5 simple things to spruce up your E-Commerce for 2014

5 simple things to spruce up your E-Commerce for 2014


With a new year almost upon us what better time to look at ways to improve your online store which with just a few simple ways can improve your online presence for your users .

1. Usability

This is primarily the process that a user (shopper) goes through to use your website, at the end of the day the user needs to be able to navigate through your website easily and quickly without the user being led into a dead end.

The way i normally approach this is by thinking of a website as a movie, if the plot is bad the user is simply going to get up and leave (or worse complain about it on social media).

2. Design

Look and feel is everything to the overall website, It enhances the users confidence in the site especially for first time users. You are less likely to buy from a run down store on the street that looks like its left over from something the 90s forgot than a store that at least looks like its making an effort in its marketing and online presentation.

In the day and age of mobile computing responsive web design is everything, if your website is not responsively able to handle smartphone and tablet usage in its entirety you are not doing it right!

3. Security

Security is everything if you are storing any sort of user data with the first step being proper SSL certificate which can be bought from most SSL providers (like Godaddy) quite cheaply and can be set up on most common hosting. Once setup this will show the user that data being inputted and sent by the browser is being encrypted and sent to a trusted site by displaying a SSL secure padlock (in most browsers near the URL).

An often overlooked aspect to any site security is knowing who has access to sensitive site information which is why as the primary admin user you need to ensure that only authorised personal have access to the back of house system running your website and also knowing who has access to it. That also includes server side information stored in the site database.

4. Social Media

This in part comes down to digital strategy, if your customers arent connectible via social media then clearly this may not be a valid option however there are probably not many instances (at least none that come to mind) of a demographic that isnt on some form of social media that you cant use to connect to them with.

A very big point to this though is not to connect in order to do a sale, an easy trap for young players in the social media space is to take the old school “conversion” approach to social media which is a massive no no.

Users dont use social to get told what they need to buy, users use social to connect to brands and sites that they believe in.

5. Architecture

What good is a website unless you have the right infrastructure in place to support it, Its no good having a store in shopping center if the doors close once 10 people walk in and the same is said for a website without the proper server in place to be able to support a decent amount of traffic.

We have seen far too many examples of large scale ecommerce sites fail under a decent amount of traffic and in the day and age of cloud computing and big data there is no excuse for not having the right tools in place to ensure any amount of traffic is no issue. With the likes of Amazon, Ninefold and Rackspace offering architecture so cheaply its a question of can you afford not to.