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Ecommerce Website; Is it Working for Your Business?

Published on August 3, 2012
Tags: Web Design London

We have known for quite a while now that ecommerce websites can potentially be a very big business indeed, not least because the UK is said to be the e-retail capital of Europe with 2011 online sales figures of £68.2bn, according to IMRG. This helps to highlight the fact that there is a lot of opportunity out there for businesses looking to find revenue online, and ecommerce web design is undoubtedly a big part of making the most of that opportunity.

Despite this wealth of opportunity and very impressive sales figures, however, we cannot deny that the world of e-retail is more competitive than it has ever been, with several big players dominating many online retail markets. This means that businesses need to be making the most of their ecommerce website design to help them stay competitive and make the most of their potential.

There are quite a few different issues that could have an impact on how well your website is working for your business, and this article won’t touch on all of them, but here are some of the issues to consider when trying to get the most out of your ecommerce website.

Developing a promotions strategy
With so many different ecommerce websites out there all trying to make a living, promoting your site properly has never been more important. A vital part of this relates to search engine optimisation (SEO) and how people actually find your website.

More than 90% of all UK internet searches are now conducted through Google, so making sure your site is properly optimised is extremely sensible. However, using SEO to try and boost your site’s ranking in relevant search results is not just about optimising keywords and undertaking link-building campaigns.

Recent Google algorithm updates have put a greater focus on quality, so even though factors such as keywords are still important for getting your site noticed, creating a high quality site filled with interesting content is even more important. Other updates, such as Google Venice, have placed more of an emphasis on local search, so this is something that you will need to consider in your ecommerce SEO strategy.

Can your site be used on mobiles?
No matter how well your ecommerce web design works on a desktop computer or a laptop, if it fails to perform properly on a tablet or smartphone, your business could well be losing out. The e-retail market for smartphones is growing fast. According to one survey from Econsultancy, 13% of UK consumers have made a purchase through their mobiles and almost a fifth use their phones to research prices or reviews of products while they are shopping.

Plus, according to figures from the US, if a mobile ecommerce site doesn’t load within 3 seconds, 40% of people will abandon that site. This helps to illustrate the growing importance of mobile device compliance for ecommerce websites, and the growing market that businesses could potentially tap into. However, with many companies not yet creating a mobile internet strategy, many are missing out. Making sure your ecommerce site is fully operational on mobile internet devices is increasingly important.

How does the site work?
As well as specific, practical issues such as SEO and the mobile internet, there are also some more general issues to consider when deciding whether you are getting as much as possible out of your ecommerce website design.

For example, how does the site actually work? Navigation is one of the crucial issues here, as is speed – not least because many ecommerce sites are image-heavy by nature, which can slow down the speed of a site. Product images are important, but businesses should also ensure that all of the images on their site are relevant and properly optimised to help avoid any problems that might otherwise occur when the website is trying to load.

Of course, the checkout procedure is another of the crucial elements for businesses looking to make more of their ecommerce sites: is this as smooth and efficient as it could possibly be? How many steps does it take from a consumer deciding to make a purchase to actually hitting the order button? Slow or confusing ecommerce sites are not popular, so making sure the experience is seamless from start to finish should be high on the priority list of any site looking to increase its share of the e-retail boom.

By Chelsey Evans

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