You’ll undoubtedly be going up against many ecommerce websites online, so you may worry that you don’t have what it takes to compete with your rivals. Yet, running an online store doesn’t have to be complex. Read our top tips on how to make your ecommerce business a success.
Time Your Online Store’s Launch
Many online entrepreneurs make the big mistake of rushing into launching their first ecommerce website. Yet, you’ll only have one opportunity at a successful launch, which is why you should take your time before the site is officially live. While there is no reason why you cannot buy a domain name and add a Coming Soon page, you should gain interest online ahead of a launch using social media, SEO, content marketing and paid advertising, plus more.
Consider the User
Entrepreneurs will often wait patiently for their first ecommerce sale. It’s therefore important to consider the user experience if you want to convert visitors into customers. We therefore recommend considering the users’ needs ahead of a site launch. For example, provide affordable pricing, encourage purchases with free shipping, and streamline the checkout process with a simplified shopping cart.
Think Like the Customer
Before the launch of your ecommerce site, we recommend visiting the website in the mindset of the customer. If you were to land on the website, what would you think of the design, content and user experience? Put yourself into a customer’s shoes to identify what is working and what is not – and aim to find a solution to every problem.
Perform steps like a customer to identify if the navigation process is easy; for example, if you run a retail business, try to discover how many steps it would take to find a dress in the women’s section, add it into the checkout and purchase the item. If the steps are too long, look for ways to improve the navigation experience and eliminate laborious steps.
Integrate Social Media
Social media should be the beating heart of your business. The likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram will provide your company with an opportunity to drive traffic, boost brand awareness and reach your target audience. Boost your ecommerce store’s exposure by running teaser campaigns on social media, before officially announcing the site’s opening, which will encourage intrigue and traffic. Once your website is live, launch social media competitions to win a product from your website, which can increase engagement and sales, or provide discount offers or flash sales to encourage followers to visit your website and buy a product.
Focus on SEO
Increase your online visibility in the search engines with an effective SEO strategy, which will improve organic web traffic, brand awareness and a conversion rate. We therefore recommend turning to a skilled ecommerce SEO specialist who can help your business remain competitive for many years to come.
Create a Mobile-Friendly Website
More than half of all web searches are performed on a mobile device, such as smartphone or tablet. As it’s now a Google ranking factor, you must create a mobile-friendly website that will secure your success online. Unfortunately, if you don’t build a responsive web design, it will provide an unfriendly user experience that may cause people to click away within a matter of seconds. It’s also possible that your online store could be penalized in the search engines.
Collect Visitor Information
If you want to continually connect with customers, grow your brand, and create successful future launches, you must aim to collect as much information as possible. Accumulating customer details will therefore aid data analysis on your core target audience. While building databases will allow you to send customized email marketing campaigns, using segmentation to deliver relevant, interesting emails to generate leads, boost brand recognition and increase your conversion rate.
Coincide an Email Marketing Campaign
Once you’ve launched your social media accounts, you should encourage followers to sign-up to your email newsletter to follow your launch, products, and services, which can help to grow your customer database. Once you’ve acquired many subscribers, you should develop a strong email marketing campaign to coincide with your ecommerce store. Not only will it encourage people to visit your website, but it can provide a fantastic return on your investment.
Customers unfamiliar with your brand might not trust your website to make a purchase. To encourage customers to buy an item from your online store, you must establish your credibility across your website. To do so, we recommend adding customer reviews onto your landing pages.
For example, you can lift reviews from your Facebook page to incorporate glowing recommendations into the site’s design. You can even add an RSS feed to a third-party review section, or you can allow people to leave an impartial review under products on a landing page. The reviews will place trust in your products, shipping, and customer service, which can improve your conversion funnel.
Remove Friction from the Checkout
No customer wants to undertake multiple steps to make a purchase. Customers are looking for smooth, hassle-free, and quick checkout experiences, so they can make a purchase and move on. So, it’s essential to remove friction from the checkout. You can do so by eliminating monotonous steps, such as the need to create an account. Use auto-fill where applicable, default to the most affordable shipping option and offer multiple payment methods, such as PayPal or credit card.
Never lose focus or direction when running an ecommerce business, or you might suddenly discover your site is outdated, your search engine rankings are low or your conversion rate has plummeted. It’s important to continually evolve alongside the latest technologies, trends and tastes, which will ensure your success in a competitive marketplace.
Running a successful ecommerce site takes time, determination, and a considerable amount of hard work. However, if you have a passion for your products, services and brand, the process will provide a rewarding venture that is worth the challenge.