Planning to start your own Online Shopping Website? Well, running an e-commerce store is not as easy as it sounds. There are a lot of things to consider before building a site, running it, maintaining the back-end, providing a solid front-end for users and many more like these. So, here are some quick basic tips for eCommerce websites that can help you start-up and optimize your website to make it better.
Choosing the Right eCommerce Platform
An online shopping website is not like any other static website – It’s a database driven website on a highly secured web hosting.
Picking the suitable Content Management System or building your own custom CMS solution is a tough task and needs to be done precisely. Overlooking any or few features can harm your goals right at the beginning.
Most open-source free CMS such as:
or paid shopping CMS such as Magento can handle almost all features needed for an e-commerce website – however, you will need to explore these options before you settle for any one of these. Scalability and your comfort of use, learning curve are some of the pointers to look at.
ECWID is one of the newest e-commerce platforms I came across based on AJAX technology. The best thing is – its a completely hosted back-end solution with a secured environment purely driven by AJAX and all data loading from fastest Content Delivery Network.
The advantage of using ECWID is that – you can either build a static html front-end or create a CMS driven website by simply embedding various code snippets provided by them yet you have a complete control over its look & feel through CSS styles. All product URLs are generated on-the-go and with new AJAX Indexing feature, these entire product URLs can be indexed in search engines like Google or Bing.
I, personally have used all of the above platforms for number of clients and all these systems works very well, depending upon various requirements. OpenCart and ECWID are my recent favorites since they offer ECWID free account which is good enough to try their features.
In addition – one must not forget about having a Mobile-friendly website as the smartphones are growing – mobile devices are being widely used for shopping and browsing stuff on the Internet.
If you want to be just-another-eCommerce-store, you can skip this point. If not, you should first focus on creating a customized theme for your website. Users are never concerned about what web scripts you’re using but what they need is an easy-to-use, appealing and accessible User Interface with pleasing color scheme.
Do not stuff your site with too much of images or too much of text content. Keep it simple yet clean. This will also make your site faster, which is an important factor for SEO and user experience.
You can attract readers and connect with them using different themes for each shopping season. Like a red and a green for Christmas.. With the available shopping tools and techniques, you might not have to build a completely new theme every time, but simply customize the existing one with not too much of time spent on it. You must already have noticed this change in all major online shopping stores.
Remember, you won’t always get tech savvy customer so it is highly recommended to have a friendly navigation for those other users. Your website’s navigation menu should be easy to read and jump to desired product categories.
Showing Most Popular Products, Newest Arrivals or Discount Deals on homepage will immediately get the attention of the users and can start engaging them right away since they’re visiting your site for shopping.
Having breadcrumbs on your site will be an added benefit. They will make it easy for users to be able to go back to the previous category or back to the home page.
Show Recommended Products
If you buy something at an established online store, you must have noticed a list of recommended products that are related to the one, you have just seen or bought.
You can also do the same and let the users get similar products without much effort. It’s like to showcase products just like in a roadside shop. We all like to check similar items.
Why should people buy your products when they have the same or the alternatives on other sites? The product price matters here.
Don’t just focus on profits – instead start building your reputation among customers. Lowest Price is a very crucial for any online store in addition to the fast, reliable service.
Start offering occasional discounts on products on your site. Let the world know you have the best deals on offer. This will not just boost your sales but also help you get some fan following.
Simple and Fast Order Process
No one would ever come back for shopping on your site, if you have a lazy loading cart or ordering process. People shop online, because they want to get it quick and easy; you can’t succeed when your product ordering process is slow or tedious.
There are many awesome tools and solutions for creating a better on-site payment gateway and order placing features. Again, this is one the points I was trying to tell you from Point-1 above.
Make sure to offer easy sign-up / log-in options using social media accounts such as Facebook, Twitter or Google. People don’t like to fill up same boring forms every time they visit different websites.
Optimize Product Content
How can we forget the most important part of a website? As we’re now talking about the e-commerce sites, optimize each of your products with the target keyword to get better results.
Write good product details and features as applicable. Highlighting USP for any product is mandatory. Have SEO-friendly, readable permalinks (URL structure) instead of the messy ones we hate to see. Your URL should contain the target keyword – which most likely the product name.
Do not forget to write details for images like Title, ALT Text, and Description so that search engines can easily understand what that image is for and, yes – don’t try to trick search engines using false descriptions. Gone are the days when it was possible and fruitful.
If you have any further questions or need help regarding the eCommerce websites – then please feel to contact us online or comment below. I will be more than happy to help you in the matter. Best wishes 🙂