Kevin Richards is the founder and CEO of AbsoluteWebstores.com, an Amazon Webstore Solution Provider that specializes in the design, development, and marketing of Amazon Webstore sites. Absolute Webstores is a part of Ventura Web Design, a custom eCommerce firm that has been helping small business clients since 1997.
A common question, when a business owner or eCommerce manager is building out their new Amazon Webstore, is whether they need to use all the available bells and whistles. The self-serving answer from a web design company is yes, you absolutely must use every feature possible—because that allows the designer to charge more for the extra effort.
Having been in the eCommerce business for 15+ years, let me assure you that from my perspective this is simply not true. In my experience, store owners should install the right set of features to accomplish two goals: increasing usability and driving more revenue.
First, a new feature should increase usability and ease of use for the particular demographic that visits your site. Designing your site as a one-size-fits-all, both in feature set and messaging, may be giving up your most compelling competitive advantage. If you’re a small retailer with a niche website, you can maximize your edge over other retailers by moving quickly to adopt new technologies and designs that make your site easier to shop than larger, less nimble stores. For example, if you sell home medical supplies and your primary demographic is men and women over 50 years old, you may not need to include the latest cutting edge technology. Rather, you may need to focus on making the experience simple, easy to read, and informative. If your target demographic likes your site better than those less-targeted sites, you’re much more likely to gain your customers’ long-term business.
Second, in my view the decision to include any feature on your site should be directly tied to its ability to generate additional revenue by providing a value-added service to your customer. Features like cross-selling and call-outs to bestsellers are likely things that you’ll want to consider including. If you add five new features that each increase sales by just 2%, you’ve taken small steps but increased your overall revenue by 10%. This concept can also apply to design techniques, merchandising, and other improvements to your site that can have a similar effect on your bottom line.
As an eCommerce storeowner, especially in a small business, you likely wear many hats. Try to remember to put on your customer hat—your most important one!— and think like your best customers as often as you can. Ask yourself how you can improve their shopping experience, and chances are good that they will reward you with their business. If you need help, the experts at Amazon Webstore can provide guidance, or provide a referral to a solution provider that can give you a kickstart in the right direction.