Are you thinking about or have you just started your own online store or shop? Congratulations on taking the first step on an exciting journey! But before things really get going, it’s important to make sure your e-commerce website is as optimised as possible. Success isn’t an accident in the online community, something you’re probably already aware of if you already run a blog. Similarly, running an online shop takes hours of hard work behind the scenes, coming up with a plan which is going to get you the best results.
Here are four things to consider when creating a mobile site for your online store.
Getting the initial layout right is half the battle when it comes to creating the perfect online store. Have you placed your products in the right place on the navigation bar? Does the theme complement the types of items you’re trying to sell? Do things sit in the right place on the page?
If a website looks clunky or unattractive, there’s a good chance you won’t earn much of a following. As a nation of shoppers (to misquote Napoleon), we’re instinctively far more likely to trust a site which looks professional. If you want to take inspiration from some of the top designs out there, take a look Bigcommerce’s list of the best 78 e-commerce sites.
#02 UX (user experience)
On a similar note, it’s important to get things right from a UX (user experience) perspective. There’s actually quite a lot of crossover between design and this element of creating an online website. Having category and product pages sitting in the right section of the site is one facet of UX, but there’s much more to it than that.
You’ll also want to ensure any and all forms customers need to fill in work seamlessly, that no pages feedback an error when clicked on, and that all trust signals are well highlighted. If people are going to be giving you their personal and financial details, they’ll want to know your site is secure. Basically, UX encompasses anything which makes the journey of your customers that little bit easier. When I worked for an digital education marketing agency, one of my main jobs was to proof and UX check websites before we released them to the clients for checking. And then again before they went live. In many ways, it was one of the most important parts of my job.
#03 Use a dedicated platform builder
Is this your first time building an online store? You’re not alone. Everyone has to start somewhere. If you’re not going to partner with shopfronts such as Etsy or Not On The High Street, make sure you check out some tools which are specifically designed to help you build an online sales platform. Plus, they’ll also cover all the terms and conditions for you, so you’re meeting the requirements for your customers.
Tools like these are often invaluable for people starting their journey in the world of e-commerce, as they save a lot of time and stress. They could even mean you might not need to engage a specialist web designer (which could save you a lot of money going forwards).
If you’re not that tech savvy then you might not know what this term refers to. Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, is a tactic to target individual pages for certain key terms to boost rankings on the likes of Google and Bing. So when people type certain words into Google, for example, your site will be one of the ones that the search engine fetches up first. If you use WordPress for your blog, then you might be familiar with the Yoast plugin, one of my top six plugins that I find hugely helpful when I’m writing my posts.
In truth, there’s a lot more to SEO than this, but in the interests of keeping this post fairly short, there’s not enough time to go into all that here! However, if you’d like to learn what other ways you can improve your results, why not take a look at the SEO Book’s useful guide? It’s really important to get this right, with Google in particular using the system as their primary means of determining what pages should rank where on their results pages.
It can seem a little overwhelming to keep all of these factors in mind when you come to create or upgrade your online store. But getting them right will make a huge difference as you start your journey in the e-commerce world. Two of my favourite online shops, which look lovely and are easy to navigate, are Jemma’s and Pastel Elixer. And they’re both full of lots of gorgeous things, which you should definitely check out! So good luck, and don’t forget to send me your links so I can browse all your lovely stores too 🙂
* This post was made possible through a partnership with Kurt Stevenson.