A quick Google search for eCommerce best practices will reveal millions of results with different opinions on what is the best way to setup your eCommerce website. We’ve been in the eCommerce world since 2013, and here are the biggest things we’ve learned in that time:
All of the best practices for website development apply to eCommerce websites.
Just because you are able to sell things on your website doesn’t mean you should avoid best practices for web development. After all, if you build the greatest store in the world, but no one ever finds it, what’s the point?
Create great technical SEO for your website by writing unique title tags, page slugs, and meta descriptions for your product pages, as well as writing great alt text for all of your images. Ensure that your pages are loading in less than 3 seconds by optimizing your image file sizes, using browser caching, Track how your customers are finding your website and where they’re dropping off with Google Analytics and Search Console, then optimize your online marketing funnel to improve your results.
Make sure that your website is mobile responsive so that your customers get a great experience on phones, tablets, and computers.
The cleaner the structure of your database, the better the results for your business.
The cleaner the database, and the more original the content, the better results for your business. GreenWay Blooming Centre and Bigelow Flooring used an eCommerce platform to showcase their massive catalogue of products. In turn, their website traffic and leads generated an increase of X% in the first year, after adding this functionality to their website.
- GreenWay Blooming Centre
- Organic traffic sessions from 3,081 in 2014 to 5,107 in 2015 (165% increase)
- Bigelow Flooring
- Organic search traffic increased from 5,431 in 2014 to 18,324 in 2015 (337% increase)
- Their company’s sales increased 10% in 2015, in a year where the flooring industry’s average sales decreased by 15%.
Start small, tweak, and build on it when things begin to work. Test whatever minimum viable product gets traction with your consumers.
Try marketing a couple of your best-selling products or services online to see what kind of results you get. Use the simplest method of getting these products on your website possible. A PayPal button is often the easiest way to do this.
Don’t assume that just having the single product available for purchase will result in sales. If this approach starts to take off, it validates further consideration of moving more of your products and services online.
Which eCommerce platform should I use?
There are hundreds of website and eCommerce platforms online, with Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce leading the way in the eCommerce world. All of these eCommerce platforms have their strengths, weaknesses, and nuances. The beauty of these platforms is that you can try them before you buy them (and that’s what we recommend doing).
Sign up for a demo to see how the store works for customers on the front end of the website, and for you, as the seller, in the back end of the website. You’ll find that some store platforms align more with your business model than others, but you probably won’t find a platform that mirrors your process perfectly. With that in mind…
Will my business process fit into an eCommerce environment perfectly?
When Shopify built their platform, they likely weren’t consulting with you to build their platform on the exact way you showcase, sell, process payment, and ship your products to your customers. You will need to be open to having a higher cost-of-goods-sold on your eCommerce platform, at least at the beginning. You have to embrace the learning curve that comes with a new platform for doing business.
Should I offer discounts on my eCommerce store?
We believe that businesses should determine who their awesome clients (A-clients) are, what values those people have in common when it comes to your business, and target more people just like them. These people love what you do, why you do it, and are happy to keep paying full price for it over and over. Why waste your time trying to bring in people who aren’t like this by discounting, when you can focus on people who believe in the full value of what you sell?
If I build an eCommerce store for my business, can I forget about doing any other marketing?
Great businesses don’t have all their eggs in one basket. Just because you build an eCommerce store doesn’t mean people will find it, browse your products, and click the checkout button. The best websites are supported by a full range of digital marketing initiatives like social media, email marketing, video advertising, and online advertising, just to name a few.