How To

5 things to Learn from Successful eCommerce Sites

18 Nov 2016
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10 min

ECommerce is no longer a promising prospect of the future. In our time, this is a must-have for each entrepreneur who runs a retail business. Growing sales that are predicted to reach 4 trillion U.S. dollars in 2020 confirm the relevance of this direction. In view of this, it is no wonder that online shops pop up like mushrooms after a spring rain in the cyberspace.

Interstellar competition is growing in rapid leaps. To stay afloat, vendors resort to various tricks. Both traditional marketing methods and creative solutions are used to attract and keep customers. In this article, we are going to consider some of them and show the brightest examples that deserve to be followed. Use the ingredients below to get ready for eCommerce website development.

5 Tricks from Successful Ecommerce Sites

Choose the right name for your store

Start with choosing an eye-catching name and a memorable URL. Here are a few tips that will help you in this matter:

Balance between complexity and simplicity

Don't use expressions or words that are too long. Make sure that your title can be easily pronounced. At the same time, don't go very simple as you risk vanishing into the crowd.

Give priority to ".com"

The ".com" is the most popular domain of the first level worldwide. It automatically boosts your ranking in the eyes of customers. However, you are likely to encounter difficulties in registering such a domain, because the majority of names are already taken. In this case, I recommend opting for domains of the second and third levels, like mail.google.com. This will increase your chances for the name setup. Keep in mind that if you work in a specific region only, it would be more reasonable to use the relevant domains, e.g., ".au" for Australia or ".co.uk" for Great Britain.

Expand your vocabulary
As I have already mentioned, most of the names are already taken by different companies. If you want to be unique, you can think of your own name. This is how you can do it: 
  • Follow examples of Microsoft and Shopify. The first compounded the parts of two words. The second, - used affixation to turn the existing noun into a new verb. 
  • Take into account YouTube and Six Apart that have joined ordinary words to make a creative combination. 
  • Pay attention to Odeo, that has invented a totally new word.
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Domain names generators

There are many tools that can help you in your brainstorming activity. Take a look at the list below:

  • Business Name Generator - free service provided by Shopify. You can generate ideas for business names and check whether they are available.
  • NameStation - offers available domains based on the given keywords.
  • Domaintyper - fast and easy way to find out whether a certain domain is already taken.
  • LeanDomainSearch - shows a list of existing domains that contain the word you're looking for.

Create a well-thought Home page

According to the Taylor&Francis data, it takes 50 milliseconds for an average customer to decide whether your website is worth their attention. That is why you should make every effort to make a good first impression. Given that potential customers get acquainted with your site via the Home page of your website, it is highly recommended to work out each detail of the facade view. Here is how you can do it:

Let users know who you are and what you do

More than five years ago, Steve Krug, an information architect and user experience professional, wrote a book "Don't make me think". In that book, he said: "If visitors can't identify what it is you do within seconds, they won't stick around long." This definitely makes sense. No one has time for digging out what your site was created for. If there is no clarity at once, you get out of play.

Refer to the right people in the right language

Each item of goods has its target audience. Try to appeal to it directly. That is, if you sell products for the narrowly focused specialist, include special terms in your slogans. If you offer sales on mass items, use plain language. In any case, avoid any gobbledygook in your titles and make them clear and explicit.

Make an attractive offer
There must be something that makes you different from others. If you do not sell a unique product, practice other methods to attract customers. You might offer a discount, a special bonus, or communicate that a certain part of earnings goes to charity.
For inspiration, take a look at the TOMS website. Their homepage proposition is called "One to one". It means that a pair of shoes goes to a child in need when you buy one for yourself. They also donate to eye hospitals in developing countries when you purchase their glasses or any other eyewear.
Make an attractive offer

"One to one" offer on TOMS' home page

Optimize it for each possible device

Today users shop anytime anywhere. They are not tied to the screens of their PC monitors. Providing the customers with a high-quality mobile version of your website is one of the points in a priority "To Do" list. Note that the page view does not have to be necessarily identical across all the mobile platforms. Some elements may differ taking into account the specifics of OS and a physical device.

Call to action

Remember that your purpose is not to impress customes with a great view but to stir your customers into action. Don't forget to place titles like "Shop Now", "Learn More", "Join Community", "Check what's raising", etc. in a prominent place on the home page.

Call to action button

"Shop Now" button on eBay site

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Read how landing pages can replace home pages in our article: How Can a Landing Page Help You In a Mobile App Promotion?

Add suitable photos

It has been proved that people remember only 10% of the information they hear, 20% of the information they read, and up to 80% of the information they see. That is why high-res images along with offbeat design are so important for your business.

