Building an e-commerce site into a successful online store is not necessarily easy: every market is rife with competition, and as the e-commerce boom’s mushroom cloud keeps swelling, more and more of the big retailers are joining the fray—which means that many of the smaller merchants shall have to do more than ever before to keep up. That having been said, it is not as though the big vendors are the only ones with a piece of the action.
A lot of small to medium e-businesses are thriving nowadays, and they all tend to share the same traits despite their differences. These common denominators are the bases of the tips given here, which should provide a clear roadmap for you in your bid to improve your e-commerce site.
Table of contents:Proof of legitimacy This is basic Use direct marketing methods to supplement your site Let people talk about your product in front of you Make an About Us page that is not a mere afterthought Get photos – a lot of photos Condense the process Take a page out of the brick-and-mortar sales guide Author Bio
1. Proof of legitimacy
The traditional enemy of online vendors has been suspicion as to their credibility, which is why the better e-commerce sites expend so much effort on building a network of evidence that proves they do what they claim to do and can be trusted to follow the rules of good business.
How to promote or sell product? Ask yourself how much corroboration exists for your site — and not just in it, as in its level of professionalism or the availability of valid contact information on its pages, but also outside of it. To some extent, corroboration from outside is even more important, as it is often deemed more believable.
Start off by doing some outreach campaigns and fostering a lively social network around your site and niche, and encourage past and present customers to help you build that network by talking to or about you.
You can even send free samples of products to blogging customers and ask them to publish reviews of the items linked to your store.
2. This is basic
Assess your site yourself to see what can be improved from the customer’s perspective—and be sure to think like a tough consumer. This means being as intolerant of delays and hassles as possible and being as suspicious of your own site as you can.
Do you provide sufficient assurance of their financial information’s security when they buy from you? Do you have a reassuring returns policy or sufficient shipping options for your market? Look at all of these with the eyes of a buyer and not a seller and then you can figure out what needs to change.
3. Use direct marketing methods to supplement your site
Like email or newsletter sign-up options – but remember the kinds of assurances people need from you too, such as a short but clear note that you will protect their contact info and keep communications spam-free. People are less likely to sign up for newsletters without these assurances.
4. Let people talk about your product in front of you
This means leaving a review option for products, and letting even reviews with lower ratings for the product be published. Answering these reviews publicly with helpful information, suggestions, apologies, or directions to the page where your return policy is described can win you the hearts of even the most disgruntled buyers, as it indicates a high level of customer service… and that’s something all buyers love.
5. Make an About Us page that is not a mere afterthought
Did you know that on most business websites, the most visited page is the About Us page and not even the Product page? You may want to think of that page as both an opportunity to prove your dependability as an online vendor and a chance to actually “sell” your products or services already, by describing what precisely you provide and how it relates to your identity as a company.
6. Get photos – a lot of photos
Most people like to look at photos more than text online. This does not mean you should boot your best sales copy writer in favour of a new photographer: it just means making sure that the quality of your content is supported by the quality and quantity of images coming with it (and vice versa).
7. Condense the process
The fewer clicks it takes to navigate your site and go from the homepage to the checkout counter, the better. People like quick results and throwing hurdles in front of them when they are only trying to buy something from you can end in them abandoning their shopping carts.
8. Take a page out of the brick-and-mortar sales guide
Be human, consumers should always get great service, and at the heart of all great service is a little bit of human decency. The presence of a computer screen mediating your interactions does not give you the right to robotise your responses to customer inquiries or requests for help. Be prompt and polite when handling inquiries and you might see more consumers becoming actual clients.