It’s estimated that over half of visitors to an ecommerce site will abandon their shopping carts for some reason or another. While there are many reasons, both known and unknown to the site owner, there are several elements that should be present to make the path to conversion as easy as possible for users.

While a well-designed website may be a fully functional platform, ecommerce is complex and must be approached in a customized manner to the business. Though platforms such as Magento, WooCommerce, Shopify and others have made setting up an ecommerce site easier, sites can still be missing many of the necessary (and sometimes subtle) features needed to move a user to purchase and build a meaningful customer base.

Optimize for Mobile

Creating a mobile friendly, and even better – a responsively designed site adapting to multiple screens is critical to capturing the almost 50% of users who access ecommerce sites via mobile. Put simply, if a site isn’t optimized for mobile, it’s losing sales.

Instill Trust

In order to make a purchase on an ecommerce site, a customer must feel like they are protected by the company. This includes everything from trust badges, customer reviews and testimonials, readily available customer service via chat or email, transparency in shipping costs, various payment options, return policy and privacy statement. While these are all functional elements, they all work hand in hand with a well designed interface, which is just as important in the pursuit of building a customer’s trust.

Increase Your Speed

We’ve all been there – a site is too slow to load and we dont have the time or patience to wait around. This is one of the most simple ways to gain more conversions. Speed tests should be done on a site regularly, and optimization should be at the top of the list to allow for better usability.

Product Organization

In addition to a well organized top navigation, categories such as ‘best sellers’ or ‘you might like’ , will lead customers to products that they may have not seen or are unaware the site offers. This not only informs of new products that other customers are purchasing, but more often leads to a higher average total sale.

Feature Custom Imagery

A brand might have a beautifully packaged product or stellar service, but the site may not reflect it’s differentiating value. Through the use of custom imagery and photography, a company can show the specifics of a product in use and express it’s core perspective. While well curated stock photography is a solid route for a lower budget, the value of custom imagery cannot be matched. If selling another companies products, a site owner may be able to utilize the vendor’s photography for their own site.

Leverage Analytics

While this may seem like a no-brainer, many sites do not take advantage of analytics for their ecommerce business. Due to the competitive nature of the ecommerce landscape, it’s essential for a company to stay on top of where customers might be dropping and where they are engaging. Tracking specific items and making refinements to elements such as promotions, traffic patterns and marketing initiatives can help to drastically increase a site’s rate of conversion.

In order to gain market share, an ecommerce site must focus on both design and foundational elements to thrive in the market. Beginning with the right platform, on brand design and a solid technical infrastructure – fine tuning the site with these areas of optimization can deliver results and a lasting business.