Ecommerce website checklist: 100+ tips for a better online shop
Throughout its years in this industry, Grinteq has seen a wide variety of online shops in diverse states of 'health'. Since you are here, we believe, you are concerned about the well-being of your online property, as any good owner would be. We recognize and respect this quality in you, which is why we have compiled this helpful reminder/checklist to assist you in keeping tabs on the status of your web shop. You got this!
Let's lay the groundwork first. Choosing an ecommerce platform is as consequential as, say, deciding where to set up a flagship shop physically. It significantly affects your capacity, opportunities, and the ease with which you can unlock your potential. On top of this, your consistent growth and happy clients may directly depend on the capabilities and scalability of your chosen platform.
- Evaluate the platform's scalability to determine whether or not it will support your company as it expands in terms of traffic, sales volume, and product offerings.
- Ensure the platform is simple to use and maintain by evaluating its user interface, administrative capabilities, and content management system.
- Check if the platform you choose is mobile-friendly by looking into its responsive layouts and mobile optimization.
- Check whether the platform has interfaces with other channels (marketplaces, social media) if you want to broaden your sales reach.
- Evaluate the platform's capacity to provide a unified customer profile, synchronized inventory management, personalized marketing campaigns, and a seamless experience across all channels (online, offline, mobile, and in-store).
- Research options for customization; this includes things like the availability of editable templates and themes, as well as the freedom to alter the platform's code if necessary.
- Check if the platform supports the integration of third-party applications and services (including accounting, inventory management, and payment gateways) that you want to employ.
- If you want to sell to customers all over the world, you'll need a platform that can accommodate their needs in terms of language, currency, and taxation.
- Examine the platform's upgrade procedure, update frequency, and continuing maintenance needs to guarantee it is always up-to-date and protected.
- Ensure that your data is yours to keep and can be simply exported in the event that you ever wish to move platforms.
Tools we recommend
These are some of the helpful tools that can be used to ensure the robust performance of your ecommerce platform:
- BrowserStack for comprehensive cross-browser testing.
- GTmetrix for website performance analysis and optimization recommendations.
- Google Mobile-Friendly test for checking mobile compatibility of the website.
- W3C Markup Validation Service for validating HTML and CSS code.
- Responsinator for responsive design testing across mobile devices.
- UserAgentString.com for understanding the characteristics and behaviors of different platforms based on user agent strings.
- WebAIM for accessibility evaluation tools and resources to enhance compatibility for users with disabilities.
What to read
UX/UI design optimization
Do you agree that aesthetic is functional? When the design is high-quality, it gives customers the idea that they are dealing with top-notch professionals, which is always a plus. Want more of your visitors to become customers? So, let's prioritize UX optimization, staying current with regular updates, and following established best practices.
- Take visuals seriously. Showcase your products using high-quality photos and videos. Shoppers are more likely to notice things when they are displayed in a non-sterile setting, such as a room with a natural backdrop color. If you have access to 3D and 360-degree models, use them.
- Make your content easy to understand by giving prominence to its most important features (headings, product names, calls to action).
- Choose legible typefaces, font sizes, and line spacing so that your content can be read easily on any device. Avoid using tiny or otherwise unreadable typefaces. Be wary of using custom fonts, since they may significantly increase page load times.
- Maintain uniformity in the website's visual design by using the same button designs, icons, and form fields throughout.
- Use high-quality photos that have been optimized for the web in order to ensure quick download times without sacrificing aesthetic attractiveness.
- Test your ecommerce website for accessibility by individuals with disabilities, and offer accessible alternatives of images.
- Subtle animations, often known as microinteractions, may be used to increase user engagement and provide them visual feedback on their activities. However, this might slow down your website if it is installed incorrectly.
Tools we recommend
These are some tools for user experience research and testing, design collaboration and prototyping, visual design and graphics, design inspiration and resources, design systems and style guides, and color and typography:
- UsabilityHub for testing tools.
- Figma and InVision for collaboration and prototyping.
- Adobe Creative Cloud for visual design.
- Dribbble, Behance, and Pinterest for design inspiration.
- Material-UI and Storybook for design systems.
