Tips & Tricks on How to Create a Better eCommerce Website

There are hundreds of e-commerce tips used to improve revenues, sales, and traffic on e-commerce websites. In this article, I will write about the most important tips and tricks that you need to implement in your online store.

Tips and tricks

One of the most important tricks is to have an improved conversion with the help of customized payment process. When online merchants are looking to improve their sales, their first recourse is often SEO. The logic being that more traffic will equal more sales. But there are 4 other great ways to improve conversion and a really great place to start is the payment process.

We have all been there before: you have got the product, you have got the site, but quite often the excitement then starts to die when you realized that the number of products or traffic on your website has not meant an improved number of sales. A few small things that can help improve conversion often get an overlook. No one likes parting with money so the more barriers you introduce into your checkout flow the less like your customers will complete that transaction.

Simply your payment process

The first step is to simply your payment process by ensuring a simple and straightforward payment process. Payment should never be a painful part of the purchase. It should me easy and seamless. If you get this wrong, it can significantly impact conversion.

It is not uncommon for payment gateways to require customers to leave your site in order to complete their payment. If this redirection breaks up the checkout flow it may discourage potential buyers purchasing adding another abandoned cart to your collection.

There are two ways to address this. The first is by keeping the customer on site for the duration of the checkout. This can be done by using direct API based integration or loading the hosted payments page or checkout page into an iframe on your checkout page. The second way is by using a payment gateway that allows you to fully control the look and the feel of payment page itself so you can retain all your own branding styling and so on.  So the theme of the store that the customer has just come from is evident on the payment page even though it is hosted by a third party.

Know your markets

The second step is to know your markets and offers their preferred payment methods. It is vitally important to understand how your target markets prefer to pay online. Visa and MasterCard are dominant in the UK, for example, but PayPal and American Express are dominant in the USA while in Germany alternative payment methods like ELV, Giropay, and Sofort Banking are frequently used.

It is recommended to accept a majority of preferred payment options in the territories that you are targeting.  So the two main takeaways in order to ensure your appeal to target market are first that you ensure that you offer the most relevant payment options in the markets that you are targeting and secondly, that the payment page is translated into your customer’s relevant language.

Create a seamless shopping experience

The third step is to create a seamless shopping experience with a responsive payment page. Web access is no longer restricted to desktops and laptops and with increasing capabilities of mobile customers are getting more comfortable using phone or tablets.

The UK, for example, is an early adopter of this technology with over 40 percent of online retails sales being made on mobile devices. If you do not use this potential you are shutting out a lot of buyers. So the main takeaways for a seamless shopping experience would be first that your site is optimized for all device types.

And secondly, it is no good having an optimized and responsive website if the payment process is clunky. So if you are using a third party hosted payment page or checkout page for example, if that is not responsive, if that cannot be customized or take a responsive template for example or mobile specific template then that’s going to break up that checkout process for the customer. That’s also going to break up all the effort that you have put into making your checkout process beautiful responsive up until then is really no good. They will have to pinch and zoom and the changes are that they are going to drop off at that point.

Increase your conversion

The last step is to increase your conversion from returning clients by allowing them to save their details. You spend a lot of time and effort getting your store just right to ensure your customers are coming back. Tokenization allows you to retain customers’ card details without all the PCI headaches that come with card storage.

The next time a customer checks out, their saved card details will be available from a handy drop-down menu. There are then just at one simple click away from their next purchase. Customers will be able to view their card details from their profiles and they can delete and update them when and as they need to do. This alleviates much of your own PCI requirements as a merchant and improves the customer experience and transaction conversion rate.

The three main takeaways to ensure a seamless customer experience for those recurring customers are the ability to store card data, using tokenization and allowing your customers to store more than one card and clearly highlight the last 4 digits of the card so they can easily identify that card for subsequent purchases. In summary do not lose the customers you have worked so hard to get!

One of the most important tips is to make advantage when holidays are coming such as Easter, Christmas and so on. You need to start with the design of your online store by decorating your front online stores and letting customers know that they can get their holiday shopping done.

