Over the years, we have seen online stores come and go. Some of these stores excel to become an authority in their niche and others sink into the abyss. The ones that succeed get a long-term customer base and a loyal following while their counterparts are soon forgotten. Many have thought that it was all about having more competitive rates than your competition or having a better-looking site. Many websites have been launched with all the tools to succeed and have still failed.
Running a successful e-commerce site is not easy or straightforward by any means. The goal is to present a product to the prospective clients, charm them to buy it, and then finally successfully process the payment. Therefore, to stand out among the rest, these strategies will help you rise above the competition.
Get proactive when it comes to customer service
It’s the nature of a person to seek clarification before spending any money on an item especially when they cannot examine the product themselves before making the purchase. Therefore, having a reliable customer service can be critical to the success or failure of your business. For an online brand, having a way where your customers can easily reach you can mean the difference between a completed purchase and an abandoned cart.
One such way is having a live chat option on your website. This will require you to have a knowledgeable and experienced team so that they can properly answer any questions clients might have and in a way that will fully satisfy their inquiries. Another method that works is having a phone number that customers can easily get through. When they do get through, a real person should be the one on the other end and not a bot. This gives the customer a sense of worth and value to the company.
Having a clean and easy-to-use site
The design is an important aspect of creating a sense of professionalism and reliability. An e-commerce business owner should know just as they wouldn’t let a physical store be untidy and have poor organizational structure, the same should apply to the online store. A store should be neat and easy to use. The biggest part of enforcing ease-of-use is making the website responsive. Given that traffic from mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have surpassed that from computers, ignoring the power of a responsive website is a big mistake.
As more people do their shopping on mobile devices, having a website that renders properly across various devices can be an invaluable asset for you. If the site has rendering issues, your store will experience a huge bounce rate due to poor usability. These rendering issues can include button sizes that don’t match the screen, excessive zooming in or out or pages that don’t fit perfectly on a device.
Show specials and discounts properly
Everyone wants a good deal whenever they are doing any shopping. Good marketers know the value of coupons and discounts in increasing sales. These are powerful tools that will allow you to;
- Give your customers special offers on various categories and products on your store.
- Give wholesalers a chance to buy goods at special rates
- Help clear slow moving stock
- Give clear incentives via offline advertising
A recent study done by Oneupweb has shown that 95.5% of respondents said that having prices and shipping information clearly stated is ideal for many shoppers. It’s also important that your site shows total costs with taxes and shipping included. Therefore, when a shopper gets to the checkout process, final prices are the ones being displayed.
What’s more, you can integrate a system of offering referral discounts for your customers. Especially when a client has found an amazing product and would like to share the discovery with friends, a referral discount can go a long way in encouraging the client to share the discovery. The notion of earning rewards is better embraced than that of getting rewards. Since nobody wants to miss out o a great deal, this becomes a great way to ensure sales get higher every day.
Many shoppers today are aware of the many dangers that exist on the internet. This is why someone can pick items on your store and later abandon it when the time to pay for the goods arrives. If you want to be perceived as a serious business, you must have professional payment systems. Since nobody likes to lose their hard earned money, no one will dare see the transaction through if there is a chance of losing their money.
One such method of inspiring confidence is by having a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate installed on your website. When properly configured, your website address changes from HTTP to HTTPS meaning that the site has been secured. SSL certificates provide protection on three avenues namely; encryption, authentication and data integrity. Since you want to inspire as much confidence as possible, an Extended Validation SSL (EV) is a better option. An EV SSL goes a mile further by validating a business is authentic and displaying its name and location in the address bar. This shows without a doubt that the business can be trusted with information such as credit card data and personal details.
Embrace online reviews
Before people buy products, they scour the internet looking for reviews of the product in question. This is because a good review will talk about the good, bad and ugly when it comes to a particular product. And since nobody wants to lose their hard earned money, reviews are a go-to whenever a client is in doubt. Having a good system where customers share their experiences with different products bought from your store can boost your sales by a large margin. By integrating customer reviews and comments with a particular product, it gives you credibility as a business. Also, chances that the comments will feature the product keywords is also a plus given that search engines will pick up on this and deliver you better rankings.
As for the owner of the store, creating meaningful product reviews is key to creating trust between you and your clients. These product reviews need to be impartial, objective, well written and not salesy. Customers are clever and will notice if you are not being impartial or genuine. To become an authority in the field, the above features are non-negotiable.
These methods that have been highlighted above are tried and tested. They have shown positive growth in sales if they are properly implemented. No website is perfect. As an ecommerce website, you should always desire to be better. Better in regards to serving your customers, giving them the experience they deserve and delivering quality products.