Ecommerce provides lucrative opportunities for business growth as online sales in the UK, US, Germany and China are expected to increase by £320bn by 2018. This will see the online market expand to £645bn, according to research from OC&C Strategy Consultants, PayPal and Google.
As consumers carry out more of their lives online than ever before, it’s vital that businesses seeking to thrive in the digital era are embracing new trends, transformations and sales opportunities in the ecommerce sector.
However, far from being a simple task of offering online sales, to succeed in ecommerce you must consider the experience and execution. If you want your ecommerce website to stand out against competitors, exceed customer expectations and increase sales, it’s time to implement these 10 top tips!
Is your ecommerce site user-friendly?
Whether you’re using your own website or selling your products and services through a specialist platform, the most important factor of a successful ecommerce website is its usability. The customer journey should be smooth and hassle-free, with all links, buttons and payment options working without friction. Any issues that delay or irritate the customer could lead them to click away or abandon the purchase.
A mobile site is a must!
Your ecommerce site should, at the very least, be mobile-friendly. More and more consumers are researching products and services online before making their purchase, so it’s vital that your website is fully functioning on whatever device the user chooses.
Create a user-orientated experience
When it comes to the layout, structure and design of your ecommerce website, it’s all about the customer! The overall delivery of your website should be shaped around the customers’ needs. Start by considering what you can improve to make their journey to purchase straight-forward, easy and enjoyable.
High quality photos and engaging copy is crucial
Ensure your website is working hard to promote your products and services. Unappealing or low quality images and rushed, bland copy is not going to create feelings of desire for the potential customer. Your photographs should be clear, honest and visually interesting and the copy should be engaging and informative.
Be clear with your delivery charges and times
Hiding your charges is likely to put off customers. Ensure all costs are included up-front and offer the customer as much information as possible about their order, expected delivery times, various delivery options and any added extras.
Promote safety and security
In the digital age, data protection is vital, especially when it comes to customer information. Reassure your customers that you care about protecting their online information by prominently positioning relevant security badges or messages on your website. Ensure you are being clear about how you use and store data.
Collect and use customer feedback
Customer feedback will provide you with the perfect opportunity to make targeted improvements to your ecommerce website. By understanding your customers’ wants and needs, you can make improvements to meet their expectations. Customers are more likely to remain loyal to your brand if they see you making developments and growing the business based on their input.
Streamline the buyer’s journey
The journey from researching and adding an item to basket through to entering payment details and completing the purchase should be straight forward and require as little redirection as possible. Consumers can become bored and distracted if they need to click through an unnecessary amount of pages and enter too many personal details before they can click ‘buy’. Aim to facilitate as quick a purchase as possible. You could trial a ‘one-click’ style buying process or allow customers to purchase without logging in.
Follow up on abandoned carts
The journey doesn’t end at the basket. Remind your potential customers of the items they have stored in the basket and encourage them to return and finish the journey. Read the Superfast Business Wales blog with tips to help reduce abandoned carts.
Feature reviews on your site
Help your customers in their decision to purchase by including customer recommendations and reviews on your website. Reviews and star ratings will add an important touch of authenticity that consumers are searching for in the digital world. Real reviews will help consumers imagine owning the product or using the service for themselves and will act as important word-of-mouth tool, driving them towards conversion.