This article is a summary of the white paper “The 12 lessons of leading e-commerce sites” published by the agency 1min30. There are more and more e-commerce sites, around 138,000 today according to Fevad (figure dating from 2013). Some sites have become reflexes for Internet users to shop online while others are invisible to them and generate little or no traffic. How to stand out to generate traffic and convert your audience into a customer?

The answer through these 12 ingredients which constitute the recipe for success of e-commerce sites leaders on their market:

1.Become your own media

For a long time, brands have had to broadcast content via the media, buying space on it (television campaign, poster, press insert or even display advertising). Today, with the digital revolution, brands can become their own media, e-commerce sites too: they can create content and distribute it on their own media: their pages on social networks, their blog, their site directly …

Quality content, published regularly, helps build customer loyalty, improve brand attachment and enhance the brand by anchoring its products in its universe.

2. The end of the catalog sales sites

Stop sites that are only extensions of old distance selling catalogs! Web codes have changed a lot lately. It is impossible to create added value with a site that offers multiple product references which are each presented individually on a page with still life photos and a minimum description. These sites reduce the universe of the brand and do not stimulate the imagination of the Internet user.

3. Yes to the sleek and ergonomic webdesigns

It is necessary to facilitate the journey of Internet users on your site in order to convert them into customers, especially since their visit time is becoming shorter. To do this, different e-merchandising techniques must be implemented: put promotional or seasonal offers on the home page to arouse their interest, organize their content according to eye-tracking, do not place any content under the line flotation in vertical navigation, neat, attractive graphics and an airy layout.

Certain layouts are very trendy at the moment: the wall of pins launched by Pinterest, the magazine on the fly created by Flipboard or the timeline used by Facebook but taken up since by many social networks.

4. Storytelling at the service of e-commerce

An e-commerce site must create a real identity, a universe and assert itself as a brand in its own right in order to stand out from other competing sites. For this, it is necessary to use storytelling which allows the site to be anchored in this digital world so complex. The storytelling is declined from the name of the site to all the pages of it through anecdotes, nuggets that push the Internet user to discover more by engaging his imagination.

5. The “magazine store”: place for content

Offering products for sale is no longer enough to capture the attention of internet users and convert them into customers. It is essential to enrich your e-commerce site by putting in place a real content strategy. It is relevant to mix editorial content, graphic content and sales tools in order to create a magazine store that makes shopping easier by contextualizing the products. This is now possible thanks to CMS (Content Management System) which integrate both editorial content and e-commerce tools.

6. Neat and detailed product sheets

To convince internet users to finalize their purchases, it is appropriate to take care of the product sheets thanks to a description of the products presented in a clear and detailed manner in order to reassure them and thus remove any brake on the purchase. It is also possible to enrich them with advice on use, maintenance, demonstration videos, or even links to articles …

7. The importance of the community

Every e-commerce site should have a social component today. It is no longer enough to give internet users the possibility of sharing the product of their choice on social networks, it has become essential to set up a community strategy. E-commerce sites allow their fans to publish content, discuss different subjects and participate in contests. They thus create a community of active and committed fans who will be the ambassadors of their site to other Internet users.

8. Which social networks for which strategy?

Social networks are increasingly important in the lives of Internet users. They must therefore be integrated into the strategy of any e-commerce site. It is essential to animate your community on different social networks so that fans regularly visit their site and thus have a better chance of being converted into a customer. Community managers must implement strategies adapted to each network.

9. Facilitate delayed purchases

Internet users do not often buy on their first visit to a site, they like to hang out on the web, watch new products … A lack of budget at a specific time can also slow down a purchase. It is therefore vital for any e-commerce site to set up remarketing tools to encourage visitors to return to the site to buy: display advertisements, retargeting emails, wish-lists, newsletters … the possibilities are numerous.

10. Cross-selling, the strength of recommendations

To increase the average basket of their customers, e-commerce sites make cross-selling, that is to say that they recommend to Internet users complementary products, likely to interest them. To meet customer expectations, it is essential that these recommendations are consistent with the product offered or with the needs of customers they analyze using tracking tools.

11. Integrate cross channel logic

Aside from pure players, many sites also have physical outlets. These e-commerce sites therefore have an interest in implementing a cross-channel strategy in order not to neglect any distribution channel. To do this, they set up “web-to-store” techniques to create traffic to their physical point of sale from their site: online ordering but withdrawal in store, inventory consultation service, etc.

12. Original and efficient customer service

To retain customers, an e-commerce site must set up an efficient and available customer service. Today there are much more original customer services than simple hotlines: dedicated Twitter account, click-to-call which offers customers the possibility of being called instantly and free of charge, videoconferencing, chat via instant messaging with a customer advisor, etc.

Do not hesitate to download the complete guide The 12 lessons from leading e-commerce sites to deepen these recommendations and help you apply them to your site e-trade.