It can take hard work to build a successful eCommerce experience. The tools you choose will take you a long way, but only so far. How you treat your customers is vital, and that is something that is up to you. It is not at all uncommon for visitors to click away from a store and leave an abandoned shopping cart behind.
Statistically, three out of four of them will do so, but if you have an exceptionally well-designed store, you can make those numbers more favourable to you. An exceptional eCommerce experience usually features a personal touch. You can’t be there in person to help a customer out, but you can make your presence felt. When you succeed in doing that, customers may beat a path to your door.
5 Things to Bear in Mind
There are more than a few things you can do to create the all-important personal touch that allows you to connect with your customers. Keep your store neat and tidy, and put the more popular products in the front display windows (your home page). Show customers where to find what (navigation), and help them make comparisons or look for important details. It’s not always easy to accomplish these things, but easier than you might think.
- Clutter can hurt, and it is something to be avoided. Clutter is placing a highly popular, bestselling product in the midst of a large number of less popular items instead of highlighting it, or giving it a page of its own. You stand a far better chance of making a sale when a customer spots what he or she is looking for right off the bat, and doesn’t have to search the store to find it. If you highlight your more popular items by removing the surrounding clutter, and avoid wasting time and effort in trying to push less popular products, more customers will take notice of your store.
- Recognize that online shopping is a different experience than going to the neighborhood store. Shoppers can’t touch, feel, pick up, or try on your online store’s products. For many product types, a simple image and a bare-bones description may suffice, but for others you need to offer an equivalent of touch and feel. Since many of your customers are comparison shoppers, you can help them by showing different product colors, offering different product views, making it possible to zoom in on features, and so on. This tells the customer that you care about the quality of their shopping experience. That’s important.
- Use a search methodology that quickly drills down to the desired product or feature. The worst thing that can happen is for a potential purchaser to get lost trying to navigate your site. The result will be an empty shopping cart, or an abandoned one. Even when searching is relatively easy, if it requires more than a few clicks you are apt to lose a customer. Work hard at making it easy for anyone to find anything in a click or two no matter how large your store is, and at the same time, keep your menu system as uncomplicated as possible.
- Use your Home Page to your advantage. Shoppers more often than not will first land on your home page. If they immediately see what they are looking for, or see a product that relates to what they are looking for, they are apt to feel they have come to the right place. The next best approach is to have your highly promoted products but a click away. If you have a large store that can be a challenge – but others have done it!
- Strive to Find the Right Mix. This important tip is not the easiest one to put into practice. Finding the right mix involves working with a recipe whose ingredients include textual content, creative design, and usability, with a dash of psychology added. You will likely have to rely on trial and error or past experience to get the right taste, and discover what works best. You can make it easier on yourself by looking at successful online shops to see what the right mix was for them.
Case Study: The Shopkeeper eCommerce Theme
It is not always easy to find a WordPress theme that will serve your purpose, and this can be particularly true when it comes to locating just the right eCommerce theme.
You naturally would like to avoid a situation in which you find the theme you selected is in some way lacking just before you open your online shop for business, or worse yet, just after. Above all, you want a theme that fits your brand, and Shopkeeper, a customizable eCommerce theme, and one that has consistently been given 5-star ratings, is an ideal choice.
It is a Design Driven Theme
Shopkeeper was built to address a need for an improved eCommerce theme. It succeeded in doing so, yet it has consistently undergone updates and refinements to make it even better. These upgrades have been a result of feedback provided by thousands of ThemeForest customer. The result is one of pure elegance.
Shopkeeper has been Specifically Built for WooCommerce
Shopkeeper is not “WooCommerce ready” in the usual sense of the word, although it is “ready” for use with a number of other applications. Instead, this theme was created with WooCommerce specifically in mind, and it was created to be used directly with WooCommerce.
If a change is made to WooCommerce, Shopkeeper is updated immediately if an update is needed to remain compatible. You never have to worry about WooCommerce vs. Shopkeeper versions. They are always in sync. This theme is WPML ready however, so you can proceed with any multi-language, multi-currency site planning you may have in mind.
Pre-Built Pages to Get You Started
A quick scan of Shopkeeper’s pre-built pages should convince you that nothing has been left to chance. Virtually every type of design element you would expect to feature in your online store is present in one or more of these pages.
These, in combination with Visual Composer and Slider Revolution, will allow you to create virtually any type of a shopping page you can think of.
Page Building – Simplified
Page building should be a straightforward process. The creators of Shopkeeper were naturally aware of this. As a result, the tried and tested Visual Composer page builder was selected for this theme. Visual Composer is one of the many plugins that come free with a Shopkeeper purchase.
The reason for the popularity of this drag and drop page builder in the web design community lies in its ease of use, and the fact that coding is not a necessity. Busy small business owners and beginners have used it to build their own websites.
Use Google Fonts or Adobe Typekit
Having access to Google Fonts gives you a wide range of choices. You have access to a large collection of professional fonts, either from Google Webfonts (free) or Adobe Typekit (premium).
A Clean Theme is a Fast Theme
A clean theme is one that is not loaded down with bells and whistles you have no need for. Shopkeeper was developed to address a specific need. It was not created to resolve all of the world’s problems. In fact, some of the features you do need are not contained in Shopkeeper per se, but are found in the plugins that are there for you to use.
By confining much of the functionality to these plugins, Shopkeeper is not loaded down to the detriment of its performance, and this framework’s added flexibility lends itself to a wide variety of implementations.
Using Catalog Mode to Get Yourself Ready
You will find Catalog Mode to be a most useful feature when your site is first up and running, and the time to open your store for business is fast approaching. When a site is first up and running, it is not always ready to start doing business.
Catalog Mode allows you to turn the eCommerce functionality off while you fine tune your site to make it ready to accommodate the flood of customers you expect to show up.
It Takes a Reliable Team to Build a Reliable Theme
Users tend to focus on a theme’s useful features and performance when providing feedback, but high user ratings are almost always indicative of a theme’s operational reliability, and Shopkeeper has earned a deserved reputation as a highly reliable theme, just as its ThemeForest Elite Author has earned respect and trust in the using community by constantly delivering high-quality, reliable products. Whatever support you need will always be there.
Visit the Shopkeeper website, examine this theme’s features, check out the layouts (you will be impressed), and see which ones will satisfy your needs. The list of features may be a short one, but in this case small is good.
Plugins do much of the heavy lifting so as not to degrade Shopkeeper’s performance. Shopkeeper is ready for you, and its support team is ready to assist you as well. Building an exceptional eCommerce site takes work, but this theme makes the work a lot easier.