8 Tips for Developing E-Commerce Sites With Consumers in Mind
As e-commerce has evolved, it's become a much warmer, more personal and more frequently shared experience for consumers. When the technology was first being adopted in retail, consumers were often happy to find a text-based catalog from which they could order online. Today, however, retailers go to great lengths to distinguish their e-commerce sites from those of competitors in order to make their online experiences unique to their brand.
The objective of promoting a favorable and distinctive online experience is a deepening engagement with consumers. This means understanding the consumer's psychology and fashioning your website to appeal to the way people shop in the era of social networking, mobile devices and voice-prompted actions. Every e-commerce site is now at shoppers’ fingertips, enabling them to compare prices and features with a few clicks.
By remembering the following eight tips, website designers can help ensure they keep this on-the-go, socially focused shopper in mind when creating e-commerce pages, text and graphics:
1. Find the characteristics of a product that are key to the customer's decision. For an apparel retailer, it may be a photo; for an electronics site, specs and ratings are important; for a home improvement brand, "how to" videos may make it stand out. It's critical to the success of the site to place those elements that are most important to the purchase decision up front on the homepage.
2. Keep product and store reviews current, and make them easy to find. Reviews that are months old imply that no one has bought anything on the site recently. Search engines look more negatively on sites without recent reviews, and newer reviews will have a positive impact on search engine optimization results.
3. Avoid using standard product descriptions that are provided by the manufacturer. Such descriptions make you the same as competitors, not distinctive. Instead, fashion descriptions to match the brand, perhaps casual and breezy on a trendy site for teen shoppers or conversational and informative for a retailer selling to new moms. The site should reflect the shopper's language to make her feel welcome.