So very quickly, we have moved to a market where convenience isn’t enough. Shoppers don’t just need to be able to buy goods without leaving their homes. You need to make the shopping experience as fun, easy and attractive as possible.
eCommerce is booming, which means that not only are there hoards of potential consumers – there are a huge number of competitors as well. As in the “real” world, you need to stand out.
Building the “perfect” eStore
Is there a template or formula for a “perfect” eStore? No. Even Amazon and eBay aren’t perfect.
Is technology available to make a site that is perfect for your business? Yes.
A “perfect” solution is one that suits your business model, with the right backend systems and processes to support what you are aiming to get out of your eStore.
Think about what you can realistically manage, and ask your customers what they would want. With this information, you can make a solution that is perfect for you.
Do what your competitors forget
The fact that you don’t have a salesperson walking your customer through your site doesn’t mean you should forget about sales techniques.
Service is the cornerstone of so many physical businesses, but it is completely forgotten in many online stores. Building “service” into your website can have a massive impact on your customer conversion rate.
Some of the aspects that are so often neglected in online stores include:
- Single page checkout
- Cross-selling and up-selling
- Add to cart (placed in a prominent position)
- Cart abandonment emails
It’s the little details that can make all the difference.
Think about your opening hours
eStores are always open, right?
Wrong. If you don’t have sufficient server requirements, or don’t maintain your infrastructure properly, you could close. Suddenly. With no idea when you will re-open.
At a less catastrophic level, not gearing your website for growth will mean that as it becomes more popular, it will become slower. Which will, in turn, make it less popular.
Expectations are high online, which is why a slow website or even a website that crashes can suffer a huge loss of reputation. Although short, internet history is littered with near-losses or complete business demises that could have been avoided.
Tell people you exist
With the online environment being so competitive, you still need to market your business in order to get customers.
Don’t think about this as the last step; build it into your website development strategy. For example, implementing search engine optimisation techniques will have a huge impact if done properly.
eCommerce is generally best served by digital marketing as online customers are “closer” to your store. Importantly, it is often more cost-effective than traditional techniques, and is easily trackable, so you can get a better understanding of your ROI.
However, what works best for you will depend on your industry, budget and other resources.
eStores offer huge opportunities for companies willing to invest the time and effort. The success stories have become modern legends.