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Top Elements of successful e-Commerce Websites

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There are some things all e-commerce Websites should have in common if they are to provide success. Here are the top key elements a site should provide.

Consumers rarely have the time/ inclination to search for hours in order to find a specific product. To ensure they can find products easily and quickly, e-commerce sites should offer:

Search bar Category-browsing option Special offer/ discount section Most popular product/s section Shipping/ payment option logos Fly-out menus (time saving) Customer service link/s Adequate filter options to quickly create product short lists

Clear, structured navigational paths/ links will keep visitors 'charmed' and can potentially boost purchase rates significantly. Product detail pages should incorporate clear descriptions and high quality images of the product - preferably from several different angles (a 360 degree product view would be ideal).

Customers spend a lot of time on product pages, and making these pages interactive - will pique interest and boost sales. This can be achieved by offering image expansion, rotate and/ or zoom options; including flash, videos and/ or interactive tours and presentations offering plenty of detailed information. Providing, clearance areas, featured/ suggested product sections and/ or product reviews will also assist in raising interest and potential sales.

Clear button labelling (like using 'Add to basket' instead of 'Save product', for example); progress indicators showing consumers where they are and guiding them clearly through check-out procedures will serve to provide a quick and easy shopping experience they will want to return to for future purchases.

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