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IT Tips with Marcin Kulik - What makes a good e-commerce website? Part 2

Last update - Tuesday, November 15, 2011, 13:14 By Marcin Kulik

An easy, user-friendly shopping experience is crucial for your online business to succeed. Last time we learned how to prepare simple and clear browsing and product pages, but it doesn’t stop there.

The final step before purchase is the shopping cart or basket, and again the rule ‘simple is better’ applies. Try to minimise the steps that users have to go through and don’t ask unnecessary questions.
Guide your customers; make sure they feel safe and confident that they are doing it the right way.
From a marketing perspective, the more valuable option is to persuade your users to register on your website. That way you will be able to store clients’ data and use it in marketing, and as feedback to improve your website.
However, you must remember that not everyone will want to register. That’s why a ‘quick checkout’ option should also be available and be straightforward to use.
Do not force your customers to register; it’s better to try to tempt them with discounts or a better shopping experience when they do.
Offer customers multiple payment options if possible. Not everyone feels comfortable with shopping online, and an offline payment option, while slower, may give them that confidence.
In Ireland there are four online payment providers, and all of them offer a wide range of payment options.
Provide online support, and highlight it well. Better still if you can provide live support, either by phone or online chat, but even with offline support make sure you respond in a timely manner.
These are just some of the main points to consider when designing an e-commerce site, and development is a constant process.
Remember to constantly test your site and ask your clients for feedback, as they are the ones who will use your website, and see it from the most important view – the shopper’s perspective.

Marcin Kulik is the owner of MK Design Studio, a creative web design agency based in Malahide Co Dublin.
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