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Ecommerce Website Best Practices (& BigCommerce Tips)

If you want to grow your online presence and stay ahead of your competitors, you must know ecommerce best practices inside-out and follow them loyally.

Morgan Blank

Jun 22, 2021

The ecommerce world has evolved significantly over the past few years. New capabilities, shifting trends, and a bigger focus on usability work together to improve the customer experience.

However, alongside these innovations comes greater competition than ever before. If you want to grow your online presence and stay ahead of your competitors, you must know ecommerce best practices inside-out and follow them loyally.

At Ampd, our goal is to help your ecommerce business succeed. In this article, we are going to cover the best practices for your ecommerce website, alongside some useful tips and tricks specific to BigCommerce users.

6 Must-Follow Ecommerce Best Practices and Design Tips

Your ecommerce website design is your chance to make a great first impression, which has a direct impact on how likely users are to complete a purchase. With ecommerce sites, it isn’t just about how things look, but also about how they work.

Follow these ecommerce best practices to ensure that your ecommerce website is designed to sell.

Use High-Quality Photos and Videos

Without a chance to appreciate the products in real life, your potential customers will rely on their photo and video representations. While this gives offline stores an undeniable advantage, there are things you can do to catch up, such as including high-resolution images, 3D-models, 360-degree views, and videos.

Another thing to consider is the ability to zoom on photos, as additional zooming allows users to get all the information about the product that they need.

Add User-Friendly Navigation, Search, and Filtering

Convenience is the main advantage of online shopping. The major ecommerce best practice today is to build a website that makes life easier for its users and smoothly guides them to the final step—completing a purchase or other desired action.

When creating your ecommerce store, make sure that everything is logical and flows well from one point to another. Keep the website structure simple and make it easy to navigate through the pages.

Some of ecommerce best practices when it comes to UX, or User Experience, are:

  • Search bar. Include a search bar to help users quickly find a specific item or category. The search bar should be prominent and easy to find.
  • Brand logo. Make sure that your brand logo leads to the homepage and is always in sight, no matter where on the website the user is.
  • Include a filter to allow users to exclude unnecessary products from massive search results and take them from the homepage to the product page.
  • Make sure that your catalog allows users to switch to the right product category and find what they are looking for.
  • Breadcrumbs will allow users to get back to several hierarchical positions, and, therefore, expand the search field.

Nevertheless, when it comes to your specific ecommerce website, consider the context and your store’s theme. With BigCommerce, you can choose among hundreds of pre-built templates to create a user-friendly and attractive storefront to engage users on any device.

For example, for an antics store with only 100 products on display, the look and design should be prioritized. On the other hand, for a large furniture store with thousands of items, the main focus should be on convenient navigation and search functionality.

Keep It Simple

An effective ecommerce store should be easy to navigate and easy to digest. With ecommerce websites, less is often more, and clean and minimalist design will make your website look refined and showcase the products better.

Every element of the website should be there on purpose, and nothing should distract the user from the content. Forget about flashy and elaborate designs and make sure that your website includes:

  • No more than three colors per page
  • Simple and readable fonts
  • Lots of white space
  • Pure tones and shades

Inspire Trust on Your Website

Unless you are already a well-known brand like Nike or Louis Vuitton, most people won’t know what your brand is about. If they have never visited your website before or heard about your store, they will likely have trust issues.

Here are some ecommerce best practices to ensure that your website inspires trust:

  • Trust badges. Showcase your trust badges, such as an SSL trust mark, an Accredited Business badge, a McAfee Secure trust mark, a PayPal Verified sign, and more. Using these trust elements will help in improving conversion rates of your website.
  • Positive press coverage is an excellent way to instill credibility in your ecommerce store. If you have been featured in any notable press publications, consider including them on your homepage to show your visitors that your brand is legit.
  • Reviews and testimonials. Before making a purchase, your customers will search for reviews of your products. As such, adding customer reviews to your product pages will help visitors to make better purchasing decisions and increase your conversion rates. With BigCommerce, you can read and approve each review before it gets published on the product page.
  • Phone number. By providing a physical phone number and replying to customer calls, you will not only show your potential customers that you are legit, but will also stand out from the competition.
  • Physical address. Similarly to the phone number, this will show visitors that your store is real, since you are physically located somewhere.

Don’t Forget Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, can make or break your ecommerce website. Luckily, SEO functionality is actually one of the biggest advantages of using BigCommerce to build your website.

To ensure that your ecommerce website is performing as well as possible in search engine results, make sure to:

  • Focus on keyword research. For anyone trying to rank in search results, the first step involves conducting a thorough keyword research. Finding high-volume keywords will direct your SEO for product pages, content, and everything else on your website.
  • Perfect your on-page SEO. BigCommerce includes native tools to help you fine-tune your on-page SEO. It is easy to insert and update keyword-focused page titles, page headers, meta descriptions, and high-quality content.
  • Optimize your website for mobile. Today, Google places more emphasis on your mobile website, rather than the desktop version. Make sure to use a website theme that makes your site responsive on mobile devices.
  • Optimize website speed. Page speed is one of the top factors affecting the placement of your website in mobile search results. You can use PageSpeed Insights from Google to test your speed and make improvements accordingly.
  • Strategize your internal linking. With well-planned internal linking, you can show Google which pages need more emphasis, and, therefore, improve their position in search results.

Invest in Google Ads

For many ecommerce businesses, Google Ads is one of the main and most effective marketing channels. While specific messaging and target audience will be unique to each type of company, there are some ecommerce best practices that work well consistently when it comes to Google Ads Campaigns.

  • Use the right keywords. Similarly to your SEO strategy, an effective Google Ads campaign involves doing a thorough research and finding relevant keywords. With Google Ads, it is also important to understand and properly use various “keyword matches”, such as the exact, phrase, or board match.
  • Use negative keywords. Google Ads platform also allows you to specify keywords that aren’t a good fit for your product or service. This will prevent your ads from appearing on irrelevant keyword searches.
  • Optimize your landing page. The landing page that your users end up on when they click on your ad is the ultimate conversion deal-breaker. Make sure that your landing page aligns well with the message of your ads and has a clear and obvious Call-to-Action.
  • Automate your ads. While managing all the aspects of Google Ads may seem complex, it doesn’t have to be if you use the right ad automation tools. For example, with Ampd, you can easily take all the legwork out of managing your Google Ads and growing your BigCommerce store.

Discover the Right Approach to Ecommerce Success

Today, more than ever, online businesses need to follow ecommerce best practices and invest time in creating a comprehensive strategy that reflects the needs of their customers.

At Ampd, we are committed to helping you maximize your business profits and achieve your ultimate goals. Together with BigCommerce, we have developed an effective four-pillar approach to achieving holistic commerce success.

Download our 2021 Ominchannel Guide today to learn how to stay ahead of the competition in today’s fast-moving commerce world.

Yes, I want to be successful and learn from Ampd's free 2021 Omnichannel Guide.

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