- Coolors and Google Fonts for color and typography.
What to read
Mobile experience optimization
There is no way to get people to put down their devices. Cell phones have practically grown into people's palms. Mobile phone users are more likely to make purchases online since they use their phones for more than just talking and watching videos. Your online shop's future is grim if it is not compatible with mobile devices. Let's figure out why the mobile version of your online store isn't doing as well as it could.
- Make it work better using your voice. Every month, more than a billion voice-activated queries are conducted.
- Clean up the User Experience by streamlining the mobile UI with less clutter, less text, and more direct language.
- Use big, tappable buttons so that mobile users may simply browse and interact with your site by mimicking common touch motions.
- Make your information easy to read and scan by breaking it up into digestible chunks and using things like headers, bullet points, and short paragraphs.
- Provide seamless integration with a mobile app, if appropriate; this gives consumers an additional option for using their mobile devices for browsing and purchasing. To make your ecommerce website more like a mobile app in terms of features like offline support, push notifications, and blazing-fast loading speeds, think about using PWA technology.
- Offer promotions, discounts, or offers that are only available on the mobile platform to entice customers to make purchases.
- Search engine optimization for mobile devices involves tweaking page names and meta descriptions. Title tags should have no more than 50-60 characters at the most. Meta descriptions should not exceed 120 characters, according to Semrush.
- Use mobile analytics tools to collect information about user behavior and engagement, and run tests often to find and fix any problems that only occur on mobile devices.
- Iteratively improve the mobile experience based on user input, usability testing, and emerging mobile trends for a consistently positive user outcome.
Tools we recommend
- Google's mobile-friendly test may evaluate a site's responsiveness and provide suggestions on how to enhance the user experience.
- Online stores may be tested using tools like BrowserStack and Sauce Labs.
- There are a plethora of tools for fine-tuning and optimizing performance, like PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix.
- UserTesting and Validately are two existing options for mobile usability testing.
- Google Analytics and Mixpanel are just two of the many mobile analytics solutions available today.
What to read
Everyone wants their site visitors to have fun and not wait for pages to load forever. Everyone wants their site where every product is easily searchable on Google. And, yes, it's not that easy, especially with hundreds of goods and many customization choices. See our SEO recommendations.
- If you have duplicate content on numerous URLs, use a canonical tag to tell which URL to utilize.
- Implement multilingual detection. Use hreflang to tell search engines you have many language versions of a page. Their users get the latest build.
- Check unindexed and broken links. Redirect deleted pages to avoid 404 errors. The robots.txt file lets you block search engines from crawling particular sites.
- Resize photos and videos on your site.
- Caching commonly used files locally might save time and bandwidth on the user's device.
- Leverage CDN serves content reducing latency and page load times.
- Before delivering resources over the network, websites should activate Gzip compression to reduce file sizes and load times.
- Optimize database queries and establish indexes to accelerate data retrieval and server response times.
- To ensure your site runs well, choose a web host with fast servers and strong uptime.
- Optimize server settings, database queries, and caching to speed server response.
- Upgrade to HTTP/2 to speed up server-to-browser data flow.
- Remove or optimize third-party scripts that slow down your site.
Tools we recommend
You may boost your website's health and SEO in a few different ways:
- Cloudflare, Akamai, and Fastly are examples of Content Delivery Network (CDN) services that help distribute a website's content over several servers to speed up page loads for visitors in various areas.
- Website server load may be decreased by using a caching plugin like W3 Total Cache or Varnish Cache for Wordpress.
- Tools for minifying and concatenating files to lessen their overall size and the number of times a page must be loaded from the server.
- Use Google Search Console and other search engine optimization (SEO) tools on a regular basis to monitor and enhance the website's technical state and boost its rankings.
We can all agree that first impressions are sometimes the most lasting. You don't want to spoil a potential relationship with customers by making a bad first impression with your homepage. It's the act of welcoming someone with a smile and open arms. To avoid coming across as insincere or hollow, you must work hard to improve in this area. So, let's find out how to use it to its full potential.
- For effective branding, it is important that your company's logo, slogan, and value proposition all appear prominently on your site.
