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eCommerce basics – Make the most of your shop

I regularly review customers’ shops and there are a few important areas that are often overlooked but are still extremely important. Sometimes these small little fixes can change how professional your site looks to your customers. Here are a few pointers to get the basics right.

Favicon

This is your ‘favourites icon’ and you’ll spot it on all e-commerce websites – it’s the little icon that appears in the browser tab. The last thing your customer wants to see is a generic shop logo that everyone else has.

Users are used to seeing a favicon and it’s usually a mini version of your logo, a snippet of it or your company initial. As eyes are drawn to images before text, it’ll make your shop stand out as users can quickly find your site if several tabs are open or when browsing bookmarks, for example. The favicon also appears in browsing history… it’s everywhere! It can save users time – we all know that online shoppers have a shorter attention span than goldfish! By simply adding a favicon you can build your brand and add credibility and trust. I use the following to create them: www.xiconeditor.com Size it at 16x16px and you can follow this guide to add it to your shop EKM Favicon Guide

Content

Product and Category Descriptions Search engines love fresh, unique, relevant content. Ensure that all of your products and categories have detailed descriptions – see Step 1 under the Marketing tab in your shop to see if you’ve missed any of your products. Don’t simply copy and paste descriptions from your manufacturer – this can have a negative effect on your search rankings. We have a great guide on writing product descriptions, here Product Description Guide

Images

Ensure you add an image to all of your products, too; you can also check this under Step 1. Your images need to be of a good quality to convey professionalism. Would you buy a product that’s plonked on a kitchen table with a load of clutter in the background? No! There’s a good guide to taking photos here. Also, make sure that your images aren’t too big – this can affect your page load time which can be tested on Google Page Speed Insights – it will highlight any images you need to compress. To optimise them you can use https://tinypng.com/

About Us

How often do you read up on a company before spending your hard earned cash on their online shop? What helps you gain their trust so you buy from them? One of the first ports of call is the ‘About Us’ web page. This is where you should provide a brief summary of your business and its history. Add the human touch, make it personal, make an impression. You can set the tone and build confidence. Tell your story. Just ask yourself – how do you want to be perceived by your customers? Another nice touch is to include photos of your staff or a team photo. I like this one www.thewilloughbybookclub.co.uk/about-us-1-w.asp. EKM users can add a web page under Design > Web pages.

Contact Us

Following on from Nick’s point here about building trust by showing your location and providing contact details, make it as easy as possible for visitors to make contact via a ‘Contact Us’ web page. Use a contact form so visitors can quickly fill out their details and send you a message with the click of a button (these emails will go to your Shop Email Address, see Settings > Outgoing Emails). You can easily add one by following this guide. If you also list your email address, make it clickable for ease.

Delivery

Thinking about conversions, there’s plenty of research out there saying that a lack of delivery options leads to abandoned orders and that free delivery, of course, encourages visitors to use a website so it’s worthwhile taking these points into consideration. More importantly, and getting back to basics, ensure you publicise your delivery costs – a lack of information may lead to a potential customer hesitating and rethinking their purchase – they want clear information and certainly don’t want a big surprise when they reach the checkout! Like the aforementioned ‘About Us’ and ‘Contact Us’ pages, add a ‘Delivery’ web page too.

To avoid any issues for you or your customers, ensure you use the delivery settings to their full potential. If for example, you have different delivery costs for different parts of the UK it’s advisable to enable location restrictions for your methods – you can allow or disallow postcodes. Say you’ve ‘allowed’ Preston postcodes by entering PR1-5 in the setup – only customers entering a Preston postcode are eligible for this method during the checkout process. You can find a useful guide here.

Social Media

Social media is a massively powerful tool for generating and retaining customers. Ensure you link your business accounts to your shop using the Social Plugins feature. Social media advice can be found here and in my recent EKM eCommerce Expert’s Top Tips Facebook video.

Submit Your Sitemap

This is often overlooked. Submit your sitemap in Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools so your shop is indexed and appears in Google, Bing and Yahoo search results. EKM shop owners should submit their sitemap in the following format: https://www.domainname.co.uk/sitemap.xml

 

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