How To Create An eCommerce Website

Many people lose marketing focus when it comes to their eCommerce website content, which is why it’s so important to learn how to create an eCommerce website before you get started. The trick is to focus on one place, one target – it’s all about the buyer journey, and directing people in a way that will resonate.

In order to make your advertising, marketing and content hit a bullseye and make a positive and impacting impression, you need to know exactly where your target is and what it looks like. 

How To Create An eCommerce Website

From our experience in eCommerce website design we can promise that if you are not committed to sending your content out in a specific direction, you won’t get the focus and clarity you need to convince people to follow through on buying your products or services.

Your ideal customer is also called a marketing avatar, a target market or a buyer persona. This is the person who is the perfect fit for what you do. This is the person you made your business for initially. 

When you write your content, structure your website and set your advertising campaigns just for this particular person, you get laser focus and are able to offer clear direction to people on how you help to solve their problem. 

This focus and clarity are what is needed to be convincing, motivating and inspiring. The result is you get more people signing up, asking about your services or clicking to buy.

This is an area where business owners really struggle, however, it is the first step to success. If you missed it, you’ll need to go back and figure out exactly who you are selling to. 

The fear many people have is that if you target only one persona, you ignore everyone else, and your message won’t go out. Even though you are targeting one persona, everyone who reads it will get that same idea of clarity and direction.

So let’s get into how understanding who your ideal audience is can help you design your eCommerce website.

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How do I find my ideal customer?

When you know your customer’s preferred buying method, and the reasons behind their purchase, you can direct them through your website in a way that works in their favour, giving them a more interactive and satisfying experience.

When you create a direction for your user on your website, you are constructing a buyer journey. You want that journey to be a close fit to your buyer persona, so that you give them a seamless, smooth and enjoyable pathway.

The Buyer Journey is every step they take online with you, from finding your site, through to completion, where they transition from a lead to a customer. A great journey will take them through levels of awareness and end with satisfaction.

The results we see from our eCommerce website development projects is the same time and time again: When created correctly, a good buyer journey will not just convert more leads, it will also bring loyalty through repeat sales, positive word-of-mouth and glowing testimonials.

The tricky part is understanding your customer so well that you can confidently determine what steps you need to put in place. You know what they want and how they want it, so you can deliver them the website journey that will live up to their expectations.

Here are some things a good buyer journey will do:

  • Create interest
  • Build a strong connection between their need and your business as a solution
  • Move at a speed that feels comfortable
  • Provide action
how do you know who your ideal buyer is

How do you know who your ideal buyer is?

Every person is different, that’s for sure, and every person will be coming from different backgrounds and have different experiences. However, they all have one thing in common, your product. 

Your product will be the defining factor that helps you find the relevant traits of your ideal buyer.

By looking at your product offering you will quickly narrow down your market.

Questions that your product will help answer:

  1. Is this a quick buy, or a luxury buy?
  2. Is this a local service where you need to drop in, or an online service accessible to everyone? 
  3. Is this a single purchase or repeat sale?
  4. Is this for parents, singles, newly married, older people, retirees or someone else?

If you have any business history, look at your most common customer: Who are they, why do they come to you, what results do they see? 

If you don’t have any business experience yet, look at your business mission. Why did you start this business, what gap were you trying to fill in the market? 

Chances are that you, or the person you were five years ago, will be your ideal buyer.

Here are some examples for you to consider who the ideal buyer would be for each of these eCommerce websites

  1. Engagement ring retail
  2. School lunch box designs
  3. Beauty products
  4. Embossing personalised names on stuffed animals
  5. Car detailing products

What about these answers

  1. Men looking for something blinging and classy
  2. Parents looking for something quick, fun and practical
  3. Women wanting to look beautiful, young and flawless
  4. Friends and family looking for a gift to celebrate a baby
  5. Men spending their spare time loving their car

Obviously, there are other people looking to buy all of these products from eCommerce websites as well, however, their desires will be the same, the results they want will be the same, so when you focus on assisting them in the fastest, most efficient way possible, everyone benefits.

How does choosing a buyer persona work?

Your reader won’t know about your chosen persona. You won’t be using their name, profession, age or gender in any of your content or strategies, it’s about having them in your mind when you make your choices. “What would my ideal customer want?” and putting that step in for them. 

This way everyone who wants the desired result will feel satisfaction on the buyer journey. So for example, lunch boxes, you would be thinking about busy mums, trying to find a good size and shape box to fit into a school bag, but also with a design her kids are going to feel proud of. 

