"Strong search functionality is [also] essential," says Darren Hill, cofounder & CEO, WebLinc, a commerce and operations management platform. "It's been estimated that up to 30 percent of visitors [to ecommerce sites] utilize site search. Search users can convert at 50 to 80 percent higher rates than non-search users. But if site visitors don't find the products they're looking for, they'll hit the back button and visit your competitor's site. [So] when designing your site, [include an] easily visible [search box], so shoppers [can] quickly find what they need."
4. Your ecommerce site should have great original photos and helpful product descriptions.
"One of the biggest mistakes I see looking through hundreds of [ecommerce sites] a day is homogeneity of experience - the same stock images and the same stock descriptions used on store after store in the same niche," says Joe Sinkwitz, CEO ofIntellifluence, an influencer marketing service for ecommerce stores.
"Not only is Google not going to provide a ranking benefit for duplicated content, a cosumer that is shopping around is going to think you're all the same and make a decision solely on price," he explains. Instead, "go the extra yard to differentiate: create videos of your products, take custom photos and write descriptions as though an actual human is reading them instead of a brand robot."
"A picture is worth a thousand words," says BJ Nickol, cofounder & president, All American Clothing Co. "People are very visual and will often form an opinion about your business and/or products within seconds of seeing your site. If you want to give people a good first impression and improve your conversions you need to have great imagery."
"High quality, professional photos are a must for increasing conversions," says Drysdale. "Customers want real pictures of your actual product. If you're selling someone else's products it's worth it to take your own pictures and add something different to them that helps you stand out from the competition."
5. Your ecommerce site should feature customer reviews - and make it easy for customers to leave reviews.
"Customers trust fellow customers much more than they trust retailers or brands trying to sell them something," says Faraz Mohammed, director of advanced technology solutions, R&D, at Nisum, a digital services and consulting company. "Fortunately, ecommerce sites can make the most of digital word of mouth by [providing] online reviews and responding accordingly."
"Having product reviews drives traffic and conversion, [by] up to 44 percent," says Erik Skurka, vice president of Product at PowerReviews. "Shoppers expect unbiased and informative reviews from fellow shoppers to help drive their purchase decisions. Make sure those star ratings snippets are on your category pages, and above the fold on product detail pages to help drive visibility."
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