World Wide Web offers and provides plenty of options for you to shop and transact online. E-commerce business websites engage and attract the attention of online shoppers, allowing them to save their time and money, which help to increase brand loyalists. Here you come to the point of enjoying a comfort level with certain websites in contrast to others which are low on the convenience levels. This article sheds light on eight key factors that proven the success of online shopping websites that may lead to a profitable e-commerce business. You will also be informed about all the mistakes that must avoid by every e-commerce businesses to sustain in the E-commerce industry.
The Success of Any E-Commerce Business Revolves Around These 8 Key Factors:
- A well-chalked out branding strategy
Top of the list of important factors are that help you come up with an active website is the concept of creating a brand image for your site. With a strong brand in place, your website will be able to attract a great deal of commercial value from customers. Your brand will mirror the consumer perception of your offers on products and services. Online shoppers are always lookout for branded stuff. So, with a great brand, you will be able to penetrate better into the online market, typically catering to all the needs of your target audience.
In an attempt to increase brand awareness, you can rely on social media networking for your site via popular platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. Run advertising campaigns on such social media platforms to enhance the brand visibility of your website manifold.
- Stand out from The crowd
If you need to make your website stand out from the crowd, you need to differentiate your e-commerce business from your competitors. You can do this by developing strong Unique Selling Proposition (USP), which is extensive market research identifying as a unique factor of your website. USP differentiates how is your products or services better than your competitors. You should provide flexible payment gateway or a “one-stop-shop” for any item that customers need. You need to come up with this one unique factor and try to build your website on its strength.
- A well-segmented shopping cart
When your site offers plenty of online products, you should go the extra mile in categorizing products for consumer. A well-organized and orderly shopping cart will help customers to pick and choose the right products as they are looking for quickly. It is also pertinent to ensure that you provide an online payment gateway that is safe and secure so that the privacy of shoppers’ personal information cannot breach at any point in time. Given the fact that it is indeed a significant challenge to describe all your products, efforts should direct towards providing detailed product descriptions. Care should be taken to enlist all the USPs that your product brings to the table. It is also essential to not only modify product descriptions but also to ensure they are search-engine optimized.
- Unlock the potential of SEO
Search-Engine Optimization (SEO) is the buzzword that continually does rounds in the online e-commerce business. Every e-business aims to get the higher ranking on search engine result pages to attract the attention of the online shopping fraternity. It is for this reason that websites which come with SEO friendly URLs are indexed, offering enhanced visibility to online offerings. An SEO strategy which incorporates META title and description tags along with targeted keywords will lead you to optimize your e-stores.
- Protect Website and all sub domains from Online Vulnerabilities
Customers will look at how your website is safe and secure before they initiate online transaction. It is for this reason, you can protect e-commerce website and its unlimited sub domains with HTTPS encrypted connection, you can get Comodo Wildcard SSL from Cheap SSL Shop, which help to boost consumer confidence in your site as well as improve e-commerce business reputation. Equipping e-stores with SSL security layers will safeguard the ordering process. Now, popular web browser like Chrome display “Not Secure” warning for all HTTP (unsecured) pages in the address bar.
Since the HTTPS security of a website is a trust factor for users, e-stores armed with CISP Certified Level 1 and those which are PCI-DSS complaint safeguard all the information of the users. Installing firewalls is another way to tighten the security of the website from online breaches and unwarranted infiltration from hackers.
- Unearth the power of “User Interface”
A simple yet effective e-store interface has a profound influence on the behavior of online shoppers. It is for this reason that you should integrate a good User Interface (UI) design that will encourage online shoppers to stick to your website, visit it often, place first-time orders and also repeat orders. It is also essential to provide a single page checkout process since it improves the conversion ratio, when compared to the inconvenience caused by a multiple page checkout. With a single page checkout, you will be in a strong position to cut down the instances of abandoned carts.
Another interesting yet viable factor is to display product descriptions with videos. Animations help you provide the pertinent information of products in an engaging and clear-cut manner. A video when it comes loaded with detailed information does not call for multiple images which provides good appearance of the website. Additionally, videos encourage consumers to order products online since they to learn how a particular product used practically.
