9 Crucial Ecommerce Website Dos & Don’ts to Remember

It’s an exciting time for online retailers. Now more than ever, people are heading online to order products. In 2021, there were a vast 2.14 billion online orders placed. And as new technologies emerge, businesses can make their websites more interactive, and personalized than ever before.

It’s easy to get carried away with this online innovation. But it’s also easy to overlook basic steps that can determine your online access. Are you starting a new ecommerce website, and unsure where to start? Here are some eCommerce website Do’s and Don’ts to get you started, and some practices that are best avoided.

1. DO: Make Your Website User-Friendly

Macbook for eCommerce Do's and Don't's

It almost goes without saying but a website needs to be user-friendly to be successful. Do you think that your website is already providing the best user experience? You might want to double-check that. It’s easy to overlook a simple error that can significantly affect your site’s usability.

For example, a specific button in your electronic signature online – eSignature service isn’t functioning as it should, and users need to click a particular area of their screen to proceed. Website users don’t want to wait around; you’ll find that if people struggle to progress through your site, they will abandon it. So, even if a certain area of your website is functional, is it as user-friendly as it could be?

To make sure that your website is as operational as it should be, it’s a good idea to carry out testing. Using different types of web services testing for your ecommerce websites can help uncover issues that could be preventing a user from accessing your site correctly.

2. DON’T: Run Advertising

Advertising for ecommerce

Certain websites, such as blogs, need advertising to survive. An ecommerce store does not. It might be nice to have the extra cash, but the disadvantages far outweigh any small gains. If people are using your store, they want to make a purchase, now be bombarded with advertising.

A product page filled with ads will seem like a cynical attempt at money-making. Not only that, but ads can slow down a page. A user might be forced to wait before the page has loaded, and they can select a product. By running ads on your product page, you’re doing little to build trust with your customers, and potentially turning people away.

If you’re looking for some additional ways to make money, you could include some affiliate links on your site. These are links to products sold by other businesses. Wondering how to find company affiliates? You could sign up for the Amazon associates’ program, which provides a small sales cut when you link a buyer to a product on Amazon.

3. DO: Implement Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is a must for all online ecommerce businesses. SEO refers to the process of making sure your website lists highly in search results. An undiscoverable website on Google is the equivalent of a death sentence for your online business. As search engines are the starting point for 68% of online experiences, it is vital that users can find your site easily.

But what can you do to make sure that your website is search engine friendly? We’ve already mentioned the importance of user experience. Google penalizes websites that don’t offer smooth experiences. If your website is crashing or slow, you might want to look at ways to speed it up.

It’s also essential to optimize your content by including SEO keywords. These are the most popular queries searched by users online. The more keywords a webpage contains, the higher it will appear in search results.

4. DON’T: Force People to Make Profiles

If a user is on your website, they are likely to be interested in making a purchase. The more barriers you put between them and their goal, the less likely you will make a sale. It’s always a good idea to boost the number of profiles on your website. This helps you gather valuable email addresses that can be used to power your marketing. But while some customers will sign up if forced, you’re more likely to be deprived of sales.

Instead, work to make the buying process as simple as possible. Building a relationship with your customers is a much more effective way of gaining new profiles. Ensure that you offer a guest checkout option so that all website users can make purchases.

5. DO: Personalize Your Website

Today, people expect their tailored shopping experience that companies can personalize to them. You may notice that you’ll find a ‘recommended for you’ section on many established sites. It isn’t by accident. The fact is successful ecommerce stores need personalization to be successful.

This is especially true if you want to build positive relations with your customers (and you should). Studies show as many as 70% of buyers base their loyalty on a company’s efforts to get to know them better.

So, how can this be achieved? A focus group using video conferencing software can be a significant first step. Modern video conferencing has many features, and is being utilized by many different industries. This ranges from use as a healthcare waiting room, to high-quality conferencing calls for businesses.

Here are a few examples of ways to create greater personalization on your website:

  • Honor customer birthdays with special offers only for them
  • Use custom headlines that will change based on individual customers
  • A list of products related to previous searches
  • Allow users to customize their profiles
  • Send out a personalized email newsletter that addresses the customer by name

6. DON’T: Use Low-Res Images or Videos

Low Res Image for eCommerce Do's and Dont's

Media is a crucial element of your website. The right images can draw a user’s eye, and maintain their engagement levels. But pictures and video also take up a large amount of space. If your website becomes too cluttered, you might find that it starts to slow down.

In this situation, you might be tempted to use lower resolution images. But resist this temptation. While it’s true that lower-res images take up less space, they also look less professional. The overall aesthetic and feel of your website are essential. If customers think your website looks neglected, they’re more likely to think it lacks security and is untrustworthy.

A much better way of saving space is by using smaller files sizes for your images and videos. For images, choose JPEG over PNG. MP4 is a better option for videos than other file formats such as MOV.

7. DO: Create a Stunning Design

A website’s design is crucial to its success. And having a professional-looking website doesn’t necessarily have to burn a hole in your budget. There are many free or low-cost website building programs that you can choose from. But remember to only opt for one of these options if you have good design skills.  As we’ve already mentioned, a shoddy website design will win you no favor with customers.

Bear in mind the importance of brand identity when designing your website. This means that your advertising, logo, and website layout should be a matching color scheme. People will recognize your business more easily if you maintain a unified design around your brand identity. 

8. DON’T: Overlook Mobile Users  

There was a time when most people used the internet via a desktop computer. But those days are long gone. Today, 56.8% of internet users access the web from their mobile devices. By making a website that is inaccessible to mobile users, you are quite literally excluding the majority of internet users. 

For an ecommerce store to be successful, it needs to be effective on both desktop, AND mobile. With the introduction of the 5G network, mobile users are accustomed to speed. A website that is slow to run on mobile simply won’t cut it in the modern world.

A simple test is to access your website from your phone. Is it easy and quick for you to navigate? If not, your customers will not find it any easier.

9. DO: Provide Top-Quality Customer Service

Customer Service for eCommerce Do's and Dont's

No matter how much time and effort you put into your website, inevitably, something will go wrong. A big enough problem could prevent shoppers from accessing your site, and making purchases. But even more, minor problems can cause difficulties.

 If a customer is experiencing an issue, you should work quickly to correct it. Lingering issues can cause more and more frustration, and might cause a user to leave. But top-notch customer service can help to resolve this problem. Make sure you have a clear ‘contact us’ section on your site. Find a business telephone number to maintain a more professional appearance. 

Here are a few additional suggestions for delivering the best customer service.

  • Follow some legacy modernization trends such as using an AI-powered chatbot to provide instant support
  • Make sure your support team is present on multiple platforms
  • Use data to provide better support
  • Segment support teams, so that there is a dedicated group dealing with difficult queries

Remember to buy a vanity number for greater rememberability which is included in the Ecommerce Website Do’s and Don’ts.

Give Your Ecommerce Website A Boost

There you have it; nine simple Ecommerce Website Do’s and Don’ts that can transform your ecommerce site. Just remember, a successful online store isn’t built in a night. You’ll need to commit time, and effort to provide the best possible platform. But by following (or avoiding) the dos and don’ts listed above, you can build a world-class ecommerce site.

So, what are you waiting for? Start transforming your ecommerce site for the better!

Richard Conn

Richard Conn

Senior Director, Demand Generation, 8×8

Richard Conn is the Senior Director for Demand Generation at 8×8, a leading communication platform that offers contact centre cloud solutions with voice, video, and chat functionality. Richard is an analytical & results-driven digital marketing leader with a track record of achieving major ROI improvements in fast-paced, competitive B2B environments. Check out his LinkedIn.

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