E-commerce creates many exciting opportunities for retailers and brands, but breaking into the space can present some tough challenges
Not only is website design extremely important, but you also need to think about how it is optimised for mobile, how you will use social media and how your products will be displayed and priced online.
Tip 1: Make Your Website Customer Focused
When customers can’t physically experience your products you need to compensate for this with strong product shots and a strong description. Just as it is important to greet your customer with a smile in a traditional retail setting, it is also important to give a friendly and welcoming impression through your website.
Really know your target audience so you can make an emotional connection with them and tune in to what they like and know how they behave online. Once you know this, it is easier to engage with them in a meaningful way.
Tip 2: Test and Monitor
Constantly do A/B testing (also known as split testing) to determine what works best. Try different headlines, promotions, copywriting, pricing and imagery and see what is most effective. Stay up to date with the online marketplace and take advantage of the latest tools and technology.
Continuously listen to your customers, keep up with the latest trends, analyse metrics and regularly conduct research. All These elements combined will be the cornerstone of a successful strategy.
Tip 3: Streamline Your Path to Purchase
You should be able to access your shopping cart from any page of the website. You should also be able to go back to a previous page without timing out. A clear and uncluttered checkout page is very important so that customers do not become distracted. With 57% of users abandoning a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load, you should always bear in mind people value speed when it comes to shopping online.
Ideally there should be no more than 5 steps in total from choosing your item to completing the purchase. Also take care not to ask your customers for the same information twice within a transaction, as this can lead to frustration and abandoned sales.
Tip 4: Really Listen to Customer Feedback
This can be crucial for how your business develops. It can influence your entire strategy and even lead to the creation of new products and services. Remember to encourage customer feedback and to thank them for their input. 85% of people read reviews before making a purchase and 79% trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Reacting swiftly to feedback makes customers feel like they are part of the process and they will feel more connected to your brand.
Tip 5: Using Social Media
Social media is a great way of creating a buzz and getting word-of-mouth momentum going around the launch of a new website. Social networks such as Pinterest and Instagram are often hugely useful for ecommerce businesses of any size. Since Instagram is an image based platform, it can be used as a gallery for your products. By encouraging user interaction and sharing, many brands have mastered the potential of Instagram.
Tip 6: Invest in Mobile
Mobile phone usage for online shopping increased 59% in the first quarter of 2015 and now accounts for 18% of all online orders. How your website functions on a mobile or tablet is extremely important. Mobile web design should be stripped down to the basics, with all your most important information taking precedence.
When it comes to displaying your products, imagery should take up more real estate than text. By continually monitoring mobile traffic you can ensure you are providing the best possible experience.
If your mobile traffic is less than 10% then there is an issue. Using analytics, you can pinpoint where exactly on your website customers are losing interest and if there are any obstacles in their way. Your calls to action also need to be optimised for mobile with a ‘click to call’ option visible on every page of your website.
Are you looking for an E-commerce solution for your business? We can offer you expert advice and guidance.