12 Steps To Creating The Best Ecommerce Website

Crafting the best ecommerce website all comes down to extensive research that you’ll actually use, careful planning, innovative design, seamless functionality and regular monitoring, testing and improving, whilst keeping your customer at the centre of everything you do. This will give buyers the optimum user-experience they deserve, driving sales, brand loyalty and ultimately long-term gains to buyers and sellers alike.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how important it is to give customers a seamless and stress-free shopping experience, especially now that most of it is now done online and from the comfort of our own homes. At ITQ Digital, we want to help ecommerce businesses of all shapes and sizes to create a website that sells this whole shopping experience and not just your products and services.

In this blog, we will outline 12 crucial steps that will guide you in creating the best ecommerce website that is designed to offer your customers a winning user-experience whilst driving revenue for your business. However, we won't give away all of our secrets. You'll have to download our whitepaper to find out even more.

What Is An Ecommerce Website?

An e-commerce website is an online platform that is used to facilitate the buying and selling of products or services. The term “e-commerce” is used to describe the purchasing process that takes place over an electronic medium - in this case, the internet.

Ecommerce websites vary according to:

  • What they sell - physical and digital products and services
  • Who they sell to - consumers, businesses and the government
  • Which platforms they operate on - Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce

 

Gone are the days when ecommerce businesses and customers had to transact or shop via email or phone calls. Now that technology has come along in leaps and bounds, the entire buying process can be completed over one platform online.

Why Does An Ecommerce Website Need To Be Successful?

Whether you are a small startup or an established brand, as long as you are selling a product or a service, your business will benefit from an ecommerce website.

In this online age, there is almost always a digital solution to everything we encounter on a daily basis. From diary keeping and exercising to socialising and of course shopping, we naturally turn to technology and the internet to provide us with quick, simple and hassle-free solutions.

We’ve become convenience-focused, meaning that we’d much rather look for and purchase a product or service from the comfort of our own homes using any device of our choice than physically venturing outside to a store or office.

Ecommerce websites provide flexible solutions that are easy to manage for businesses and easy to use for their customers. They provide a wider reach and allow consumers to have an extensive range of options to invest in, right at their fingertips and own convenience. When done well, ecommerce websites are a win-win for everyone.

Step #1: Choose The Right Ecommerce Platform

The choice of a platform should stem from an evaluation of your short and long-term business objectives. Your goals may include plans to scale up or increase the range of your products, projects to improve customer service or boost company reputation. The platform you choose needs to be able to sustain the quantity and types of products and features you desire.

Here at ITQ Digital, our ecommerce website design and development specialists have built websites for a wide range of businesses and industries, which is why we work with three of the most flexible website platforms on the market: Magento, Shopify and WooCommerce.

Step #2: Use A Theme That Suits Your Business

To succeed in ecommerce, you have to draw your customers in, which is why having a solid theme that showcases your brand’s overall design, style and character is vital to creating the best ecommerce website. It often comes down to subtleties in colour scheme, layout and other style elements. For example, organising your website using an F shape layout is a simple way to guide a user's eye to information that you want them to see first.

Step #3: Design With Your Customer In Mind

The best ecommerce website starts with robust research. You want to build up your ideal customer persona by thinking about their demographics, geographics, psychographics, behaviours and other social variables that shape a person’s character, lifestyle and spending habits. This will then help you target, segment and position your products and services online to best reach your users, achieve conversions and returns.

Step #4: Prioritise Your Branding

A brand name should be bursting with a wealth of perceptive and emotive associations about the quality, suitability and high functionality of your products and services. Positioning your brand name boldly on your ecommerce website will give new customers a great first impression, remind returning users of what your products are promising them and spur them on to make decisions and purchases.

Step #5: Ensure It’s Mobile-First

According to 99firms, the share of global mobile-based ecommerce or mcommerce is expected to rise to 72.9% by 2021. Mobile-first ecommerce websites also rank higher on Google as from 2016, it began indexing all new websites mobile-first. Mcommerce thus needs to be at the forefront of your considerations when it comes to designing the best ecommerce website.

Step #6: Fine-tune Your Customer’s Journey

By creating a great checkout experience, you can ensure that your customer experiences are finishing with a closed sale. Shopping cart abandonment can be the downfall of online sales, but you can prevent customers from leaving your website at the crucial point by making sure your e-commerce website is as smooth and enticing at the end as it is at the start of the buying process.

Step #7: Perfect Your User Experience

There is nothing worse than getting lost on an ecommerce website or being faced with a user experience or customer journey that just doesn’t work. It’s crucial to design and build ecommerce websites which are easily navigable and well-organised, and therefore enjoyable to use.

Step #8: Implement SEO Best Practices

It’s simple: rank high, be seen. Search engine optimised ecommerce websites are highly visible on search engine results pages (SERPs) and are therefore in a prime position to attract and retain customers. Whether you do SEO in house or use an SEO agency, there are many ways you can compete, which can be found if you download our whitepaper.

?Step #9: Use Quality Images And Videos

A picture paints a thousand words and a good quality picture will paint loads more and help you build the best ecommerce website. Striking and eye-catching visuals on your website will give your clients instant, clear and concise information about your products, and entice them to carry on along their customer journey, resulting in a purchase.

Step #10: Use Colour To Your Advantage

Colour psychology purports that different colours send specific sensory-emotive signals. Applied to the world of ecommerce, what colours you use may ultimately dictate whether a buyer will stay on your ecommerce website. Download our whitepaper to discover some of our top tips.

Step #11: Utilise Social Proofing

Social proofing is when people conform to the actions of others which they feel reflect correct behaviour. This phenomenon can be strategically implemented by ecommerce websites: since consumers can’t physically see and feel online products, highlighting and encouraging the social experience of shopping can help increase sales and company visibility.

Step #12: Understand Your Metrics

In ecommerce, the success of your website can be concretely quantified. Keeping on top of key metrics can enable you to make data-driven and strategic decisions and improvements to boost your performance.

How ITQ Digital Can Help

The team at ITQ Digital hope you and your business found this blog useful and that it has guided you sufficiently through some crucial steps on how to craft a successful e-commerce website. However, we haven't given away all the secrets, so if you'd like to get the full guide, download our whitepaper now.

We specialise in building and supporting thriving e-commerce sites through e-commerce services, only working with the best developers in the field to provide a broad knowledge and skill set that can help your site compete with the best.

We are a no-nonsense agency that values long-term client relationships, provides honest advice and helps clients develop profitable e-commerce businesses. If this sounds like the kind of approach that resonates with you and your business, we’d love to hear from you.

If you have any questions with regards to this whitepaper, need further advice on how to build a winning e-commerce website or would just like to speak to a member of our friendly team about a potential partnership or project, then please don’t hesitate to contact us. You can either give us a call on 01606 210 000 or drop us an email at info@itq.digital. Hope to hear from you soon!