In 2018, 51 percent of Americans report that they prefer to shop online. And e-commerce is growing 23 percent year after year at a steady pace. Yet 46 percent of American small business owners don’t even have a website, let alone a website that’s designed and optimized for the e-commerce customer in 2018. (Source: Big Commerce)
Your website is much more than an online catalog of your products and services. It’s the backbone of your e-commerce business. Here are ten elements it must have to be optimized for the e-commerce customer in 2018.
1.Easy Website Navigation and Responsive Design
Website traffic derived from mobile devices accounts for more than 50 percent of all global website activity. In 2018, it’s imperative that your e-commerce site is optimized for mobile devices, with a responsive design that makes it easy to view and navigate from any mobile device. Your website visitors should be able to find the information they’re looking for quickly and efficiently, or they’ll leave to seek it out elsewhere.
2.Speed and Great Performance
40 percent of people abandon a website that takes more than three seconds to load. And 79 percent of mobile shoppers who are dissatisfied with a website’s performance are less likely to buy from the same site again (Source: Kissmetrics). Make sure your website is loading quickly and performing well so that your bottom line isn’t affected. You can use a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix to test how your site is performing and how long it takes to load.
3.Clear Call-to-Action Buttons and Offers
Make it easier for your e-commerce site visitors to become customers by providing clear call-to-actions such as “Buy This,” “Add to Cart,” “Sign Up,” “Use 25% Discount,” etc. Don’t overwhelm them with too many call-to-action buttons but make it clear where they should click and why. Also, display promotional offers such as limited-time discounts, free items for signing up, or featured items for repeat buyers. Make it easy and worthwhile for visitors to explore the products and services on your website and to buy from you.
4.Up-to-Date and Engaging Copy
Use up-to-date and engaging copywriting on your e-commerce site to inform your visitors, evoke an emotional response from them, and to build long-lasting relationships with them. Don’t simply list off the features of your products and expect your visitors to be enthralled or convinced to buy from you. Instead, speak directly to their needs and wants, and demonstrate how your products are exactly what they’re looking for at that exact moment.
5.High-Quality Images and Video Content
Providing your e-commerce site visitors with high-definition images and 360-degree images that allow them to view every inch of a product in greater detail boosts their confidence in what they’re looking at. And that makes visitors more likely to buy your products and less likely to return them. Displaying videos on your website also leads to higher traffic and more conversions.
According to data assembled by LiveSteam:
- Retail sites with video increase their conversion rates by 30 percent.
- Video on a landing page can increase conversion rates by 80 percent or more.
- 70 percent of marketers claim video produces more conversions than any other content.
- The average conversion rate for websites using video is 4.9 percent, compared to 2.9 percent for those that don’t.
6.Trust and Security Indicators
Amid a growing number of data breaches, in 2018 it’s important to assure your e-commerce site visitors that their personal information and payment information is safe and secure. You should consider acquiring an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate for your e-commerce site if it doesn’t already have one, which means turning your website into “https://mysite.com” from “http://mysite.com.” An SSL certificate ensures all sensitive data is protected and encrypted as it’s transferred from browsers to servers. You should also include customer testimonials and reviews, privacy and money-back guarantees, and return policies to inspire trust.
7.Structured Data and FAQs for Voice Search Optimization
About 60 percent of all mobile searches are voice searches now, and that number is only rising. Optimize your e-commerce site for voice searches, so prospects and customers can find it when they conduct a voice search query related to what your business does or offers. To do this, include structured data on your e-commerce site, as well as a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) page.
8.Blockchain-Enabled Marketplace for Cryptocurrency
Digital currencies (i.e., cryptocurrencies) are the future of e-commerce transactions because they offer more security for both buyers and sellers. When you enable a block-chain model on your e-commerce site, a third-party marketplace or authority keeps transactions running smoothly and more anonymously for you and your buyers. While this isn’t going to replace other forms of online payment overnight, more customers will want to use cryptocurrency to pay for the goods and services they buy online in 2018.
Offer your customers unparalleled and automated customer service with chatbots. Allow them to purchase items through chatbots integrated with your e-commerce site. And allow them to ask questions via chatbots so they can get faster responses. The mobile and tech-savvy customer of 2018 expects immediate answers and an easy shopping experience.
10. One-Click Shopping
Make shopping as easy as possible by offering one-click shopping. Don’t require your customers to input their payment and shipping information for every single order they make. Allow them to store their preferences, so that it’s easier for them to buy from you with a single click.
The ten elements above contribute to a more personalized and efficient shopping experience for your e-commerce site visitors in 2018. Don’t forget to include them if you want to land more leads and conversions.