Ecommerce has taken flight with a significant amount of momentum. Many brick-and-mortar locations of small and large brands alike are closing, downsizing or claiming bankruptcy. Having an online store can help support your business with additional sales and create the opportunity to reduce any unnecessary brick-and-mortar expenditures.
Creating an online store isn’t always easy. If you’re thinking about opening an online store or increasing the productivity of your current one, here are a few things to consider.
Why do some ecommerce businesses struggle?
Challenges are to be expected however, some ecommerce businesses struggle more than others. Approximately 80% of ecommerce businesses fail due to 3 main reasons:
1. Customers don’t see the value of the product or service
2. Customers aren’t able to easily navigate your site
3. Customers don’t know how to use your site
Although these are common problems, they are fairly simple to fix.
Consider one of your favorite clothing retailers and pop onto their site. Are you able to easily find products? Hypothetically, why did you choose that product to add to your cart? Is the check-out process smooth? Were any promotions available, like free shipping when you spend X-amount? Were you able to add a gift card or discount code if you had one? How many shipping options were you provided?
Your business’ brand is at the core of your ecommerce store. Your brand emulates your business’ values and purpose. As your company ages, your brand needs to grow with it to stay relevant. If your brand ages poorly, you’re at risk of losing customers and potentially limiting the number of new customers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is critical to the success of your website and your online store. SEO essentially enables your website to be visible on search engines, like Google. Google, and other search engines, use algorithms to evaluate your site, assess their value and provide them to the public accordingly. Lower-ranking sites do not appear at the top of searches. Naturally, you will want your website and your online store to rank higher than competitors. Taking advantage of SEO techniques can significantly add traffic to your website and help increase the possibility of purchases.
We’re very familiar with how to properly build your website and online store to best use SEO keywords and phrases.
Online Shopping is An Experience
Shopping in a physical store enables you to experience the sales process first-hand. Your online store should have its own flavour of experience. How you sell your products should be easy to follow and easy to navigate. If your customer has trouble purchasing anything from your ecommerce store, you risk losing them and the sale.
To enhance the experience, consider using categories to group several products within the same family. Using an umbrella photo for each category adds a good visual representation. For example, if you sell gardening products that range from tools, lawn care and plant care, grouping everything that falls into one of those categories will limit the amount of confusion your customers experience and help them navigate your site easier.
Your shopping experience also reinforces what your brand does. Although it may be obvious to you, your customer may not know all the products and services you offer. By enabling them to explore your store and see all the options available, you’re exposing them to complimenting products or alternative options.
Beware of Shipping
Have you ever gone through an online store, loaded up your cart and hit check-out to only then be in shock of the shipping costs? Shoppers are more inclined to abandon their carts if shipping costs are too high.
If you can, try to offer free shipping for your customers. This can be done by including shipping in the price of items. Another option is to offer free shipping once your customer has reached a minimum dollar value of a purchase in order to qualify for free shipping. If there’s no workaround for shipping, be upfront about it. You’re more likely to retain the sale if your purchaser knows the cost of shipping before they hit the check-out button and get hit with the surprise.
We’ve all heard about social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest. Each one has its own user base. Knowing who your target customer is and which platform they are most likely to use can be helpful in engaging your target audience and engaging them in a sale.
There are many ways of employing social media to your advantage. Writing blog posts, creating meaningful tweets and launching impactful posts on Instagram can help attract new viewers if done correctly. Engagement can be enhanced through the use of hashtags and tagging specific supporters, influencers and even customers.
There are many methods you can use in creating your website to enrich your customer’s shopping experience. At VaroWP, we’ve built ecommerce stores for clients in a variety of industries including health and wellness, landscaping and lawn care as well as retail. We love supporting our customers and hearing about the rise of their online sales.
If you’d like to explore having your own store or improving upon the one you already have, we’d be happy to help.