Much goes into ecommerce success; so much so, in fact, that it can feel overwhelming, especially if things going as smoothly as you’d like to them to be. However, it’s important to remember that not every aspect of making your online company profitable is a mystery. There are some tried and tested rules you can incorporate into your business to give it the best chance of getting ahead.
Monitoring conversion rate
Very often, it’s not getting people to your website that’s the problem: it’s getting them to make a purchase, thus becoming a customer rather than just a browser. Of course, you need to be realistic about what percentage of your visitors you expect to become a customer. If you’re hitting 3%, then you’re doing just fine. But what if you’re not hitting those numbers? That’s where a bit of analysis will come in. Dig around your website and figure out what’s working, and what isn’t, and then make the necessary changes. If your conversion rate is moving in the right direction, then you know you’re on the right track.
Pick any item in the world that you like to buy, and then go find it online. How difficult was it to find? Unless it was an overly obscure product, you probably had dozens of sites all willing to sell it to you. When customers visit your site, they’re not coming to do you a favour: they’ll use your site because it’s the best for their needs. As such, you need to ensure that you make it as easy as possible for them to find the products that are relevant to them. Spotlight your best selling items and offers, and if they’ve shopped with you before, then show them related products when they’re back on your site.
A store is all about perception. You could offer the best products at the best prices, but if your website looks like it was last given a makeover in 2003, or your URL is something like www.best-products-online.biz, then you’re going to have trouble gaining credibility with your visitors. Your website, along with your customer service and products, is what will bring in the business. You should work with website designers regularly to ensure it’s meeting – no, exceeding – modern standards. Also, you’ll want to ensure that it’s suitable for mobiles and tablets; that’s where most of the internet traffic is coming from these days.
Amazon is the standard bearer of online shopping, and it’s always good practice to see how they do things when it comes to your own store. In particular, look at how they market their products. If you’re only using grainy stock photos of your products, and then little to no information to accompany that photo, then it won’t be a surprise if people are unwilling to spend with you. Detailed content matters online; it’s as close as you can get to the ‘real life store’ experience. As well as your products, you should also have detailed shipping and contact information. It’s about the specifics!
Up selling and offers
Again, let’s think about Amazon. Have you noticed how there’s always related products whenever you’re browsing a product page? And then, when you go to checkout, they always offer another product that can be worked in conjunction with what you’re going to purchase? You can incorporate the same into your site. It’s also important that you take steps to avoid shopping cart abandonment, by doing things like having a special discount code if the page is inactive for too long, or offering free shipping as a ‘bonus’ when they’re about to pay.
Many stores think they should be trying to get new customers, but that’s not always the case. While bringing new customers on board is all good and well, it’s much easier – and cheaper – to get repeat business from your existing patrons. As such, your after sale care is important. Stay in dialogue with people who have used your site, send them special deals, and ask for feedback. You already know they like your site, so don’t let them get away easily!
The unique selling point
Your branding, like your website, is crucial to your site’s success. You need to offer potential customers a reason to shop with you. What’s your unique selling point? What makes you different from other sites? If you don’t have an answer, it’s time to start working out exactly what makes your site unique – and then sell it!