- Highlighting popular or seasonal product categories or curated collections might help buyers in finding their desired products.
- Use visual hierarchy to direct readers' attention to the most crucial parts of your site, such as your essential items, and deals.
- Include a space on the main page to feature your most recent blog posts, articles, or other educational stuff that will be of interest to your target audience. It will also aid in improving your rankings in search engines.
- Test. Then test again. Conduct many tests to see which alternates fare the best.
- Here are some examples of possible diagnostic procedures:
- A/B testing compares and contrasts two variants of a product that differ only in a single respect. Data reveals which variable satisfies the purpose by isolating the variable and comparing otherwise equal things.
- With split URL testing, you may compare two URLs to see how they do with various iterations of your website. You may test whether version of your site works better by showing it to an unsuspecting user. Split URL testing is highly suggested if a substantial change, such as a new checkout procedure or a varied menu, is being considered.
- Multivariate testing is a sort of experimentation in which numerous variants are tested simultaneously rather than separately to discover the optimal solution. Multivariate testing is useful when you want to alter more than one variable at once, such as the headline, the body content, and the call to action.
- Engage new email marketing subscribers by posting a prominent newsletter registration form on your homepage.
Tools we recommend
These are some tools and strategies for optimizing the design and user experience of your ecommerce homepage:
- Heatmap tools like Hotjar or Crazy Egg for visualizing user behavior.
- User testing platforms like UserTesting or TryMyUI for gathering user feedback.
- A/B testing tools like Optimizely or Google Optimize for testing design variations.
- Web analytics tools like Google Analytics for understanding user behavior.
- Responsive design testing tools like Responsinator or BrowserStack.
- Usability guidelines like the Nielsen Norman Group's standards.
- Performance optimization tools like GTmetrix or PageSpeed Insights for optimizing loading times.
- Feedback and survey tools like Qualaroo or SurveyMonkey for collecting direct feedback.
- Competitor analysis for understanding successful ecommerce competitors and highlighting unique selling propositions.
Product pages optimization
Remember that people who shop online can't really "hold" the product before purchasing it. To make up for this, you and your ecommerce developers, especially those working on product pages, will need to put in some more time and effort. How can one organize these product pages so that potential customers may get all the information they need to make an informed decision? Let's go through our checklist for improving product pages.
- Provide your shoppers with the opportunity to be notified when an out-of-stock item returns to stock. It is a great way to get them to come back and make a purchase.
- Add a social component. Using social media's purchasing capabilities, you may increase your business's selling potential and reach a wider audience. Some of the ecommerce platforms like Shopify are really good at supporting social commerce.
- Combine different marketplaces. By integrating with major marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Walmart, and others in your sector, you can get access to their massive user base and take use of their well-established infrastructure to boost your sales and raise awareness of your business.
- Enhance customer engagement and conversion rates by providing a more personalized experience based on each user's preferences, purchase history. Add product recommendations, personalized messaging, and targeted promotions.
- Have actual customers rate and reviews of your products. Confidence for consumers is everything. This insightful data may also be used to further develop your offering.
Tools we recommend
These are some strategies and tools to improve ecommerce product pages:
- PIM systems like Akeneo, Salsify, or inRiver for centralized product data management.
- User reviews and ratings platforms like Yotpo or Trustpilot for building trust through social proof.
- Product videos can be created with Adobe Premiere Pro or iMovie to showcase features and usage.
- Product comparison tables can be made with TablePress or WP Product Review for easy feature and price comparisons.
- Visual product customization tools like Configurator360 or Threekit for personalized product experiences.
- Call-to-action optimization with Crazy Egg or Hotjar for optimal button placement and design.
- A/B testing with Optimizely or VWO to identify effective design and content combinations.
What to read
Something’s wrong with your checkout process if you have nightmares about the abandoned card situation. How can ecommerce site maintain low levels of friction and provide a user experience as soft as a silk pillowcase? Your clients should have no reason to doubt the reliability of your resource or the security of your checkout procedure, which should function as flawlessly as a Swiss watch. Let's examine ways to reduce friction in the buying process to ensure that your clients never have second thoughts.
