand through website design, meeting your needs, products, and offers. My team will work with you to develop an excellent website that attracts customers and leads to increased revenue.

Also Read: Designing a Website That Produces Results

6 Best Practices to Impact Your Web Design

Here’s how we use crucial principles to customize eCommerce websites to our clients’ offers: 

  • Create a Trustworthy Website

You build a relationship with your customers. Just like you grow a new friendship, a business has to establish credibility for their audience. Let customers get familiar with your brand by creating a website that provides reliable information with plenty of support.

Establish your website as an expert source of quality products and information. Give visibility to media where others have promoted your products. Link to positive press coverage and reviews. Have you earned awards? Do you have trust badges? An SSL certificate that shows the authentication of your identity by a trusted third-party? Include these where users can clearly see them.

Don’t forget to include reviews and testimonials on product pages. Follow up with buyers and ask them to review purchases. Don’t be afraid of getting negative reviews—a limited number strengthens credibility. Plus, you get the opportunity to resolve a customer issue, thus strengthening your reputation for customer success.

Include reliable contact information and your physical location on your website. This helps Google to know your site is reliable, too.

  • Make an Appealing Design

Your website should be visibly inviting, just like a comfortable shop customers enjoy walking into. A cluttered store makes shoppers feel stressed and claustrophobic. Get rid of visual clutter on your website. Too many images and too much information overwhelm and confuse shoppers. Make it easy for customers to see the essentials, and turn the focus to your products. Utilize negative space on your site. This helps customers absorb more of what you actually want them to comprehend. Don’t use disruptive ads that slow load times and look like spam.

Use quality, attractive images. Shoppers actually find images more important than the best copy and all the reviews you can muster. A handful of great images help them imagine products as their own—an essential factor, since they can’t physically touch the product. Use original, professional photos of your products, not third-party images. Style them to match your brand’s aesthetic, and include multiple angles. Trust me: your conversion rate will show the difference.

In addition to images, include product demos. You can insert these in your photo lineup or create video blog content.

  • Simplify Site Navigation

How hard or easy is it to navigate your site? Shoppers don’t want to use an elevated level of mental processing power just to purchase your products. You want people to spend time browsing through your website because it increases chances of purchases. Do whatever you can to make the experience easy.

When in doubt, simplify. Streamline the user’s experience on the interface. Make product pages consistent. Make your navigation bar simple. Use clear navigation titles over attempts to be clever. Include clear CTAs that trigger a response, like “add to cart” or “subscribe.” 

Half of shoppers don’t purchase because they can’t find the product they’re looking for. Make sure users can smoothly move through product pages. Include a search for your website, so customers don’t have to keep looking around when they know exactly what they want. 

  • Quality Copy & Product Descriptions

Your competition often just copies and pastes descriptions, so take the opportunity to stand out of the crowds. Write informative product descriptions that demonstrate value. Keep descriptions to-the-point. Highlight key features and benefits. Throughout your site, avoid large blocks of text because readers get lost between the lines.

Don’t forget to prioritize SEO. Keywords improve search engine ranks. Almost half of shoppers initiate a buying process through search engines, and they go to top results first. Work at getting the top ranks to improve clicks and conversions.

People love to hear a story, so highlight storytelling as a feature of your copy. Stories ignite imagination, and you want customers visualizing your products as part of their lives. A story adds value to your product, and customers will tell that story when they share their purchase with someone else.

  • Get Fast Load Times & Responsiveness

Most customers expect a webpage to load within a couple of seconds. If shoppers have to wait a long time for pages to load, they’re likely to move on and click off. Glitches, site crashes, and error reports make things even worse. You’ll lose customers and your bounce rate will increase.

For a free test of this, check out WebPageTest.org. It will show you how long it takes to connect to the site, and how long it takes to load.

Avoid this by choosing an excellent hosting service. Don’t go for cheap—invest in premium. Additionally, optimize images. Compressing your images and text boosts load times. Reduce redirects and plugins. Make sure links work and your site loads easily on various devices.  

  • Develop a Strong Customer Success Strategy

Don’t fall for the temptation to slack in the areas mentioned. If shoppers sense lack of effort through a poorly designed website, they won’t likely purchase from you. Care for your customers through a trustworthy, attractive, and easy-to-use website.

Further, let customers have some kind of option to try before they buy. You can offer samples or the opportunity to try a product and return it. Don’t forget to provide easy access to friendly customer service support by phone, email, and live chats. Resolve issues quickly and efficiently. 

We customize these best practices and more, according to our clients’ offers to establish successful marketing campaigns. If you want to learn more about developing a successful eCommerce website or want help getting started, reach out to us today!

Further Reading: How eCommerce Competition Helps Small Hawaii Businesses

Photo Courtesy of Nicole Goulart

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