With the huge influx of new ecommerce businesses and the growing domination of the monster stores like Amazon the ecommerce space is becoming more and more competitive. However, by following the 5 tips below you may just be able to slant the scale in your favor and give your online business a better chance to grow quickly and effectively.
Tip 1: Make Sure That Your M-commerce Works as Well as Your E-commerce
More and more ecommerce is becoming mobile commerce as time go by. Mobile commerce is no longer the future; it must be part of any solid ecommerce platform. While ensuring that your website is responsive to mobile devices is a great first step, creating a customized mobile experience will allow you to take customer engagement and conversions to a whole new level.
To accomplish this you are going to need to take the time to document how users will interact with, and order from, your mobile site. Then you will need to document and address the differences in shopping from smaller screen mobile devices. It will help you to pay special attention to how people search for, find, and view items, as well as how they order and purchase products.
Test your mobile functionality as much as it takes to make it easy to find, order and buy. One important guideline is to provide clear and prominent call to action buttons such as “buy now” and “order here” within the first few hundred pixels, and on every page of your mobile site to help users convert to customers.
Tip 2: Develop Quality Content
Creating content, including video, photos, and podcasts, that is more targeted to individual products and services is moving to the forefront of best practices for ecommerce. At a minimum this means ensuring that you use a detailed product description of 75 to 200 words with high quality photos. Details for product descriptions should include size, weight, and shipping options, along with any warranty and return information.
If you want to make it easy for people to buy, they have to find what they’re looking for. So, adding a strong search function to your ecommerce website is essential. People might search by size, availability, color, style, and many other characteristics. A solid search function will get them to products quickly. While a weak search function may send your customers to a competitor.
Tip 3: Personalize the User’s Experience
We have learned from a decade of behavioral and contextual online advertising that improving each user’s experience leads to higher sales. Ecommerce providers have learned the same lesson, and they are working hard to personalize shopping experiences and generate higher conversions and sales.
One great way to customize the shopping experience is to provide recommendations from other shoppers. Just look at how Amazon adds real-time suggestions for related products based on what the user is viewing and their past purchases. This customized approach results in higher user engagement, more clicks, and a fun experience. You can also customize the user experience by providing links to FAQs, return policies, shipping and delivery information, customer service hours, and contact information. Take customization even a step further with personal shopping help through live online chat agents and live customer service representatives, and you may quickly see increases in sales and reduced customer returns.
Tip 4: Know Your Audience
Virtually, every piece of advice, tip, or guideline about how to improve your ecommerce store discusses the importance of implementing a strong analytics program to gather and analyze data about your customers. Good analytics will show you where your customers are coming from, what keywords they are using, and key website information like what pages users are leaving from, and details about how they’re using your website and shopping cart.
For example, if you see high bounce rates, review the web pages that people are leaving from, and make improvements so more people leave from your “contact” or “shopping cart” pages versus your home page or your product pages.
Tip 5: Delivery Options Matter
Nobody wants to wait for a product or service that they have purchased. Large ecommerce players have already learned the lesson that customers are not patient and they will go to another provider to get their products quicker. Many ecommerce businesses already offer multiple delivery options to get customers their products as quickly as possible. Offering multiple shipping options, including “same day” shipping, is one trend that will continue to grow.
If you offer ecommerce, you need to watch and consider how industry trends affect your ability to compete. The online marketplace and customer acquisition paths are continuing to evolve. Building and implementing an effective strategy to stay ahead of competition involves listening, learning and staying flexible. But there is plenty of data and case studies available. So to get ahead of your competition stay acutely informed, and continually implement proven ecommerce best practice. If you want to make sure you are handling the fundamentals, this e commerce website checklist is a great resource.