How to Create Successful Shopping Website
Useful tips for small business owners want to have online shopping website
Before hiring a web designer, as a owner of the site you need to prepare all the information for your site.
such as hosting company should support php, or shopping cart implementation. Do not let designer own your hosting or someone else, in future you might change your designer or business partner.
If you own the domain name and hosting, you can avoid many legal and technical hassles
Start with a realistic budget! if you do not have any marketing budget or time, just do not even bother to see a designer, more likely you will have disappointments
If you will not listen to your web designer’s suggestions, maybe you are not ready to cooperate with others, then get ready dealing with problems in future.
How can you have an effective online shopping website ?
- Your website should be User Friendly ; which means, focus on your goal, if you want to sell something online, let the user quickly navigate on your site,
you need to offer clear buy now/ add to cart buttons
- Start small! Put only your best item online, do not try to compete with cheap products that you can get anywhere. Think about the cost.
If you have 50 products online for sale, you can have a website that will cost about $750 – $ 1500. If you have more money, invest for the advertisement of your site.
- For online payment Paypal method is very affordable. You do not have to deal with SSL certificate, secure site, ( which means costly hosting ).
Paypal also offers flexible payment option;
paypal login or just pay with credit card and offers customize buttons.
- Make sure that your website provides your real shop address with a map and phone number under either contact page, or bottom of every page.
Most visitors avoid buying anything online without a proper address!
If you want people to sign up to your site, you must understand that they want least possible information to be filled up. If you require street number, zip code, telephone number etc. ,
the user should also be made clear that why you need that information.
- It is not a good idea having a website requires password login / membership before even seeing what is for sale on the site. It’s also extremely difficult for these site’s SEO.
- Do not overdose information in the first page. It’s very important that your first page, you got 3 seconds only. Your website’s first loading time is critical. It should load fast! More photos, videos, a lot of writing will make your site slow down.
- Flash galleries, animations are nice, but also remember, they are terrible for SEO ( Search Engine Optimisation ). Flash does not work on ipad and iphone. There are many companies also use flash blockers as well as many home PC/MAC users. Be cautions where you want to use flash…
- Focus on your sale items. Very showy website might not be the good idea always. Having large photos as background will make your site load slow, also distract the visitors.
- A good website should convey consistency. Easy navigation, easy readable text on the site always big plus.
- Avoid using music on the site as soon as it opens. Not everyone have same music taste. Give the users option with a button to click if they want to listen your music.
- Update your content, if your website does not bring new content , expect not much visitors.
- Do some networking! Support your website, with a blog, printed ads ( newspaper, business card, flyer, newsletter ads) , use word of mouth, facebook, twitter pages.
- Content is everything. Have short texts . If you need to describe more, supply a lot of technical information, supply these as pdf document, let user download or print.
Nobody likes to read ( people hate scrolling) excessive text on the screen.
- Avoid using funky fonts. The typography of a web page is very important. If is not readable, you lost visitors. Never ever use black background with small grey text. It’s not cool, it’s just stupid.
- Also avoid using a lot of gif animation and too many advertisement on your site. Animated gif’s are annoying, as well as flash ads splashing around the screen. Keep it minimal!
- If you have a lot of pages or products on the page, make sure users find them easily. Supply for visitors a good search box and decent site map!
- Searching your shopping carts are very crucial to any E-Commerce web site. Make sure the user can easily search the item, remove or add to the cart.
- Pay attention to your visitors. Which pages they look at, which month you get more click, think about what could be the reason.
- Ranking popularity is important. Try to get inbound links to your website.
- When you look at clicks on your website, pay attention to unique clicks. Spiders, robots crawl the site regularly, do not mistake them as individual user clicks!
- Remove all the dead links from your website. Nothing can be more annoying than click some link, and it’s broken! You may try this website to check your broken links: http://validator.w3.org/checklink/
or this site: http://www.brokenlinkcheck.com/
You should periodically check your PR ( page rank ) rate:
PageRank is only one of numerous methods Google uses to determine a page’s relevance or importance.
Written by NUR KARLICA ROY
Web Designer & Photographer
Portland, Oregon, USA