10 Steps to Designing a Web Store That Sells

10 Steps to Designing a Web Store That Sells

The feeding frenzy over the ABC show "Shark Tank" among us “hustlers” is undeniable. Every week my DVR’s red recording light is on for ABC’s top-rated business based reality show. Some people think the show is about business, and it is. However more importantly the show is really about the pitch.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary a “pitch” is the words or speech someone, especially a salesperson, uses to persuade someone to buy, do, or use something. In the digital age that pitch is verbal but when you mix the verbiage with the visual presence of an online store your investor persuasion fact increases exponentially. So in the real world, Shark Tank is way more about the presentation than the sum of its business parts.

As an avid fan of the show, I have seen people get investments from the sharks with a half-baked concept but a stellar web based marketplace. And on the other hand I have seen great ideas fall victim to really horrible websites. The one thing you better not do on Shark Tank is show Mark Cuban a crappy website, he will chew you up and spit you out on your bum.

So what are the 10 necessary components of a good transactional webpage that will decrease your likelihood of just becoming old shark bait?

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  1. Search Box / Search Bar - Analyze your viewers search terms regularly. Research the keywords used by visitors to land on your site.
  2. Product Titles - Treat it like the lock to Pandora’s Box: your title is the key that welcomes visitors to the main page containing information on that product.
  3. Product Image - Think about how keyword links are important in text-based content pages. And just like text, image names can also be keyword optimized in the same way as they show up through organic searches in Google Image Search.
  4. Ratings/Reviews - Unbiased feedback from other consumers who’ve purchased the product acts as social proof, which first-time website visitors use to gauge the legitimacy of your brand and products.
  5. Price - If you don’t place accurate and clear price information on your product pages, you stand a chance of not setting proper expectations among your customers. Retail consumers don’t like surprises, and your bounce rates will soar if they’re not able to efficiently find answers to their top question which is, “how much is it?”
  6. Shipping info - Customers do not like a big surprise when they view shipping costs at checkout. You should manage expectations by clarifying shipping and handling costs up front.
  7. Add to Cart button - The add to cart is the primary conversion spot on most retail sales pages. If you can get them to put it in the cart then the CTA (call to action) is a success for your product page.
  8.  Product Description -Some online entrepreneurs settle with using pure images on product pages, mistakenly assuming that no one will read their product descriptions. Others rely on the manufacturer’s product descriptions, without making any modifications. In both instances, your chances of appearing in search results are negatively impacted by not having an effective, relevant product description that adds to the context of the page.
  9. Alternative Images - Multiple images and views of your product will allow consumers a more holistic experience when deciding whether or not to purchase that product.
  10. Social Sharing options - Empowering visitors to share your product detail pages is critical for several reasons. The most basic reason is that social shares allow you to gain penetration into the social networks of your site visitors. In addition to the traffic, social referrals may have a higher chance of turning into customers.

Follow these 10 suggestions and I am sure your visit to the Shark Tank will end with Mr. Wonderful toasting your prowess and Mark Cuban patting you on the back for having a killer web presence.