Make Your Ecommerce Business Wildly Successful

The ecommerce industry is poised for significant growth in the near future. But, you can only expect to see results if you approach it the right way. The very first step is to develop an ecommerce website with all the relevant features that you would require for your business, for customer interactions and marketing campaigns.

If you are ready to launch your ecommerce business and see it grow into a successful online venture, here are a few tips for you to consider:

Don’t rush the launch

This is one of the biggest pitfalls. Forcing or rushing a launch could be your worst mistake. It’s OK to register a domain name, and put up a ‘coming soon’ page, but the real launch should be planned more carefully. Make sure that you launch only when you have some substantial groundwork done such as search engine optimization, content marketing plan, social media and paid advertisements etc.

Place your focus on the user

Right from the development phases of the website, make sure that the focus in on the user experience. Add every feature that will make it convenient for shoppers to buy from you. Keep the pricing, shipping policy and the return policies transparent. Also, ensure that the check out process is simplified.

Test absolutely everything

Prior to the actual launch, make sure that you test absolutely everything. Invest time and money in testing. It will definitely be worth it in the long term. For a moment think like a customer and figure out what they want and what’s not working.

Work closely with social

Social media is the heartbeat of an ecommerce business. It is extremely important that you include social media features on your ecommerce website so that customers can easily share their recent purchases with their friend and family. Maintain separate social media pages and ensure that you keep it ‘live’ with interactions.

Go mobile

If you aren’t thinking of a mobile strategy for your business, you may soon see the negative impact it has on your customers and your brand as a whole. When all your potential customers are mobile, make sure that you are not missing out on your probable sales by not having a mobile compatible website or a mobile app for your business.

Stay on top of SEO

As more and more ecommerce businesses are launched the competition gets fiercer. It is important to have a clear search engine optimization strategy in place so that you stay at the forefront always. It is important for long term success.

Continue evolving

Finally, it is important to note that you cannot simply launch your website and then step away. You will need to stay on top of things and understand the latest trends and implement them to your advantage.

What Is E-Commerce Web Development?

If you run an online selling business, you may already know that are few things more important to your business transactions than effective e-commerce web development. But for those just starting out, it can be important for them to know how it could benefit their business.

As you may already know, web development is the writing and coding process that goes into the building and customisation of websites. This process is what ultimately will turn your business vision into an online reality, but it is not the same as e-commerce development.

e-commerce development involves this same process, but one that utilises online commercial transactions. Because of this, it requires a larger degree of technical knowledge and ability to pull off – which is why marketing companies who offer this service are so sought-after.

If you’re thinking of building a company site with the aim of selling products online, you may have considered hiring someone to help you to realise your vision. But before you do so, you may want to spend some time researching your options.

It’s important to distinguish between web and e-commerce development, as the latter requires a range of specialised techniques. Because of this, it’s a good idea to specify your needs when looking for a company or person to help you build your selling website.

You will want to consider online payment optimisation, security encryption and shopping cart coding to help you get the best possible results from your new web page. If none of this means anything to you, it’s probably a good idea to call in the experts to help you with your coding.

But there are things to consider. Not only will you need to make sure that the company or individual you hire is fully qualified to build your site, you’ll also want to make sure you’re getting the best possible service for your money.

It’s a good idea to spend some time researching your options before you make a decision about who to hire. This will not only involve comparing a few different quotes, but also taking the time to familiarise yourself with the credentials of your e-commerce developer.

If you’re thinking of hiring an internet marketing company, such as, you will be able to look on their website for customer testimonials, and to view their portfolio of clients.

Look out for companies who use their websites to showcase their previous design projects as this way you’ll get a feel for the kind of approach they take.

You may also want to consider other services if you’re trying to build your web presence – social media management, search engine optimisation or e-mail marketing, for example. These can help increase your online visibility and drive traffic to your site, so are worth investing in further.

Internet marketing companies will be able to offer a vast choice of services, so it’s a good idea to sit down with one of their experts and discuss the unique requirements of your business – as well as sharing your vision with them.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that this kind of development is an acquired skill, and isn’t necessarily something you’re going to get on the cheap. It is, however, a worthy investment of both your time and money as it will ultimately drive your business forward and help increase your profit.

