There are approximately 110,000 ecommerce websites generating revenue of meaningful scale on the internet.
It’s a no brainer that everything is going digital. This has made the e-commerce industry into a 400 billion-dollar industry in the U.S. alone, with many using pre-made software packages (like those FastSpring offers) to launch their site quickly and effectively. More people now see e-commerce as the right spot for them to get better and cheaper deals. An e-commerce website also gives organizations the opportunity of cutting down on unnecessary infrastructure expenditure and capture a broader audience. Just like any industry you want to get into, it is always advised to speak to people who have been in a similar situation, so you can gain insight into this field before you make your way into it. There’s nothing wrong in recieving a bit of help from professionals like Andy Khawaja in the world of e-commerce or any for that matter. You want to make sure you get the best advice, so you can use this knowledge into developing your business and making it a success.
The e-commerce business can also provide huge profits for an organization if marketed and set up in an effective manner. However, the fact still remains that almost half of online stores don’t manage to turn profitable in their projected timelines. This can be attributed to lack of knowledge of certain key execution aspects and marketing strategies. So, in this article, we have listed below some of the points to bear in mind to make your e-commerce website successful.
1. Don’t rush into it.
Setting up your own e-commerce website has never been easy, all that is required is a computer with an Internet connection and watch online video tutorials, begin diagramming user flow experience on how to make a website all day or hire a developer to the work, and lastly, products to sell. Once your website is up, voila! You now have an e-commerce website. This might be so easy, but many online entrepreneurs always make one mistake, which is rushing into the launch of their website. Many of them believe that once the website is up and running the next step is to sit back and start making money. They couldn’t be more wrong.
So, have you thought about the fact that your website won’t generate site visits by themselves? There has never been a situation where a new store was launched online and people started visiting the website to make a purchase; unless the brand is established already.
Don’t Rush. Make sure to take Search Engine Optimization (SEO) into consideration before launching an eCommerce website. In addition to SEO, creating a niche for your e-commerce website is also important as well. All this can be done through either paid advertising or through organic social media.
2. Connect with your customers
Customers like the ability to be able to see, touch, smell and feel the products firsthand before making a buying decision. While that’s not exactly possible if you’re completely online, there are other areas that you can use to compensate for this shortcoming. A good way to do this is giving your customers great pricing schemes, money-back guarantees, free shipping, flash sales, and easy-returns.
3. Pay extra attention to navigation and UX
An average internet user has a very little patience and a website with a bad design could be a real turn off. You need to consider your navigation, because if your site isn’t easily navigable or if users are redirected to irrelevant pages, they won’t stay for long as they might lose patience. The worst part is that most of these users won’t come back, which means that you may lose your potential customers on a regular basis.
4. Always do a test run
This is mandatory. Before you launch your website always do a test run, there is nothing more frustrating and worst than investing in an online eCommerce website and get to find out that some sections are not working. So, always put yourself in your customer’s shoes and sort out bugs before the launch. Check out this list of 14 things to review before going live, by the good folks at Hubspot.
5. Be social
Keep in mind that an average online user will get frustrated chatting with a robot when they face an issue; if they see that your company takes care of their customers and interacts with them, they’ll be more than happy to come back for more. If you delight them with your interactions, they will recommend your website to their friends.
Social media is the best tool for you to connect with your customers. Without social media, it might be hard for a business to succeed. Depending on your target group, make sure you have a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or WeChat.
6. Be mobile-friendly
Research by Google shows that 60% of the internet users come to websites via mobile devices. Gone are the days when people would just sit all day in front of their computers at home just to be online. So, you’d been losing a big part of your business to other companies who can reach people through mobile devices if your business has no mobile accessibility. Make sure your website renders well on a mobile.
7. Optimize your website for Search Engines
Majority of the world’s online activity comes from search queries done by a search engine. Not a single website on the Internet nowadays can survive in the long-term without the help of SEO. Therefore, a good exposure and boost for your website would be optimizing it so it can always be included in the top 10 search result. A business is good as dead if people can’t find you.
8. Collect the right customer data
If you’re planning to do targeted marketing to increase your business in the future, a customer’s data is very important. Customer behavioral data contains pertinent information that will help you when you’re trying to target a particular product to the right customer type. You won’t be able to know how or who to address a specific product launch in the future when you don’t have customer data.
9. Keep your site secure
The worst thing you can do to your website is not having the right level of security. The reason is that your customer’s financial information is one of the most sensitive things that you will handle every day in an eCommerce website (e.g. credit card information, bank accounts, Paypal etc.). Use a dependable payment gateway. Without proper security, it would be feasts for hackers to use this information for their own gains. Not only that, you’ll also lose your customer trust without security. If you are self-hosted, make sure you have an SSL certificate, ideally one that provides a certain level of insurance. It could be a good idea to use something like WordPress Support & Maintenance when it comes to matters such as security, as you will have the added reassurance that your website is protected.
10. Start building your market reputation
Your market reputation matters when you’re trying to beat the competition and gain more customers; social media is another solution for you if you wish to make your e-commerce business successful. Advertising your site through social media is crucial to creating more awareness about your site to the masses. Additionally, work with other websites to get them to talk about you. Apart from the obvious benefits of PR, it also gives you more backlinks that makes you rank higher on search engines.
E-commerce development requires both planning and strategic thinking if you aren’t an expert in this field then it is advised that you take counsel from an e-commerce online store creation expert who will guide you through the initial months.