What Distinguishes Good E-commerce Stores From Bad Ones?

A good e-commerce website is one that makes a lot of sales and generates enough profit. This much is certain. It’s also safe to say that a good e-commerce website optimizes its relationship with the customers and takes advantage of that company’s full potential. While these claims are definitely true, they really don’t offer an actionable answer. 

Sure, success and profit are obvious objectives of an e-commerce store but what elements contribute to this success. How are these success rates improved and what can an e-commerce website owner do to improve on it? Here are a couple of things to keep your eye out for. Here are the top 10 elements that help distinguish a good e-commerce store from a bad one. Let’s take a look at this list.

1. Buying without registration

Users want to buy in as few steps as possible. Ideally, they wouldn’t have to change apps (to authenticate the request), leave too much personal information, especially if they’re not relevant to the purchase.

Second, while you want an option to send them your post-sale follow-up letters, you need to give them a chance to skip this, if they feel like it. Pressing them to register is usually a move that will backfire. Sure, you can create an offer that will incentivize them to do so. A loyalty program or a referral program will usually do the trick.

2. Mobile-friendliness

The majority of the online audience is browsing the internet through their smartphones. Therefore, you need to invest heavily in mobile-friendliness. Sure, 50% of online transactions go through mobile shopping accounts but the number goes even further.

You see, optimizing your mobile site will impact even your offline sales. Roughly 80% of all local mobile inquiries end up being offline sales. Also, just because someone will buy via a desktop device, this doesn’t mean that they haven’t previously checked you out via a phone. Some brands even choose to go mobile-first.

3. Include multiple payment options

What do you think happens when you’re not supporting the payment options that your customers have available? Are they going to commit so hard to buy from you that they’re going to apply for this payment method and wait patiently so that they can buy on your e-store?

Doesn’t just saying it like that sound… well, ridiculous. In today’s oversaturated world of e-commerce, they’re just going to go someplace else. This is why all professional merchant services offer a wide variety of payment solutions. This way, you’re not taking the risk described earlier.

4. Brand loyalty is not as big as you think

The biggest paradox of modern marketing is that brand loyalty is not nearly as big as before. Sure, people like to buy from a known vendor but they’re also likely to jump ship as soon as there’s a better offer elsewhere.

So, don’t get too confident or assume that your position on the market is so firm that you no longer have to innovate. Limited-time offers, sales, and other methods are crucial even in moments where you’re completely satisfied with your sales and the position of your brand on the market. 

5. High-quality images

When it comes to e-commerce, you have more to worry about than just the quality of your products/packaging. You see, there’s a period where your audience doesn’t have access to your products. It’s not like they’re in a brick-and-mortar store, where they can physically examine the product.

Therefore, you need to give them as faithful experience as possible. This means going for high-quality images. First, in their minds, quality images and quality products have a strong correlation. Second, high image quality ensures that they can inspect all the details.

6. User-generated reviews

Buyers can easily identify which reviews were user-generated and which were made by marketers. The jargon is different, the points that are stressed out are greatly different, and there are (quite suspiciously) no negative reviews to be seen.

What does this mean? Well, first of all, even the best product has negative reviews, even overwhelmingly (unfairly) negative reviews. The absence of a devil’s advocate will make your online presence look suspicious. Sure, these need to be few in number and the rating needs to be overwhelmingly positive. Once you achieve this, you’ll have a much more authentic-looking platform.

7. Wish list

Now, wish lists are incredible, seeing as how they provide everyone with the exact thing they need. How so? Well, first of all, a customer can put an item onto their wish list and get notified when, and if, this item goes on sale.

For the retailer, wish lists are a useful piece of insight into what their audience is interested in. It’s also great seeing as how it organically explains your shopping cart abandonment. There’s a reason why they didn’t proceed with their purchase. Also, the item that’s most often on the wish list is a potential best-seller. You just need to give these things a little nudge. 

8. Transparency

There is a lot of fear regarding what the price will be once the taxes and shipping costs are added to the base price. One of the ways to do so is to include a calculator. This way, your customers can enter their ZIP code in order to see exactly what the total price will come down to.

This kind of transparency will not only generate more sales but also help make it easier to establish a relationship based on price. Fewer surprises on your part mean more trust on their part in the long run. The equation really is that simple.

9. Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

The FAQ section is the best way of helping your audience find the answer that they’re looking for without having to go through the extra effort. This way, they don’t have to contact your customer service or even ask questions in an online forum.

All they have to do is go to the FAQ section and navigate to the right category. However, it’s incredibly important that your answers are concise and simple. Remember, you’re talking to laymen, which means that there’s no such thing as too much information.

10. Security certificate

When spending their own money, people want to make sure that their investment and personal information (especially credit card information) are secure. So, what you’re looking for is an SSL certificate.

You’d be surprised at how many people look for a green lock in the address bar before proceeding with the purchase. Sure, this is not a guarantee that everything will be 100% safe but it’s a prerequisite for earning a bit of extra trust with your target audience.

In conclusion

In the end, each of the above-listed elements is mandatory for a modern e-commerce site. While statistics do show that each of the above-listed elements leads to a great ROI, the benefits are also quite self-explaining.

More payment methods, more information, higher emphasis on competitiveness, etc., are all things that lead directly to a better performance of your platform. Fortunately, these are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many other things that can you can do in order to improve the performance of your own e-store.

John Kilmerstone

I'm an Aussie living in Japan who enjoys traveling, photography, and blogging. Please visit this website and explore the wonderful world of blogging. Discover how to turn your passions and pastimes into an online business.

Recent Posts