2021 is a year of rebuilding for businesses big and small. Much of that rebuilding is prioritizing online presences by ensuring e-commerce websites are both customer-centric and business efficient.
Your e-commerce website should be focused on converting visitors to loyal customers. It should also be used as a tool to build brand loyalty and establish your business as the “go-to” in your industry. As you build your e-commerce website with flexibility in mind and adaptation at its core, here are seven crucial features your site needs to be successful.
Effective Use of Data
According to Forbes, 92% of businesses are using data and analytics to gain greater marketing insights. The effective use of data will continue into 2021 as one of the most crucial features for your website. Data can give you key information on:
- Sales trends
- Effectiveness of lead generation tactics
- The success of competitor marketing strategies
Aside from traditional data gathered from analytics, the use of big data by e-commerce websites is increasing. Big data is the collection of large pools of data analyzed to make better, more informed decisions on improving marketing initiatives, customer retention strategies, customer service, and bettering engagement.
Collecting and effectively analyzing data can also help you map out your buyer’s journey or user story. User story mapping is essentially a step-by-step breakdown of how a user interacts with a given product. Leveraging customer data such as this will aid in building a website that eases the unique pain points of your customer.
The Right Brand Colors
Using the right colors in branding is essential to a visually appealing e-commerce website. The colors you choose are intended to provoke specific emotions from visitors that are positive in nature.
If a goal for your e-commerce website is to reduce anxiety, blue is the most peaceful, calm, and gentle color. If you want visitors to feel optimistic and happier, warm and bright colors like yellow, pink, and orange are the ideal color scheme.
Whatever brand colors you choose, make sure it answers the question: how would visitors react to these colors emotionally?
A proper content marketing strategy is crucial to connecting with current and potential customers. It can also be used to help establish your business as an expert in your industry. Putting a blog on your e-commerce website is one of the best ways to take advantage of the power of content marketing.
Not only can you write quality content on the importance of your product/services and how to use them effectively, you can also expand your audience reach with other topics related to your industry. A quality blog will improve your ranking on Google and expand your search engine optimization efforts.
Top-tier Cybersecurity Software
E-commerce websites are highly targeted by cybercriminals because they store private customer information like payment and contact information. If obtained, this information could be used for identity theft purposes, adversely affecting your customers and your business reputation.
You should invest in top-tier cybersecurity software to ensure you’re providing the best protection for your customers’ information. Invest in an SSL certificate and two-factor authentication to beef up your site security.
Your website design should be simple, easy to navigate, and pleasing to the eye. A user-friendly design ensures visitors can find the information they need quickly and easily on any device. Your website should include:
- A seamless purchasing experience
- Accessibility options
- Scannable content
- Quick load times
- Mobile-friendly pages
- Voice and image search options
High-quality visuals prompt engagement and the visitor’s interaction is more likely to end up in a purchase. Leveraging visuals could mean investing in a visual search tool to allow customers to search for products using images. You could also implement user-generated content by repurposing it on your product pages to show just how awesome your product/services are in real life.
A Dedicated Team
If at all possible, put together a team of experts dedicated to your e-commerce website to ensure you’re fully optimizing your web presence. It can be overwhelming trying to navigate website development, design, marketing, and maintenance by yourself.
It’s also inefficient. One person is unlikely to master every technique necessary to run a successful website. A website developer and designer are great to start with, but you’ll also need to add a content creator and marketer to your team. Look into automation options as well for menial tasks to free up even more of your valuable time.
Modern Payment Options
Payment options are especially important to the success of your e-commerce website and business overall. If a customer visits your site, gets to the payment information, and their preferred payment isn’t listed, they’re more likely to abandon their cart than go to one of the other payment options you provide.
Many people are purchasing with cryptocurrency, digital wallets, or plans like Afterpay (payment plan option). Offering these modern payment options in conjunction with flexible delivery and pickup options will ensure you’re offering visitors the best purchasing experience.
2020 taught businesses how important it is to have a functional, easy to navigate, informational, and entertaining website to both attract your ideal customers and continue serving them without the barrier of physical location. The customer experience is the ultimate deciding factor when implementing any website feature.
By Indiana Lee, BOSS contributor