Build A Better Shop: Your 2017 eCommerce Guide

Running an effective ecommerce shop on WordPress is about more than what you sell, or even what you say about your products. To build a great ecommerce site, you need great organization, easy to use plugins, and an overall approach to styling that puts your product front and center. To do this, however, you’ll need the right tools – and the list of options seems almost endless. How do you choose?

Develop a vision for your ecommerce site and work from there. If you seek the tools that fit your vision, rather than letting the abundance of plugins and themes shape your site, you’ll stay true to your brand – and nothing is more important than that.

Start With Privacy

Typically, every ecommerce WordPress plan comes with an SSL certificate that demonstrates to customers that your site can process payments securely and reduces the risk of a data breach. Unfortunately, if you opt to just add an assortment of plugins to your site without paying for a ecommerce hosting, you may not get this level of security.

Never skimp on security when building an ecommerce site. Customers today are aware of what to look for when it comes to site security and they will opt not to use your site if you don’t have an SSL certificate. You can’t afford not to pay for a safe site.

Use A Shop Theme

You can build an ecommerce shop with just about any WordPress theme if you’re willing to fuss with it long enough, but why over-complicate things? There are dozens of attractive ecommerce themes available that you can customize to fit your needs.

With ecommerce sites, the code is formatted to let you set payment options, organize pricing, and even handle inventory. If you have to wrangle all these details on your own, you guarantee that you’ll be sending a lot of disappointing emails to customers telling them you’re out of something they ordered. That’s a waste of everyone’s time.

Use Graphics Wisely

When generating sales, the quality of the graphics you choose for your sites are of the utmost importance – even if the styles may vary widely. For example, video is great for demonstrating your products, allowing you to highlight unique product features, show your products from every angle, and narrate their use. They offer a more complex view of your offerings than a simple photograph or two might. If you are going to use photographs, make sure you provide a variety of angles and stage the photos well, using natural light and an uncluttered background.

In contrast to product images, other aspects of your website’s graphics may be very simple. For product categories, for example, you might not want to use specific product images, but might opt for minimalist representations instead, like on this website. This can help indicate the diversity of the category while still giving a clear sense of what customers will find if they click further.

Check Out The Competition

Though your closest competition will always be those in the same sales niche as you, remember that at the end of the day, you’re also competing with sites that are simply more appealing than yours. As you build your site, look at top performing pages and award-winning ecommerce sites for inspiration.

Several different organizations give awards to ecommerce sites, including the well known Awwwards and BigCommerce. One of the main factors that BigCommerce looks for among their top sites is not just performance, but improved performance – the ability to boost sales through redesign. For underperforming ecommerce sites, these innovators can be the best inspiration.

Your ecommerce site is the center of your business, but it’s also an expression of something bigger – your company’s character, its commitments, and its goals. Keep that in mind as you develop and grow your site. Let inspiring design be your guide.