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5 Important Elements of an E-commerce Website With the phenomenal growth of the internet in recent years and the sheer number of companies now offering products and services online, you may be looking to start your own e-commerce website or to bring an existing company into the online arena. It doesn't matter which. What matters is that you understand just what it takes to design, develop, and operate a successful e-commerce website.

Label: ecommerce Website, services online, products online, online arena

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Here are five elements you absolutely must understand. And is the easiest way to create, buile & operate an online store quickly.

1. Content Is Still - and Always Will Be - King

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Before going any further, the one thing you must understand right out of the gate is that content is and always will be king when it comes to running a successful e-commerce site. In fact, any website is only as good as the content it publishes and that is something you can take to the bank. In the early days, you were likely to find web pages filled with what now amounts to SEO clouds, but there was nothing of any value, page after page. You wouldn't get away with that today because no one would find you! Google ranks well-written, informative content highly and unless you are willing to spend the money to hire professional copywriters or web developers, you might as well throw in the towel.

2. Responsive Web Design Is Vital

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Then there are all those hundreds of millions of smartphone users in North America that access the internet on mobile devices. If you cater to a mobile audience, you are looking at billions of consumers, and that isn't something you should take lightly. More than 125 million people access the web from mobile devices in the United States alone, and as many as 62% of those have made purchases from their mobile devices.

3. Visual Appeal & Ease of Navigation

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These two elements often go hand-in-hand. A visually appealing site is most definitely professional in its presentation, but one of the main benefits of a site that is easy to view is the ease of navigation. If visitors land on your page and are looking for products or information much like they would look for a needle in a haystack, you can probably count them a total loss. They'll bounce right off as quickly as they landed there - at the speed of light.

4. User-friendly Checkout Process

This is going to be another very important element for an e-commerce website. Did you know that many people abandon shopping carts when they've chosen something they really, really want because the checkout process is too involved? The leading reasons why so many people abandon their shopping carts, according to Shopify are:

  • The checkout process is too complicated
  • They are asked to create an account before finalizing a transaction.
  • Misleading or unexpected costs in shipping/delivery.
  • Questions about the security of the site.

It might be wise to say a few words about the need to create an account before checking out. While it is important for the business owner to know who is paying and such things as where it will be shipped, customers don't want to take a huge amount of time checking out. They simply want to pay and go. There are ways to circumvent this issue with alternate ways of checking in. Why not let them log in with a Facebook account, for example, and then they can simply go to the shopping cart, enter payment information, and they are good to go. Some sites even allow a "one-click" log-in/payment feature when linked with PayPal. This not only eases the process for consumers but is invaluable for businesses as well.

5. Elements of Engagement

This is where you may be wondering how a business could benefit from giving the consumer the ability to use their social media or PayPal info as a login. How can being linked to social media or an eWallet help them other than to reduce shopping cart abandonment? Here's how! Those social sites and eWallet accounts have an email address linked to them. Once they've logged in via those methods, the merchant then has access to that customer's email address.

The Whole Package or Nothing

Consider for just one moment what ongoing emails and follow-ups can do to grow your customer base? Platforms like sendinblue offer a highly cost-effective MailChimp alternative that can utilize the information for follow-ups, regular email newsletters, or even for special promotions or holiday greetings. Customer retention is a vital feature of any business and even more important to an e-commerce site that has so much more competition than a local brick-and-mortar shop.

So, when you look at all the elements of an e-commerce site, you need to understand that it takes all of these elements to make it work. It may sound a bit severe, but it really is the whole package or nothing. Especially important are those email follow-ups because that's something so few companies of today think to do. Are you looking to make a success of your e-commerce site? Then you really do need at least a minimum of each and every one of these critical elements. You can take that to the bank.


Phong Thai Phong Thai is a Web Developer, Web Coder for 20 years with PHP, JavaScript, CSS. He is the creator of - provide thousands of free JavaScript code examples, web development tips and tricks, helpful blogging guides.

Follow him on twitter@js_bank or connect with him on facebook@jsbank if you want. His websites for your knowledge:,,
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