eCommerce: Qualities of Successful eCommerce Websites

eCommerce: Qualities of Successful eCommerce Websites – It is a well known fact that successful ecommerce website is never truly “finished”, instead we can say it’s an ongoing project that grows and evolves along with your business.

There are several key elements any successful ecommerce website should contain, from the frontend, the backend coding, security to its clickable features and checkout flow.

1. Good UI/UX

A successful ecommerce website will have an excellent user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) design. Basic requirements of good UI/UX in an ecommerce context include filters that allow customers to identify their desired product or range of products efficiently, a search bar, clean design, and legible copy. 

Take the Gymshark website, for example. It’s clean, easy to navigate, and intuitive. The navigation is clear and simple, allowing people to easily find the products they’re looking for. There’s also a search function for quicker, more specific queries.

Gymshark’s ecommerce website homepage

The website is fully responsive, meaning it adjusts well to various screen sizes, including mobile devices. Given the increasing trend of online shopping, this is a crucial aspect of user experience.

Gymshark uses clear and visible CTAs, guiding people on what to do next. Plus, the checkout process is simple and straightforward, with minimal steps, reducing the chances of cart abandonment.

2. Good online security

The security of your ecommerce store and any data it processes and/or stores is paramount. You are handling customers’ sensitive financial information, including credit card numbers and mailing addresses. 

Best practices for ecommerce customer security include adequately password protecting your site and all other sensitive accounts (don’t use easy-to-guess passwords), and employing “transport layer security” (TLS), “secure sockets layers” (SSL), and HTTPS authentication—programs that authenticate and encrypt links between customer computers and your site. You can also ensure all company devices are outfitted with antivirus and anti-malware software.

Ecommerce sites like Manitobah add a layer of security by encrypting customer data. They prove it by displaying a padlock icon beside the store’s URL, and using a URL that starts with https://, which indicates a TLS certificate has been issued. 

Example of TLS certification display on Shopify ecommerce store.

Shopify provides free TLS certificates when you buy a custom domain on Shopify or transfer a domain to Shopify. 

3. Great mobile experience

Internet users are spending more and more time on their phones. It follows that online shoppers are spending larger shares of their browsing time on mobile devices too. 

Implementing responsive design is a great way to optimize your site’s mobile experience—automatically reformatting your desktop site for a mobile screen. Most do-it-yourself web design services, like Squarespace and Wix, offer responsive design by default; and any web designer you hire in 2023 should have the up-to-date skills to provide this design functionality at your request.

Colurpop’s mobile site is well designed and fully responsive, providing an optimized experience for mobile users. All elements of the site fit well on smaller screens, and the website’s functionality remains intact. 

It features an easy-to-use navigation system, making it simple for customers to explore different product categories and find what they’re looking for.

Colourpop’s homepage on mobile

The mobile site also loads quickly, providing a smooth and enjoyable shopping experience. Slow loading times can frustrate users and lead to potential customers leaving the site, so this is an important aspect of a good mobile UX.

4. SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) enhances your products’ visibility, and ultimately sales (known as conversion rate), by causing your site to rank higher in search engines. 

You can utilize different content strategies and techniques to achieve this, such as adding certain keywords to your site’s copy or product descriptions to get your site ranked higher than your competitors in search results related to your products.

5. Quality product photos

Photos are the main way customers visualize what you’re selling. They help build trust in your products and make the shopping experience better, which can increase sales. 

Imagine two online stores, both selling the same product at similar prices.

Store A uses grainy, poorly lit images taken from a smartphone. The details of the product are unclear, and there’s no option to view the product from different angles.

Now consider Store B, Homesick, which uses beautiful product photos to showcase its candles.

Homesick brand’s product page for Barbie Dreamhouse Candle
Homesick brand’s product page for Barbie Dreamhouse Candle.

The lighting is perfect, highlighting the product’s features. Customers can view the product from multiple angles and see the finer details. 

If you don’t have the expertise or equipment to take high-quality photos, consider hiring a professional product photographer. They can help highlight your products in the best possible way.

6. Smooth checkout flow

A frustrating checkout experience can result in lost sales. If customers are forced to endure long, complicated sign-up processes before purchasing their items, they may give up on the purchase entirely. Consider adding a guest checkout feature, which allows customers to make purchases with minimal input on their end (and with less data). 

For customers already signed up to your site, whose credit card data is already stored with you (securely!), you might consider adding a one-click checkout feature to further expedite the process, instead of going through the traditional loaded shopping cart method. 

You can also integrate third-party payment options, like Shop Pay or Apple Pay, or allow customers to quickly sign up by linking their Facebook or Google accounts.

Retailer Culture Kings offers Shop Pay as express checkout option on its website


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