Although the two worlds of traditional retail in bricks & mortar shops and online retail appear to be quite different in fact they have one fundamental thing in common. You’ve got to make that person wandering around your shop or browsing the webpages actually buy something. Footfall or hits is not enough. Sales are what matters.

Principals Shmincipals

Groucho Marx famously said, “These are my principals. If you don’t like them, I have others.” Well, the established principals for ‘making a sale’ in shops can be applied to the world of e-commerce with a few modifications.

We Know Our Stuff

As one of the four Prestashop partners in the UK we have a great deal of experience of building effective e-commerce sites for businesses large and small. It does help that our e-commerce guru, Nick C picked up a trick or two from 13 years spent working in the luxury retail sector in London including six years spent with Harrods before he got into the web world.

One Two Three…

Over the next couple of weeks or so we are going to look at them step by step instead of publishing an enormous blog that would no doubt send everyone into zzzz mode. Right, that’s that explained. Lets go…

First Impressions

Three factors come into play when a new visitor arrives on a website.

– Loading speed
– Ease of navigation
– Visuals – design, layout & images

Get any of these wrong and you stand a good chance of losing the visitor to a competitor. Lets take a look at why each one is so important:

Loading speed – Research has shown if a website hasn’t loaded within 3 seconds, 57% of people will just hit the back button or close the window. How fast does your site load? You can test the loading speed here using this handy tool.

Visuals – design, layout & images – for many people the visual look of a page is the top influential factor affecting a purchase decision.

Brand and identity –  These are hugely important just as they are in a physical shop. If your user is looking for a masculine product and your site is all pink and flowery they will instantly have doubts about your ability to fulfill the criteria they are looking for.

Ease of navigation – Quick easy access to the products the visitor is after. Put simply your product should never be more than 4 clicks away from the landing page. If it gets to complicated either finding the products or paying for them then the customer will head off into the sunset.

Never forget that unlike on the High Street it is just a case for the visitor to go back to the Google listings and find another site selling the same good as yours. If your website doesn’t load or look as it should, or the consumer can’t navigate your e-commerce website you can guarantee that another online shop sells something similar to you.

Next Time..

With advice on first impressions covered we’re going to look next at ‘creating the want’. In the meantime if you have any questions or wish to leave any comments then please do use the comments box below.

Sources – The statistics in this blog were taken from an infographic by Marketing Donut.

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