Ecommerce is no longer for the well-known online retail giants. These days, every business that sells a product or service and wants to rise above the competition needs an ecommerce website.

Think about it: Letting your customers shop online not only adds convenience to their shopping experience, but it also allows your business to expand its reach far beyond any traditional brick and mortar store can offer alone.

But in most cases, you can’t just throw some products on a web page and expect customers to start clicking “Buy.” No, today’s online shoppers expect a great experience from ecommerce retailers.

Ecommerce is growing

Ecommerce is growing worldwide. Of all retail sales around the world, e-retail accounted for 14.1%. And ecommerce is not slowing down, especially after a year like 2020 that saw many people choosing to shop online from home more often rather than visit brick and mortar stores.

Just how much did ecommerce grow last year? Well, experts predict that retail ecommerce sales may total $4.13 trillion once the data is compiled. It helps when there are an estimated 2 billion globally people who shop online.

And of those people, over half – 51%, to be exact – are making their purchases using a smartphone.

These tech- and mobile-savvy customers aren’t just shopping at the big name online retailers, either. Though 75% of people interviewed in a 2019 survey from Digital Commerce 360 said they shopped online with Amazon, 55% of people interviewed said they made purchases from other online marketplaces.

What customers want from an ecommerce website

If your business sells products or services, then it’s probably time you have a marketplace of your own. But, before you dive in, it’s important to know exactly what online shoppers want from an ecommerce website and what they expect from the experience.

Good design

You’ve heard the popular expression that you can’t judge a book by its cover, right? Well, hate to say it but that couldn’t be more wrong.

Potential buyers constantly judge things by their appearances. Ecommerce customers are no different.

To have a successful ecommerce website, you need to have a slick design with great branding and the functionality to back it up. Customers want a smooth and flawless process that involves everything from browsing and discovering products, to adding items to their online cart, to receiving excellent customer service features.

For most business owners, this will probably mean hiring a web design agency to make sure your existing brand is reflected – and maybe even enhanced – by an online store.

And remember: Most people shop online with their mobile devices so you absolutely need an online store that is mobile-friendly.

A speedy website

Customers hate long shopping lines in the real world. When it comes to digital, though, anything that resembles a wait time is even more frustrating.

That’s why your ecommerce website needs to have fast-loading web pages that focus on speed.

If you don’t focus on speed, then your bottom line will suffer. In one survey shared in an infographic on this blog post from Neil Patel, more than half of online shoppers consider quick page speeds as being important to them being loyal to a website. Whatsmore, 79% of online shoppers who walk away from an experience dissatisfied with a website’s performance say they are less likely to buy from that site again.

Free shipping opportunities

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that customers enjoy saving money. One of the best ways they can do this when shopping online is to take advantage of free shipping.

In fact, customers want free shipping. One study found that offering free shipping is the most deciding factor that convinces people to buy from a website.

You don’t have to offer free shipping across the board, either. Another study found 68% of consumers would actually consider increasing how much they are spending on an order so that they can qualify for free and faster shipping.

One final point to let sink in: Shipping costs are one of the main reasons online shoppers abandon their orders. Offering free shipping adds an incentive for them to complete their order, even if it means spending a little bit more.

Browsable and searchable

If a customers visits your online store but can’t find the product they are looking for, or nothing jumps out at them, then they are going to leave your site – probably faster than you think.

You can keep customers on your site longer – which can lead to more sales – by giving customers the option to search for the products they want or browse for products that may interest them.

That means sorting products into categories. You can experiment with categories, too. Think about how a customer might shop in a physical store. Consider what you might ask them if you were a sales rep in-store. How would you help them find what they need? That is the key to categorizing products and making them easy to find.

Find-in-store features

If you rely on traditional brick and mortar sales, then don’t worry. An ecommerce site is not going to replace that source of revenue.

Actually, you can enhance in-store shopping by making sure your ecommerce website lets customers know if a product is in stock with find-in-store features.

These features are ideal for the many customers who want to research a product or business online before making a purchase, but still want to have the more personal experience of shopping in-person.

Emagine knows ecommerce

Don’t miss out on the opportunity that is ecommerce. Chances are good that if you have customers who buy your products, they will appreciate being able to buy from you online.

Emagine can help make that happen and bring your store online. We know ecommerce – and web design. We will help you develop a website that operates just like your best salesperson with professional and customer-oriented designs that are sure to land new customers and bring existing ones back time and time again.

Let’s work together and to increase your business’s sales with an ecommerce website that your customers will love.

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