When it comes to selling products online, one of the most important things you can do to help your business is to make your website or selling platform as customer-friendly as possible. Customers don’t always base their buying decisions solely on the merits of the products they are looking at. When people shop online they are also influenced by factors such as the look of the web page, ease of navigation, easy payment options, fast loading speeds, and more. If a potential customer finds a website too difficult to use they are more likely to look at a different company or look for the same products on a more familiar selling platform. The last thing you want to do is to offer a great product at a competitive price but lose customers due to bad site design decisions.
Here are 6 ways to help you draw customers to your website and keep them engaged from the start of their shopping experience all the way through the checkout process:
1. Overall Design
In order to draw in more customers, you should begin by examining the overall effectiveness of your website design. A good, customer-friendly design will grab peoples’ attention without overwhelming them. To do this, you want your website to mimic the properties of a successful physical store. This means keeping your website clean and well-organized with your products prominently and effectively displayed. Never clutter your pages with information or make your customers jump through hoops or navigate unnecessary blocks of text or graphics just to see your products. Take for example the clean design of Orton’s women leather bags category page. They have their business name prominently displayed and a short blurb about their business so customers feel an informed connection with the company, but their products take center stage surrounded by enough white space to let them stand out but not so much that the page feels empty.
2. Ease of Navigation
Another function of good web design is an easily navigable page. Orton Shop also does this quite well, as they have their products grouped by various categories. It’s easy for a customer to become overwhelmed by a lot of options. To combat this, have an easily accessible bar that groups your products into appealing categories. In our purse vendor example, they group their bags by size, type, and event, to name a few. You will also need a good, fast search function to help your customers find exactly what they are looking for if they already have something specific in mind.
3. Mobile Compatibility
It’s important to take mobile compatibility into account when creating your website. Phones are everywhere these days and are often used for everything from social media to online shopping. Around 40 percent of web traffic in 2018 has been through the use of mobile devices. A simple web search will give you a variety of apps or companies that can help adapt your layout to be more mobile friendly.
4. Fast Loading Times
It’s not just your search function that should be fast; your entire website needs to load quickly and properly the first time. In today’s fast-paced society, people place a high value on ease of use and fast service. One study showed that even a one-second delay in page loading times can result in a 7 percent decline in sales. To avoid long loading times, be sure to keep your page simple and clean and don’t load it down with unnecessary graphics or gimmicks. Not only do they look bad but they will also increase the loading time for your site. You may also want to consider a content delivery network which will increase your website’s overall performance and speed.
5. Guest Checkout
Given the fact that customers tend to value speed and convenience, your checkout process should be as streamlined as possible. Most online businesses offer a chance to create an account when it comes time for a customer to make their purchases. This isn’t a bad idea in itself as it can help promote repeat sales. This can, however, turn customers away at times as people are not always willing to go through a process or sign up for something in order to buy their items. Once someone has made the decision to buy you want the process to be as fast as possible so they don’t change their minds before they finalize the purchase. A guest checkout option can help with this, and a happy customer is more likely to return and perhaps create an account at a later date.
6. Easy Payment Options
Another way to keep your checkout fast and efficient is to provide your customers with a variety of ways to pay easily and hassle-free. The standard credit card payment options are always good, but you should also consider allowing other online money transfer options. To streamline your process consider a payment portal accepting payments like Quick Fee which will not only facilitate a variety of payment options but can also provide a payment plan for your customers. This way you receive the full purchase price up front, but your customers can make payments over time. This can be a very attractive offer for higher-priced items and may make customers more willing to buy big-ticket items online.
In order to make your online business more customer friendly and accessible, it is important to keep these key factors in mind. Everything should be centered around providing a convenient, hassle-free, enjoyable experience for your customers. This principle should influence everything from web design, navigation, and loading speeds to mobile device compatibility and an easy checkout and payment experience. If you keep this in mind and make your customer’s shopping experience as streamlined as possible, you are sure to increase web traffic and create a website that is appealing and easy to use. This way your customers can focus on the great products you are selling without getting distracted by technicalities or website faux pas.