eCommerce Insights with a Digital Creative Director

Date: 27 Aug 2021

There’s a lot more to an eCommerce store than you may think at first! While many stores are configurable out-the-box, great user experience can improve your conversions. The flip side of this is that if your UX isn’t up to scratch, it can have a negative impact on how users interact with your site and even their purchasing behaviours.

Did you know, 38% of online shoppers said they’d leave an online store if it wasn’t attractive? And 88% of users say they won’t revisit an online store if it has bad user experience! We sat down with our Digital Creative Director, Darren Young, to talk all things eCommerce and user experience!  

The starting stages – things to keep in mind

What are some of the core features of a well-performing eCommerce site?

Seamless paths to conversion, slick payment gateways and purchase pathways are important things to keep in mind to make that process as simple as possible. We try to maintain a one-page checkout in most of our eCommerce sites which really drives up conversion rates. The simpler the checkout, the more likely customers are to convert. Great product listing, filtering, and search are also essential to well-performing sites – the better that is, the better your customers can find what they’re looking for.

What are some of the benefits of choosing the right eCommerce platform?

If you’ve chosen the right platform upfront it opens a lot of doors for you going forward. Say you’re based in New Zealand, if your store grows you can easily launch an international store. When you choose the right platform, you can do that quite easily. On a platform like BigCommerce, connecting add-ons or integrating a CRM to your store is really easy. Choosing the right provider upfront is key to that success.

How can B2B sites harness the power of traditional eCommerce?

At the heart of B2B businesses, we’re all just customers. In the past, we’ve found that B2B stores are sticking to their outdated, traditional B2C eCommerce journey from about four years ago. Recently that’s been going out of the window! B2B eCommerce now is more of a B2C journey moulded with some B2B elements, like bulk ordering, repeat ordering, and other B2B functionalities. Using typical B2C experiences like product listings, filtering, site search, and checkout give customers a sense of familiarity with the purchase process and a similar experience to what they’re used to.

What advice would you have for small businesses starting an eCommerce store?

My advice for small businesses is to do their research and pick the right platform – make sure you’re planning for the future. There are many eCommerce platforms to choose from nowadays and some will do the job, but might not be future-proofed. You need to think about what will happen if your company grows so you’re able to expand and change with ease. Make sure you can implement add-ons and a CRM to your site so that your platform will work for you as your company grows.

Optimise and customise

How do you optimise an eCommerce store for mobile?

Mobile is always top of mind when redesigning any site, not just eCommerce. On an eCommerce platform especially, we think of those different channels to focus on and how & where customers are interacting with that site. They could be in-store or at home, they could be researching, comparing prices, or purchasing. Their mobile journey should be really smooth and easy to check out. Things like optimising payment gateways and having great site search on mobile are going to make all the difference to your conversions. You’ve also got to make sure your site is super-fast too. On mobile, people will be loading your site on 4G or 5G networks, sometimes, like in a mall, networks drop down to even less, so you’ve got to ensure your site’s really quick.

 What are some common misconceptions about eCommerce?

I think when people think of eCommerce, they think of that traditional model of selling products online. But we’ve had clients such as car rental companies who we’ve built custom eCommerce journeys for. We can transform a typical brick and mortar business into an eCommerce business by taking the whole customer journey online. It doesn’t have to be an out-of-the-box approach, it can be a customer approach. We turn that one-on-one, face-to-face experience that their customers are used to into an eCommerce journey.

Looking ahead – what’s next in eCommerce?

What’s the best new eCommerce trend you’ve seen?

More businesses are adopting a multichannel approach using things like social commerce, Google shopping, and integrating their eCommerce stores with those types of platforms. This gives them a broader reach to potential users and allows more channels for purchasing – increasing the overall revenue of their eCommerce site.

What do you predict will become eCommerce trends in the future?

 I can see the subscription-based model of eCommerce growing. We already see a lot more sites adopting this and turning their products into a subscription. That kind of set and forget – you order once and every month you get the product. We see all sorts of sites doing this now like craft breweries or gifting sites.

Another trend that I think will grow are the different payment services, the buy-now-pay-laters like Afterpay LayBuy, and Humm. This opens doors for a lot of potential clients who may not be able to afford an upfront cost of a product.