Despite what many are saying about the e-commerce landscape being over competitive and unprofitable these days, there still exists great potential in making good money from selling products/services online if everything is done correctly. Fact of the matter is that there are thousands of marketers raking in profits from e-commerce all over the world without doing anything that special at all. Before you get the wrong idea, starting an e-commerce site and growing it into a successful venture involves a lot of hard work and and key decisions being made. But once you land at a profitable formula (based on your industry and the product/service that you choose to market online), e-commerce can be a very profitable and sustainable solution in the long run.
To be successful, every e-commerce business needs to offer visitors absolute convenience and a top quality online customer experience. The first step to meeting these requirements is to have a website that not only looks great but is user friendly enough such that people will love spending their time there. Many marketers end up losing sales simply because their e-commerce sites did not look professional or trustworthy enough. A digital marketing agency can be of invaluable help in designing and optimizing an e-commerce site to give a business a positive return on investment (ROI). From the wealth of e-commerce experience that we have garnered over the years, below are a few tips to help you achieve success for your e-commerce endeavors.
Give customers multiple payment options
Your e-commerce business targets a diverse range of customers with different favorite payment methods. It is, therefore, important to offer a diverse range of payment options in your website to ensure you don’t lose sales simply because the customer didn’t have a PayPal, Visa or MasterCard account. Try to incorporate all the commonly used payment methods including credit or debit cards, electronic checks, PayPal, and even wire transfer where applicable. If you sell worldwide, have a currency converter in your site to help customers know how much the product costs in their local currency.
Make good use of SEO and CRO
The success of your e-commerce site will depend on how easy customers can find it and its content. It doesn’t make sense to create the best e-commerce site when nobody knows about it or worse having your site ranking high in search engines when it doesn’t have the right information about the product customers are looking for. The customer depends on the information you provide about the product or service to feel safe enough to buy it from your site. As an analogy, such a situation is likened to opening a retail store in a remote industrial estate that is manned purely by a cashier without any trained sales or customer service staff.
It is, therefore, imperative that you rely on search engine optimization (SEO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO) to bring in traffic through high ranking and increase the conversion rate of your e-commerce site. A profitable SEO and CRO strategy can be achieved by considering the following aspects of your e-commerce site:
- Creating relevant content that reflects your brand, the products or services you are selling, and what you expect customers want to see. It certainly helps if they are in line with your overall content marketing strategy.
- Use keywords relevant to your products or services. Incorporate the keywords in your headlines, descriptions, and the body of each relevant text. Take care not to overdo things or you may be penalized by search engines. You can consult a digital marketing agency for more details on how to enhance the SEO and CRO aspects of your e-commerce site.
- Constantly optimize the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) aspects of your website. If possible, use high quality and copyright free images to enhance the look and feel of your website. A professional looking e-commerce site will certainly improve your SEO and CRO efforts.
- Ensure the overall site and the content you have created is mobile friendly. With the surge in the number of mobile users, marketing through mobile is a key element for any business today. A large majority of people accessing e-commerce sites are doing it via mobile platforms. You’ll be losing plenty of customers if your site is not mobile-friendly.
Have a clear organization of categories
Your goal is to give customers the best shopping experience while browsing your e-commerce site. You can do this by creating and organizing categories of different products in a clear and easy way for customers to find whatever product they are searching for. Many marketers make the mistake of lumping different products in a single category or relying on the search bar to show customers what they are looking for. The idea is to create logical categories with subcategories that go at most 3 tiers deep. Also, a good e-commerce site should have a maximum of 7 categories to help keep things less complex or confusing for customers.
Get users to know about your latest promotions
Finally, you need to let customers know about your latest promotions in order to drive sales for your e-commerce website. Beyond the usual newsletter signups and customer registration features, marketers often utilize pop-ups with discounts or engaging features (such as spin and win) to capture emails and bring across the special deal at that time. Despite the fact that a customer may not make a purchase instantly, the data captured (eg. name, email, telephone) will be essential in informing them of new and existing products/promotions that can very well lead to an eventual purchase.
In a country like Singapore, digital technology has taken center stage for a while now. Understandably, shopping has moved from retail stores to the web, social and mobile platforms. For any business, missing out on e-commerce is as good as giving up a potential share of the market. Despite the fact that it may not be as straightforward as creating a payment-capable website and expecting sales to flow in, the substantial effort you invest in e-commerce will certainly be worth it at the end of the day.
By incorporating the above-mentioned elements in your e-commerce site, you will certainly stand a better chance of seeing positive results from your efforts. Of course, do not make tweaks blindly; create different versions of your website and do some A/B testing to know which one brings in more conversions. Also, be sure to leverage on remarketing to subtly re-engage users that have previously expressed an interest in your products/services. In any event you need help with e-commerce, be sure to speaking with your digital marketing agency.