Just as an inviting brick and mortar store attracts the right buyers, a carefully developed ecommerce website has the potential to bring in more sales. Online shopping shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon. In South Africa, online retail has maintained a growth rate of over 20% since the beginning of the century, according to the Online Retail in South Africa 2016 report released by World Wide Worx.

While this growth shows the massive potential for ecommerce development, it does not mean that every single online store will succeed. Successful ecommerce sites have a few things in common, ranging from usability to easy checkout, expertly crafted content, plenty of calls to action, and optimised pages that can easily be found in search engines.

Blueprint of a powerful ecommerce website

The best way to ensure that your ecommerce website is ready to convert is to partner with an experienced website development specialist who can provide not only the website itself, but also additional essentials that will further help your site stand out. From SEO to content marketing, a full service agency will give you the edge you need to grow.

What exactly are the most important criteria for an ecommerce site? Let’s take a look…

1. Usability

Many studies show that poor usability is one of the top reasons for online cart abandonment. Above all else, the website needs to be easy to use. That means simple navigation that allows users to find what they need without having to waste time. Testing is key to be certain that anyone who uses the site will have no trouble browsing, making a purchase and getting around the site.

2. Strong calls to action

You’d be surprised how many websites forget to add calls to action. These should be placed strategically in places that they will be easily seen. CTAs to add include shop now, request a quote, contact us, more information and a sign up for newsletters and promotions.

3. Easy checkout

Once your customers are ready to seal the deal, they will need to go through checkout. Much like long queues and unhelpful tellers can put customers off in real life stores, a confusing, complicated or annoying checkout can be very off-putting in the virtual world. Ideally, customers should have to fill out as little information as possible, without having to jump through hoops.

4. Well-written content

Your product descriptions are vital to conversion. Badly written content that is loaded with typos or other errors, overly long (or too short), unappealing or boring to read will not do you any favours. Well written content that makes buyers want to learn more is, however, always a winner.

5. Optimised pages

How easy can your store be found online? Optimisation is often treated as an afterthought. This is why it is so useful working with a full service agency who can assist with development as well as digital marketing. Without a proper Search Engine Optimisation strategy, your store may as well be invisible.

Ready to take your shopping website to the next level? Get in touch with the Open Circle team today to learn more about our tailored, start-to-finish ecommerce website solutions.

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