The Most Important Parts Of An eCommerce Website


It’s shocking to me how hard it is to get merchants to actually spend money on photography, when the only thing that will allow a potential customer to trust you enough to purchase a product sight unseen is a picture! Think about it: would a customer buy something off your website without a photo of the product? Nope. Spend the money. Get some photos taken that show every grain, nick and scratch on the products you’re selling. It shows that you’re honest and instills trust in your potential buyers.


Right after that photo, what’s the next step? You have to explain the dimensions, features and benefits of your product in a way that is convincing. It’s one of my biggest frustrations, when I’m a customer online, to be viewing beautiful photographs of a product I feel may be worth buying, only to find that some of my most important questions aren’t answered.

Is this device compatible with my computer?

Is it going to fit my car?

If I buy it and it’s the wrong model, can I return it? Are you going to charge me a restocking fee?

Whatever my questions are, I need all of them answered before I actually buy it. Otherwise, I’ll go to another website that answers all my questions. Copywriting is often thought of as taking boring copy and making it flow and sound beautiful. Yes, that’s true—it’s also about anticipating questions users will have and answering them. It’s about clearly explaining everything. And doing so in a way that’s not jargony, or full of techno-speak that confuses users.

Ease of Checkout

Why, oh why, do some websites make it hard for you to buy stuff from them? That’s the entire purpose of having an e-commerce website in the first place. It’s about as pointless as giving out business cards for yourself and forgetting to put your phone number on them. Please, please, make your websites easy for people to use them.

Examples of what not to do:

  • Making the “buy now” button hard to find
  • Forcing users to register before adding items to a cart
  • Listing inventory in a way that may make sense to you (alphabetical by manufacturer) but isn’t obvious to users.
  • Selling two products that seemingly go together, without specifying if they are actually compatible (i.e. iPod and iPod adapter)

Make sure you give your users multiple ways to purchase products from you.

Leave a Comment