Making ecommerce difficult for customers is a huge blunder for many online merchants. One expert, Wasim Ismail, a project manager at Alrayes Web Solutions and a columnist at SearchEngineJournal.com, has ten basic tips for eretailers who may be doing it all wrong.
- Do not complicate your checkout process. Simplicity is the best policy, and only ask for the information necessary to complete the sale.
- Make your customers feel safe. Use a payment system that features verified transactions.
- Do not overwhelm your customers with too much information. Do not use a webpage design that distracts from your products.
- Do not give out too little product information. Make sure shoppers know exactly what they are getting before they place an order.
- Make returns and exchanges easy, and put your policies front and center. This gives shoppers a feeling of confidence in dealing with you.
- Secure your site, for example, with an SSL certificate. It is worth the investment for the peace of mind your customers need.
- Put products on your home page, especially your top selling products. Also put special offers, sales and deals front and center.
- Make your site speedy. Nothing causes shoppers to flee faster than a slow loading website. Be careful with high bandwidth features such as modules and animations. Make sure your site code is optimized for your server or hosting company.
- Use good search engine optimization and marketing. You need a good ranking on search engine results pages, so get help figuring this out if you are not an SEO guru.
- Up sell, up sell, up sell! Once your shoppers are committed to buying, they will be open to buying even more. Put ?related items? on checkout and product info pages, for example.
Ismail combines all these tips into one mantra: "Speed, Security, and Simplicity." As he advises online retailers, "no site has any value until the user experience is at the nucleus of the whole site."
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