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23rd April, 2021

E-commerce site essentials. 17 ways to make a better online shop

Shopify was founded in 2004 by 2 Canadians who just wanted to open a snowboarding store. When they realised the existing e-commerce platforms weren’t up to their standards, they did what all good creatives do - they built their own.

17 years on, Shopify is used by over 1 million merchants worldwide and enjoys a 20% market share. 

93ft builds robust, reliable and scalable e-commerce sites for our retail clients, using the Shopify platform. We’re official Shopify Partners, teaming up to help our clients’ e-commerce business grow. We choose to use Shopify for all our e-commerce clients because of their amazing track record of serving e-commerce businesses from small independents to giants like Hasbro and Heinz

Following on from our ultimate guide to business website essentials, here’s the 93ft guide to e-commerce site must haves. 

17. User Experience (UX)

UX relates to how users - or site visitors - interact with a website. As an experience, it should be easy to use, intuitive to navigate and simple to complete tasks; you don’t want people struggling to find or buy your products or services!

93ft get involved with planning e-commerce sites from sitemap right through to the purchasing process. We help guide you to ensure the route to transaction is smooth, logical and enjoyable - resulting in happy customers and increased revenue for our clients.

16. Mobile friendly

50% of online transactions are made via a mobile device, so e-commerce websites need to be as easy to use and look just as sharp, however they’re accessed. 

Designing sites for desktop then crowbarring them to fit into a mobile screen isn’t the way to achieve this. 93ft develops for mobile first - both to reflect how sites are used, and in preparation of Google’s mobile first indexing update in 2021.

We then work with you to help refine the site's performance post-launch based on actual data of how your customers use and shop your online store.

15. Security

When a customer enters their credit card details, they need to feel safe. 

Shopify take both merchants’ and customers’ safety extremely seriously - as do we at 93ft. Shopify are globally GDPR compliant and they even use ethical hackers to expose vulnerabilities in their sites before customers can be affected. 

SSL certificates come as standard with every 93ft and Shopify site; and 93ft never handle data - meaning your customers’ sensitive details are protected. 

So from data security to safety from hacking, Shopify sites are reassuringly robust.

14. Site speed

Speed is everything when it comes to website loading time. The average site visitor waits just 2 seconds for a page to load in entirety - and bounce rates rise for every second longer. 

Google is firmly focused on a great user experience - so slow sites harm your search engine rankings, and lose you customers. Shopify, in partnership with 93ft’s development team, works hard to provide speedy and load time optimised sites.

13. Strong, consistent digital branding

Your customers need to know they’re on your site.

From first click to checkout, add to basket to order confirmation email, your brand experience has to work well all the way through the buying journey to create strong and lasting connections with your customers. 93ft works with Shopify’s highly customisable templates to custom design a site that looks and feels uniquely yours. 

93ft are branding experts - it’s what we do. 93ft’s brand design team works side-by-side with our web developers, in collaboration with you, creating a unique brand that’s instantly recognisable as yours. 

We understand the power of strong branding, and we design it into your site from code to content. 

12. Great design

Design is a thousand tiny details. 

Design shows the care and consideration that has been put into the product and to create an incredible customer experience. Design is about first impressions and lasting impressions, subconscious reactions and inviting call to actions, all adding up to something which looks and feels beautiful and considered. Quality.

93ft design studio create impactful websites which integrate form and function in equal measure.

“We have been working with 93ft since the very first conception of The Drinks Drop and they have been instrumental in helping us bring an idea to life. 

Not only have they built us a stunning website but they’ve helped us navigate the realms of online shopping platforms to create an e-commerce site that is clean, flexible and user friendly; for both the consumer and for our team! 

It's always a pleasure working with the team, they're helpful, responsive and creative; the perfect partnership.” 

Harriet Goodchild, Business and Operations Manager, The Drinks Drop

11. Great photography and filmmaking

Great products deserve the best visual impact. Bring what you’re selling to life - show your audience as much as possible so barriers to purchase are minimised.

