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E-commerce website overhaul: What are the modern essentials?

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This means you should not only test your website to ensure it promotes a complementary customer journey. You must also monitor the latest trends and innovations to ensure your site and brand is not left in the dark ages.

Here are eight tips that will ensure the ‘front-end’ of your business is meeting the needs of your customers and selling products to its full potential.

1. Responsive design

With the variety of devices customers are using to go online, it is important that your e-commerce website is built to respond to their needs. Responsive design will consolidate your website so you don’t need a separate URL for mobile. This will allow you to streamline content and avoid duplicate issues, and provide a better standard of user experience.

2. Personalisation of browsing

Providing customers with tailored, relevant content can increase conversion and generate loyalty. This makes getting the right message to the right person a priority in what is an increasingly competitive landscape. Good personalisation is based on high-quality data and relevancy. Get it right and you can deliver a unique shopping experience, a modern essential still on the periphery for many brands.

3. Quality content

Do not allow the content on your website to let down your products. Text, images and video should reflect and maintain the voice of your brand and promote an engaging customer experience. On a clothing website, for example, customers want to see high-quality product images so they can better determine if a product is right for them. Having a brand-relevant voice will also help to distinguish you from your competitors.

4. Offering next day delivery

People who shop online want to buy their products and have them now. This is making the online shopping experience closer to that of going into a store, and if you don’t provide this solution you may be losing out on sales. Analyse your current delivery options and do not be afraid to ask your customers what they want. This is by no means a modern want of customers, but it is something being provided by more e-commerce sites.

5. Up sells on checkout

This is a smart move at the checkout for increasing a customer’s order size, but it needs to be done in a smart way. If a customer reaches the checkout with a games console in their basket, for example, wouldn’t it be a smart move to offer them an additional controller or the latest best-selling game? These products should be cheaper than the original product though, especially if it is particularly pricey.

6. Growth of guided purchasing

This is the process by which the customer is helped to choose the product that best meets their needs. As an example, if you sell rucksacks and have different sized options, informing a novice user that one is ideal for a day trek and another is more suitable for camping can aid their purchasing decision. The aim is to give the customer more product knowledge to ensure a smoother shopping experience. Showing users what is popular with other customers is another beneficial way to guide their purchase.

7. Speed of page loads

Page loading time is an important factor for any website. It is however up to you to decide if this is more important to your customers than some of the other modern essentials. Not only will having poor page load speeds have a negative effect on customer experience, it also has an influence on Google’s algorithm. Improving page speed is a modern essential for e-commerce sites that is becoming standard in the industry.

8. Great usability

We’ll leave you with this very important one. You need to make sure your site is as customer-friendly as possible, because it doesn’t matter how great your prices are or if you offer next day delivery. If customers can’t even navigate to products they want to buy, why would they stick around? Customers can be ruthless in their decision making, and it’s your job to create a positive influence.

Nick Pinson is the Managing Director at iWeb Solutions.

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