Ecommerce Excellence: Success in the Online Marketplace
Trying to succeed with an internet-only business can be an intimidating prospect, particularly when starting from scratch. The marketplace is large and tumultuous, and it’s all too easy to get lost in the shadow of larger companies with higher marketing budgets. You are also at a disadvantage to longer-established companies with fixed premises and recognisable “real-world” branding to boost their online presence.
However, all hope is not lost. While the ecommerce shop is still a relatively young phenomenon, there are many ways to ensure that your business grows and flourishes as an online-only service.
In this article, we explore some of the design decisions that can make your ecommerce shop a glowing success.
Find your Niche – You are not Amazon
It may be tempting to try and offer an all-encompassing product range from the outset, but you must avoid this temptation at all costs. The best thing is to focus completely on your core product range, expanding and developing that, rather than try to introduce large numbers of peripheral items that could dilute your main selling point and online brand image.
Minimal Clicks, Maximum Sales
Whenever we design any website, we always ensure that a user has the absolute minimum number of clicks necessary to reach their destination. This is doubly important in ecommerce sites, as too long a journey to a desired product could result in you losing enormous numbers of sales.
Keep it New
Ensure that you regularly update your ecommerce site with new content. This serves a dual function. Firstly, your SEO ranking will thank you for it, as Google tends to take regular content updates as a positive. Secondly, people will trust your business more, as stagnant content may indicate that the company is no longer running.
Make it Responsive
Mobile shopping is here to stay, so you will be alienating a large proportion of your prospective buyers if you don’t make your website responsive. We’ve covered this subject in greater depth in another blog article, but suffice to say that if your site isn’t responsive, its usability on a handset will be greatly reduced, and statistically people aren’t likely to have the patience to go any further than your homepage.
SEO as you Go
In the online marketplace, page one on Google is the premium stall. Unfortunately for a start-up trying to compete with established larger companies, SEO can make or break your business. If you are going to have any level of success with an online business you need to get on top of this strange and mysterious discipline ASAP.
Visuals are Everything
Nothing will help sell your products better than exceptional photography. A fuzzy, badly framed picture taken on your Smartphone is unlikely to pique customer interest, and will almost certainly result in lost sales. As ecommerce lacks the secure nature of face-to-face buying, it is imperative to build customer trust though a professional appearance and quality photography will certainly help this process.
Keep it Relevant
Ecommerce copy is not high literature, and people will not thank you if forced to exert unnecessary attention and brainpower to untangle your product descriptions. Short, concise, relevant writing is key, rather than pages of rambling scrawl unceasingly extolling the smallest virtue of each and every product. Isolate the key facts about your product, what makes it special and unique, add value where possible, and create a positive, punchy description around this.
It is important to give your customers as many reasons as possible to choose you rather than a competitor. Hence, it is vital to identify as many areas as possible to add value to the products you offer, either through additional services or simply through your virtues as a business. This can be as simple as announcing your passion and knowledge of your particular products, or as practical as having an unrivalled logistical operation. Spend some time identifying where your company adds value to your products, and make sure it is articulated throughout the website.
Promotional Ecommerce Offers
Just like in high-street stores, there is no better way to get people buying your products than some enticing special offers. The advantage to the ecommerce platform over the high street, is that implementing these offers is simply a case of playing around with the backend product management system, rather than having to individually label up each individual product with a “20% off!!!” sticker. Of course, you still need to promote your offers, but with clearance sections, promotional vouchers and discounts available as part of the Magento platform, you have a wealth of tools on hand to continuously entice customers in.
While it can be a daunting extra expense having already invested in a state-of-the-art ecommerce website, effective marketing is a necessity to give your business venture the push it needs. After all, there’s no point in your new website if no-one knows it exists. Hence, you need to explore all the digital marketing routes available in order to turn your new business into a success. These can include email marketing, Adwords and Google merchant store.
Although this is a general overview of some of the key elements that make a successful ecommerce store, there are still other factors to consider, many of them specific to your industry. It is always worth creating a detailed business plan and creating your ecommerce sites based on the factors in it, rather than jumping straight into website development. However, if you do it right, your ecommerce venture may soon be generating great revenue, and opening new doors to greater success.
Are you ready to set up your stall in the global marketplace? Are you daunted by the idea, and need an experienced helping hand? Call us on 01606 884 123 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation quote.