E-commerce websites are unique regardless of the trends in web design, such as animation, advanced filtering and product previews. To remain competitive and relevant, e-commerce sites implement certain practices.
Here are the five most important practices e-commerce sites implement.
No online shopper wants to compromise the security of their computer while browsing. In most cases, it is more than just risking the safety of their computer. E-commerce sites store data about their products as well as users who register to purchase on the site—as such, maintaining safety is one of the most important practices.
To accomplish this, secure coding practices must be implemented during the build phase.
Failure to have measures in place to safeguard data can result in a data breach that can put the e-commerce site at risk. For instance, the contact information for the site leads can be stolen, or worse, the e-commerce business may permanently lose critical data.
Besides, Google and other search engines give insecure websites a bad reputation. For instance, Google flags e-commerce sites without HTTPS protocol and SSL certificate. An e-commerce site without these components will lose potential orders. Most e-commerce websites choose reputable web hosting providers that offer free SSL certificates to resolve these issues.
Google also flags e-commerce sites that have slow loading speeds. Today, online shoppers do not have the patience to wait for a page to load if it is not quick enough. In such cases, some even forgo visiting an e-commerce site altogether.
Recent research by Think with Google shows that if a page takes up to 5 seconds to open, then the chances of visitors bouncing rise by 90%. Thus, e-commerce sites must consider optimization to ensure they are in peak performance. This may call for things such as SSD storage and 99.9% server uptime.
SEO is one way of optimizing sales on an e-commerce site since it helps it rank higher in search engines. There are different approaches to accomplishing it.
Part of it entails adding keywords to the content on the e-commerce site. Another way requires the inclusion of meta information in the pages and images. Most people tend to forget customers can search e-commerce sites through images, but it is only possible if developers include ‘alt’ descriptions.
One way of accomplishing this is by involving an SEO specialist in the early stages of developing the e-commerce site. At least, the site should launch with the necessary tags.
Involving an SEO specialist helps organize the page structure and include internal links. The specialist also helps create a content strategy, develop a mobile-friendly site, and enhance loading speed, among other important areas.
Most people tend to use the search bar even on sites that do not sell anything. So, for an e-commerce site, it could include an advanced search feature. For instance, an advanced feature can be in the form of a visual search that allows users to search using a photo for the same or similar product.
As well, categories are important, especially when online shoppers have not narrowed down what they want. Also, sometimes, a simple search will yield the product customers are looking for in a few clicks. In addition, to help users who do not recall the exact name of the product, developers often tag popular synonyms or keywords.
Online shoppers enjoy certain benefits after registering on an e-commerce site. For instance, they can save their delivery address or shopping history. However, other shoppers prefer a guest checkout or a one-click buy feature. So, e-commerce sites tend to offer both options. The average online shopper has several accounts on different sites for different reasons.
So, some may avoid registering for a one-time purchase. If getting a sale outweighs getting personal details, e-commerce sites include the guest checkout feature.
To remind shoppers of the e-commerce address, most sites add the address on the order packaging or as part of the shipment number. Besides, some e-commerce sites allow users to sign in using their social media accounts or by requesting minimal details such as name, phone number and email. These practices make it easy for online shoppers to make online purchases.
Honestly, adding all the available payment options may be too much for an e-commerce site. However, providing just one payment option limits the options for online shoppers on the site.
A 2019 Payment Methods Report indicates that 6% of online shoppers abandon their carts because they lack enough payment options. Other causes of cart abandonment include a lengthy checkout process and unexpected shipping costs.
The most popular online payment methods are Square, PayPal, Visa, Apple Pay, Google Pay, 2Checkout, American Express, Amazon Pay and Stripe. Also, depending on the items an e-commerce site is selling, some even include cryptocurrency payment options.
Regardless of what an e-commerce site offers, there are a few characteristics that all of them tend to share. These include:
It entails a lot, including making images clickable or having an autocomplete function within the search bar. A user-friendly design aims to help customers get what they need with the least possible steps.
Also, user-friendliness requires the e-commerce site to be mobile-friendly. Approximately half of the time spent online is on mobile devices. Furthermore, most online purchases are made on smartphones. So, making an e-commerce site user-friendly is necessary in this day and age.
E-commerce sites include product images from several angles. Also, they include video reviews that assist online shoppers in making a purchase decision.
However, they consider the technical aspect to ensure that the images and videos do not negatively affect the load speed. Failure to do so can result in a drop in visitor numbers.
There are various practices that all the best e-commerce sites implement to succeed. Of course, the practices are more than 5. Hopefully, this post offers an insight into what goes into e-commerce sites during development and what it takes to attract customers and make sales.