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Web Usability Report

Information packed report contains:

  • Usability Checklist
  • 7 Tips to Improve Homepage
  • 8 Simple Ways To Improve Sales

Essentials Of An Ecommerce Website

Bhauvik Tripathi 29/10/2009 12:00:00 AM

One thing that many people forget when building an ecommerce site is that they are dealing with real people. There is a tendency due to the fact that the business is online to forget that real people are visiting your site and you need to ensure that you communicate with them effectively.

In actual fact you should build your ecommerce website as if you were standing right in front of the customer dealing with them face to face. Your ecommerce website should be service orientated and at all times make the potential customer a priority.

To add to that you need to make sure that your site visitors can find what they are looking for. You do not want to confuse them with too many offers or worse still lots of images and logos all over your site that are distracting.


It is essential that you make sure that your online store is well laid out in a logical easy to follow manner. The minute a visitor lands on your site they should know exactly what your site is about. Make sure your message is clear and that each component of your site is easy to get to.

The bottom line is this. if you make it difficult for your visitors to navigate your site or understand what it has to offer they will leave in a heartbeat. Unlike a traditional store you will not have the opportunity to ask questions or help them find what they want.

The easiest button for them to hit is the back button and online patience is at a minimum. Just like every other human being we all choose the path of least resistance. If they cannot find what they are looking for quickly they will just as quickly leave.

Sorry to burden the point but this is critical if you want to build a successful ecommerce website. So get yourself organized, layout your products in a logical fashion. Use professional images to demonstrate your product and represent your business. Leave what is called a breadcrumb trail so your visitors can at any time navigate back to where they began. Organise your products into relevant categories.

Do not have too many choices in any given category as you may be in danger of overwhelming the visitor making the decision making the process difficult.

Search Function

The next essential element to have in place is the search function. if a visitor does not see what they want displayed on the site they should be able to search it quickly. When returning the search results make sure they are in logical order.

Contact Information

The next priority is your contact information. Do not have your contact information buried in your site. This makes it look like you do not want to be contacted and further still they will not hang around to try.

Privacy Policy

The next critical element is to have your privacy policy and return policy clearly displayed. In the event they have any question in relation to this they need to be able to locate the appropriate pages.

Thank You

Another crucial element applies to the buying process, when customers are online they like to make sure that there order went through correctly. Provide a thank you page which covers their order in detail including all charges for shipping and handling etc.

When a customer clicks the buy button make sure that they get to the shopping cart and that it is secured. Make them aware that all purchases are secured.

Always make sure these links are working as error messages at this point will frustrate your potential customer and they will quickly lose confidence in buying from you.

Great Hosting

The next essential element is to make sure that the server your ecommerce site is hosted on is capable of handling high volume traffic. You do not want to keep your customer waiting when they want to buy. The pages need to load fast and the checkout process needs to be efficient.

Payment Options

Lastly do not make it difficult for your customers to pay. Give them plenty of choices and also add the option of calling in their order. When online people like to know that they are dealing with real people who will service their needs.

If you cover all of the above essential elements your chances of success online will be far greater.