People can enjoy convenient shopping online. They can peruse your entire stock list, select their favorite items, and then checkout and have it delivered in less than a week. The only problem with this digital model is that you are competing with stores from around the world, and are competing within the attention market for business. You need your site to be perfect if you want your marketing efforts to pay off. Going from an Instagram ad to your page should be easy. Checkout out should be a breeze. The entire experience should be safe and secure at every avenue.
Every great online store needs these five traits in order to succeed. Implement them today so that your marketing can finally start providing the return on investment you are looking for:
1. A Well Designed Home Page
The first step to a great online store is a great home page. Without this stellar home page all the marketing and advertising dollars in the world won’t help you. It will only mean paying for a high bounce rate and zero sales. By working on creating a home page that looks great and entices users to different categories on your online store, you can get more click-through traffic and ideally more sales with every visitor.
2. Regular Audits for SEO and User Friendliness
In order to provide this great experience online, you need to then start committing to regular audits. A great home page is a start, but if your customers then find it difficult to search through the rest of your site, you still won’t get the ROI you are looking for.
These audits are also important for SEO. If you have old, broken pages this will negatively impact your search engine ranking. These pages also often hurt the user-friendliness of your site, and by going through and auditing what you have, you can clear out the dead weight and make the overall experience much more pleasant.
3. Site Speed
People do not tolerate slow websites. They have spent years waiting for their dial-up internet to connect and access different pages. They were frustrated with it then, when there was no other choice, and they do not tolerate it now. A fast website makes their experience seamless, and it is also often easy to provide. If you do not have the servers yourself, simply find a cloud-based one that will provide that site speed you are looking for. You cannot do anything if the problem is their internet provider, but you can ensure that there are no issues on your end.
4. Site Security
Though site security won’t necessarily change the overall performance of your site, it will change the experience and how well search engines will rank you. People look for a variety of trust factors when they are on a new brand’s online store, and if you do not have these traits, they might very well leave. Two of the most important trust factors to have are:
- An Easy and Secure Checkout Process
Without realizing it, many online shoppers check the sites they use for quality and security. They are used to shopping with big-name retailers that invest a lot of time and money into providing the best and most secure checkout experience and look for the same indicators of site security on smaller businesses’ sites. Thankfully you do not need to be able to invest in your own IT department to provide this. Instead, all you need to do to accept payments online securely is to choose a provider who has the means and the experience to back them up.
The best option will be able to process payments securely, even in multiple currencies. It will give both you and your customers the peace of mind you need when operating in the digital sphere.
An SSL certificate more or less means that their logins and checkout actions are encrypted. This will help protect both you and your customer and should be considered a must by all business.
5. Customization Features
Finally, to provide great customer service you need to provide customization features and personalization options for each individual. Thankfully digital tools have made this easy, so start today by offering free suggestions based on history, discounts and free gifts for their birthday, and so on. It will build loyalty, and it will increase sales.
Online stores need to become a destination all of their own. Fighting for one sale is not a good investment. You want to entice customers to return again and again of their own volition, and to do that you need to provide a great experience from start to finish. From the user-friendliness of your site to security, to how smooth the checkout process was and even the post-sale customer service you offer, there are so many chances to improve your online store today.
Here at Piedmont Avenue Consulting, Inc., we have an extensive background working with retailers who are looking to increase their online outreach, streamline their operations, or simply upgrade their online presence. We provide real, measurable results for our retail clients, and would be happy to discuss the ways in which we can improve your business! Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation with us today, and explore your true business potential with Piedmont Avenue Consulting, Inc..