Setting up and running an eCommerce site takes a surprising amount of work and know-how, but the effort is usually well worth it. Not only that, but it has gotten to the point where it is necessary to have an online presence these days if you want to be visible in a sea of competition. With that in mind, below are 5 things your WordPress eCommerce site needs to have if you are to see a return on your investment of time and money.
Payment Processing and Direct Debit
If you are running an eCommerce site, you are going to need a way to process customer payments, pure and simple. There are plenty of plugins and third-party integrations available to make that happen, and the chances are that, as your site grows, you will need to look into increasingly powerful options. These tend to come with higher prices.
You should also seriously consider a direct debit option for any customers or suppliers that do business with you on a continual or cyclical basis. Direct debit platforms make it easier to manage relationships with clients, eliminate the need to chase people for money and, conversely, you can also set it up to ensure you pay your vendors on time as well.
If a spambot obtains your email address, it may be added to spam mailing lists on the internet. This in itself is simply annoying, but the potential scams or phishing emails that result from this can pose a major security risk. Your business email address is never shown on your website when you utilise a contact form, so it can’t be scraped. To create and publish a form in WPForms, for example, you don’t need any coding or web design skills.
Additionally, ask yourself “why do I want my website visitors to contact me?” If you own a company, you need to be obsessed with increasing your lead generation efforts, and a contact form makes it simple for new customers to get in touch with you. The alternative is that the visitor has to go through the hassle of manually generating an email if you only provide an email link. They might not even be able to send an email at all if they’re using a public or shared computer.
One of the most useful features of Google Analytics for businesses is the opportunity to learn more about how users interact with their eCommerce sites. Google Analytics reports provide a bundle of important data points for eCommerce success and help influence smart marketing tactics.
Google Analytics enhanced eCommerce functionality gives you access to a variety of reports with the depth and power you need to efficiently manage an eCommerce site. It’s a gold mine of data on eCommerce analytics, including site overview and product performance, shopping analysis, and product list performance.
The objective of responsive design is to eliminate the need for excessive resizing, scrolling, zooming, or panning that occurs on websites that are not mobile-friendly. Navigating these sites is very often challenging (or impossible), and it may end up costing you potential customers. People will only remain on your site for a very short amount of time before deciding it’s not worth their effort.
You can make adjustments to your website quickly and easily if it has a responsive design, and you won’t have to bother updating two different sites (one mobile, one PC). If you just want to make a small design modification or amend a typo, a responsively-designed site means you only have to make one change. This is in addition to improved user experience and SEO gains.
The majority of eCommerce sites are really complicated and feature a large number of products. Crawlers will visit your site and crawl your pages, but not all of them will be crawled. While most sites are customer-facing, and the intention is to convert a visitor into a customer, you should also be aware that there are pages that are not visited by customers yet are critical for SEO.
Having multiple levels/pages of products, having a high-bandwidth site, and other variables will increase the risk that some of your products may not be crawled and indexed as frequently as they should be. Sitemaps inform crawlers about the essential pages on your site and provide Google with additional information that can help you improve your rating and increase traffic to your website.
Running an eCommerce site, whether you are selling products, services or a combination of both, means there are certain investments and features you absolutely need to have. Depending on your site’s niche, size and budget, you will want to consider a different suite of plugins, integrations, and design features, but the above five should be considered must-haves regardless of the other specifics.