We are often asked about the fundamentals of e-commerce: how do you build an online retail store, what do customers need to see, what does Google look for, how can you increase conversion rates?
Here are a list of 7 fundamentals of E-commerce.
1.The most important thing online is the user experience.
It can be argued that everything else is secondary. Websites that frustrate will not endear your brand to prospective customers. Try to create an online experience where users can easily find and digest the information they need in order to proceed to the checkout.
2. Use catchy content
Great copy can invite customers to take a stroll in your store, create a memorable experience and in the end influence them to make a purchase. Plus, it also helps boost search engine rankings as Google and other search engines rank genuine and original content above everything else.
You need original and fetching content to describe your product, service or even yourself. Content marketing is an ideal bet for your online business if you are working on a bootstrap budget for marketing.
3. Be social to sell more
As an aspiring online business maker, you cannot ignore the oncoming dominion of social commerce. Social commerce is the practice of selling through social networks including Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. In fact, a handful of top fashion brands like Moda Operandi, Rent the Runway, Stylyt, etc. have already migrated to social commerce for higher selling.
How to make the most of social commerce selling?
- Forge a unique user experience
- Sell exclusive products through social commerce
- Groom a culture through forums, communities, groups, etc.
- Keep social commerce as an extension of your actual online store
4. Trust and credibility need to be reinforced, particularly in key purchase areas, and especially for new or unknown brands.
This means testimonials, customer feedback, press cuttings. It also means highly visible contact details (telephone / email) and online customer support options (FAQ / help / delivery options).
5. Keep an eye on the KPIs
KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) show how well your business is doing. KPIs can be measured for a specific period like a week, month, quarter or year. KPIs on several aspects show if the business is heading in the right direction and what corrective action needs to be taken for improving sales or profitability.
Some Key Performance Indicators to watch out for include:
- Website traffic
- Average time spent on site
- Conversion rate
- Referral sources
- Return Rate
- Average Order value
- Cart abandonment rate
6. Design a blockbuster website
Designing a website for your eCommerce business is the same as building a real brick and mortar shop; the only difference being the virtual presence. The virtual presence and the ambience of your website will set the tune for the success or demise of your business. So strive to ace it at any cost.
While designing the website for your online business, take into consideration factors like landing page content, ease of navigation, keyword optimization, page loading speed and user friendliness. Once you manage to hold the visitor’s attention for more than 3 seconds, it is easy to sell them.
Some more pointers to help you design a blockbuster website for your online business:
- Stick to one or two font colors
- Keep the UI simple & clutter free (and intuitive too)
- Stick to minimalistic design. No flashy ads
- Make it easy for customers to find what they want
7. Highly visible support options.
This is worth mentioning again in case you missed it earlier. It means prominently-displayed telephone numbers, emails, online customer service tools, delivery tracking, and so on. This is absolutely vital, especially to first-time customers and non-savvy internet users, who may have a lingering mistrust of the internet.
Source: Chris Lake and Megha Parikh