I had the misfortune of going shopping in the sales just after Christmas. It’s no exaggeration to say that one very well known high street store looked like a bomb had gone off. I’ve visited ecommerce sites that have left me with that impression too. There’s several lessons to be learnt from the bricks and mortar retailers to improve your site.

  • Make your site easy to navigate. High street retailers categorise products into areas of their store and use signage to make finding things easier. Make your site easy to navigate and products simple to find.
  • Show your products off. I won’t buy clothes from shops that are dimly lit and similarly I can’t stand ecommerce sites that haven’t invested in good quality photography of their products or don’t allow you to zoom in to see details.
  • Welcome customers in. Our connection (or disconnection) with a shop starts before we even go inside. Make your homepage welcoming, helpful and easy to progress from. Don’t force people to sign up for anything before allowing them to browse.
  • Be accessible. It’s unthinkable these days that a high street store wouldn’t be fully accessible to all customers, so make sure your ecommerce site allows everyone to browse and purchase.
  • Make sure people can find you. Just as shops provide people with directions to find them, so you need to point people to your website. The right mix of Search Engine Optimisation, Pay Per Click and banner campaigns will do this for you.
  • Make it easy for customers to spend their money. Ever been in a huge store and not been able to find the checkout? Make sure your website checkout is easy to find, intuitive and fast.