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Does your ecommerce website really communicate with your customers?

by Chris Sutton | May 9, 2013

I’ve bought a few things online over the last couple of weeks, including replacing broken wine glasses, finding a favourite and scratched album from the 70s that has been re-released on CD for the first time and tracking down replacement earphone foam covers. I’d have to say it’s been an interesting experience.

One thing stood out for me as I searched and eventually bought each of these items! None of the websites I visited, or even the online businesses I eventually bought from, provided enough information for me to make my purchases immediately. Two of the companies I eventually phoned, and the third I e-mailed my questions, and I bought online from two of them and the third I placed my order by phone as their checkout wasn’t secure!

As web developers, we work on a wide variety of ecommerce web designprojects, and the hardest concept to get across to many businesses that are new to ecommerceis the importance of creating content (copywriting and images) that really communicates with their customers.

The issue with the websites where I made the purchases I mentioned above was that what little content that was on the websites didn’t answer the questions I had. If I’d been a casual shopper just browsing, I’d have never bought from those businesses as it just wasn’t a great experience on their websites.

The mark of a good ecommerce websiteis one where real thought has been given to what customers might want to know about the product or service, and a real attempt has been made to answer those questions. Now, the reality is that you’re never going to be able answer every possible question, but you do need to think about the sorts of queries that you might get from your customers when you talk to them face to face (or on the phone) and then try to incorporate answers to those queries in your website copy.

A good example I came across recently was one of our customers who sells French wine, Bordeaux Shippers. For well over a hundred different wines, they’ve collected reviews, researched the various wineries, described the wines technically, made food pairing suggestions and a whole lot more. Of course that sort of copywriting takes time, but it repays the investment in time many times over. Such copy answers most queries quickly, and most importantly it creates the confidence that leads to immediate sales.

SiteSuite Website Design - Online Marketing Blog Author Chris Sutton

Co-founder and Managing Director of SiteSuite Australasia, Australian pioneers in web design and ecommerce since 1997. For more from Chris you can follow him on Google+ or Twitter, and for further professional musings and thoughts on his other passions in life,

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