According to Statista, e-commerce sales are expected to be approximately $3.4 trillion by the end of 2019. The sales are projected to rise even more in the coming years.  If such statistics are anything to go by, when you finally decide to set up an e-commerce site, it needs to be top-notch for you to get a chance in the industry. 

Developing an e-commerce site is a bit complex compared to other types of sites. There needs to be a good user interface, experience, secure payment plans, etc. Some things need to be put into consideration for it to work.

Here are some of the things to consider when developing your e-commerce website. 

1.    Make the site mobile friendly

A mobile-friendly site is almost mandatory, and it is the only way to stay in the market as a huge portion of users use their mobile phones to access e-commerce sites. 

Before getting started, make sure the site is mobile friendly as Google will index your mobile site. A significant number of users will often access your site through their phones, and you don’t want anybody being left out. 

Using a responsive design allows site developers to develop a site which is viewable in different device sizes.  Such an approach ensures that layouts and images are flexible.  Most often, when the responsive design is used, it detects the visitor’s screen size which changes the site layout to suit the size of the device used. 

The feature should be optimized on all pages to make the user’s experience seamless. 

2.    Guest checkouts

Companies owning e-commerce sites will often want their users to create an account to make a purchase, especially for follow up communication. 

Ever thought that probably a client could be a one-time client? You know how sign up popups are annoying especially when you get to a site? The same case applies even in an e-commerce site. 

Keep in mind; not everybody wants to create an account to purchase what they want.  Give people an option to decide if they’re going to create the account or not.

Repeat clients will want to create an account to receive discounts and notifications of any upcoming sales. 

3.    Site search

The site search functionality is an asset towards client acquisition for e-commerce websites.  Here’s why:

    People who use the site search feature have a specific intention of purchasing.  Such consumers are trying to find something specific and expect the search results to bring accurate results. 

    Site search is a significant interaction point for consumers and has the potential of making or breaking the user experience. If they don’t get the information they need, they most likely leave the site. 

    The autocomplete feature also helps users by offering suggestions once they start typing which makes the process fast. It also helps them not misspell words. Autocomplete boosts conversion rates. 

When developing your site, ensure there is a search feature to make the user experience better. Users hate clicking on something, and a 404-page error pops up. It puts them off and may end up leaving your site.

 Try updating your site frequently and checking its functionality to ensure there are no broken links. Just as windows updates get stuck as explained here it is normal for your site to break down sometimes, you need to be on the lookout to avoid such incidents.

Once clients find it easy to search for products, they’ll want to keep coming back when they need products which increase your ROI. 

4.    Site loading speed

Just as any other website, the loading speed is a huge determinant of whether people will stick around or not. Optimize your site in a way that it loads in less than three seconds. 

To increase the speed,

    Use a Content Delivery Network to host your media files. This reduces your bandwidth by 60% and the number of requests your site makes. 

    Install a caching plugin.

    Clear your database. Most often, your database becomes messy due to saved drafts or deactivated plugins. Get a useful plugin to help you clean up your database to increase your site loading speed.

    Fixing broken links also increases the loading speed. You can use Google Webmaster Tools or Ahrefs for this. 

5.    Clear product images

Have you ever clicked on a page and found blurry photos and they just put you off?  The product images displayed on your site should be high resolution and clear ones.  Remember to optimize them for mobile phones and laptops as well. 

Users are visual and will get attracted to what they see and read. Optimize your images to create higher chances of purchases. 

As you develop your e-commerce site, always have the user in mind. The focus should be providing a great experience for them to come back and even refer people.

Image; DepositPhotos