Our multidisciplinary creative team can shoot photographs and film that show your products, the team that helps make them and your business at their best - or we can provide the creative direction to help your own team make that happen.

10. User reviews

8 out of 10 millenials only buy from a store with reviews and around half of all British people check online reviews before buying. Social proof - feedback from peers - reassures your customers that the product they’re considering is as good as they hope.

Negative reviews aren’t necessarily bad though, it’s how you respond that matters.

We can link your site to your Google reviews or Trust Pilot so your visitors can see at a glance who loves your products.

9. Limited product selection

It might seem counterintuitive but fewer products can lead to more sales.

Having a smaller selection prevents decision paralysis, so focusing on doing less - but doing it really well - could actually see your revenue  increase.

8. The perfect call to action

A call to action (CTA) lets your customers know what to do next. It should be clear, compelling and practically impossible to resist. 

The exact CTA that works for your business and your customers will vary. During your 93ft strategy meeting we’ll explore the language and tone your customers respond to best, along with other design elements including colour, white space and hero images.

7. Great copy

Sales copy for e-commerce has to tick a lot of boxes. It needs to describe your products accurately while getting your customers excited to buy. It has to hit the SEO mark so your products can be found, and it needs to get your brand tone of voice just right all the way through.

From a homepage that invites visitors to explore further, to abandoned cart emails that encourage them to checkout, 93ft’s copywriters produce informative and persuasive copy that improves conversion rates.

6. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)

SEO helps your product get found in a crowded marketplace. 

Our web developers take care of the technical SEO your site needs, making it fast and intuitive for your customers, and easy to crawl for the Googlebots.

Then it’s over to our SEO copywriters. Your product’s USP is our focus from day 1 - we use it to find the best keywords to target, then optimise every last inch of your site for those perfect terms. 

We craft your content strategy and produce expert relevant and valuable, 10x content consistently to help you get to Page 1.

5. Scalable and sustainable growth

Wherever your business is at, chances are you’ve got plans for growth. At 93ft we don’t just build you a website that suits you now - we build one that’s capable of growing with your business. 

Gymshark originally started in 19 year old Ben Francis’ bedroom, but when they hit global success they found their platform just couldn’t cope. They switched to Shopify Plus and never looked back.

We help you invest to grow in a carefully managed way, so every penny counts and your business grows sustainably at the rate you want.

4. Strategy and proposition

Working with 93ft means you work with a team with the experience to guide your plan - and the outsider’s perspective to see the bigger picture. 

We help you refine and focus to get to the core of your “Why” - the reason you do what you do and the reason your customers love what you do. We help you identify the proposition that makes it crystal clear why customers should choose you. And we work on creating an effective and targeted strategy to get you where you want to go

3. Website aftercare

Even after your site is finished, we’ve still got your back.

We’re by your side as your creative partners, whatever you need. As well as looking after your site, developing new functionality and keeping security tight, we suggest and help implement new ways of marketing, adding new product development, adjusting your site based on your SEO and Analytics reports and customer data, content strategy, email marketing and paid advertising…

We widen our expertise by working with our trusted partners - a diverse team of independent experts - to increase your range and get your products out there.

2. Analytics

Google Analytics is a powerful and free tool to give valuable insights to how your site is being used.  We link Google Analytics to your site and delve into your customer’s buying habits to identify opportunities for increasing your revenue. 

We’re always looking for ways to help your business grow - just think of us as your trusty business consultant sidekicks.

1. The complete package

93ft delivers the full package, seamlessly, from start to finish. 

We consider the customer journey from start - creating your top performing e-commerce site - to finish - delivering your brilliant product to their door in on point packaging for an experience that is unmistakably you

Our creative teams work together with you to cover every last tiny detail - everything that makes up a great experience for your customers.

Need a new e-commerce site?

If you have an idea - we want to hear it.

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