5 Ways to Make Your E-Commerce Site Stand Out
:: By Larry Alton, @LarryAlton3 ::
Tired of being shown up by the competition in your market? Looking for a way to stand out and improve the reach of your brand? You might want to start with your site design.
Web design is more crucial to your site’s profitability than many people realize. According to research, sites that have a quality design are regarded as 80 percent more relevant and reliable in their industry.
Whether you intend it or not, poor design sends a message to customers that you don’t care about your site, which dulls their interest in your service. The way you approach designing your e-commerce platform plays a major role in retaining clients and helping your business grow.
If you intend to stand out, you need something unique. Here are some ideas.
1. Regularly Add New and Improved Products
How often do you update your product inventory? E-commerce sites that continually add new products and services to keep things interesting tend to elicit repeat visits and appeal to a wider audience.
If you offer only a few products in the beginning and don’t add anything new over time, most customers will stop returning even after making an initial purchase.
As part of your new product reveals, take the time to advertise your products fully. Introduce them on social media, send emails, and post advertisements to give them the maximum effect.
A smart tactic would be to withhold some of your initial inventory to set up a big reveal later on as a way to hold customer interest.
2. Turn to Unique Branding
Branding is an essential tool for any e-commerce operation. Competition can force you to make your products competitive in pricing and shipping, so it’s difficult to stand out there.
If you build a brand that people love and respect, you’ll be able to beat the competition and encourage a strong customer base. Unique branding comes primarily from your website design and marketing.
Work on a logo and color scheme that stand out. Then focus on one thing that can set you apart from your competitors and market it profusely.
For example, you might be more eco-friendly than others or offer better quality products. Sometimes it’s your personality that stands out. Whatever it is, make it the main focus of your marketing to establish your brand.
3. Offer Social Proof
When you can offer social proof on your website, this automatically boosts your credibility. Typically it comes in the form of testimonials or repeated positive brand mentions that cite your business name.
This most often turns up on social media, but you can bring it into your website as well. One of the best methods for utilizing social proof on your website is widgets that show a steady feed of brand mentions on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
It’s also useful to grab customer reviews and other user-generated content that boosts your brand’s name.
4. Show Some Personality
Brands are most memorable when they present a personality rather than the typical, uber-professional business-speak. Brands with excellent personality tend to have traits that are inherently theirs and evident when you look at their site.
Think of some of today’s most powerful brands. Progressive insurance is fun and playful. Apple is high-tech, innovative, and stylish. National Geographic is adventurous and inspiring.
Each of these brands has developed a strong personality that their competitors can’t touch. If you can find your personality, that will become an incredible tool for success. People need to see that when they visit your site.
5. Think Outside the Box
Though it can be wise to stick with current trends and monitor your competitors’ movements, it can be better to bring something to the table that no one has thought of yet. Try to think outside the box with your site design.
This may require moving away from the traditional website template and paying for a customized site. This will be more expensive than using a template, but it could be the factor that adds real life to your site design and draws in new customers.
Larry Alton is a professional blogger, writer and researcher who contributes to a number of reputable online media outlets and news sources. In addition to journalism, technical writing and in-depth research, he’s also active in his community and spends weekends volunteering with a local non-profit literacy organization and rock climbing. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.