Electronic commerce, also written as e-commerce or ecommerce is a way of doing business that enables businesses to sell items to buyers through the internet. It is one of the most convenient ways of doing business today with access to a global market and customers. Buyers can view items on desk-top computers, laptops or a variety of handheld devices like tablets and mobiles. From selling books, garments to properties and financial services, everything comes under the ambit of ecommerce. This is reason as to why businesses are looking for ways to drive traffic to ecommerce site to the maximum possible extent to increase sales and enhance profit margins.
B2B or business to business
B2C or business to consumer
C2C or consumer to consumer and
C2B or consumer to business
All these business models thrive best when they carry out ecommerce through a website that is specifically designed and developed to serve this end. Experts opine that the structure of an ecommerce website is the base on which a business can reach its target of increasing traffic to it and thus sales and profit.
Website structure goes beyond its aesthetic appeal and refers to how the pages on the site are related to one another. The way that pages branch off from the main homepage to subtopics and related items is what is referred to as website structure.
A well-organized and structured website will help visitors find their way through it easily and increase the time they spend on-page. This in turn helps increase its ranking on the search engine and bring in more ecommerce traffic with its prominent position. In fact, a well-structured business website is optimized for best user-experience as well as search engines like Google and its algorithms. While the Google bots should be able to crawl the website effortlessly, users should be able to navigate it to their satisfaction flawlessly.
In short, only a site with a carefully developed structure can retain and bring in more visitors while letting the Google algorithms to scan it well too. This is then the key to increase ecommerce traffic for any business or service.
Here are some of the best practices to give your ecommerce website a successful structure:
The hierarchy of your ecommerce website is like a pyramid where you reach the final destination of the tip by moving upwards from its foundation. For the website, there should be only 2 or maximum of 3 layers to reach the final product destination. Your homepage is the first level of the hierarchy followed by the main category or second level and finally the product page which is the third level. This will help potential buyers explore items that interest them easily and increase their time spent on the site.
The other hierarchy that should be kept in mind is to prioritize best selling sections. Such a page should come before other less important pages like blogs or press release. If you have multiple services on offer, then Services should definitely be part of the main Menu section. The Services section will then list the individual on offer potentials. For the bots to be able to identify your site well, make sure not to form too many branches but restrict it to maximum of 5 such sections. However, those selling different products can definitely go into the individual product detailing under each sub-section.
The first step toward enabling an easy moving around or navigation of your ecommerce website is to create a menu that replicates the site structure.
Keep your site navigation simple with a layout that is easy to follow. Avoid adding unnecessary pages to the menu or sub-menus that only complicate matter. Best practice is to follow the thumb rule of reaching each page on the website with a maximum of 3 clicks.
Use side menus to make selection of categories, sub-categories and the products easy. On choosing a category from the menu, it should take the visitor to the final product page with filters to further make finding of products easier.
In case, users wish to change the category of their search, it should be accessible from the same page without having to go back to the main menu. This way, your site moves a step ahead in better ecommerce traffic generation.
Good navigational depth means avoiding too many categories and sub-categories. A good website structure will make all parts of it easily accessible instead of burying it beneath layers of subfolders. If a visitor is looking for Contact Us page, the visitor should be able to find it with a single click. This way you will also help the Google bots find what they are looking for. Shallow depth is the preferred choice for SEO-friendly websites that will help drive traffic to your ecommerce site.
Breadcrumbs in a website are the trails that appear at the top when visitors have moved deeper in from the homepage. They are the directional paths that explain where the visitor is making it easier to understand when they are looking for different categories and browsing between sub-categories. The breadcrumbs explain how the visitor has arrived at a page and the way to get back. When potential buyers are browsing on mobiles, they get displayed prominently as part of user-advantage. Search engines also like following the trail responding positively towards the site and its content chain.
Most ecommerce website traffic is likely to come from handheld devices like mobiles. This calls for special attention to navigational details for websites that are viewed on mobiles. Mobiles have limited screen space that calls for special navigational details. Menus should contain only important categories with sub-categories clubbed wisely.
Call to Action button prompts potential buyers to make the right clicks around the site and paves the way to making a hard selling. Buy now, Add to cart, Checkout are examples of Call to Action buttons. These should be simple in layout and have attractive and relevant colors as per the business genre.
Conversion rate indicates the percentage of visitors who carry out the desired action, and in case of ecommerce sites, makes a buying decision at the portal and pays. According to studies, across verticals, calculated average landing page conversion stands at 2.35%. However, the top 25% tier has a higher conversion rate of 5.31% or more. So, a good conversion rate will be 11.45% and higher.
Apart from having a well-planned site structure for your ecommerce websites here are some other digital marketing strategies that will help increase ecommerce traffic:
• Search Engine Optimization
• Social Media Optimization
• Content Marketing
• Google Shopping
• Facebook Advertising
• Email Marketing
• Influencer Marketing
• YouTube Marketing
Ecommerce sites are specially designed and developed for buyers to find items or services of their choice with a maximum of 3 clicks. Site structure plays the most important role in the process as it makes the site SEO-friendly with the Google bots finding their around easily much like the visitors. Strategic menus design, less navigational depth and placing breadcrumbs are some other factors that lend strength to the structure. Lastly, you need to carry out effective digital marketing strategies to give your site the boost it needs to top the SERPs.