If you’re thinking about starting your own ecommerce business, it can be easy to feel intimidated when you’re standing next to the likes of Amazon and eBay. But don’t let your competition get you down. There’s plenty of room on the web for everyone. You just need to make sure your ecommerce store is better than the rest.
How can you do this? You follow the steps to success:
You NEED to Put the Work In
For some reason or another, many people assume that running an ecommerce store is so simple that even their neighbours cat could do it. However, running the best ecommerce store ever involves a lot more work than just taking orders and shipping them to customers. Whilst that is a big part of the job, there is a lot more effort needed to grow a successful store online. You must be willing to put the work in before you can start seeing great results.
Choosing the Right Platform
Before you can start shipping products to happy customers, you must choose an ecommerce platform. The most popular ecommerce platform in the world is Magento. Famous for its flexible and agile approach to online shopping, this platform is well-suited for the modern online retailer. Over 250,000 merchants depend on the power of Magento to support their growing businesses.
Of course, you can have a look at a few other ecommerce platforms out there, weigh up your options and in the end, choose the one that is right for you and your business. Don’t be afraid to ask other ecommerce owners what platform they use and don’t be surprised if they reply with Magento every time!
Customise your Site to Sell
A large part of running a profitable online store is to think and see it like a customer would. This means customising the entire site and making sure that it’s going to complete a sale. How do you do this? Well, it involves taking a step back and thinking of your ecommerce store like a physical one. Remember all those red signs reading “SALE” and “50% OFF” etc.? They are physical call-to-actions and exist with the sole purpose to make people want to buy a product or service. You need to make sure that your website uses similar and effective selling techniques such as “Buy Now”, “Last Minute Deals” and “Limited Time Only” etc.
Boast about the Benefits of your Product
When a customer visits your website, they not only need your product but they also expect you to convince them to buy it. You do this by showing off its advantages. Show your customers how your products can help them and give them enough reason to click that buy button. Remember, every customer has a problem that needs solving and you need to make sure that they understand why and how your product is going to help solve their problem.
You can do this by using informative and intriguing product descriptions, customer reviews and even a short video clip that depicts your product in use. Using techniques like this to show off the benefits of your product will help grab your visitor’s attention and convert them into paying customers.
Offer Deals, Awards and Free Shipping
Many people will turn away from your site if it doesn’t offer free shipping. This can be incredibly frustrating, especially since you’ve worked so hard on improving your business and its customer services. However, when the cost of shipping is almost half the price of the actual product itself, can you really blame your customers for looking elsewhere?
People love to know they’re getting a good deal when they buy something. Include shopping deals, discounts and irresistible sales to convert more customers. When a person first visits your site, they keep an eye open for great deals and discounted prices. Many of them just can’t resist the fact that a product is half price for a limited time only and so they make the purchase because they don’t want to risk missing out on a “once in a lifetime” deal. This “fear” is what stimulates shoppers to spend their money fast and fearlessly.
Get your Shopping Features Right
There’s nothing worse than landing on a great ecommerce store and not being able to buy anything because you can’t find the search box or the shopping cart for that matter. The way your website presents these essential shopping features is paramount to closing a sale. Your shopping cart, login box and search box should be placed near each other (usually at the very top of the page). This makes it easy for customers to locate them. Prompting your visitors to register an account is also advised, since it makes it more likely that they will return to your site again in the future. After all, members are subject to special discount offers and who can resist that? A search box is another important feature for a successful ecommerce store because it allows guests to find what they are looking for quickly.
Offer a Range of Payment Options
As an ecommerce store, it’s your duty to ensure customers have a range of different payment options to choose from. After all, you could be selling your products to people on the other side of the world and they will probably have their preferred method of payment. You want to make sure that you offer all of the basic options such as payment by debit or credit cards, cash on delivery, PayPal and gift vouchers etc.
Develop a Marketing Strategy
Once your online business “goes live”, you may be disappointed to find that traffic is slow and quite rare. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as building an ecommerce store and sitting back as waves of excited customers flood in. Instead, you have to invest in an effective marketing strategy. Basically, you need to make it easier for people to find you online. Without a marketing strategy in place, your website will fade into the background and become nothing more than a ghost haunting on the internet.
So, do your research and implement a marketing strategy that will send customers in your direction. This includes utilising SEO, PPC, social media and ecommerce tracking systems such as Google Analytics to measure the performance of your site. Once you have the marketing down, it won’t be long before you start reaping the results.