These Are the 7 Things Every E-Commerce Site Needs

These Are the 7 Things Every E-Commerce Site Needs

When you see commercials for web hosting companies on TV, you’re likely to get the impression that running an e-commerce website requires almost no effort at all. The commercials would have you believe that all you need to do is plug your products into one of the hosting company’s easy-to-use templates, and you’ll be flooded with sales instantly.

Unfortunately, e-commerce doesn’t work that way in real life. The truth is that getting traffic – and converting that traffic into revenue – is extremely difficult.

Have you launched an e-commerce site recently, and are you disappointed with the results? Maybe you haven’t actually entered the e-commerce industry yet, and you want to know what you need to do in order to get your site ready for its launch. Either way, this is the article for you. In it, we’re going to provide a step-by-step roadmap of the things that your e-commerce site needs to have before it’ll be ready for customers. Let’s jump in.

Well-Defined Niche and Selling Proposition

Before you even get started in the world of e-commerce, you need to know what you’re going to sell and need to have an idea of how difficult it’s going to be to break into that market. How well entrenched are your potential competitors, and do you have a legitimate chance of succeeding?

You also need to know what your unique selling proposition is. No matter what industry you ultimately decide to enter, there’s going to be plenty of existing competition. Why should people buy from you instead of just continuing to buy from the sellers they’ve always patronized? You need to be able to answer that question in one sentence, and you need to find a way to make your selling proposition a prominent part of your website’s messaging.

Catchy Domain Name and Business Name

If you’re going to run an e-commerce business, it’s important to remember that your domain name and the name of your business are essentially the same. That may mean you’ll need to be a little flexible about what you ultimately call your business because it’s going to turn out that many of your domain name ideas will already be owned by other people.

A good domain name is always catchy, memorable and as short as possible. Think about the websites that you visit daily – they almost certainly all have short domain names that are easy to remember and even easier to type.

It’s also useful to have a domain name that relates directly to what you sell. Just look at a website like Cloud City – it’s a vape shop, and with the word “Cloud” in the name, it’s very obvious that the website relates to vaping. You know what you’re going to find there before you even click the link.

Professional Home Page Layout

If you want your e-commerce site to stand out from the crowd, you should know before you begin that you’re probably going to incur some development expenses. Look at the free website templates that your hosting company provides, and then search online to see what your competitors’ sites look like. Look at everything with a critical eye and evaluate it honestly. Where would you feel most comfortable spending your money? People who visit your website will decide within seconds whether they think your site looks professional and trustworthy.

The good news is that there are so many freelance website developers in the world that you shouldn’t have to spend a lot of money to get a site that looks professional and doesn’t look like a clone of everything else out there.

Policy and Contact Information

If you want people to think of your website as a legitimate business, it needs to have pages that explain your shipping and return policies. If you’re selling a service, you’ll need to have a page explaining how the service works. Your website needs to answer every question that potential customers might have, or people won’t feel comfortable buying from you.

Your website also needs a page with clear contact information. At minimum, you’ll need to provide an email address – but it’s wise to have a phone number as well. Remember that if people get the impression that you’re trying to make yourself hard to reach, they might conclude that you’re operating a scam.

Product Page Text

Your pages for individual products will always be the most important pages on your website because any web searches that lead people to those pages will be very likely to lead to sales. If you want your product pages to receive traffic, they must have unique text. Don’t just copy the product description text from your distributor – write your own text. You ignore this advice at your own peril. If your website’s product text is copied from another source, Google will be highly unlikely to send traffic to those pages and may not even index the pages at all.

Category Page Text

Once your product description text is in place, the next step is to add original text to your product category pages. A category page should never just be a list of products because category pages have the potential to show up on Google for broad, competitive searches that receive large volumes of traffic. A category page should always have several hundred words of text that would be useful and relevant to someone who might be interested in buying one of the products listed on that page.

High-Quality Product Pictures

When it comes to product pictures, this is another case where you definitely don’t want to use the stock photos provided by your distributor. If you’ve ever used Google Images before, you know that the results pages don’t just show the same images over and over. Google looks for pictures that aren’t shown anywhere else, so each individual picture is generally shown only once. In other words, you need to provide your own original photography if you want to show up on Google Images.

In some industries, appearing on Google Images is extremely important because many people use image searches as a very important part of the buying process. They’ll browse through dozens or even hundreds of product images before clicking through to a website and buying something – so if your website doesn’t have original product photos, you’re potentially missing out on a very important revenue stream.


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