If you still haven’t figured it out, the digital landscape is
probably the best place to sell your goods and services.
To be fair, making it big online is a lot harder than it seems.
Since everyone can hoist a webshop and start pushing their stuff, tons of e-commerce businesses fail to stand out in such a saturated space.
Failures happen at every step of the customer journey. Customers don’t know how to use your site, they get upset about hidden shipping costs, your product value is not apparent, they struggle with poor navigation - the reasons are plenty.
Luckily, you can do a lot to contribute to your e-commerce success.
1. Make a Great Website
Websites that make sense and are easy to use have a higher
It sounds easy, but this is probably the most common rookie mistake that makes or breaks your webshop. It is not just a question of colours or a dated design.
Your webshop should be quick to load, easy to navigate, with an easy to follow layout. All links should lead somewhere and make sense with the previous page.
UX is so important that even Google considers it when rating your page, so plan ahead and make your eCommerce website look good, while making the buying process fast, trustworthy and simple.
Online shoppers are not known for their patience - they are here for convenience.
Consumer psychology postulates that the desire for a product grows once people get their hands on the product. When they don’t have to pay for shipping, they are more likely to decide to touch, feel or try out your product risk-free.
If they don’t like it, they can return it, which, truth be told, they don’t do as often as you fear.
Sure, it might seem like a logistical nightmare but it makes such a huge difference sales-wise that you will soon forget about the trouble of setting it all up.
They don’t want complex return policies or long waits. Make sure the shopping cart is easy to view and access. The checkout process must be straightforward. You’ll lose them if your checkout process makes purchasing harder than it needs to be.
Even seemingly unimportant things, like how many shipping options you offer on your site, can deter customers who want their products quickly.
Don’t forget about mobile devices, since most shoppers (85%) do it via their phones and tablets.
2. Build a Brand
A brand’s visual or verbal representation are just part of the
branding process. Your clients build assumptions about you based on
interactions with your company, and they aren’t likely to forget
their first impression.
A recognisable, memorable brand that stands for something helps deliver better first impressions. Gives them something to hold onto.
Start with a unique selling or value proposition. The reason you need something unique lies with the competition. If you offer the same items at the same price as the competition, what do you think will be the decisive factor?
If you do what your customers want really well, you win. If your competition does it better, you lose. If you are almost the same, you need to step up your game with superior execution, emotions or innovation.
Marketing is more effective in conjunction with a strong brand since it takes the brand’s voice and extends it to reach new leads.
And you want that reach, especially when you’ve just started.
3. Drive Traffic to Test it All
Once you’ve built a decent website and it has a clear value
proposition, you need some users to see how it all comes together.
Sure you can try SEO, but it will take 3 months for your results to show.
Instead, consider who your potential customers are, what their media consumption habits look like and what their preferred channels are:
Facebook is for older people, 40+, has amazing targeting tools and it is easy to set up and manage campaigns. It is also pay to play, so allocate a marketing budget and set up Google Analytics. When done professionally, it can deliver great ROI.
LinkedIn is for employer branding or SaaS and B2B, offers a huge organic reach at the moment and is worth your time if you do your best not to spam, like most.
Younger audiences prefer Instagram, which means you’ll need some photos or videos of your product to turn into posts and stories. This needs even more budget, since you’ll need professional photographs and videos, and you’ll need a bunch of them to build up your audience over time. Content marketing is a long game, on LinkedIn, as well as Youtube.
When in a rush, go for native advertising or good old PR. Cherry-pick websites and publications that cater to your audience and write informative, fun and educational articles to win them over. You can do the same with a blog but please use original, fresh content. The world does not need another carbon copy clone of the same post you’ve seen all over the internet. Your content should reflect your brand values.
Of course, it would be ideal to pick and mix all of the available channels, but most people have a limited budget, so try everything you can to find what works perfectly for you and be sure to track and measure everything, so that you know your next steps instead of guessing.
4. Be Transparent
Start by making your email address and phone number visible at the
bottom or top of every page on your site along with a “Contact Us”
This signals to your customers that you’re a real business with a real address. Be upfront about all charges since no one likes hidden fees and cost surprises. If you charge extra for shipping or handling, communicate this before your prospects reach the checkout.
Give them all of the product information you have.
Since web visitors don’t have a physical store location to experience, they only get whatever information is available, instead of getting to play with your products; therefore, the quality of the product information and attached images make or break your sales.
Provide a solid description on your product pages. Don’t forget to highlight the key benefits. Price competitively.
Overprice and your product may be perceived as not offering utility equal to its price. Underprice and your leads might become suspicious or think that your product is less valuable than similar products with higher prices.
Ask people for testimonials to drive your product worth further but make sure that they ring true and can be traced back to real people.
5. Boost Engagement
The easiest way to boost engagement with your store is to use
organic social media outlets to promote your brand in real-time.
If you haven’t already, build a blog about your industry and product lines. Help your customers by sharing useful information or earn new prospects by answering their queries.
Write about product development updates. Tell your customers about the new product, what it does, how it does it and when it will be available to create interest before the launch.
Blog content boosts engagement because it helps build backlinks. And every time your website is linked to, you gain brand awareness.
Now that you’ve established a strong brand, a fantastic user experience, relevant content and customer transparency, you can think about building a community out of your brand. People tend to bond with others who have the same interests.
Your customers will probably want to connect with others who love your products you’re your company) as much as they do. And they’ll probably promote what you’re selling for you.
Allow them to connect by building a “forum” or “community” section of your website.
Engage customers about what your products can do for them and how they can make their lives better.
If all of this seems too much to handle, consider finding a partner that can support and elevate you in the design, branding, marketing or just content production.
Someone like us.
Get in touch.