Americans spent more on e-commerce sites than they did in brick-and-mortar stores for the first time in history in 2015, when online sales exceeded the $300 billion mark. Sounds familiar in your countries too? Do you see yourself and the millennials flocking online stores instead of driving down to the neighborhood store? It is indeed time to internalize all the e-Commerce tips for entrepreneurs you’ve been hearing and apply them for your own businesses!
Today, we have a guest author, Kristen Gramigna, sharing her views on what it takes for you as an entrepreneur to draw sales online.
All your content marketing efforts will come to fruition as consumer behavior continues to shift and supports online models. Americans are already spending more on e-Commerce than ever before. E-commerce sites can be a perfect business model for entrepreneurs, thanks to their low overhead and small barrier to entry. But just like Spiderman, with great power (or opportunity) comes greater responsibility.
Here are simple ways entrepreneurs can help drive traffic to their e-commerce websites.
5 Necessary E-Commerce Tips For Entrepreneurs
Who Want Sales
1. Build a site your audience can trust.
Thanks to website design templates, secure payment gateways and third-party fulfillment services, small-business owners can theoretically build and launch a site from start to finish, in a matter of days.
Though because you won’t have face-to-face interaction with customers, it’s critical to take the time to invest in the details of your e-commerce site — including an “about” page, an appealing logo, quality images and the story of your business — that help you craft a brand the customer can embrace.
2. Assure customers you’re not going to disappear.
Include complete contact information (phone, physical location and an email address) on your site to reassure customers that you’re a legitimate business they can trust.
In a 2013 study by The Baymard Institute, respondents indicated that seeing the “Norton Secured” logo on a website creates the greatest level of perceived trust with a website’s security, followed by McAfee, TRUSTe and the BBB logo. Use payment processors or payment gateways that guarantee security and compliance standards are adhered to as established by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council in payment processing.
3. Ask people outside of your company to provide feedback.
Ask a variety of people to test your site and provide detailed and candid feedback about how easy it was for them to navigate, before you launch. Take their feedback seriously and make adjustments to ensure that your site works on a variety of devices, and loads quickly and accurately. This is important for consumer experience and therefore for SEO.
4. Visit your site on several mobile devices.
Mobile devices now play a role in more than half of e-commerce transactions, according to Shopify. Though many e-commerce design templates now make it easy to create a site that shows equally well on mobile devices, usability is paramount — and may take some extra effort.
In a study of 50 popular e-commerce sites, experts at The Baymard Institute found that mobile checkout processes and form field usability was “seriously flawed” on most of the sites. The most significant issues were those that can cause interested customers to abandon a purchase: not showing mobile users the total cost of the order before asking for credit card information, lack of transparency for shipping costs, and “guest checkout” options that were extremely difficult to locate on a mobile device.
Also note that Google’s newest algorithms may not be able to put you high up on search if the site is not mobile optimized.
5. Use tools that attract customers.
Social media and search engine optimization are both necessary components to get your e-commerce site in front of your target audience. According to data compiled and reported by Shopify, Facebook drives nearly 60 percent of the traffic that comes from social media to e-commerce sites, followed by Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram.
ALSO READ: New social media trends for 2016– What to expect on Facebook
In addition to posting images, copy and promotions that your target audience is most likely to take interest in on social media, be clever about how you can boost engagement, based on current trends. In one study conducted by WordStream, for example, Twitter posts that included an emoji generated 25 percent more engagement than those that didn’t. Instead of tweeting 140 characters about the shoes your site has in stock, show emojis of heels, sneakers and a foot — with limited copy.
Use keyword research tools to ensure that your product descriptions, product copy and the meta tags you use for site images are optimized for search and contain the right keywords. Potential customers will be more likely to come across your site in their search results when you’ve taken the time to match your on-site SEO to their search behavior.
Sure you can get an e-commerce site up and running in a short time period, remember that details matter. Take the time to invest in a site you can be proud of — including its functionality, quality images and optimized copy — and you’ll be more likely to convince customers to buy from your site.
What are your views on the sector? What are some of the challenges you’ve been facing? Feel free to get in touch and let’s discuss!
Editor’s note: Guest contributors to our blog
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About Guest Author: Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm. She has over 20 years experience in the bankcard industry in sales management, marketing and direct sales. Follow her on Twitter at @BluePay_CMO.
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