7 Tips for Improving Your Online Store

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Whether you’re selling turnips or luxury car modifications, there’s an art to creating a successful e-commerce store. Here are just a few tips for ensuring that your website is one of the good ones.

  1. Change Your Domain Name

Domain names are the “handshakes” of the web. They give customers the first impression that they’ll have of your website, so they’d better be good. Try to choose a domain name that’s generic enough to reflect your brand while still offering a bit of personality for fun’s sake. The best domain names straddle the line between functional and fashionable.

  1. Choose a Good Hosting Service

There’s no shortage of ecommerce web hosting services, so the trick is to find one that truly suits your business needs. For example, if you run an image-heavy site, you’re going to need a host that offers a good amount of bandwidth. If private communication is a concern for you, look for a hosting package with its own email servers or messaging systems.

  1. Improve Your Layout

Site navigation is critical to the e-commerce site. If your products aren’t organized and categorized in a way that allows users to easily find what they’re looking for, they might get frustrated and go somewhere else. Think about things like sidebars, drop-down menus and pop-up notifications to help customers find their way around your site.

  1. Expedite Your Checkout Process

Cart abandonment is one of the leading causes of lost sales, and an overly-long checkout process only increases the risk that customers will get frustrated and give up. Do yourself a favor and make your checkout process as simple and streamlined as possible. Don’t make customers sign up for anything, and combine extraneous “steps” so that they won’t have to click through a dozen pages just to confirm their order.

  1. Take Better Pictures

The quality of your images can have a big impact on whether or not customers are interested in your goods. Poorly-lit pictures of a shadowy product won’t entice anyone to open their wallets. Instead, opt for bright, clear and sharp images that make full use of light and shadow. Offer multiple perspectives of the product, and allow customers to zoom in or enlarge areas as they see fit.

  1. Go Top-to-Bottom

This is an easy way to distract users from long loading times. Instead of letting words and images come online in haphazard ways, hire a web developer to create a script that loads everything top-to-bottom. This will ensure that your users always have something to read on the top half of the page while the bottom half is still loading.

  1. Incorporate Customer Feedback

Last but certainly not least, don’t be afraid to ask customers what they think about your website. Maybe they hate your color scheme; maybe they love your “suggested items” sidebar. You’ll never know until you open a line of communication with them, so include things like polls, surveys and feedback boxes during checkout. Just make sure to keep them optional. Don’t force anyone to participate.

These are just a few things to keep in mind as you design your e-commerce website. Whether you’re starting an online shop for the first time or just revamping your existing store into something more user-friendly, use these tips to help you achieve success.