It is also a good time to showcasing products with beautiful colorful photography, but don’t forget about those product descriptions. Just a few holiday inspired words will help your shoppers to see the perfect gift for mom, dad, lover and everyone else on their lists.

You can even start a promotion campaign earlier with a month because they work so well but it is important to advertise those promotions so use social media, homepage banners, email newsletters and even paid ads. Use email to advertise your holiday promotions but try not to saturate your subscribers, because you can lose them.

To avoid the shipping madness consider stocking up on best sellers, shipping materials and so on. You can even speed up the shipping process by prepacking some of your best sellers.

In the first part, we learned about customized payment process, conversion rate and how to take advantage when holidays are approaching. In this part, I will write about multiple tips to create an efficient product page in order to boost your sales and reassure your customers and how to successfully translate your e-commerce website.

Tips to create an efficient product page

The product datasheet is a critical part of the purchasing process. It is also known as a product page. It can boost your sales then just as easily slow them down. Having a great product datasheet means providing all the information your customers need to build their trust. There are 12 essential tips:

  1. Start with a good title. It should clearly describe your product and be unique to each product and its datasheet.
  2. Add customer ratings. There are highly effective in creating reassurance and it is often more credible than your sales pitch. Display them near the title with an average star number and the number or ratings given. When visitors click this, they should be redirected to the rating details
  3. Add a short description of the product. It should be sales-orientated, including competitive advantages and customers benefits for your customers. It should also be optimized for natural search placement. To do this, incorporate lots of keywords in the text without keyword stuffing.
  4. Display your product’s options or attributes such as color, size, and quantity. These elements should be clearly displayed with a dedicated space for each of them. The selection should be simple and logical for your customers. If you have a limited stock, indicate the number of items left. Aside from informing customers, you can increase sales during busy periods by creating a sense of urgency
  5. The price should be clear and legible, so customers can avoid any surprises when it comes to paying. If the price differs depending on the product attributes, state the price variations clearly. If you are offering promotions, highlight them by using colored inserts to display the percentage discount or showing the original price crossed out and indicate clearly the number of days remaining or the sale duration. This will encourage your customers to make the impulse purchase.
  6. Below the price, clearly display your add to cart or call-to-action button. Opt for a large design, in an eye-catching color, with a catchy copy so customers immediately know that this is the buy button.
  7. To build your customer’s trust and create reassurance, add payment information below this button. If your site is SSL enabled, use a symbol to show that the payment is secure and add logos of the payment methods you accept.
  8. Also, remember to add share buttons for social networks. These simple buttons encourage visitors to share your product on their network. It is a simple and free way to attract new customers and getting them to talk about your products.
  9. Then add photos of your product alongside the items mentioned above. These are your product datasheet’s main asset. A good image can increase your customer’s decision to add the product to their cart by 75%. Displaying a quality photo is, therefore, essential.

To do this, you should enable zoom so customers can see your product in detail. You will, therefore, need a professional camera. Stage your products to demonstrate their use. Use natural light rather than flash to avoid colors distortion.

And finally, photograph your products in all color tones from the same angle so customers can display them and compare shades. This will avoid them being disappointed with the color when they receive their package.

All of these items should be located above the fold, in other words, they should be visible without web users having to scroll down the page.  In comparison, the following items will be placed below the fold because they provide additional, but not necessary information about the product.

  1. Provide a long description that represents your product in detail. Adding technical features and tips from your team to demonstrate your expertise and convert more shoppers. If you have products that have a special significance or a great backstory, make sure to mention it because customers will attach additional value to it.
  2. If you have an instruction manual or a user guide display it in your product datasheet, it will work to reassure your potential customers. You can also make a YouTube video that puts your product into context while attracting shoppers which one again optimizes your search placement.
  3. Finally, complete your product datasheet with similar products to complement the one displayed or those most often purchased with this one. The goal is to generate increased sales through upselling or cross-selling, just as a seller in a shop would do. The final items should be visible when your customer is browsing the product datasheet, but can be added in your footer.