You wouldn’t need to say, “hey busy mom, we have the box you need.” You could just make the steps to selecting their box easy, by putting them in categories or having bright, clear pictures so they know what they are getting. Making checkout quick and easy would also be a real plus here. You might also find product suggestions or multibuys a real winner here.

Now if you do this can you see how even a father buying for his son, or a grandma buying a gift for grandkids would also appreciate the steps you have taken? And by pointing out, they fit into an average school bag easily, everyone sees the benefit.

Making space for other options

If you are still feeling like you are narrowing your market too much, here’s something that might help. One of the elements you can control to help suit your buyer persona is timing. How fast or slow they proceed on their buyer journey will be determined by your action steps. 

Every page will have an action to take to get further into your website and closer to becoming a customer. 

You can have two speeds on your pages. You achieve this by giving your readers a primary option and a secondary option. The primary option is the most satisfying and rewarding one for your buyer persona, the secondary is there to support anyone who might need a different pace.

So if your ideal buyer would be ready to view the selection, provide them with that step. 

Everyone else can have a secondary action step to read a testimonial, discover more or meet the team. 

This step is for those who need more time and want to get more familiar with your business before they commit to buying. 

Of course, for your product and your ideal buyer persona, it might be that the opposite is true, the primary action will be to read more, and the secondary action to buy now.

eCommerce website development is the key to maintaining engagement. How much engagement your viewer has in the first steps of the buyer journey depends on the content you post and the action steps you provide. 

When you do the work to have someone discover you, trust you and prove that you can be the solution to their needs, you will have a ready customer who will be satisfied with their purchase.

the five steps of the buyer journey

The Five Steps Of The Buyer Journey

As we mentioned, you will create a journey for your buyer from different levels of awareness to the satisfying result of becoming a customer. Here are the steps they will take.

1. Discovery

There are many ways someone might come to discover your brand or product and arrive at your website

  • Search engine 
  • Paid advert
  • Backlink
  • Social media
  • Referral from a previous user

This is a critical stage as they need to be given the right message at the right time in order to believe that you are a potential fit for their problem. When you get your source material right, you will have them take their first action and arrive at your eCommerce website.

2. Establishing trust

For a lead to commit to a purchase you need to build their trust. To help them as they consider you, demonstrate your ability and display the options available to them.

Your mission, your home page, your about us will all help here by establishing business proof. Be sure you provide primary and secondary action steps on every page.

How you achieve this will depend a little on your product offering and business type, any awards or significant milestones you have achieved, your training and your unique skill set.

Again, think about your ideal buyer persona, do they want a video demonstration, do they need a slide show, what will convince them that you have what they are looking for?

3. Establishing satisfaction

The best way to prove that your customer will achieve success is by showcasing real people who have achieved success before them. This is the social proof that will help their decision making.

You do this through photo galleries, testimonials, reviews, case studies as well as social media posts.

4. Remove risk

If possible remove any risk or doubts a person might have that prevents them taking action. Providing your return policy information, having a free trial period, no obligation quote or a 30 day guarantee are good methods for certain products and business. You will need to match the right risk free offer to your product type and make it genuine.

For other buyer personas you might find instant coupons help make the product more valuable or multi-buys, where you can get multiple products with % discounts, discounted or free postage or bonus offers that increase the value of the purchase.

In other cases a FAQ page might be the best option for removing risk. Posting questions others have had or that you want to address can eliminate buyer doubts and reassure a lead to take action.

5. Go above and beyond

In the early post-buy stage it’s so important to continue customer satisfaction, as this is still part of their buyer experience. Be sure to honour any returns, be polite when addressing complaints and answer all queries promptly. 

When you exceed a customer’s expectations, you will earn their loyalty for the life of your business.

To exceed their expectations you can supply an unexpected bonus with their purchase, follow up to make sure everything went as planned or give them access to an online support or closed social media group. 

Above all continue your contact with them, offering user tips, instruction videos, providing great information in newsletters and information on sneak previews or samples of new products and discount codes for future use or to be used by family and friends.

You can ask for feedback, especially if it’s easy for them based on your buyer persona or ask for testimonials as well.

When you understand your buyer persona, it enables you to easily provide your web leads with the steps for a buyer journey through your eCommerce website that will give them satisfaction in the most seamless way possible. They will enjoy their service with you and find an overall buying experience they will love to share.

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Shaan Nicol

I help business owners increase profits by bringing their vision to life with a world-class website and gold-standard website support. Let’s connect!