As I was doing research for this article, trying to get an in-depth grasp on what makes an e-commerce site truly effective, I realized that creating a site is a lot like creating a story. I find this analogy compelling not just because it simplifies a concept that can be very technical and heavy with marketing jargon, but also because it provides a holistic view of what you should be considering when you decide to create a site to sell your product.
Firstly, you must identify your audience (read: target market). It is estimated that this year alone there will be over one-hundred-ninety-million digital buyers in the United States. With e-commerce on the rise, it is a virtual guarantee that your target market is buying online. And as business trends head toward specialized niche-markets, businesses can be even more specific when it comes to tailoring their site to appeal to their potential buyers.
This means that when you create a site (or story) you should consider what message you want to convey. If you don’t have an explicit message you are sending, consider how you want your site to make your customers feel. Our professional design team knows that emotions are evoked through different colors, fonts, and features. If you want to sell your homemade jams and make your customers feel like they are buying from their own grandmothers, you will want a different aesthetic than if you are selling your jams as the newest innovation in organic preservatives. This means you need to consider what will appeal to your target audience, as well as what feels most true to you and your brand.
Another thing that our experienced e-commerce developers know is that you need an effortless transition from start to finish. For a writer this means that their story isn’t convoluted, or heavy handed as it goes from beginning, to middle, to end. For a website developer this means that your site guides customers along from homepage, to product, to cart and checkout with ease. Everyone has read a story or essay that needed some serious editing, and everyone has clicked on a website that left them so baffled that they exited out of the whole thing before they made their purchase. If your website isn’t intuitive to navigate you will lose precious clients. That is why at My Basic LLC our team puts in the extra effort upfront to ensure an easy-to-use design that saves your clients effort later.
One way to make things easier on your clients is by tapping into behavior patterns that they have already developed. This can mean something as simple as placing the “check out” button in the top right corner, because people instinctively look to the right to when they are ready to move on. Or it may mean backing off of the pop up messages because people get annoyed when you shove things in their face. The point is to remember not to recreate the wheel. Just as you expect to flip the pages of your book from right to left, (except for the manga enthusiasts out there) your customers expect your layout to function in a predictable fashion.
Finally, every story needs a happy ending, so let me finish by reminding you that you are not in this alone. Facilitating natural e-commerce growth requires a holistic approach that encompasses a lot of nuances that the average person never even considers. And that’s okay! Our team at My Basic LLC has spent the last eight years cultivating the type of insight and experience that makes producing effective sites second nature. Please give us a call because we would love to be part of your story!
–Mallory and the My Basic Team