It is vital to remember that most people surfing the net for something have a short attention span and will probably not look at more than 3 or 4 pages before they leave your site. So the most important thing is to make it as easy as possible for someone to get to checkout. As a good rule of thumb, there should be no more than 3 clicks from coming to your site to buying a product. The reason for this is it has been shown that the higher the number of clicks the lower the number of sales.
Most people coming to your site will be coming from a search engine and will probably not arrive at your home page but probably at the product page for the item they have been searching for. This means you need to make your site clear so they immediately know where they are and what choices they have.
Make sure you include a search box on your home page so if people do arrive there they can easily look for what they want. You should also consider having one on all pages so that you keep it simple for someone looking for something specific.
Again for the ease of your customers keep your design and navigation as simple as possible. Think of big online shops like Amazon. There is nothing overly exciting in their design but it is easy to buy which is what makes them successful.
Always remember the content on your site. The more information you can provide on products the more this builds your credibility and thus the customer’s confidence in your site which in turn will result in more sales.
While on the point of credibility, you should consider the look and feel of your site. If you use a homemade website it can come across as amateur which will destroy a potential customer’s confidence in your company. If your site does not look professional, then most people will think that you cannot be trusted to buy products from. We would always recommend getting your site professionally designed to give it the professional look.
For the design of your site, never use frames. There are 2 reasons for this, firstly some computers are not compatible with frames and so will not allow people to view your site and so you immediately lose potential customers. Also search engines don’t index frames, so you will miss out on a lot of valuable traffic from people using search engines to find a product, and remember these are the people that are most likely to buy.
Keep the size of the pictures and graphics on your site to a minimum. If your page takes a long time to load, you may find people click off your site before it loads and so you will be losing potential customers only on the functionality of your site and not on your products.
Don’t have special software requirements on your site. If people have to download the software to access your site there is a high chance they won’t want to or just won’t be bothered to and so will never come to your site.
Check the links on your site on a regular basis as a broken link can be very off-putting to a potential customer. Remember to name your links so that people always know where they are and where they are going.
Use professional e-commerce hosting so that you can ensure your site will have as few problems as possible and be viewable 100% of the time. Remember to use a reliable e-commerce merchant account for payments so that you can ensure everything is secure and that all the payments go through, thus reducing problems for your customers.
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