If you’re considering e-commerce for your business, you might be tempted to try your hand at it yourself. How hard can it be, right? The truth is, you’ll only get as far as your skills and experience can take you, and that’s why you’ll make the most out of marketing with a tailored solution developed for your individual brand, customers, products and goals. If you’re interested in launching e-commerce for your business, or in refreshing your brand, our helpful guide explores all you’ll need to know about e-commerce, its benefits, and how you can source the best e-commerce web design team to help you achieve your goals.
The benefits of a professional approach
COVID-19 has changed much throughout the world, including the prevalence of online shopping. With more and more people forced to stay home, and with an increased demand for businesses to up their digital presence, e-commerce has really taken off. If you find yourself reading this blog without an e-commerce strategy in place, chances are you’re missing out on tons of sales and significant revenue.
When you enter the online market, you’ll be stacked up against the competition in your business field. It’s one thing to sell your products online; it’s a whole other ballgame to craft a watertight online marketing approach, a snappy, easy-to-use website, and a range of payment options that attract customers and compels them to action.
Developing an up-to-date, high-functioning website will help you reach the most customers and experience the greatest growth possible.
E-Commerce essentials: what your site needs to thrive
All custom e-commerce sites need the following to really be successful:
With the evolution of technology, e-commerce is completely different now than it was in the past. This is largely thanks to the growing population of Australians using their mobile device to perform online purchases. Businesses, therefore, need to maintain an interest in mobile responsiveness when crafting their e-commerce websites. If your “Buy Now” button or sheet downloads aren’t accessible or smooth across all devices, you’ll be compromising your growth and sales.
With that said, there is good news for platform users. Shopify, WooCommerce, and other integrations have inbuilt mobile responsiveness functions, so you won’t need to worry about adding an extra feature.
If your focus is boosting your online presence, mobile app development can really help you connect with and win over more customers.
With e-commerce, you’ll have a great tool at your disposal for customer research. You’ll be able to see what products people visit the most, on which pages they spend the most amount of time, how often your customers come back to your site, and other important insights.
This data isn’t just nice information to have. It can be a great tool in your marketing journey. Use the data at your disposal to your advantage. Depending on the product you market or the service you offer, you could even create package deals or additional service or product offerings that match your customers’ interests and needs. The digital space gives you the ability to ask a greater number of people a broader set of questions. You might be a bit leery of online polls or surveys, but these are incredible marketing tools that can help you get the best sense of what your customers are looking for and how you can better match their ideal experience with your site, products and services.
If your users appreciate the look and feel of your site, they’ll be more likely to make a purchase. People are more likely to leave a website if they don’t like the design – and such a decision can take only 50 milliseconds!
Craft clear brand associations across your page with consistent branding. Your team should be kept up to speed with branding guidelines to make sure your brand’s unique voice and character are shared effectively across your social media channels, website, email newsletters, and even print products.
If you’ve ever connected with a business to make a booking for their services and haven’t received a response, you’re highly unlikely to contact them again. As E-Commerce is an increasingly competitive space that gives clients the ability to shop whenever they want, it’s crucial businesses deliver the clearest customer service possible. Ensure you cover your bases when it comes to communications so that those who are interested in purchasing your products or using your services don’t feel left in the dark. You could easily equip your website with a helpful chat function or contact form to give potential customers ease of interaction with your team.
In addition to a crafty campaign and outstanding social media strategy, search engine optimisation (SEO) is a crucial tool to have under your belt. SEO helps you match and even exceed the competition when it comes to completing online sales. The reason? Search engines like Google rank a website more highly if it provides relevant, accessible, and straightforward shopping experiences for its users.
When you begin developing your online store, chat with your web designer about optimising every page for search engines. If your site’s ranked highly, you’ll enjoy more clicks and organic visits from customers and potential shoppers.
When you think about your dream website, what comes to mind? Chances are you want something that looks professional and thought-out, something that matches your branding and purpose, and a space that helps set you apart from the rest. That’s where custom web development comes in.
Custom websites can be built in a couple of ways. E-commerce website design formats are available through Shopify or WooCommerce, and while they won’t give you a completely customised experience, many of these examples and templates allow you to create a website that matches your branding and your content.