For example, shoppers should be able to easily access the shipping, delivery and returns policy or the contact information. These ones are essential for reassurance, but they will be the same displayed for each product.

So remember to check and optimize your product datasheets by regularly adding or modifying items.

Tips to successfully translate an e-commerce website

There are 4 key steps to a successful e-commerce website translation:

  1. Content extraction.

You need to extract your content in an XML, HTML, CSV or XLS files to save your and your translators time. You can either extract the content of your website into a zip file or identify precisely the content that needs to be translated thanks to your premium e-commerce software. Translators can then import the content into their preferred software and easily identify the content to translate.

Do not forget to extract visual elements such as logos, graphs and banners. This will accelerate the entire translations process well reducing costs and treatment times.

  1. Identifying different service provider types.

It is easy to feel a bit overwhelmed when you see a large number of services available. The key to making the right choice is understanding the different types of services provided: automated translation provides – though their cost may seem attractive, automated translation providers can be used for basic vocabulary only and are reliable in limited instances. Indiscriminate use of automated translation can result in wrong words being used and cause serious harm to your brand image.

Freelance translators are good translators who always work into their native language, hold a degree in translation and specializes in one or more fields. They offer a good quality to price ratio but keep in mind that they can only translate up to 3000 words on a day. So if you wish to have your entire website translated you need to start well in advance and provide editorial guidelines to make translation cohesive.

Translation agency can manage a team of several translators, and thus a big project. They can handle e-commerce website translation project translating multiple pages of content in a short period of time. Usually, translation agencies are more expensive than a freelance translator but they attend to provide more comprehensive services such as SEO or API.

Global linguistic companies offer translation, content writing, and support, not just in our target languages, but localized for your target country. Since they provide much more than translation services, they attend to be the most expensive option.

  1. Requesting a quote is step three.

Here is what you need when you request a quote: the number of words or the original file, the language or languages to translate into, the preferred deadline, the file format. Here are a few good practices you need to be aware of when requesting your quote: request a non-disclosure agreement if you send your original file for safety reasons, you can request a free test to evaluate the provider’s level, but the number of words for the test should not exceed 300, you can also request specific rates for repetitions and finally instructions. Only you know your project and your activity.

Translators can only do what you instruct them to do. When you receive the quote, make sure you have all detailed costs and terms and conditions to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

  1. The last step is integrating SEO intro translation.

Do not translate your keywords literally. This will not match the keywords used in other countries. Instead, conduct a keyword matching search to find the right keywords for each country using tools such as Google Adwords.

You can either do this by searching yourself or give a list of keywords to your SEO specialist or your agency. They will find the right keywords themselves and send them to the translators. Remember to do this step before launching your translation project.

My last recommendations are to request several quotes and compare them. If your translation involves industry- specific jargon, choose a provider with sufficient knowledge in your area of expertise for an optimized translation. And finally, remember to always hire translators who work into their native language.

So to recap, earlier I wrote about improved conversions with the help of payment process, how to take advantage when holidays are coming, how to create an efficient product page and how to successfully translate your e-commerce platform. In this third article, I will write about which traps to avoid when you are building an e-commerce project.

Tips for building a proper e-commerce project

When you start your e-commerce adventure, the most important step is building a solid foundation. To do this, here are certain traps to avoid and a few tips for getting started:

1. Underestimating your offer’s potential is the first trap.

Whether you are marketing an offer that sells very well in physical stores or you are starting off your business adventure directly through e-commerce, do not underestimate the importance of picking the right offer. Even if you are convinced that your offer has a large demand. Launching your e-commerce site means entering a highly competitive market where visibility are differentiation are vital to success.

To begin: perform an in-depth analysis of your competitors to identify the market leaders. Natural search placements is a good indicator. By searching keywords that describe your offer, you can find serious competitors listed in the first few results. Position yourself in a niche market to be more easily visible in searches and limit competition from market leaders.

