Making Sure Your eCommerce Store Works Perfectly for Customers

| 5 MIN READ

You’ve been working hard on setting up your eCommerce website. However, things might not be going exactly as you had expected. Have you ever wondered if you’re missing some things which could make your store’s performance grow significantly?

Designing your eCommerce website goes well beyond the way it looks and feels. A great store also needs to extend these improvements to your functionality and your offline processes. After all, it’s useless to have a website that looks amazing but lacks the tools that can help people understand your products and want to buy them.

Investing in the right eCommerce tools can help you optimize your site’s design through both its looks as well as its functionality. The key is to get things right from the start and ensure your customers succeed in checking out every time they visit your website. This article will cover the most important things to keep in mind when designing and customizing your eCommerce store.

Your eCommerce Store’s Visual Design

The first, most accessible starting point to making sure your eCommerce site performs well is to make sure its visual elements are outstanding. Don’t think of design just as making your store aesthetically appealing. Improving your eCommerce store also has to do with providing your users with better functionality and building the foundation for an exceptional experience.

As Paul Rand once said, “Design is the silent ambassador of your brand.” Good branding can help you reach more customers, target the correct audience for your products and services, and ultimately boost sales. However, it can feel a little overwhelming to understand how user experience can help you achieve better results for your store. One thing you can do is ask yourself, is your site:

  • Laid out really well?
  • Easy to navigate?
  • Pleasant to interact with?
  • Searchable and functional?

If the answer to any of these questions is no, it means there are still things you can do to improve your overall store design. Making sure you address all of these points is a huge first step and possibly one of the most important ones for running a successful eCommerce site.

When you have such a business, it's not enough to get customers through the (virtual) door. You also need to keep them engaged and prove such a positive experience that they want to come back for more products and services.

Luckily, you don’t need to be a programmer to add useful features to your store. If you are using WooCommerce and WordPress, the possibilities for improving your site's functionality and user-friendliness are practically endless (and also really easy to set up).

There are lots of things to look at when considering a design update, but even the smallest detail can make a big difference; for example, customizing your add to cart button to fit your brand. Pleasant-looking sites tend to perform much better than plain ones, so don't be scared to personalize some of your main elements to reflect your preferred tone.

Making Sure Your Functionality is Up to Scratch

Site owners should carefully and regularly inspect every function of their website to make sure things are working properly. This applies to all areas a customer needs to interact with a feature, no matter their size. When evaluating a purchase journey, for example, you should always consider the following points:

  • Checkout Page and Process: Is your checkout optimized enough to encourage swift, simple transactions at speed? Many users add items to their carts but abandon the site before they can make a purchase. In many cases, this is due to a poor checkout experience. If customers have to spend too much time filling in their information (for example, if your checkout consists of an endless number of screens that take some time to load and require the person to look for various personal information), chances are they will want to go do something else instead. Luckily, there are many plugins that can help you set up a great checkout experience and get more sales. And the best part? They usually require no coding experience!

  • Contact forms: Have you included enough ways for customers to contact you directly and quickly? And are you sure you are capturing every interested visitor's attention? Making sure you pick the right WordPress forms plugin that works is essential. These forms can help you answer questions but also gather feedback from those using your eCommerce site - the customers. So, make sure your site doesn't just stand out visually and in terms of functionality. The best way to get sales and build a loyal customer base is to make your eCommerce site effortless to use. You should also make it very straightforward for anyone to get a little extra support about the products and services that interest them.

  • Site Navigation: Do you have the right plugins which help users find your site as well as navigate through your eCommerce shop easily? A key to keeping users in your store is to give them enough options to navigate through your content. Common additions to default WordPress + WooCommerce setup include functionality which improves:

Thinking of Your Offline and Follow-Up Processes

Delivering the best customer experience should cover your entire site's experience from beginning to end. This means working on your post-purchase process, too. eCommerce sites tend to have a lot of offline processes that are vital to keeping the business running. For example, the ability to sort orders, arrange deliveries, print labels, and follow up on purchases. All of these are equally important when determining the best ways to power up your eCommerce store.

Offline Processes

You should always ensure your offline processes are well set up to keep everything in your eCommerce store running smoothly. Your features should also include all the functionalities your customers expect, presented in a clear and straightforward manner, so they don't have to spend time looking for them.

One way of improving a common offline process is to set up your WooCommerce site to automatically print packing slips for you. The system can take care of this entire cycle for you, from determining the correct addresses to arranging delivery schedules and, of course, making sure you are dispatching the correct products to the right customers. This way, you can make sure you don't make mistakes when mailing things out!

Customer Feedback

Another important thing to keep in mind when improving your eCommerce store experience is to make sure you are keeping close to your customers and making sure they have an easy way to allow them to give you feedback.

Customer feedback is central to improving your business in the long term. However, users don't always know how to best reach out when they have a problem. Make sure you are proactively seeking them out to get feedback on areas you can improve. Many sites use simple feedback forms that are non-invasive and optional, gathering helpful tips without interrupting a customer's purchase journey. You can also work on sending out customer satisfaction surveys regularly to keep your finger on the pulse.

Conclusion

Your eCommerce site experience matters, but there is so much more to providing a good eCommerce journey than picking the right theme for your WordPress and WooCommerce setup. Ensuring your store looks great and is designed nicely is a great place to start, but you should always check your website is also easy to use and navigate and that you are covering all features your users expect to find when visiting your site.

This is why you should always work to provide the best possible experience across multiple touch points, both for online and offline processes. For example, you should evaluate your most important site’s functionality, such as checkout, navigation, and default URLs, to ensure everything is as user-friendly as it can.

The best option is to Invest in the right tools, which can then give you more advanced features (such as the ability to automatically print packing slips) to help your customers succeed in making purchases through your website. Lastly, don’t forget to always ask for feedback from those who use your store. You can do this by adding contact forms or sending out surveys. This way, you can be sure you will be able to scale your business successfully and with ease.

author: David Mainayar
David Mainayar
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Co-Founder at PeachPay and with a background in economics, David has been obsessed with WooCommerce ever since he discovered its transformational potential for the entrepreneurial underdog. His mission is to help level the playing field for small and medium-sized enterprises as well as independent retailers. David loves travelling to central Europe, reading books by N.N. Taleb, and learning about ancient Roman and Napoleonic history.