In the middle of economic mayhem here are some mind boggling numbers to cheer you up!
The average UK consumer spends Â£1,083 online (more than in any other major country) and our ecommerce spending is set to increase to Â£221 billion by 2016. Â Currently there are over 32 million people spending their hard earned cash online in the UK accounting for Â£1 of every Â£10 that is spent!
So whilst the high street may be suffering the online world is on the up which means that if youâ€™re considering building or updating your ecommerce site you couldnâ€™t be doing it at a better time. Â So, to help you towards online success I am going to give you five Golden Rules for Ecommerce Websites.
These rules are deceptively simple but absolutely vital to success. (You can even apply them to many non-ecommerce websites as well.)
#1 THREE CLICKS PLEASE
The most important part of your ecommerce site is your products. Yet (with a baffling regularity) many sites bury their products so deeply youâ€™ll get repetitive strain injury clicking to find them. Keep your products at the â€˜surfaceâ€™ and no more than 3 clicks from your home page. Organise your navigation to get people to the point where they can buy as quickly as possible and cut out any unnecessary clicks on the way. You should always use your homepage to showcase your top selling products giving your visitor the fastest route to buy.
#2 GET INFORMATION RICH
A major reason why people â€˜bounceâ€™ off ecommerce websites is that they donâ€™t get enough information about the product/service to be convinced to buy. So, give them everything; features, benefits, specifications, manuals, testimonials, case studies, pictures, and so on. The more you give upfront the more potential objections you knock out in the buyerâ€™s mind making your site more useful and, therefore, better than your competitors. With all the objections gone your visitor will surely buy. This is a zero cost way to supercharge your sales.
#3 PICTURE PERFECT
A great photo can make the sale. (Equally a lousy photo can lose the sale.) Give your visitor the best photo you can, make it clickable so you can see a larger version and put up several photos showing the back, front, sides and detail (especially if itâ€™s a luxury item).
In a recent Gartner survey price was identified as the most important information visitors looked for. So, donâ€™t hide your price â€“ be proud of it! Tell them how much theyâ€™ll get for their money, why itâ€™s worth every penny and, if you can, offer a guarantee to back up the sale. (Donâ€™t forget you can use â€˜strike-throughâ€™ prices to show how much cheaper your price is against RRP. If you do use this method always show the amount in pounds and pence that you have discounted.)
Guess what came second in the survey as the next most important piece of information visitors want to see? The delivery price! Â Quite a few sites hide their delivery charge which can cause a lot of frustration from the consumerâ€™s side. Â This is not good practice. A better approach is to show the P&P on the product page or at least show the range of delivery prices. If thatâ€™s not possible have a dedicated page accessible from the main navigation clearly explaining your charges. However, the best alternative, from your customerâ€™s perspective, is to offer fee delivery.
Next week Iâ€™ll give you five more Golden Rules to help you convert more visitors into paying customers.