- Minimize shopping cart abandonment by making the checkout procedure as straightforward and easy to follow as possible.
- Allow customers to pay in a number of different ways (including via BNPL). Let your clients pay with their mobile devices by accepting Apple Pay and Google Pay.
- Protect consumer information during financial dealings by using SSL encryption and reputable payment providers.
- Guest checkout: Allow visitors to finish a transaction without registering, removing a potential barrier to entry and enhancing user experience.
- Indicate to customers where they are in the checkout process and how many steps remain by displaying visible progress indicators.
- The time it takes to input user information like shipping and billing addresses may be greatly reduced by using autofill and autocomplete tools.
- Provide up-to-the-moment shipping quotations depending on the user's location and preferred delivery method to promote openness and prevent any unpleasant surprises.
- Provide a website or email that confirms the order and lists the order number, products ordered, shipping address, and expected delivery date.
- Simplify the checkout process for recurring buyers by offering one-click payment choices or saving their payment information.
- Order monitoring: Offer order tracking so that customers may monitor the delivery status of their items.
- Displaying trust badges, security stamps, and payment logos at checkout may reassure customers and establish credibility.
- Provide a persistent cart so customers' items may be saved between visits and completed at a later time.
- Make your return policy easy to understand and follow for your customers.
- Implement an abandoned cart program in which a consumer is notified through email if an item has been sitting in their cart for more than X number of days.
Tools we recommend
These are some ways to improve ecommerce checkout process:
- Address autocomplete tools like Google Places Autocomplete or AddressFinder to reduce errors and streamline the process.
- Retargeting and abandoned cart recovery tools like AdRoll or Facebook Pixel for recovering sales and reminding customers of their abandoned carts.
- Fraud prevention tools like Sift, Signifyd or Riskified to protect against fraudulent transactions and financial losses.
- A mobile-optimized checkout process with responsive design, easy navigation, and touch-friendly elements.
- Conversion optimization with A/B testing services like Optimizely or Google Optimize to identify effective design and content variations for increasing conversions.
- Analytics and tracking tools like Google Analytics or Mixpanel to track user behavior during checkout and identify optimization opportunities.
What to read
You don't want a major data breach that compromises customer data and destroys your brand. No matter what, you must keep things secure and regularly update what can be updated. Cybersecurity measures protect your virtual fortress. Use our checklist to detect and fix security problems, prevent intrusions, and protect sensitive data.
- Implement an SSL certificate that secures data exchanged between a user's browser and your website.
- Choose a secure hosting solution with regular backups and monitoring to protect your data.
- All user accounts should have minimum password length, a mix of letters, numbers, and special characters, and required password updates.
- Implement two-factor authentication (2FA) to safeguard user accounts using a code sent to their phone.
- Update regularly: your ecommerce platform, plugins, themes, and other software to prevent security issues.
- Secure payment processing: ensure your payment gateway service satisfies PCI DSS regulations.
- Encrypt credit card, social security, and password information to avoid abuse.
- Add firewalls and intrusion detection systems (IDS) to prevent intrusions and attacks.
- Use anti-malware software and size limits.
- Run regular vulnerability scans and penetration testing to uncover security problems.
- Protect user accounts against brute-force attacks, account enumeration, and account lockouts after too many failed login attempts.
- Implement strong passwords, IP whitelisting, and other protections to limit who can see, do, and access the administrative panel.
- Proceed regular backups to ensure data may be recovered after a security breach or data loss.
- Employ logging and monitoring systems that help to discover and eliminate hazards.
- Investigate and analyze any third-party integrations or services you intend to use to secure your website.
Tools we recommend
Ways to make a website safer include the following:
- Protection against typical online assaults can be achieved via an online Application Firewall (WAF) services, such as Cloudflare, Sucuri, or Akamai.
- Nessus, Qualys, and OpenVAS are all examples of vulnerability scanning technologies used to locate and report on possible security flaws.
- Password regulations that are enforced strictly, together with password managers such as LastPass or KeePass, to promote safe password habits.
- Proactively addressing possible security flaws via regular security audits and penetration testing with professional security services or tools like OWASP ZAP or Burp Suite.