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7 Ecommerce Website Tips for Online Businesses

by
April 8, 2014

 

Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Ecommerce Website

Once April rolls around, the term “spring cleaning” kind of just wriggles its way into my brain until I look around my home and see just what I can get rid of or spruce up. This year, as I did my usual glances around my house, I thought about a different space that maybe could use a little love: your business website.

Similar to your household’s spring cleaning project, when it comes to your business website there are both quick changes and broader tasks that you can undertake depending on your time (hours to devote to the project) and inclination (willingness and budgetary considerations). With that in mind, here are some eCommerce website tips for improving customer experience and increasing online sales.

Good (and Quick):

  • Check for typos on your site. Spelling and grammar mistakes make your site look unprofessional. Review the copy on your website, and ask someone else to review it as well. Another pair of eyes might pick up errors you miss. Lastly, read it out loud; your ears will pick up odd words and sentence structures that your brain might automatically fix when reading silently.
  • Review your site through different browsers. Each browser interprets HTML/CSS/Javacript/etc. a little bit differently, so viewing your site in Chrome, Safari, Firefox, IE, etc. can help to make sure it looks the same for all of your customers. If you haven’t already, hook up your site to Google Analytics and know which browser is most popular with your customers. Pay special attention to the most popular ones so you are catering to your customers.

Better:

  • Spend some time on SEO (search engine optimization). Once you do the last bit from our previous tip, it’s easy to start spending some time digging into your analytics. And it’s a very important step. Use your analytics to determine how many people visit your site, where they are coming from, what pages and keywords are most popular, and then use that information to focus on content and marketing efforts that send good traffic your way. Tweak the keywords you use on your site, or add keywords that match those search terms and they should bring more traffic to your site.
  • Review your products and product descriptions. Make sure your product list is up-to-date. If you’ve received feedback from customers on their favorite parts of your product, put it in your descriptions. However, remember not to ramble. Include the important parts about your product, but keep it short and sweet.
  • Improve your site’s navigation. Have you surveyed your customers to find out how easy or difficult it is to find products? Or have you picked a few customers and asked them for feedback on your drop-down categories? Even talking to a handful of customers will generally yield some ideas for positive site navigation changes.

Best:

Research—and your own sales figures—should confirm that mobile commerce is growing by leaps and bounds in the U.S. Now is the time to make sure that your website is mobile-friendly. Your site should include “responsive design,” so that the device where the website is shown (computer, laptop, mobile), does the work and automatically adjusts according to the device’s screen size and orientation (landscape or portrait).

Many of our eCommerce partners have templates with responsive design built in. If you don’t already have a website with responsive design, consider re-creating your site to include responsive design. Depending on how your site is built (and with whom your site is built upon) this may be an intensive project. Make sure to research the extent to which you would be changing your website before you invest whole-heartedly in it. Don’t get me wrong, though, the results are definitely worth it.

While you’re at it, review your e-mail communications. Reading e-mails on mobile devices (& even smartwatches!) is also increasing rapidly. Promotional e-mails and newsletters should also use responsive design. Most of the popular e-mail marketing services (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, iContact, etc.) will have templates for these, just like your shopping cart platform.

Key Takeaways:

  • Review your content for spelling and grammatical errors
  • View your site through different browsers to ensure it looks and functions as intended
  • Leverage eCommerce SEO to attract more potential customers
  • Review your product list and optimize product pages
  • Improve your site’s navigation and catalog structure
  • Make sure your site is mobile-friendly and consider upgrading to a responsive website design if you haven’t already
  • Review e-mail communications to ensure that the templates and layouts are responsive and easily viewable from mobile devices

Just like when you spring clean your home and clear up (for all the stuff you’ll buy over the next year), it’s a good idea to treat your website to the same courtesy. Cleaning it up now can make a big difference when it comes to improving customer experience and increasing sales in the busier summer, fall, and holiday seasons.