There are of course more affordable options out there, but you will want to make sure you won’t be compromising on quality – your website is really not something you want to skimp on. Spend some time comparing prices online, or ask other people in the business to recommend a skilled developer.

Tips for Mastering the Fundamentals of E-Commerce

There’s a lot to focus on when it comes to running a successful e-commerce business. It’s easy for store owners to get overwhelmed by the various aspects of their website, social media profiles and more. Below are simple explanations of the main things to focus on to increase sales, order values and customer satisfaction.

User experience

Your site’s design is arguably the most important factor in succeeding in the world of e-commerce. Customers simply won’t shop at an online store that’s confusing to use, especially since there are so many other options available to them. Therefore, your site should be easy to read and browse. It should load in seconds, use navigation that’s easy to understand and contain relevant information toward the top of the page.

Design your website to support a great, intuitive user experience.

Designing for the user experience also means your site should make it easy for customers to submit online payments. Accepting a wide variety of payment types allows customers to make purchases according to their preference, and a simple checkout process makes things even easier. Both of these attributes combine to increase your customer’s satisfaction and, as CIO.com noted, can reduce your cart abandonment rates. In a conversation with the website, Kateryna Topopl, senior art director at Architech, mentioned the checkout process is where businesses tend to see the highest number of abandoned carts. This is mainly because they force users to go through too many steps or do not provide convenient options for submitting electronic payments.

Social media

There’s no question that every e-commerce website should have a few social media accounts, but determining the right ones can be tricky. You want to maximize your return on investment, and knowing your product and audience well is the best way to do that. As Practical E-commerce noted, some social sites are better for certain products than others. Pinterest and Instagram are great for lifestyle products like home decor and fashion, while Twitter and LinkedIn are excellent for software and business services.

Another way to incorporate social media is to let shoppers log in to your website using their networking accounts such as Facebook or Google+. This makes the process quick and efficient, and customers don’t have to remember yet another username and password for your website.

Content marketing

While social media is the cherry on top of your marketing sundae, your website’s content is the ice cream that makes up its substance. Great content – blog posts, list articles, white papers and more – keeps people on your website after they’ve clicked through from your social media. In addition, the search engine optimization benefits of certain topics and keywords bring even more people to your online store through Google and Bing.

“Content for e-commerce mixes relevant information with a call-to-action.”

Creating great content for e-commerce is tricky, as CIO.com mentioned in another article. Make it too promotional and you’ll lose customers instead of gaining more. At the same time, the goal of your content is to promote sales. The trick is to mix relevant information with a call-to-action designed to get users to convert. For example, say your website sells kitchenware and you want to promote a line of cast-iron skillets you just added. You can write a blog post filled with tips on properly seasoning and caring for cast-iron cookware, then link readers to the brand in question. What’s more, you can fill the blog post with images of the product so readers can see how it looks and picture themselves with it in the kitchen.

CTAs don’t always have to be sales-oriented. They can direct readers to sign up for your newsletter, follow your business on social media, read more blog posts or increase engagement in other ways.

Fulfillment

Offering customers a great deal on shipping prices keeps your business competitive, especially against e-commerce giants like Amazon and Walmart. Free shipping in particular leads to increased average order values and possibly higher sales overall, according to a Practical Ecommerce report on the subject. If you can’t provide free shipping for all sales, consider offering it only to customers with orders above a certain price.

While mastering the world of e-commerce isn’t easy, a good handle on the basics helps you grow from a small business to an international e-commerce competitor.

The 12 Days of ECommerce Christmas

Can you believe it’s already November?

Everybody is starting to plan for Christmas and your store will be getting crazy busy handling orders left, right and centre.

When you’re in the thick of things, nothing can be more distressing than realising that the items which your customers are interested in are actually out of stock.

Or that the shipping company which would normally deliver parcels for you could not accommodate you.

To prevent that from happening in the most profitable season of the year, we list 12 things you can do to prepare your eCommerce business for the holidays.

1. Stock up

On the 1st day of eCommerce Christmas, list your bestsellers.

