The digital marketplace is booming these days, and many businesses are taking advantage by transitioning their websites into e-commerce sites. If this is something you’re considering, here are some tips to help set you up for success:
Research, Research, Research
Many new businesses make the mistake of underestimating the amount of research they need to do before starting an e-commerce venture. Taking the time to thoroughly explore how others in your area of business have made this transition will help you decide on the model that will work best for your specific needs and give your e-commerce site the best chance at being successful.
Create a Straightforward Domain Name
Website owners often make the mistake of using a long, confusing, or misleading URL for their site. This is easy to avoid by taking some extra time to really think about your web address, and ensure that your domain not only represents your business accurately but is also easy for website users to remember.
Invest in a Professionally Designed Logo
A logo can be described as the face of a company. Quite often, it’s the first thing that a potential customer will notice about your business. A logo is much more than just an image; it is a point of recognition for clients and an important foundation for the branding of your company, both online and off. Not having a specific logo – or more importantly, not having a well-designed logo, is a huge mistake that can negatively impact your e-commerce business and it’s the ability to grow. Creating a memorable logo is one of the most important branding investments a business can make.
Create an Ecommerce Business Plan
Designing a plan for your e-commerce business is a necessity. Jumping right in without a proper framework in place can cause numerous issues down the road. After conducting the necessary research, creating and implementing a plan will keep your goals for the company on track can allow for further growth.
View Your “About Us” Page as a Conversion Tool
As far as closing a sale is concerned, your “About Us” page might be one of the most important pages on your website – and it can often be one of the most visited. Once potential clients see what your services and/or products are, they want to know who they are dealing with and why they should choose you. Many services and products businesses offer are similar but what’s different is the customer service and how they deliver the service/product. This is where your business starts building a bond with potential customers and they will begin to trust your company, even though they have not met you in person or talked with you on the phone. The more people learn about your company, the more comfortable they feel and the more likely they will contact you. Do not underestimate the importance of the “About Us” page. Invest time and energy to differentiate yourself from the pack and you’ll be rewarded with higher sales.
Keep SEO Strategy In Mind
Many new website owners underestimate the positive impact that SEO strategies have on their business, and some even make the mistake of ignoring it altogether. In order for your e-commerce business to thrive, an SEO strategy should be put into place from the very beginning. Effective SEO takes time and effort to gain traction and become fruitful, so utilizing it from the very start will give you a competitive edge and set you up for success in the future.
Plan and Stick to a Budget
Trying to start a business can be difficult, and most are doing so on a limited budget. Not taking time to plan a detailed budget, or failing to stick to it, is a mistake that many new businesses make, and should be avoided if possible. Having a well thought out budget that allows for all necessities and then some will give you the freedom to explore new avenues for expanding your e-commerce business when the time comes.
Utilize the Power of Word of Mouth
There are definitely times when “hearing something straight from the horse’s mouth” is advantageous. But in e-commerce, people are more inclined to trust the recommendations of friends, family members, acquaintances, coworkers, and even strangers on the internet, more than they believe marketing from online companies. The simplest way to motivate people to spread the word about your store is to offer them an incentive for doing so. You can also utilize tools like email marketing and social media, which can help e-retailers acquire new customers and drive sales without breaking the bank.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Great customer service is an essential part of any successful e-commerce business. Unlike physical retail stores, where customers can easily have face-to-face conversations with an employee, e-commerce businesses have to put a little more strategy into interacting with shoppers. Your customer service can have a significant impact on customer’s perception of your brand, including whether they choose to shop with you again, and whether they’ll be willing to recommend you to friends and family. Taking time to focus on an e-commerce customer service strategy that not only meets customers' expectations but goes above and beyond to give them a WOW experience that will make your brand stand out amongst the competition.
Contests for the Win
Whether your business is selling products or services, online stores are in the perfect position to leverage contests to drive engagement and revenue growth. Think of every new product or service that you release as a chance to promote your e-commerce store. You can do this in a few different ways, the most common is simply to giveaway the product after it has been launched. But a much more advanced method is to use contests to build hype in the lead up to launch. Why is this more effective? It allows you to build an active list of engaged users that want the product over a longer period of time. Not only that, but once the contest is over you can specifically market to this audience with very targeted product messaging and offers.
Effective Digital Marketing
E-commerce is all about marketing, and with the current growth of the internet, that means marketing digitally. You can generate organic traffic by consistently creating content and posting it to your business’s website and social media channels. Posting fresh content on a regular basis ensures visitors that your website is alive and well. New content also allows for readers to be entertained in the form of infographics, captivating images, blogs, and articles.
Harness the Power of Influencers
If your e-commerce business sells products, utilizing “influencers” can greatly improve your marketing strategies and overall success. The most common types of influencers are celebrities, who have sponsored products for decades. However, they can also just be ordinary users who happen to have large followings on social media. Evidence shows recommendations that come from influencers, whether on social media or outside of it, tend to be very effective. One of the biggest advantages of influencers is their endorsement can create a ripple effect. Influencers have other influencers as followers and friends - if they promote a particular product or brand, these other influencers may end up taking up the cause too, spreading it even further out. Though it is not a necessity, influencer marketing can be a great way for your e-commerce website to get out there in front of potential customers.
Be Ready for Change
The e-commerce marketplace is constantly changing, which is why it is important for you to be adaptable and accepting of market changes that your business may need to follow. Bringing flexibility to your business will keep your online store relevant and allow for growth.
Make Sure Your Site is Mobile
When designing your e-commerce site, it’s important to make it visually appealing to draw in potential customers. Business owners often don’t realize, however, that mobile visitors may contribute to the majority of your website’s traffic. Be sure that your online store is just as eye-catching and easy to use on a mobile device as it is on a desktop.
Reliable Hosting and Loading Speed
To ensure that your e-commerce business runs smoothly, finding a reliable host for your site is crucial. It is also just as necessary to make sure the pages on your site load quickly. Slow loading speeds can result in lost traffic, and ultimately, lost sales. The platform your site runs on can have either immensely positive effects or immensely negative ones on your online business. Researching which platform is best for your needs before implementing any big moves will help to ensure success.
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