How to Create a Successful Ecommerce Website


Get the underlying structure right

When creating a new website, it can be tempting to focus on the fun parts, such as creating content, but the truth is that websites need to be both robust and usable.  In fact, these days, they need to be usable across a growing number of devices from smartphones with their tiny screens to smart TVs with their huge ones.  They also need to be accessible and for a UK-based business, that is a point of law (The Equality Act 2010) as well as a point of ethics and good commercial sense.  In other words, ecommerce sites need to be built in such a way as to be usable by as broad a range of people as possible, including those with disabilities.


Provide compelling content

Content is what sets you apart from the competition, particularly if you are selling goods and services which are available elsewhere.  Resist the temptation to use manufacturer’s standard product descriptions and stock images.  First of all these do precisely nothing to enhance your

individuality as a brand.  Secondly they are treated as duplicate content by search engines, which negatively impacts a site’s ranking.  In practical terms it may not be possible to rewrite all elements of the product description so that it is completely unique (product dimensions for example, arealways going to be the same), but as much as possible should be recreated so that it is fresh.  Stock images are to be avoided at all costs.  As the old saying goes “seeing is believing” and you want and need customers to believe in you and your products.  So hire a good product photographer and get images which will really impress visitors to your site


Be sociable

Social media can turn a small business into a huge success story.  At the very least it can broaden the reach of any company and provide a platform for it to engage with people who are interested in what it has to offer.  There are basically two steps to maximizing your level of social influence.  Step one is to have appropriate social buttons on your website to make it easy for

your visitors to share it with their friends and followers.  Step two is to post the sort of content they like and want to share.  There are two golden rules to creating “shareable” content.  

1 – All content must entertain, inform and/or inspire

2 – All content must be succinct.

To clarify the second point, there is a difference between succinct and short.  Contrary to what is often suggested, internet users may well be quite happy to engage with longer content.  Succinct means that the maximum amount of content must be conveyed in the shortest amount of time.  Since photographs are hugely useful for conveying a lot of information very quickly (hence the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”, shareable content tends to be based on quality photographs, either on their own or supported by high-quality descriptive writing.