Top 5 tips for building a successful e-commerce website

Jennifer Blake Posted on January 13, 2021

An e-commerce website is any site that allows you to make transactions. However, typically it is associated with online shops that provide a product or product range as opposed to services. Websites that do not facilitate purchases are known as brochure sites. Here are our top 5 tips for building a successful e-commerce website.

1. Choose the best CMS for your business

If your product range is small, a website created and maintained by WordPress or Shopify is typically advantageous. The costs for design and development are low due to the popularity of the CMS. 

If your product range is large, we recommend something along the lines of BigCommerce or Magento as they are well supported and can be easily optimised for SEO purposes.

2. Form follows function

Many web projects begin with design and are then passed on to a development team, and while this can work well, it doesn’t consider a key part of what makes websites work well, marketing. While many designers will have UX experience, it’s typically marketers that will have expertise in what converts into sales and what is needed for SEO. 

In short, we recommend the marketer and client send a list of requirements in a brief to the developer, so they can add these details to the requested features for the designer to include.

Side note: If you already have a site and are considering a redesign, we strongly recommend doing this via A/B testing, one element at a time. It is surprisingly common how many websites update their appearance to appear modern, at the cost of their UX, resulting in conversion loss.

3. Bugs

Make sure you test your website internally and externally with a soft launch to identify any issues that could arise. It could be an issue that interferes with UX or an internal issue, such as emails ending up in a spam folder, or forms not working, etc. 

4. Security & continuity

Ensure that you are protecting customers, employees, and the business as a whole by investing in services that both protect your company and ensure continuity. This is especially relevant during the lockdown, as many businesses have had to adopt new tactics as a matter of urgency. It doesn’t have to be anything huge; it could be as simple as ensuring you have a website backup, staging website, pen test, etc.

5. Payment

Finally, you want to make sure that customers can pay using popular payment service provider (PSP) such as PayPal & Stripe, etc. These provide an additional layer of security between the merchant and the customer.  When goods are returned, refunds can be made.

We also recommend that you look into chargeback management to reduce the number of chargeback requests you receive and the fees paid. Chargeback management software reduces friendly fraud and the number of payment disputes you will have to investigate.

Did you know: PaymentHelp reduces chargeback costs by up to 35% and reduces chargeback requests by up to 63%?

PaymentHelp also integrates with a variety of CMS and EPOS systems. Learn more about chargeback management software here.