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The first step toward building an online business is developing a well-designed website. No matter which ecommerce platform is selected, a strong web presence is vital to the profitability of a business.
entrepreneur‘s new book on Shopify helps business owners succeed at building an online ecommerce reputation, complete with insider tips from some of the best experts on the platform. All of these experts typically advise on the importance of a well-designed website. Luckily for any aspiring entrepreneur, there’s a plethora of experts available to help with this (Shopify even offers a team of experts available to its users whenever necessary).
Let’s take a look at some of the traits that the websites for almost every successful online business have in common.
Related: 5 Web Design Tips You Can’t Ignore in 2022
Website success starts by adhering to the basics
There are nine essential sections that all successful websites should be available to anyone who is browsing on their smartphones or computers.
1. About Us
The About Us section should include information on the origins of a business, the company mission/philosophy and information on what sets it apart from the competition. It’s also possible to use this section as an opportunity to show any charitable connections and behind-the-scenes details of how you strive for success.
2. Contact Us
A brand should always be accessible to its readers and customers, and this section provides the information necessary for anyone to get in contact with the business and its team. You want website visitors to be confident that a human is behind the business. It is possible to do this in several ways, including a live chat function, a contact form built into the website or by listing an email address and/or contact phone number on every page.
3. FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
The goal of a FAQ section is to answer common questions as straightforwardly and efficiently as possible. Once an online store or website launches, owners and management will be bombarded by the same types of questions. Return policy, shipping options and sizing questions are all possible areas to focus on if you have a product-oriented website.
This is the product listing page and the most important section of any ecommerce website. You should always include text detailing the product itself, photos or videos of the products and customer reviews. Because potential customers are not seeing the products in a physical store, ecommerce owners should do everything they can to get customers excited about their product.
5. Shopping Cart
Once a potential customer clicks to add something to their cart, this is the page where customer information is collected. Shipping address, billing information, contact information and payment details will be acquired here. Additionally, a business owner may wish to allow for coupon codes and referrals. The Shopify platform makes it incredibly easy to design a shopping cart page with everything you need. If a shopping cart page is not designed well, a confused customer might abandon the checkout process altogether.
6. Ratings and Reviews
Although product pages may also include this, many smart brands have a section of their website dedicated to the business as a whole and customers’ overall satisfaction with the products and services that it offers.
For marketing and public relations purposes, this section can be important for getting products covered by the media. Showcase positive coverage the brand has received, and make sure you have press materials such as product images available to media members who might cover the company in the future.
8. Social Media Links
In today’s world, many people are more likely to contact a business through social media than email. It should be easy for users to find a brand’s social media links through its website. This should include links to outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, TikTok, etc. A key point to remember: These links should open in a new browser window so that users remain on the business website at all times, even when clicking the link.
9. Newsletter, Blog or Podcast
All three of these can be extremely effective marketing tools. If you choose to offer these tools, make sure to link and promote them on the company website in highly visible areas.
Branding is everything (and should remain consistent)
This is where the overall design of the website comes in. Customers will associate colors, fonts and tones they see present on a company website with its products, and vice versa. Stay consistent throughout. This can be made easy with Shopify by using one of its pre-existing theme designs. Website owners can then customize these themes to fit the overall company and brand.
To learn even more about Shopify, including valuable insider knowledge from some of its experts, check out entrepreneur‘s new book, The Ultimate Guide to Shopify. It’s available now on Entrepreneur Bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble or Bookshop.
Related: How Website Design Can Make or Break the SEO for Startups