Selling online is easy – you use an ecommerce platform like Shopify, Infusionsoft, BigCommerce, Volusion or one of many other solutions and you’re done. Right? No.
To successfully sell online it takes specific strategies and best practices.
Julie Grace is the head of engineering at Tindie.com, a community for buying Arduino producdts – interactive electronic objects. Julie gives some awesome tips in how to ensure YOUR eCommerce business runs smoothly, profitably and grows!
The full story is at First Round Review, my excerpts are below.
Have a great browsing experience:
“When you’re a small startup, you don’t need to hurry to implement search,” says Grace. “If your product catalog starts out small and people don’t know what to explicitly search for, then the best thing you can do is optimize for browsing. The worst thing you can do is prematurely build features like search right out of the gate.”
Take customer feedback seriously: Tindie also took customer feedback very seriously, keeping a close eye on how people chose to engage or critique the site’s navigation.
Have a great search option: You can build your own custom search engine, or use a 3rd party search service. Both options can be useful.
Most importantly, you need to be mindful of how your search system can impact your SEO — especially when you’re trying to build brand presence, she says. At first, Tindie would generate unique URLs for search results and products based on the parameters customers selected (like price range, etc.). This led to inaccurate results, which damaged the company’s Google rankings. “When you start thinking about search, you have to consider the functionality, but you also need to think long-term about URL structure and whether you’re ‘polluting’ your Google search results with all these additional pages that are useless to customers. These can have a very negative impact on your SEO, which directly affects your brand.”
Be Thoughtful About How You Route People
When it comes to optimizing conversions, you want to make sure you’re directing traffic in ways that keep people on your site, even if they don’t find exactly what they want.
Other tips include:
- Don’t force your users to create an account before they can buy
- Avoid gimmicks to extract customer information
- Make your checkout experience fool-proof.
- Keep your company’s ‘About’ section minimal
- Invent the Best Shopping Cart