- The promise behind a multi-lingual E-Store
Personalization is indeed an important facet of customer experience. Since every customer wants to fill out address in his native language, multi-lingual e-stores do the trick of attracting shoppers from across the globe. It is for this reason that e-commerce websites should provide a “translate” option. This small step will help your e-business to not only penetrate into the present saturated markets but also to uncover untapped markets that have enormous potential for expansion.
- Customer Support Initiatives and Reviews Will Help Retain Customers
The amount of after-sales support that customers enjoy and experience is another factor that dictates the success of an e-store. All for the sake of retaining loyal customers, e-businesses should strive to provide ease online ordering process with customer support initiatives. The inclusion of a live chat can help first-time visitors convert into buyers. Research indicates all those websites which provide online support through a chat option stand in good stead with customers.
Another resourceful means to retain customers is to encourage reviews from repeat users. Customer reviews (both positive and negative) come as strong indicators of authenticity. A number of good reviews can be offset by a small number of bad experiences that customers have faced. In an attempt to demonstrate how legitimate your e-store is, you should go ahead and provide a review column for customers to share their opinions about your online offerings.
E-Commerce Business Mistakes You Should Be Cautious About:
After discussing at length all the 8 key factors, you may now have good understanding on how to build strong pillars for the promotion of an e-commerce business, it is time you delve deep into the 5 common mistakes committed by e-business owners.
- Operating Through A Wrong Platform
Nothing does more harm to your e-store than operating via a wrong platform. Pick a wrong platform and your e-business heads to a doom. A host of free websites are available for you to go ahead and set up your e-business without any subscription. Shopify, Magneto, WooCommerce, Demandware, BigCommerce and Volusion are some of the free websites that you can pick from.
- Not Having a Business Strategy in Place
Anything you do should be backed by a strategic decision. Working without a plan of action you will not get a success in e-commerce businesss. Blindly operating an e-store without researching the markets and customer base should be avoided. Most of the times, e-businesses spare no thought about mobile users. It is an interesting piece of trivia to note that a whopping 97% of mobile users shop online via an e-store.
Alongside making a website mobile-friendly, efforts should be made to bring in a high degree of transparency by displaying all the terms and policies governing your e-commerce business. Avoiding to state the privacy rules, exchange/refund policies and the declaration of TRUSTe privacy seal and SSL Certificate for the website. Such mistakes which impair the trust factor of e-stores should be kept in mind while launching an e-business.
- Missing Product Reviews and Contact Information
Another common mistake that can negatively influence your e-commerce business is the absence of product and customer reviews. Customers mostly look for reviews about products and services before placing their online orders. And if such information is missing, users will not be compelled to order your products.
Websites which do not display contact information including the contact number of your company, your email address, the physical location of your company on a Google Map and the customer support number fail to attract the attention of online shoppers. Such omissions will cause your e-commerce business to perish within a short span of time.
- Unmindful of Checking The Performance of Your Website
It is all about having all eyes and ears open to the performance of your website. Analysis of different data plays an important role in the growth of your e-commerce business. Performance indicators like the total number of visitors, revenue figures and the quantum of sales should be reviewed constantly and analyzed. Failing to connect your website with Google Analytics can spell damage to your e-business, hampering its growth.
- The Absence of Digital Marketing Efforts
Let the first make noise. In line with this digital marketing concept, every e-commerce business should promote their product or service in the online shopping community, through a diligent digital marketing strategy. Any e-store which operates without a digital marketing strategy eventually loses ground in the competitive online shopping space. A host of social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter allows you to perform affiliate marketing by displaying your products on the websites of others.
All for the sake of enjoying an increased reach and visibility for your online offers, digital marketing efforts will help you tap into the pool of customers active on social media platforms. Avoiding this facet of e-commerce business is similar to cutting the branch of a tree on which you are performing a balancing act.
With an aim to collate all those factors that click and some elements which have a negative effect on your e-commerce business, this comprehensive post suggests a number of actionable steps that need to be taken by flag bearers. These invaluable pointers can help e-store owners to operate a successful e-commerce business, mindful of “what to do” and “what not to do”.