To benefit from the eCommerce site pictures, follow the recommendations below:

  • Give priority to the white background. This will help focus users' attention exactly on the photos that demonstrate products you sell. 
  • Use large-sized photos only. This will create a magnetizing effect making your customers take a glance at the picture even if they didn't plan to. 
  • Include a zooming feature. The biggest disadvantage of online shopping is that customers can't touch a product and see its every detail. Zooming partially solves the problem encouraging users to make a decision about the purchase. 
  • Compose the gallery of photos from different angles. This will enhance the trust to your shop, minimize the number of stock returns, and increase the percentage of sales.

One of the best examples is Victoria's Secret website. They have cool and attractive photos that invite you to do click by click. You can spend hours watching their professional images that show products from different sides and in different colors. A great thing is that their site is very dynamic. Each time you enter it, you see new images, offers, and ideas.

Product image

Product image on Victoria's Secret website

Free image sources

Note that along with self-made pictures, you can use images available online. There are many specialized sites with blue-chip collections that you can download for free without being afraid to violate a copyright. Here are some of them:

  • Unsplash mostly offers urban landscapes and the photos of nature. Ten new photos appear every ten days.
  • Canva allows you not only to search for images but also create your own design by means of drag and drop elements.
  • Stockvault provides free stock photos, textures, and graphics. You can view most loved and most downloaded photos to see what's trending.
  • Pixabay is a great site launched under the patronage of non-profit organization Creative Commons that aims to support and expand creative works. The pictures downloaded from this site can be easily used for a commercial purpose.
  • New Old Stock has a unique collection of vintage photos mainly in black and white. They are gathered from public archives and do not have any copyright restrictions.
  • Dreamstime is another site of various eye-catching pictures. For convenience, they are grouped in different categories that range from Abstract and Animation to Industries and Technology.
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Learn about eCommerce mobile apps from our article - From eCommerce to Mobile Commerce: Shopping at a High-Tech Level

Keep in mind the site navigation

People want to navigate through your website in a fast and simple manner. If you do not provide them with such an opportunity you are likely to lose the majority of potential buyers. Make sure that the site navigation is understood intuitively. Consider including the following components:

New products. This feature is very useful for your standing customers. Instead of making them come out the entire collection from scratch you can greatly save their time by gathering the new arrivals in one place.

Take a look at the H&M example. They have advanced in this direction by sorting clothes from new collection with a glance to the existed site categories: Ladies, Men, Kids, Home.

New arrivals feature

New arrivals feature on H&M site

Recently viewed and recommended goods. Everyone knows how annoying it is to look for the things that were viewed just a few clicks ago. Making bookmarks or browsing the search history are not really good decisions.

Recently viewed options will help your customers easily return to the products that they have already seen. Thus, they may not be afraid to lose sight of favorite items.

Recommended for you features study the users' preferences and offers the relevant products. Both buyers and sellers gain from it since one receives something that they like and the other boosts their sales.

The Bebe shop has creatively improved this functionality. In case you've just entered the site and haven't viewed a single thing yet, the Just viewed and trending field shows the most popular goods. When you start watching, your items appear in the beginning of the appropriate line of products. The recommended for you things are placed below.

Viewed and trending products

Bebe site displays just viewed and trending products

Drop-downs. It is pointless to place all the menu entries on a single page. Drop-downs may simplify the navigation through your website. But be careful. Too many of them will only confuse the users. Ensure that drop-downs appear as a logical follow-up to other elements.

Pay attention to the Amazon example. The categories on their site are grouped in one list. Each category, in its turn, has a second level menu with relevant sub-categories.

Drop-downs of categories

Drop-downs of Amazon categories

Think of the unique selling points

Look around. You have dozens of competitors. What makes you different from them? If you sell the Nike socks or Arena swimsuits, no promotional actions will make you stand out from the crowd too much. Being tied to a particular pricing policy you cannot lower the price below a certain level.

This is when a unique selling point may serve you well. It brings something, that makes you not similar to others. Below I have provided a few examples of fresh ideas from different eCommerce sites.

Brayola

Brayola, a big shop of women's lingerie, has a smart engine that advises whether a chosen bra will fit a buyer. It analyzes several favorite bras of a woman (that she shares on the website) and compares the results with the same models and sizes of other customers.

Warby Parker

Warby Parker, an eyewear store, sends several glasses to a client so that he or she could try on all of them and choose one. Having made a choice, the client sends the rest of the items back.

Home try-on from

Home try-on from Warby Parker

Jet

Jet, the eCommerce site of various goods, offers an interactive shopping cart that automatically recalculates the total amount depending on the number of products you buy. Also, you can pay an annual fee and get a chance to buy various goods at a special online price.

Setting eCommerce strategy

I hope the above examples inspired you to choose an effective strategy for your eCommerce business. The companies mentioned here are all big names that definitely deserve to be followed.

In spite of this, the blind imitation of someone or something has never led to success. Therefore, adhering to proven tactics, do not forget that the best thing you can do is to be the one and only for your customers.

If you need competent advice, do not hesitate to contact us. Our managers are glad to assist you at any moment of the day or night!

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