Three Killer Features Of A Successful Online Store

As I’m sure you’re aware, if your primary sales channel is a website you need to make the online experience for your customer just as great, if not better, than if they were visiting your bricks and mortar retail space.

So what makes an amazing online store? Well, there are loads of elements that all need to come together to create one really killer site but these three key features are a great place to start:

Ever shopped on a site that wasn't visually appealing? Sure, we've all done it at some stage and even though we didn’t really want to hang around we probably continued to use it just for convenience. You may remember David Jones’ first foray into E-Commerce? Well, let’s just say thank god they turned that ship around! However, 99% of the time when you make a purchase online it’s because the site has captivated you with beautiful imagery and made you feel a part of their brand story; you aspire to dress like the model from their campaign shoot, you want that oh so perfect lifestyle that’s captivating you in flashing pixels. Beautiful visuals stop us all in our tracks and there's no denying that great images sell products. 

High impact visuals are awesome, but you need to follow up with detailed product descriptions that allow your customer to easily imagine your product fitting into their wardrobe, life or living room. And don’t forget you’ll also you need to point out the fabric content, wash and wear instructions and features and benefits. But to create a winning description try putting yourself in your customers' shoes and make suggestions on where they might wear that piece. Give them the reason to buy and it’s an instant Add To Cart! For some great examples of well written product descriptions take a peek at these winners:  

  • NATALIJA, I think everyone would agree that lounging around in a silk slip is exactly what we’d like to do everyday!
  • REFORMATION adopts a more tongue in cheek approach with their “Everything you always wanted to know about me” angle.
  • COUNTRY ROAD can always be relied on for short, sharp “yes, this totally suits me" descriptions.
  • Subtle editor’s notes grab the attention of high-end designer brand fiends at NET-A-PORTER

And so we come to the third, and arguably most important, of the holy trinity. Imagine walking into a fashion store on any high street. Your journey would go as follows: notice enticing window display, walk in and flick rack from left-to-right, select a few items to try, continue browsing, visit the fitting room, purchase. Pretty simple right? Well this is how simple and easy you need to make your customers experience online and being able to navigate your site quickly is vital. So don’t make it difficult or tricky for people to browse around your site and make sure you don’t have too many sub-headings or categories to filter through. The fewer the mouse clicks the better (something Apple’s Steve Jobs was famously obsessed with), especially for those customers who might be online to make a quick convenience purchase. Make it super easy for them to locate that style or item, buy it and move on. To facilitate a smooth journey to purchase try to use familiar navigation headings that appear on many other shopping sites such as Contact Us, Shipping & Delivery etc and always include a prominent search bar - your customers will thank you for it!