Here are 10 things to know for doing business online
As more people shop online, it’s never been a better time to launch an e-commerce website to grow your Singapore business virtually.
In Singapore, the e-commerce industry is booming with about 3.3 million people shopping in the e-commerce market in 2021, according to research from Hey Sara. That number of people is expected to grow significantly over the next few years as more people get comfortable with online commerce.
Smaller brands often struggle to break into the busy e-commerce market because they need to compete with larger brands with more resources and brand recognition. Despite this, there’s still plenty of opportunities for up-and-coming brands to succeed in the e-commerce marketplace.
In this post, we’ll explain how to plan and design an amazing e-commerce website for your business so you can tap into the exploding potential of online shopping in Singapore and around the globe.
10 tips for designing a successful E-commerce website
1. Remember that less is more
A clean, simple, and sleek website will help visitors focus on the important information and quickly find what they need.
Avoid flashy banners, distracting visual elements, and unnecessary pop-ups. Stick to one font, a few different font sizes, a white background. Use visual hierarchy to display content from most important to least important.
It’s even a good idea to avoid too much text or long descriptions that may overwhelm casual visitors. Focus on short, catchy phrases to catch a customer’s attention followed by more detailed information in a smaller font.
2. Show off your brand as much as possible
We already know that it’s important to give your business a unique identity with proper branding, but now it’s time to put that branding to work.
Pay attention to how your brand logo, colors, slogans, and other visual elements appear on your e-commerce website. Make sure all visual elements are consistent and follow your brand’s style guidelines. Use the same visual styles and elements throughout the website so it looks cohesive and intentional.
Even the content on your e-commerce site should reflect your brand. Images and web copy should be cohesive and promote your brand’s goals and values. For example, a brand that promotes environmentally friendly products should have images and copy that reflect nature and environmental consciousness.
3. Invest in quality images to draw people in
Consumers need to feel confident with your brand to get to the point of making an online purchase, so be ready to impress them with professional visuals.
Featuring clear, high-quality visuals of your products and services eliminates a lot of the uncertainty that could prevent someone from purchasing your goods or services. Images should be visually appealing and quickly give your customers a clear understanding of what your brand has to offer.
Photos should be high quality so visitors can zoom in and see the product up close. Include several photos of each product from different angles. Short videos can demonstrate how to use a product and its unique features.
4. Make sure navigation is logical and easy
There’s nothing worse than going to a website only to waste time searching for the right link. Most visitors will quickly give up and move on, and you’ll lose a customer.
Structure your website using clear, well-defined categories for products and services. Group similar items together onto one page and clearly label each category. For help, visit your competitors’ websites to see how they organize their content.
Before launching your e-commerce website, make sure your search button features are functioning properly. The search box should be easy to find from anywhere on the website. It may make sense to enable auto-complete on search queries so visitors can find exactly what they need.
5. Publish your reviews and promote best sellers
Without the ability to engage in face-to-face interactions, it’s often tough to build trust between you and your customers. One way brands can establish trust is by sharing product and service reviews that have been published by real customers.
Sharing customer feedback helps potential customers get valuable first-hand insight into what it’s like to work with you and your brand. Even negative reviews can help a potential customer get a better understanding of what you have to offer.
You can also guide people to your best products and services by highlighting your best sellers or highest-rated items. Feature these items on your home page or prominently on each category page to make sure people see your best work.
6. Perfect the checkout process
A visually appealing e-commerce website isn’t valuable unless the purchasing experience is easy and enjoyable for your customers. However, nearly 70% of online shopping carts are abandoned because people don’t want to go through the purchasing process, data show.
Make sure it’s easy to make a purchase by making your “Buy Now” button prominent on each product page.
The checkout page should be clean and simple. Make sure customers are able to input their information without jumping through unnecessary hoops. Be transparent about things like shipping costs, product warranties, and any additional charges and fees.
Use a secure server to protect customers’ personal information and display a trust seal to put customers at ease.
Your checkout page also needs to be responsive for mobile users who will need to navigate the page on a smaller screen than desktop users.
7. Don’t forget about mobile users
In 2021, brands can’t ignore the explosive growth in mobile commerce.
There are 5.22 billion mobile users around the world who spend more time on their devices each year, according to Oberlo. That means your e-commerce website needs to be mobile-friendly and ready to cater to people whopping from their smartphones or tablets.
Don’t wait to make any necessary changes to make it easier to navigate and browse the site using a smartphone. Studies show that users who had a negative experience on a mobile site were 62% less likely to ever purchase something from that business, according to Google.
Your site should be responsive and easy for mobile users to scroll through and navigate. For example, a single-column layout is easier for mobile users to navigate on a vertical screen than a layout that’s more horizontal.
8. Share your brand’s unique story
Although you’re excited to show off what your brand has to offer, you can’t forget to introduce yourself to your customers.
Include an “About Us” page on your website’s homepage where people can go to learn more about you and the history of your business.
Display professional headshots of you and your team on your website so consumers can see the people who are working behind your brand. Include short bios for each person and tell people how they can be contacted directly. Giving your customers a direct line to your team helps build trust and long-term relationships, studies show.
9. Embrace persuasive design throughout your site
Shoppers love feeling like they have control over what they see and experience while browsing the web. Persuasive design improves the functionality of a website while presenting shoppers with goods and services they’d be interested in.
You can utilize persuasive design by simply allowing users to select specific criteria to filter down their search results, presenting them with more specific products that align with their needs.
Brands can also persuade people to make a purchase by telling them if a product will not be available for long. Alert shoppers if a product is low in stock, or if a sale is going to end soon. Shoppers may be persuaded to finally make a purchase because they simply don’t want to miss the opportunity to do so.
10. Market your e-commerce website
Once your e-commerce website is up and running, get ready to share it with the world.
Share links to your website across your social media platforms to drive traffic to the site and boost SEO. You can even post photos and videos that are already on your website to showcase your products and create engaging social media content.
Consider building an email marketing campaign to share the latest news and updates with your loyal customers. Email marketing is a great way to promote your brand and keep visitors coming back to your e-commerce website for the latest deals.
With more than 2 billion people making digital purchases in 2021, launching your first e-commerce website is certainly intimidating.
Despite the tough competition you’ll face in the e-commerce marketplace, you’ll have access to a powerful opportunity to grow your brand online.
If you don’t know where to start, do some research on your competitors. Note what their websites look like, how they’re organized, how responsive they are, and what makes them easy to use. From there, you can decide what you like and what you can do better on your own site.
As your e-commerce website grows, be sure to keep it updated with fresh and engaging content, sales, special promotions, and new products so people have a reason to keep coming back.