With eCommerce generating $2.3 trillion in sales each year and accounting for nearly 1 in 10 of all retail sales, there’s never been a better time to sell online.
However, there are many potential pitfalls lying in waiting for those new to eCommerce. Just a few seemingly inconsequential mistakes can drive customers away from your store.
Let’s learn How to Start an eCommerce Business Successfully?
Follow these tips to make your customers’ experience so good that they will return time and time again.
1) Pick the right domain name
It should be:
- Easy to spell
- Easy to pronounce
- End in “.com”
- Reflect your company’s brand and aesthetic
- Be sufficiently short that you can use it on social media handles
2) Choose a theme or platform designed for eCommerce, and hire a developer to customize it
To get your site up and running as quickly as possible, pick an eCommerce platform, choose a theme, and then hire a web developer to tweak it. You could try to do it yourself, but getting the exact look you want can be a challenge.
It’s possible to use out-of-the-box themes for a DIY approach, but you risk creating a generic, forgettable site. A developer will save you time and potentially money in the long run by choosing the best add-ons and plugins for your store.
If you want to go for the dropshipping route, you can pick a dropshipping app such as Dropified or Obelro, which will help you to automate your fulfillment tasks and make your life so much easier.
3) Communicate a clear CTA
Your homepage should be simple, and streamlined, and entice people to buy. Marketer Neil Patel emphasizes the importance of a clear call to action (CTA). Place your latest or most popular products front and center.
4) Make sure your site is optimized for mobile
Your customers are more likely to access your store via a mobile device than a desktop computer. Nearly two-thirds (62%) of smartphone owners have purchased something online over the past six months. Make sure your store looks great on a small screen.
5) Tell your brand’s story via an “About Us” page
Customers like to get a sense of a business’s personality before they buy. Use your “About Us” page to tell your brand’s story. Don’t forget to include contact details too.
Writing copy is an art form. If copywriting is beyond your skillset, use one of the best online writing services to find your perfect writer.
You’ll also need to write other pieces of copy, including the following:
- Product descriptions
- Returns policies
- Sizing guides, if applicable
- Emails that will be sent to customers after they have made a purchase
- Emails to be sent to customers who sign up to your mailing list
6) Keep the number and length of forms to an absolute minimum
Your loyal customers may want to create an account or profile. However, casual buyers will be looking to complete their transactions as soon as possible.
Long forms are daunting, particularly on small screens. Crazy Egg recommends that you use no more than a maximum of three fields at each stage of the checkout process.
7) Make your site searchable and easy to navigate
If your visitors can’t navigate your site, they are likely to get frustrated and leave. Divide your products into categories and subcategories as appropriate. Place a search bar on every page of your site.
Shoppers like to browse through multiple products before making their final decision. Including a “Recently Viewed” block can help them weigh up their options before placing an order.
8) Make sure your site is fast
It’s been well-established that a slow loading time is one of the biggest turn-offs for customers. For example, Amazon reports that every 100ms in load time costs them 1% in sales. Test your site for speed.
9) Set up a blog
A blog keeps your audience engaged, and can help your site rank better in search engines. You can post about new products and issues of general interest to your target audience. This will encourage them to return and spend more money.
10) Set up a mailing list
Make it easy for customers to sign up for updates and special offers. Ask them to opt in at the checkout stage. Be sure that you are complying with data protection laws in your country. Once you have their details, you can send them personalized emails that may entice them to make further purchases.
11) Don’t put adverts on your site
Adverts may seem like an easy way to earn extra revenue. Unfortunately, they can clutter your site and annoy visitors. Let your own products and services drive your profits.
12) Offer free shipping
No one likes to be hit with shipping charges when they check out. Either make shipping costs clear on the product description page or omit them entirely. This will effectively contribute to your business and help you to explore how to Start an eCommerce Business and make it successful.
13) Let your customers leave reviews and feedback
Social proof is a great way to promote your products. Implement a simple review system that allows your customers the chance to tell you – and the world – about their experiences.
You can encourage customers to leave feedback by sending them an automated email a few days after their purchase. Do not be tempted to delete negative reviews. Doing so will make your customer angry and may lead to bad publicity.
14) Track the number of abandoned carts
You should be using analytic tools such as Google Analytics to track customer behavior. If you notice that customers get to the checkout stage before leaving your site, it’s time to find out why.
Consider whether any of these problems could apply to your site:
- The checkout process is too long
- You surprise customers with shipping costs
- You don’t offer enough payment options (for example, you don’t offer the chance to pay by credit card)
- You are asking irrelevant questions (for example, asking for lots of demographic information)
- The checkout page appears amateurish or insecure
15) Give your customers great follow-up service
Finally, make sure your customers can contact you with any complaints or queries. You can offer customer service via live chat, social media, email, and phone. If possible, offer a multi-channel service.
Your choice will depend on the size of your business and available resources. Whatever you decide, make sure you can answer their questions in a prompt, professional manner.
The Four steps to start building your E-commerce
The bottom line
When designing your store, position yourself in the role of a customer.
- Does each step of the shopping experience make sense?
- Is it easy to complete an order?
- Is the site visually appealing?
Seek feedback at each stage of the design process, and don’t be afraid to make adjustments at a later date. Take your business seriously, and you’ll soon build a great online reputation. These are all tips on how to Start an eCommerce Business Successfully.
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