The Secrets of Running a Successful eCommerce Website

As of today, online shopping revenue has grown from $30 billion in 2007 to $100 billion in 2017, making it clear that eCommerce is running the retail game.

Today, around 80% of Internet users have made at least one purchase online, and an estimated 215 million online shoppers alone exist in the US. It’s not just technology that’s aiding the advent of eCommerce; its success is also determined by marketing strategies, pricing factors, ease of use and accessibility, to name a few.

Many brick-and-mortar retail stores are looking at the cost-effective advantage of turning towards eCommerce to grow their services. After all, we are now in an era where anything is accessible from the palm of our hands, and retail is now joining the bandwagon.

The Most Important Part of E-Commerce

Your website, of course!

Since your business exists in the online world, your website is the most important component. It provides a platform to clients and prospective customers to view your products and services, see news about what’s new and in, remain updated about your retail business, and make purchases. It’s extremely important that a retail website should provide the best user experience and have a seamless interface – poor user experience can really drive down customer satisfaction and sales.

All websites are meant to be updated after a while. Whether you choose to re-do the interface or tweak some codes here and there to improve its working, here are some mistakes that ruin your chances of running a smooth eCommerce website:

  • Outdated Designs And Themes
  • Not Optimized For Mobile Devices
  • Bad User Experience
  • Bad Communication Channels With Clients/Customers

And these are just a few mistakes! So, what’s the secret to running a successful eCommerce website?

The Secrets of Running a Successful E-Commerce Website

Running an eCommerce website isn’t so hard.

Running a successful eCommerce website, however, requires some effort, tact and some smart strategies to keep the revenue coming in.

Test Your eCommerce Website

It’s extremely important to test how your webpage runs at the user’s end. Is it set up for high conversion? Does it load too slowly? How does the layout look?

Running A/B tests on a regular basis will give you an idea of how your website’s layout and aesthetic look to your customers and potential clientele. These tests will also give you an opportunity to make necessary adjustments to any elements of your webpage, priming it for great feedback.

In other words, it lets you test out your eCommerce website and see if it’s ready to go!

An Inviting Website

The layout and theme of the website are the first things a user will see. However, it goes beyond the first glance. What do your category pages look like? Is your checkout page easy to understand? Is your contact information easy to find?

A great website is an investment towards your eCommerce business. Using page builders like WordPress can help you create a website with consistent themes, icons, tabs, and other elements that will add to its aesthetics.

Web page builders are optimized to cater to a host of concerns that retailers have, and from various templates to choose from, it’s the first step to take when designing a successful eCommerce website.

  • High-Quality Elements

    An eCommerce store is entirely dependent on its customers’ trustability of the product pictures/videos. To successfully garner a large customer base, it’s essential to use high-quality media and elements on your webpage. You may be selling a $200 loafer, but if the picture doesn’t do it any justice, no one’s going to buy it.

  • Demonstrations/Helpful Information

    It’s important to have information about your products and services. Customers can get intimidated by the catalog that’s in front of them, and to make your eCommerce website an inviting one, helpful demonstration videos or even short how-to sentences can help customers feel familiarity with the product. In fact, Forbes confirms that 90% of customers come to an affirmative decision via demonstrations.

    Demonstrations/Helpful Information

Avoid Clutter on Your Webpage

Too much clutter on your page can make it hard for customers to locate the call-to-action. Too much clutter can also overwhelm users from interacting with your website.

Statistics have shown that it takes users only 0.05 seconds to form an opinion about a website, and statistics support the fact that web pages with simpler designs and information have higher conversation rates.

Think about it – is your homepage turning prospective customers away or making them stay?

Easy Menus Make or Break Your Website

Your eCommerce website menus should be organized and group what you’re trying to sell. However, this can get complicated.

Too many categories will overwhelm customers – for example, if you’re selling midi dresses, maybe avoid categorizing them according to color, sleeves, material; instead, stick to calling that category midi dresses.

The menus should also be easily accessible and allow users to use filters to narrow down their search; no one likes to go through tons of pages before finding what they were looking for. Make your menus easy to understand and easy to navigate.

  • Or How About a Search Bar?

    If your eCommerce store is a large one, adding a search bar will help customers find their desired product quickly and easily.

    The easier it is for customers to find their desired products and the more options they have to narrow down their searches, the better it is for businesses. Customers can directly search the product, click the CTA and proceed onto purchasing it.

    Search Bar

Easy Shopping Experience

Creating an easy shopping experience is what determines customer retention. All shoppers want is to add their products to their virtual cart, pay, and then go on about their way.

Does your eCommerce website make it easy for them to do so?

  • Is Your Checkout Process Too Lengthy?

