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 4058 billion 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 by the 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 below ingredients to prepare a successful eCommerce site.
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 too long words and expressions. Make sure that your title can be easily pronounced. At the same time, don't go very simple as you risk to vanish in 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 is already occupied. 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. 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.
- 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.
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 basing on the given keywords.
Domaintyper — fast and easy way to find out whether a certain domain is already occupied.
LeanDomainSearch — shows a list of existing domains that contain the word you look 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 is done for. If there is no clarity at once, you get out of play.
Refer to the right people in a right language.
Each item of goods has its target audience. Try to appeal to it directly. That is, if you sell the products for the narrowly focused specialist, include special terms in your slogans. If you offer mass sales items, use a 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.
"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 specific of OS and a physical device.
Call to action.
Remember that your purpose is not to impress 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.
"Shop Now" button on eBay site
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 photos of the big size only. This will create a magnetizing effect making your customers take a glance at the picture even if they didn't plan to.
- Include 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 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 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
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.
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 opportunity you are likely to lose the major part 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 on H&M site
Recently viewed and recommended goods. Everyone knows how annoying it is to look for the things that were watched just a few clicks ago. Making bookmarks or browsing the search history are not really good decisions.
Recently viewed option 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 feature studies the users' preferences and offers the relevant products. Both buyers and sellers gain from it since the first receive a thing that they like and the second boost their sales.
The Bebe shop has creatively improved this functionality. In case you've just entered the site and haven't watched 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.
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 much 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 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 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, 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, 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 Warby Parker
Jet, the eCommerce site of various goods, offers an interactive shopping cart that automatically recalculates 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 on choosing 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 a competent advice, do not hesitate to contact us. Our managers are glad to assist at any moment of day or night!