How to Have the Best ECommerce Site


Content precedes design. Design in the absence of content is not design, it’s decoration.  – Jeffrey Zeldman, Zappos


Apple has shown us that when you design something well, user engagement and then profit will follow. Yet for all the time and effort devoted to designing great products, few online storefronts stack up to effectively convert browsers to buyers. This is true in B2C and B2B sites, whether you’re selling products or services.


As business owners, we become emotionally tied to our brand identity and it can become difficult to evaluate our digital presence with critical eyes. Luckily there’s a simple trigger to determine when you need to take a fresh look at things. Your conversion rate.


The Big Reason No-one Is Buying What You’re Selling


“The best design isn’t the one that [just] makes your company look cool and edgy and sophisticated. It’s the design that supports conversion, has room for cool copy, and power calls-to action that make people click the big orange button” – Brian Massey



When your site is achieving decent traffic numbers but still not moving the needle on conversions (leads, sales, email sign ups etc…) it’s time to call in the cavalry.


Let’s have a look at some of the basic starting points.


Improve your landing or Product page quality


  • Prominently display helpful customer reviews. If you’ve solved a problem or delighted one customer, others will be encouraged to have the same experience.



  • Product videos allow your product to be seen ‘ in real life’. Showing movement, flow, scale and size all contribute to the buying decision.


  • Develop unique product descriptions that target buyer pain points and highlight how your product or service solves their problem. Don’t simply regurgitate product descriptions from suppliers or head office.


  • Prominent calls to action are incredibly important to lead your buyer down the path you want them to take. Don’t hide pricing and terms, make it clear and easy to buy.


  • High-quality images showcasing products for size, scale, texture, pattern and detail are incredibly important. The detail in high-quality images contributes to our willingness to buy.  The same can be said for the context of the image. Is it aspirational? Is it clear what you’re selling? Does the buyer want to put themselves in the picture?



  • Trust and authenticity are built on numbers, so where possible show results, product numbers purchased and happy customers.



Engage & Retain

  • Loyalty and referral programs reward your buyers for choosing you and will encourage higher site return visits, giving you more opportunities to make a sale.


  • Free trials or product demonstrations do a long way to removing hesitation.  If you can’t provide these then use video to clearly demonstrate your products in multiple ways.


  • Real-time support can answer questions as they happen, removing the number of click away.


  • Multiple customer contact options help your customers order the way that best suits them. It also provides greater confidence in the level of customer service available.


  • Wishlist functions offer more than the benefit of higher sales. Prompts to ‘add to wishlist’ can help avoid high cart abandonment rates when customers start using the cart as a defacto wishlist.


  • Upsell and cross-sell opportunities occur at multiple points on your website. From individual product pages, you can add “frequently bought together” or “worn with” links to other items pictured. Your cart also presents opportunities to upsell products to reach free shipping levels.



User Experience / User Centric Design

  • Having a mobile responsive website is critical to online business success. 62% of smartphone users have made a purchase online in the last 6 months. Statistics show that 40% of users will go to the competitor after a bad mobile experience, yet an alarming 84% have experienced difficulty completing a mobile transaction.


  • You have only seconds to capture attention, two to three seconds to be exact. In fact, just a one-second delay in page load time can cut conversions by 7 percent.


  • Breakdown large chunky text blocks into short, sharp bullet points or smaller text blocks using plenty of white space. Giving your text breathing space is not only easier on the eye but improves conversion rates by pulling attention to the critical pieces of information that matter.




  • Put your high-value products above the fold – this is your most valuable site real estate and you should be using it to showcase your hero products that both inspire and best convey your unique value proposition.



It’s critical to understand that optimization isn’t just about increasing conversion or revenue by testing different site treatments and page elements.

Optimization done right is a cycle of continual improvement based on learning more about your customers’ needs, and how best to fulfill them consistently, even as they evolve over time. – Hunter Boyle



Although it can sometimes seem like it, marketing isn’t magic, it’s science with creativity.


We’ve barely scratched the surface here on conversion optimisation for e-commerce. The strategic and growth advantage that in-depth conversion optimisation can give your business is monumental. How does your site stack up?

Find out with a FREE audit for a limited time – simply contact us to book an appointment with one of our specialists.

Candice DeVille

Candice DeVille

As Director of Content and Accounts, Candice DeVille is a digital veteran with over 15 years experience working with clients like Mercedes-Benz, Neutrogena, and Samsung. As an influential marketer, she has spoken and conducted training for ProBlogger Conference, PRIA, and General Assembly while also being featured on CNN Asia and ABC Radio National. She also grew her own blog from 0 to 100k monthly readers in 2 years, while amassing a YouTube account with 20k subscribers and 2.4 million views!
Candice DeVille

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