    Some checkout processes take quite some time. Unfortunately, this doesn’t fare well with 28% of shoppers who abandon their carts because paying for their products was taking far too long. Customers only care about easy, quick and secure checkout options, so don’t over complicate the process by adding a few more processes and asking unnecessary questions like their favorite vacation spot or pet’s name. Simply procuring the name, contact and shipping address are one of the best ways to ensure quick checkout.

  • Do Shoppers Have to Create a Profile?

    Buyers want to get done with the checkout process as quickly as they can. This means that forcing customers to create a shopper’s profile to be able to checkout won’t work out. Instead, it’s better to allow customers to check out as Guests using the guest check out option, or use subtle ways like offering Express Delivery for only those customers who are members of the site.

  • How Many Payment Options Do You Offer?

    Besides using the usual MasterCard or Visa payments, allow customers to pay via other options like PayPal, Apple Pay and even bank transfers. Many shoppers are dissuaded from proceeding with the purchase when easy payment options aren’t available, making it important to have more flexible options of payment.

Generating Regular Content

People won’t always spend money when they’re on your website; even the top-most shoppers will perhaps make purchases only once or twice a month. However, this doesn’t mean that your website can’t be engaging otherwise.

  • Setup a Great Blog

    Setting up a blog is a great way to get users engaged with your business. Blog posts about the top ten famous products in your business niche or what’s new in your line of products is a subtle way of keeping clients and customers engaged and navigating your web page. Blogging will give your business a variety of web page material and will also increase rankings when customers click from one blog to another.

  • Prioritize Search Engine Optimization

    A study reported that 46% of customers begin their shopping by searching the product via search engines like Google. So if your eCommerce website doesn’t show up in the searches, chances are you’re missing out on revenue and have lost a potential customer. Whether it’s product descriptions or blog posts, incorporate SEO ranking techniques – better yet, hire professional content writing services to churn consistent and high-quality content to up your ranking.

Screen Optimization of Your Webpage

Recently, 62% of shoppers completed their purchases on smartphones.

Optimizing your website to load and process properly on different mobile screens is definitely going to give you points with the customers. Firstly, mobile devices are easy to carry and use, and secondly, not everyone is able to sit at a desk and make purchases.

Allowing your eCommerce website to be optimized for mobile devices is one of the surest ways to run a successful eCommerce website. You’ll be giving your customers flexibility and mobility and making it easy for them to shop.

Screen Optimization

Using Advertisements to Draw in Customers

Advertisements are basically announcements that inform potential customers that your business exists, but the type and quality of advertisements determine if your business is worth buying from. In other words, advertisement is a powerful tool to increase your customer base.

  • Humanistic Advertisements

    Adding a humanistic touch to an advertisement strategy elicits great response. Partnering up with brand influencers or social media influencers to endorse your products is a great way to make your products/services look relatable and usable and to generate a great return on investment. The strong social following of your influencer is an untapped customer base waiting to come your way.

  • Say “No” To External Ads

    82% of American consumers have claimed that online advertisements massively disrupt their experience. Sure, it’s a great way to get additional income, but it comes at the risk of ruining the user experience of your customers. In other words, they’re a gamble, and very annoying. Online ads can create mistrust; users may be discouraged to click on further links, fearing they’ll be redirected to other pages. It’s better to eschew these altogether.

Engaging With Customers

In conventional retail stores, customers have to only turn around to seek a helper. However, with online retail stores, it’s a different story altogether.

Because eCommerce websites work through their webpage, there are lesser chances of real-life engagement, which can make certain processes like complaining, exchanging or replacing products very cumbersome. Simply put, it’s extremely important to engage with clients.

  • Customer Evaluations

    Take your customers evaluations seriously. It’s a qualitative means of obtaining information about how your product has been received, what’s more popular and where your attention is needed – it makes the customer feel heard, which is important for customer loyalty and retention.

  • Customer Testimonials

    Asking customers to review and write testimonials is also a great way to foster engagement with them. In fact, emailing them after they’ve received their purchase and asking for feedback is a great way to gather customer-generated content that can add to the value of your reviewed products. Testimonials and reviews also serve another purpose— free advertisement and endorsement!

  • Talking To Customers

    Online chat, email, complaints page, and even a phone line are a reliable way to engage with customers. Not only will it increase your brand’s trustability, but it will also enhance your customer’s shopping experience. In other words, the higher the customer engagement, the better the ROI and revenue!

Conclusion

Running a successful eCommerce website isn’t as intimidating as you think. The aim of such a web page is to drive sales, churn revenue and provide the same experience as a brick-and-mortar retail store would.

The best part about an eCommerce business is that it’s super flexible, changing and always providing a learning experience. In other words, experimenting with strategies to up your website quality is a great way to learn what works best for your business!

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