Critical Elements Of An Ecommerce Website
‘About Us’ Page
To establish your credibility, you need to write an ‘About Us’ page to tell your customers what your business is about, the services you offer, and what they can expect from you in general. This page is very effective in boosting customer confidence. Since many online shoppers view the ‘About Us’ pages of any business before making purchases, you risk losing customers if you do not include this page when designing your website.
‘Contact Us’ Page
In the event that the customer needs more information about your products, or faces problems with product delivery, this ‘Contact Us’ page will supply the necessary contact information they need. Be sure to include not only your email address, but also your mailing address and a toll-free phone number, if you have one.
The FAQ page provides additional relevant details about your products and services. Since many customers may be unsure of whether to make the purchase because they lack the information they need, an ‘FAQ’ page can give your prospect the extra ‘push’ needed to close the sale.
List all the queries that you think your customers will have on the FAQ page. By anticipating the customers’ queries and answering them on the FAQ page beforehand, you’re increasing the confidence of your customers and saving yourself lots of valuable time. Simply direct your customers to check out the FAQ page first before contacting you for more information, to avoid the hassles of answering every single query that comes your way.
So how should you structure your FAQ page? First, group your questions into relevant categories, and position all the questions near the top of the FAQ page, in numbered lists. This is to provide your customers with an overview of all the questions. After which, you should follow with the individual questions and the answers.
For any online business, testimonials are essential for establishing your credibility. Testimonials form credible and unbiased recommendations for your product, and they are, by far, one of the easiest ways to increase your sales.
Why are testimonials so effective for your online business? If your customers are exposed to comments of people like themselves who have used your products before, the trust between you and your customers is stronger. Hence, testimonials can overcome the skepticism of any hesitant customers, by confirming that your products do give them the benefits you promised on your website.
Of course, apart from dedicating one entire page for your customer testimonials, you should also display your testimonials prominently throughout your website. You can place them on the front and center of your HOME page, or on the sidebars. Be sure to place at least one testimonial on every page so that your visitors will always be exposed to the positive comments about your products, no matter which webpage your visitor happens to be browsing.
To get testimonials for your website, simply contact your customers either by email or by phone, and ask for their feedback of your products. Ask them specifically how your products benefited them, and whether they were satisfied with your products. Also ask them to include details like name, country and HOMEtown on the testimonial to further establish credibility.
Shopping Cart Functions
If your online business sells a huge catalogue of products, you definitely require a shopping cart to process the customers’ orders and calculate the total charges. The shopping cart also submits the data securely to your payment processor, so that you can accept credit card payments from your customers.
When selecting a shopping cart, remember that customer convenience is a very important consideration. Customers should be able to browse your products and add items to their shopping cart easily without going through too many clicks. This certainly creates an impression of professionalism in the eyes of your customers.
Of course, an online business is not truly ‘online’ without the ability to accept credit cards over the internet. It is an undeniable fact that over 80% of most online businesses accept customer payments with credit cards, instead of checks or over the phone. Hence, you definitely need to be able to accept credit card payments online, in order to cater to the payment preferences of your entire market satisfactorily.
There are various payment processors available; well-known companies like Paypal, 2CheckOut and ClickBank immediately come to mind. Different credit card payment processors charge different fees and offer unique services, so the exact choice of a payment processor is up to you.
Live Chat Service
Whenever possible, you should include a live chat service on your website. Of course, at least one of your business staff will have to be available for a certain number of hours each day, to answer the queries and requests of your customers. Such a service can dramatically increase the reputation and credibility of your business, and ultimately your profit margin.
Usually, such a live chat service cannot be implemented for free. There are many companies on the net that provide this live chat service, and most will need you to pay a monthly fee to install their live chat software on your site. However, the benefits of having this live chat service may far outweigh the costs, so do not be put off by the fees easily.