7 Best Practices for Updating Your E-Commerce Website

5 minute read

Updating your e-commerce website is essential for boosting sales. These seven best practices will take you through each area of your online shop that you should update today for better sales tomorrow. 

Have you heard? Since COVID-19, more people are shopping online than ever before. Experts say that the pandemic has massively accelerated e-commerce growth, with total spending in May reaching $82.5 billion—a leap of between 4-6 years! 

That’s great news for small business owners who want to expand their online revenue. The quickest way to see results is to update your existing online shop so that more traffic flows to the right places, and more sales convert for your company. 

To make some positive changes to your e-commerce site design, here are seven best practices that target the areas of your website that matter most. Soon, you may be filling orders daily by the dozen!

 

#1: Update Your Site Layout

If you have a WordPress e-commerce site, it’s full of flexibility and has a range of tools that you can use to make improvements when needed. This content management system lets you easily update your site layout, which you’ll need for a fresh-looking online store.  

 

  • Your new website design should be uncluttered and minimalist.
  • Simple designs are more beautiful and increase sales conversions.
  • Have an uncluttered homepage with one bold call to action (remove unnecessary elements).
  • Display “free shipping” in a prominent spot (or in a top menu bar).
  • Put your best-selling products or services on your homepage.
  • Use customer data to streamline your user navigation and content paths.

 

Make sure that your menu system is as optimized for your user as possible. Create logical menu titles with dropdown categories that make searching your site quick and fun. Some 70% of small businesses fail to use clear calls-to-action, so make sure that yours pop.

 

Designers comparing their website on a desktop and tablet

#2: Redesign for a Mobile Experience

Your e-commerce website has a top new priority for 2020—becoming fully mobile responsive. When a visitor arrives on your site to do some online shopping, it shouldn’t matter what device they use. Your website must change to suit any screen, so content is always easy to see. 

  • Make your calls-to-action deliberate, but not pushy.
  • Short and sweet menus make mobile browsing better.
  • Reduce your use of pop-ups or interstitials.
  • Make sure that your page speed is good and loads fast.

 

With 90% of customers using multiple devices for everyday tasks—including shopping—you can improve your online revenue this year by ensuring that your website looks good on mobile devices of all shapes and sizes. 

 

#3: Improve Your Checkout Process

There is one element of your online store website that needs to be improved—your checkout process. Cart abandonment can mean hefty losses for your company. With a few minor tweaks, you can adjust your design and content to keep new shoppers on target. 

  • Design a direct checkout process (add to cart > billing > shipping > preview > payment > confirmation).
  • Avoid adding unexpected costs and fees to your payment total (taxes, shipping).
  • Only ask for essential information to make the purchase process easy.

 

A revamped checkout process means that your e-commerce business will optimize the chances of new buyers completing a purchase instead of abandoning their cart. 

According to The Baymard Institute, 2 out of 3 shoppers will abandon their cart, so updating how your customers finalize payment is worth the effort! 

 

#4: Stand Out With Original Product Descriptions

Your online shop can do so much better with original, creative product descriptions. Customers love to research a product before they decide to buy it. So, spend some time redrafting each description to match your business’s tone and personality. 

  • Customize each product description on your e-commerce site.
  • Keep the descriptions interesting and highlight key benefits.
  • Use several high-quality images for each product.
  • Use bullet points.
  • Avoid large blocks of text.

 

Emarketer reports that 83% of respondents believe quality product images are critical to sales, and 82% feel that way about the products’ descriptions. Descriptions sell your goods.

 

Two women looking at a promotion

#5: Highlight New Promotions

To increase your online sales steadily, make the way that you display your promotions a prominent part of your design. Adjusting your site to enhance specific products or discounts is key to closing those sales! Here’s where to put them on your e-commerce website.

 

  • Create a “featured promotions” area. 
  • Place select promos in your website banners or sidebars.
  • Use your homepage’s “above-the-fold” area for new discounts and promotions.
  • Use pop-ups for “exiting” customers.

 

With 97% of your customers searching for discounts and deals when they shop, putting yours in a highly visible spot will improve conversion rates. 

 

#6: Collect and Showcase Recent Customer Reviews

If you want your e-commerce website design to rise above the competition, you need to collect and showcase your best customer reviews. This social proof is incredibly useful in convincing new customers to buy your products and services. 

  • Prominently display your most vibrant reviews and testimonials.
  • Create ways to continuously source and add new testimonials to these areas.
  • Consider using customer faces and names for an added boost.
  • Give your customers an incentive to leave you a good review.

 

There are many creative ways to display reviews on your website. When your customers see them, it adds credibility and trust to your company—helping people decide to buy. With 90% of customers reading reviews and 88% trusting them, you need them to make sales. 

 

Offer Excellent Customer Support

#7: Be Easy to Contact and Offer Amazing Support

A robust e-commerce website makes it easy for customers to contact the people behind the business. Your online sales depend on adding ways to communicate that customers have come to expect. 

  • Add a live chat window or chatbot to help you collect leads (real-time contact).
  • Make your phone number and email available in your contact areas (and footer).
  • Go above and beyond for your customers.

 

Aim to have a bustling ecommerce platform that provides incredible service to its customers. Train your staff, follow up on negative feedback, and find ways to impress your customer base

When you update your site with these best practices, you will build a better website to help you sell more. From optimizing the site layout and mobile experience to revamping your product descriptions and testimonials, these elements will improve your daily sales.

During COVID-19, more people are buying online. You can leverage this boom period for online sales to grow your business in new and exciting ways. But first, you must make sure that the traffic that arrives on your site doesn’t go to waste. 

Change is in the air! Make sure that you have a platform that is easy to update or a support team on your side to help you with the details. The right platform will automatically be optimized for sales conversions so that you never miss out on an opportunity. 

Don’t wonder why you aren’t selling enough—update your small business website instead!