Establishing an e-commerce business is quite the undertaking as there's a lot that goes into starting one, including setting up an e-commerce site from which you shall sell your wares.
Once you've put together the website and get everything else in order, you'll find that the differences between e-commerce and traditional retail don't end there on the technological side of things.
Even in the selling itself, there are some stark differences. If you wish to make your first sale with your e-commerce site and get going with your business, you need to have every part of your e-commerce game on point. E-commerce is certainly no magic pill, and the industry has been growing more and more competitive in recent years. If you wish to succeed in e-commerce, you need to consider the following.
There are three key components to an e-commerce website—product pages, the checkout process, and the overall design of the website. If one of these components isn't on par with what's needed of it, the website as a whole may underperform and not
Product pages are the meat of the e-commerce website, thus making up for the bulk of the online shopping experience. If they don't look good on both mobile and desktop, you'll be displeasing at least half of your customers. 55% of people purchased from mobile devices rather desktops, so it’s always best to ensure that your e-commerce site is mobile-friendly. It’s also important to have them be in responsive design and just be on point with product images and descriptions, as well as good navigation.
The checkout process is what gets your customers' money, so it has to be both easy and functional at the same time. The checkout button must be big and undeniably visible without being intrusive and prices should be indicated clearly without incurring unexpected charges. Also, load times should be fast since you wouldn't want customers to abandon their carts out of impatience.
Everything on the website should have an intuitive design that users will find easy to navigate, with each important element being easy enough to distinguish.
That also goes for the logo, which is the visual representation of your brand. If you're fortunate enough to have been graced with a good one, you should have it visible on your site and everything else you happen to be on, like in social media. Of course, you don't want it obscuring everything else on the site. The usual top left corner position is still best for logos. In fact, the average lift in the brand recall was 89% by having the logo on the left, instead of the right.
Other than those three things, there are also other parts of the website worth paying some attention to. For instance, while most may think it doesn't get looked at that often, having a brief yet comprehensive About Us page is still something worth considering. As an e-commerce business, you must take every opportunity to show what you're all about, what makes you unique, and what you wish to offer to your customers.
The very first step in e-commerce is to decide on what to sell in the first place. If you have no idea what you really want to sell, you may look into the niche markets that tend to do well or are starting to do well in e-commerce.
For instance, fashion is a staple in e-commerce as they build fast and sell well. Catering to niche fashion—which is selling to certain cultures, demographics, and/or communities—is a solid way to get into fashion e-commerce.
Digital health services are on the rise lately as more people who deal with particular health issues are looking to the Internet for their needs. You can cater to their specific need with products that can help make life easier for them, whether it's supplements, tools, toys, augmentations to furniture, and soon.
If you're both knowledgeable and brave, you can cater to the industrial market with a business-to-business industrial e-commerce website selling stuff like generators, tools, supplies, and so on.
You won't have that much competition in that market and there's potential for building relationships with other businesses that can rake in the stable income.
Then there's the micro-niche market, wherein you get really specific in delivering to certain people's needs. Whether it's gluten-free snacks, customized controllers for video game enthusiasts or bespoke engagement rings for discerning prospects, the micro-niche e-commerce site is for online entrepreneurs who know exactly what they're getting into.
Just like how having a neat and organized store with some personality is crucial in a traditional business, having a neat and organized website with some personality is paramount for e-commerce.
If customers have a great experience in your site, they would tell their friends and family about it.
Attracting more customers and having a regular source of return business is what will make your e-commerce site successful, and having good user experience—or UX—is a big part of this. The web design must convey the quality of the products and services being offered and present them in a concise manner in whatever platform it's viewed from.
If you're not on Facebook or Twitter, you're not doing it right. Social media gives you additional reach and lets you interact with your audience, which is something that's invaluable in e-commerce nowadays.
Having 24/7 live chat lets potential customers inquire about products easily and current customers get support for products and services availed. As much as possible, you would want to respond to messages within a day at most in order to maintain a good standing.
This is pretty much the best way for you to convert people into actual buying customers. Being able to market through an individual's most intimate online space—the inbox—lets you both convince the unconvinced and bring back those who may have turned away.
Without mobile support, your e-commerce website will miss out on more than half of your potential market. Mobile is now ubiquitous these days, so having an e-commerce website that doesn't support a mobile interface is definitely missing out.
If you make customers wait for even a few seconds, you'll most likely lose them. If your website doesn't load quickly, people will get frustrated and leave.
If customers can't see what they want to buy, then they won't know what it is. There will also less reason to trust you actually having the product in stock if there's no clear image available.
Not only is it important to have specifications and features of the product laid out, but having a unique description is also important for the website's search engine optimization.
Most people will immediately use the site search to look for what they want upon visiting an e-commerce site. Make sure it's right on top at the navigation bar where it can be seen right away.
If people are abandoning their carts, there must be a reason why they don't follow through with a potential purchase. Being able to track the rate of carts being abandoned may help you pinpoint the main cause of it and improve on that aspect of your e-commerce site.
Finally, for those who did buy from you, they should be thanked on their way out. They gave you both their money and the implicit trust that you'll deliver the ordered product(s) to them. The least you can do is thank them sincerely for your Thank You page.
Through these tips and strategies, you should be able to make your first sale through your e-commerce site and get off the ground with your business.
If you have more questions on this, suggestions on what more can be done, or other comments, please feel free to leave them below. Thank you for dropping by.