Ecommerce is so commonplace these days that it actually sounds slightly odd to talk about “ecommerce” as some niche phenomenon set apart from ordinary life. Now it’s just the way we shop, the way we buy, indeed the way we live. Nonetheless, there are still all sorts of mistakes that businesses makes, both large and small, when it comes to the website itself. Unhelpfully there’s this very natural temptation to think that because ecommerce is so much the norm now that the website isn’t important as people will come to it anyway. This is all wrong…! The website in 2018 is the shop front of traditional commerce and just as one wouldn’t shop in an off-putting shop, people simply will not shop on an off-putting website.
A Great Landing Page
The landing page, which is often distinct from the home page, is like the shop window itself- the display draws the eye, attracts custom, creates interest and even generates excitement. If you look at a big brand such as Nike then the first thing you see when you visit the site is a very dynamic image of a rotating shoe! It’s exciting and engaging and even if the product itself isn’t to your taste then at the very least it makes you want to stay on the site and find out a bit more about what’s going on.
If the landing page is the shop window then, to stick with the traditional shop analogy, the SEO part of proceedings is getting customers into the shop in the first place. Search engine optimization involves a bit of game playing these days to ensure that your business gets high up the rankings in Google searches and to ensure that you can be found by potential shoppers. A fairly everyday business such as a bed shop for example can enhance its website by ensuring that the things people search for the most when they shop online, are included within the text on the site. Not everybody would know for instance what an Ottoman bed is, but people would search for something like a bed with storage. This is a small detail, but it makes a big difference.
That All-Important USP
The fact is that not every business actually has a unique selling point and often there’s little difference between one company and another. The trick then is to create some sense of difference that the customer can pick up on, and the website is a fantastic tool for achieving this. An extreme example would be the fashion brand Comme des Garcons. This kind of format definitely won’t work for all businesses, but it provides a nice illustration of just how “outside the box” a website can be. The Comme des Garcons website is something of a mystery as it displays no products at all and has no clearly defined sections or buttons.
It seems to break all the rules! Instead the viewer is presented with an apparently random landing page and moves around based on simply clicking in different places on the page. Actually navigating the site in the conventional way doesn’t work at all. It’s a bold approach but it suits the fashion company’s image and sets them apart from their competitors brilliantly.