What do you do when you search online for a product and land on a company’s website? Whether consciously or subconsciously, we all perform checks before considering a purchase. It makes sense that we want to make sure this company we haven’t dealt with before is trustworthy, before punching in our credit card details. We need to know who we’re buying from, that they’re reputable, and be assured we’ll receive the product and appropriate service.
So what things help us as online shoppers to tick the boxes? There’s some really simple, but extremely valuable, information that all businesses can include on their website to help potential customers overcome that first barrier to buying online from a business new to them.
Cross these 10 items off the list and you’ll know you have a great basis for winning over new online shoppers.
Here’s the Top 10 must-haves for your e-commerce website.
Write about your business how you would expect to be spoken to. It’s okay to show some personality, just ensure that it matches your brand in style and tone.
Try to avoid overusing certain words like “great” and “good”. Here’s a handy infographic for describing a range of items.
Imagine you’re writing to just one person. Read everything out loud and see if it sounds comfortable. If you’re having trouble, record yourself talking about your business and products to (either a real or imaginary) someone. Then listen back and write down what was said, without “ums” and “ahs”.
The “About” page is often the first place consumers visit when trying to decide whether to spend time (and money) with you. Are you a legitimate business, are you a company they can get behind, are you a brand that has a personality?
- A succinct story of your business
- Where have you / the business come from?
- If you’ve been in business for a while, how have things changed over the years?
- If this is a new venture, what made you start down this path?
- The year your business was established
- The amount of years overall experience you have
- Information on staff to show there’s real people behind the business
- Group photo or head shots
- Quirky facts or personality desciptions
- Relevant backgrounds
And while the “About” section is about you and the business, remember to think of your audience and what you can do for them; tell them why your business is such a good fit for consumers.
We’re a nation obsessed, with 90% of New Zealanders aged 15+ using social media. It is now a necessity to have a Facebook Page for Business, and there’s many positives to being on Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube and more. Read how to choose the right social media platform for your online business.
Here’s how to add quick links from your Storbie website to your social media pages.
Consumers will often check you out on social to see if comments are mostly positive, how fresh your content is, and whether you’re worth a follow or a like, so be sure to keep all channels up to date.
Shopping online is a lot about trust. Consumers want to know that they’ll be able to contact you if there’s an issue, and may also want to ask questions before ordering.
If you have a brick and mortar business, include the location, opening hours and contact numbers.
If you don’t have a physical presence to go with your online store, it can still be beneficial to include a full address. If this isn’t possible or you don’t feel comfortable about it, at least include the city you’re based in.
A phone number and email address should also be included and be up to date.
Clear Product Images and Descriptions
You need to show your products in the best possible light. Take the time to professionally photograph your products. You don’t need to hire an expert or spend a lot of money.
Just a flat table, a clean background, lighting and a camera will do. Use a tripod to ensure photos aren’t blurred, and if you can, view images on a computer as you go.
Products need to be clear for shoppers and search engines. If you’re selling clothing, is the item for men, women, kids, unisex? What is the style? Brand? Pattern? Put the basic information into the title, then a little more into the summary, and again more into the description itself.
Delivery information / Returns
List the options for delivery and pick up as well as the expected timing.
If you allow consumers to pick up from you, is there cut off time to order for same day pick up, and are there any restrictions on hours, or can they turn up whenever? For delivery, how much will it cost and when will items likely arrive?
You may want to consider different pricing options based on regions. If you’re selling from Hamilton, you could offer pricing for:
- North Island
- Rural North Island
- South Island
- Rural South Island
You may also want to provide free shipping if shoppers spend over a certain amount. Be sure to make this clear throughout your website.
Make clear your returns policy and how to get in contact with you if there’s an issue.
Notable Clients / Testimonials
Is a well-known person using your service? Have you got a rave review on Facebook? Share it on your website! It helps build credibility and your reputation – so long as the reviews are authentic and approved.
Be sure to get permission to mention any notable clients, whether they are companies or personalities. Not only is it polite (and in certain circumstances, contractually important), but you may find they are happy to promote you in return.
The same goes for social media reviews. Just because you’ve been tagged in a post, or the comment is left on your page, doesn’t mean you should use it without checking with the person first. You’ll likely find that they’re flattered and more than happy for you to share their review, but not everyone will be comfortable with being quoted for a testimonial.
News and Press
A regularly updated blog or news section can both inform customers and show your passion for your business. It’s a great way to keep content fresh, too.
If you have been featured in the media, either as a strong business, or an expert in your industry, be sure to share this on your Storbie website. It’s a nice humble brag that can build credibility.
If you’ve studied your craft, let consumers know that you’re qualified in your field. Share any relevant certifications and accreditations for you or your company. The same goes if you have backing from, or are part of, an association, or have regulated-approved products.
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