You may also want to look up frequently searched for Christmas gifts on Google Trends.

Once you have figured which products to add to your inventory, meet up with your supplier to discuss the earliest time they could deliver new stocks.

Apart from Christmas, Black Friday and Cyber Monday should be taken into consideration when planning your inventory as they kick off the holiday shopping season.

2. Create Holiday Banners and Images

On the 2nd day of eCommerce Christmas, get everyone excited for the holidays by posting Christmas-y banners and images on your website.

This triggers anticipation and enthusiasm, which are important factors for increasing customer engagement on your site.

3. Ensure Mobile Efficiency

According to the online retailing association IMRG, more than 50% of UK’s online retail sales in Q4 2015 was made through mobile devices.

That’s an indication that more people are using their tablets and smartphones to shop nowadays.

So on the 3rd day of eCommerce Christmas, test the checkout process on your website using a mobile device to ensure it’s free of any glitches.

4. Offer Great Deals

On the 4th day of eCommerce Christmas, start rolling out great deals and be part of the week-long sales period leading up to Black Friday and continuing until Cyber Monday.

Make sure the deals are staggered throughout the week as this will help you generate incremental sales.

Put a countdown over the items which you want to sell fast as this will help build anticipation among customers. See, everybody wants to be the first to have something.

5. Send Personalised Email and Social Media Messages

On the 5th day of eCommerce Christmas, send out personalised emails announcing your Black Friday and Cyber Monday promotions, holiday coupons, free gift wrapping and other cool offerings.

Set aside your standard email template for the time being, and think up a good subject line to get your email read.

In addition to that, let the community of online shoppers know about your deals on social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to name a few.

6. Keep ’em Updated

Shopaholics can’t get enough of extra product information, especially during the holiday season.

The more you dish out, the more you keep them engaged.

On the 6th day of eCommerce Christmas, blog away to keep them posted on your deals, pricing, shipping and other pieces of information that affect their buying decision.

7. Have a Clear Returns Policy

On the 7th day of eCommerce Christmas, be open to the fact that some of your customers could return an item which they purchased from your store.

Having said that, see to it that your product pages have a returns policy which clearly stipulates the conditions on which customers are allowed to return a product.

8. Meet with a Reliable Shipping Company (and get a backup, too)

On the 8th day of eCommerce Christmas, arrange a meeting with a reliable shipping company to discuss your options in relation to your expected levels of parcels and shipping points.

Also, you need to know their shipping deadlines so that you can inform your customers of the dates.

Delivering orders on time is the key to gaining lifelong customers.

However, let us not discount the fact that there are people who would wait until the last shipping date before placing their orders.

It would help to have a backup courier that can readily provide last-minute shipping in case the company you’ve partnered with couldn’t accommodate you.

9. Use Holiday-inspired Packing Supplies

It’s one thing to get your customers’ orders to their doorstep, it’s another thing to do it in pretty boxes.

On the 9th day of eCommerce Christmas, make your customers feel the holiday spirit with Christmas inspired packaging supplies.

You want them in shades of red, green, gold, silver and even blue.

10. Put Customer Support in Place

On the 10th day of eCommerce Christmas, make sure that you are ready to address your customers’ queries and concerns in a timely manner.

You can have someone handle this task for you, or do it yourself if you want to.

Also, the Contact Us page on your website should include the hours that you provide customer support apart from your contact information.

11. Prepare for Boxing Day

On the 11th day of eCommerce Christmas, prepare for Boxing Day!

Just because it’s after Christmas Day, doesn’t mean Boxing Day won’t generate sales for your business anymore.

In fact, the data of IMRG and Experian, a consumer credit reporting agency, shows that online shoppers in the UK spent £856 million in last year’s Boxing Day.

Those figures are expected to get bigger this year, and you sure want to be amongst the businesses that benefit.

12. Staff up

On the 12th day of eCommerce Christmas, be sure an extra pair of hands is handling the high volume of orders coming into your store, and ensuring shipments are made in a timely manner.

Responding to customer queries and listing new products on your website are other tasks which you will definitely need help with in this busy season.

You can either hire someone to perform these tasks or outsource them.