You could also consider reaching out to a web design agency to help craft your site from the ground up. An expert team will cover graphic design, product development, and tailored web hosting solutions. They’ll work with you, your needs and projected business goals to craft the perfect website aligning with your passions, values, and desires for a streamlined, memorable user experience.
Surely we’ve all experienced the hassle of a poorly-made, confusing website. Such sites might be slow to load, difficult to navigate, and not clear on what they’re trying to get us to achieve. When you engage in e-commerce with the help of a web design team, you’ll enjoy a straightforward design that draws in potential customers and gives them the incentive to stick around, thus generating conversions and sales.
Make sure you plan the customer journey before setting out on the design and development process. Work out what you want the user experience to look like, and use your information to guide the design structure and implementation. With this approach, you’ll simplify purchases for your customers and make them more likely to come back.
Engaging user experience
Your user experience (UX) is crucial to business growth and sales generation. Your business or brand won’t get off the ground without a compelling user experience. Gone are the days when a “good site” was one that looked and felt good – for a site to be effective, it needs to be operational and engaging.
Whenever you’re creating a user experience, put yourself on the journey. Ask yourself – “is this a buying process I’d like to be on myself?” If not, you need to make changes. Straightforward categories, the option to filter products with ease, and interactive and engaging content and information won’t just attract visitors but will keep them there for the long term.
Think of your online shop as you would a physical store. Welcoming visitors and supporting them through their shopping experience is crucial. You’ll likely remember a handful of shopping experiences that were particularly positive or negative, depending on how you felt as you made a purchase. A custom UX designed to suit the needs and wants of your intended audience will encourage them to buy not just once, but over and over again.
An omnichannel presence gives your brand or business its greatest marketing potential and gives you the chance to connect with the largest number of potential customers. Craft social profiles on the channels best suited to your products or services, and make sure you have a team member on hand who’s able to create calendars and spend time engaging with your customers, responding to comments, and interacting through direct messages.
Remember what we said about users taking as little as 50 milliseconds to decide whether they want to stay on a page? Testing your site will help make this almost instantaneous decision easy. Not only is design important, but the load time is also crucial too. You want your customers to find it easy to sign up for promotions, newsletters and deals, to easily minimise promotions, and to quickly navigate within internal pages.
A slow, faulty site is guaranteed to strip you of potential customers. That’s why it’s crucial to make sure your customers’ online experience replicates the encounters they might have if they were interacting with you in person.
First impressions matter
With attention spans becoming shorter and shorter, you want your website to pack a punch. It’s been found that the average web user spends just 15 seconds on a website. That’s only a short amount of time in which to make an impact, and you need most of that impact to come through a well-designed home page.
When crafting a home page for your online store, it’s likely you’ll want it to be set out with a:
The Navigation Bar includes a space for users to search for products, establish an account, and add items to their shopping cart. In this space, you might also choose to add attractive features related to the shopping experience, such as free delivery options, interesting and popular categories, and exclusive deals.
The Hero area is what people see when they first visit your website. Online stores usually contain a unique selling point (USP) or value within their hero area, accompanied by a button displaying a call to action (think something along the lines of “Buy Now!”). E-commerce websites might use their hero section to showcase special discounts and offers to generate more returns. You could also use the hero area to work with people’s general fear of missing out (FOMO), by showing the number of people viewing a particular deal or holding a certain item in their shopping cart.
The Body may include deals accompanied by images of your products, or the categories most popular with users. This might feature your recommended products or items that are most commonly viewed or purchased.
Interested in e-commerce? Choose Coral Creative
For quality website design Gold Coast businesses trust, get in touch with the team at Coral Creative. We’re backed by over twenty years of experience in the web design and online marketing industry, so you know we come with the skills needed to advertise, design and manage your business’ marketing goals and potential. Web design is our passion, and we also offer website hosting and support, digital printing and graphic design, SEO, marketing consulting, and digital advertising services. While we’re based on the Gold Coast, Tweed Heads, and the Sunshine Coast and we work with businesses all throughout Australia, Canada and New Zealand. For the Coral Creative team, geography’s really no obstacle, and we take great pride in the range of industries with whom we’ve worked over the years.
Whether you want to boost your site’s design and development, improve your brand identity and generate conversions, take advantage of SEO and advertising, or achieve something else entirely, Coral Creative is here to help. Get in touch with us now to learn more about what we do or to request a quote. You can give us a call at 0467 029 760 or contact us through our online form.