Websites have not only revolutionized the way we get information or advertise but it has fundamentally changed the way many of us do our shopping. The convenience cannot be denied. Cutting out the hassle of having to be physically present at a store, reaching millions of customers and reducing costs associated with setting up a brick and mortar edifice are all benefits. But as the adage goes, somethings are easy to learn but difficult to master. Here are some principle guidelines that can help you maintain a successful e-commerce business.

Encourage purchasing- make it as easy and pleasing as possible for someone to have a great purchasing experience.

Communicate/be accessible – the primary way relationships are built is through great communication

Inspire trust – when people are giving you money, you must be able to garner trust and reward their faith in you to procure further business.

Here are some pointers:

  • Make it easy to identify your brand by having a clear logo
  • Strive for an uncluttered look that allows your products to take centre stage.
  • Couple that with great, quality images of your product
  • Make navigation easy. Include a search field to make products more accessible
  • Have an easy to find shopping cart that can show your current basket/purchases
  • Stay fresh by updating your site incrementally on a regular basis. Do a major update after longer periods of time. This projects the idea that you are current and always improving ahead of your competition.
  • Advertise great sales on the homepage as well as through social media (20% of purchases made start with being lead by a social media site)
  • Display what your top sellers and what products are new. This encourages exploration into your inventory
  • Allow for reviews. This will add credibility an create an online reputation, not to mention highlight areas where you can improve.
  • Inspire trust with certificates of digital security coupled with commitments of personal data privacy

These are some basic pointers and by no means exhaustive. There may be specific nuances with each site. But just keep in mind the three principles: making purchasing easy, have good communication and engender trust. That will help you keep competitive and profitable.