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7 Traits Of a Successful E-Commerce Site

With all the hype around Shopify it seems as though everyone is trying to jump on the E-commerce bandwagon. And while you can indeed make millions of dollars with an ecommerce store, the reality is most stores fail within the first few months. Some don’t even make it that long.

So what is it that separates the successful e-commerce stores from the ones that barely make any sales?  The answer can be found in these 7 key traits.

Here are the 7 traits of a successful e-commerce site:

They Are Smartphone User Friendly

These days everyone uses their smartphone to do just about everything. That means if you have an e-commerce store you need to make sure it offers a great mobile user experience.

A great example of a website that does mobile right is BlueNile.com. As soon as you land on their homepage you are greeted with the option to build your own ring. Scroll down a bit more and you will see rings that have already been designed.

This ease of navigation is what mobile shoppers have come to expect from every site they visit. If the site isn’t mobile friendly they will simply leave and never return. So please, focus on making your site as smartphone user friendly as possible.

Quick & Easy Checkout

You want to know the biggest reason people abandon their online shopping carts? It’s because checkout is too complicated. Anytime visitors have to jump through hoops to place an order they will ditch their carts and find another store to do business with.

To make matters worse the chances of them coming back to your website in the future are slim to none.

That’s why it’s so important checkout is as quick and easy as possible. To make this happen offer your visitors easy payment options such as Paypal and Apple Pay.  This way they can literally login and go.

If at all possible avoid making your visitors enter their credit card information through their mobile device. Its inconvenient and is a sure way to get them to abandon their shopping carts.

They Make Product Recommendations

A product recommendation is when you suggest other products the visitor may like. This is usually done in real time and is based on the products the visitor has been viewing while on the site.

You can also set the algorithm to recommend products based on location, purchase history and much more. The goal is to make the shopping experience as personalized as possible. You see this quite often on sites such as Amazon.

By making product recommendations you will increase impulse purchases and thus make more money.

They Offer Multiple Shipping Options

If there is one thing consumers love its free shipping. However, that doesn’t mean they don’t want more options. In some cases the consumer may want the items sooner or they may be on a tight deadline and can’t wait 5 days for free shipping.

Providing multiple shipping options will ensure your visitors don’t run off to the nearest competitor. In addition to free shipping, consider offering overnight shipping and 2 day shipping. This way visitors will have the option to get their items as soon as the next day.

Whatever shipping options you offer, be sure they all include tracking. Tracking protects both you and the customer as it is proof the item has or hasn’t been delivered.

They Make Shipping and Return Policies Crystal Clear

Your shipping and return policies should be easy to find and easy to read. Use simple language and make sure both policies are easily accessible from every page on your website.

To eliminate confusion outline your shipping and return policy in a short statement at the top of every page on your website. A good example of this can be found on Nordstrom.com. You can then link to an extended version to break down all the legal jargon.

They Proactively Address Abandoned Carts

Cart abandonment is one of the biggest issues you will have to deal with as an e-commerce site. In 2016 the shopping cart abandonment rate for smartphone users was 78%. That means millions of dollars worth of merchandise is being left in online shopping carts every single month.

A cart abandonment study done by FuturePay found that the two main reasons visitors abandon their carts is because of shipping costs and overall price.

To combat this issue you will need to follow up with every abandoned cart. If you go to Amazon right now, put several items in your cart and then leave the site, within 24 hours you will get an email reminding you of the items you still have in your cart.

Following up on abandoned carts is one of the best ways to increase sales. Magento has an extension you can install with a single click and it will automatically follow up with customers who have abandoned their carts.

They Take Feedback Seriously

No one likes negative feedback. But if you are in business long enough you are sure to get your fair share.  While it would be easier to ignore the feedback, it would be in your best interest to address it immediately.

Customer feedback just may be one of the most valuable tools at your disposal. Instead of getting offended by it, use it as information that can help you improve your business.


Keep in mind there is no magic formula for running a successful e-commerce site. However, following these best practices will increase your chances of success.

The key is to constantly be improving all aspects of your business. The most successful online stores are always a work in progress. Everyday they are refining their website, their sales funnels and headlines based on current sales and traffic.

Do not try to tackle everything on this list at the same time. Focus on one area at a time and make incremental improvements as you go. Over time this will lead to bigger gains.

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