Once you have reached the top position you will be able to expand your offer. Ask yourself if this offer will sell on the internet. If your offer already exists in physical stores, duplicating it directly in an online store is not necessarily the best move. In fact, online retailing particularly involves: not being able to show the offer in advance, online payment, attractive payments, shipping to the customer.

These factors can become obstacles in the purchasing process if you offer does not fit in, such as too bulky, too expensive, too much interaction required. If you realize that your offer is not suitable do not panic. Take the opportunity to broaden your spectrum by trying out an innovative and diversified offer as limited editions, new products or brand new services.

2. The second trap is not analyzing your target market.

Launching your offer online means having a customer base familiar with online shopping. You should, therefore, carry out an in-depth analysis of the presence, volume and purchasing habits of your online target market to determine how relevant you offer will be. Do they buy this product? Where do they hang out online? Social networks? Marketplaces? Is your identity and positioning suited to this e-commerce target market?

By analyzing your online target market you will be able to find out about their consumption habits through the online sales channel. Be aware that online consumers have different and often more specific requirements than those of consumers in physical stores. This stage helps you build your company’s online reputation, a real challenge for your online store’s success.

You will be able to determine:  whether your brand should change your company’s positioning and values whether you risking destabilizing your current customer base, whether there is an opportunity to develop a competitive advantage, whether you are sufficiently well-known to your new prospective customers. In-depth knowledge of your target market will help you to provide a consistently differentiated and enriched customer experience.

If you already have a company, the aim is to determine a new customer journey for both your existing and new customer base that provides real benefits to guarantee a quality “digital” customer relationship.

One last tip, talk about it to those around you. Ask your existing and prospective customers for their opinion. Listening to and communicating with your customers is a very good way to see how relevant your offer is, so do not hold back.

3. The third trap is not investing in your project.

Even though e-commerce software have become relatively inexpensive or even completely free of charge, like PrestaShop, Magento and so on, you should not think that launching an e-commerce website does not require investing. To give your project the best opportunity to success, consider investing in several domain names from the start to increase your visibility and traffic.

Shop design and customization: setting up your store yourself is a challenge even with easy to use platforms available today. Platforms such as PrestaShop enables anyone, anywhere to create their store without technical skills.

However, if you want to launch your store quickly or with specific features and designs, you will need the skills of an agency or a freelance developer. Ask several service providers to provide estimates based on your shop’s specifications.

Your store’s search placement: natural search placement, better known as SEO, helps your shop rank higher in search results. This is a lengthy process but you can do it yourself for free if you know the techniques. Nonetheless, if you want to optimize your SEO quickly and you need some help you will also have to budget for the services of a consultant or developer. In this case, include it in your budget and development specifications.

Additionally, consider our costs for paid search placement, which will give you a boost in addition to natural search placement. The combination for both is known as SEM or Search Engine Marketing.

Setting up a web marketing plan: this part is essential for boosting your new store’s visibility and awareness on social networks, blogs, email campaigns, advertising space, and so on.  Costs can become substantial so setting up a web marketing plan will be essential when creating your budget.

Choosing your suppliers, shippers, and payment methods: when choosing these service providers, you will have to calculate the subscription costs and sales commission this involves. These costs represent your financing requirements for starting your business. They appear in the finance section of your business plan. The purpose of the finance plan is to analyze your project’s profitability so you can adjust your business model if necessary.

4. The last trap is choosing your developer too quickly.

If you choose to use freelance developer or a web agency, make sure you take the time to clearly consider your choice. This is where you will invest a lot of your budget, so you cannot afford to get it wrong.

Clearly identify the developer’s specialties, which will give you a good idea of the quality and added value of potential service providers: a developer must be able to evaluate your requirements, opt for a technical solution that lets you work in your store right away.

Guarantee the development of all site technical features requested.  Test and check that everything is operating correctly. Be able to perform technical maintenance to correct any bugs.

Finishing up

Finally, some of them will even offer you training in the solution upon delivery of the site. Take time to build your project without getting stuck in any of these traps and you will maximize your chances of success.

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