We wrote this article in 2016 and it is more important than ever, the figures just keep on rising.
E-commerce was and still is the fastest growing retail market in Europe and North America. According to research carried out by the Centre for Retail Research; online sales in the UK, Germany, France, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Poland and Spain grew from £132 billion in 2014 to £156 billion in 2015, a rise of 18.6%. In 2017, e-commerce was responsible for around $2.3 trillion in sales and is expected to hit $4.5 trillion in 2021. The number has been and is expected to continue to grow by roughly 15% each year!
So what do you need to know about building a moneymaking e-commerce website? We have put together our top 10 tips:
- Take time to plan your launch
Avoid the launch until you’ve laid some substantial groundwork like SEO, content marketing, social media, and paid advertising.
- Be customer focused
Customers can’t touch and smell your product as they can in a store. Offer incentives for buying online, for example deals, free stuff, free returns and free shipping. Make the checkout process as simple as possible.
- Ensure your website is mobile and tablet friendly
A high number of shoppers are buying using their mobile or tablet and it’s growing, so pay close attention to making sure your e-commerce site is easy to use and looks good on a mobile or tablet.
- Test, test and retest your website
Before, during and after your launch, invest in testing. Think like the customer and work out what’s working, what’s not, and why?
- Sell your products and show the benefits
It may sound obvious to make sure your site sells, but it’s surprisingly common for a website to look really cool, but still be useless when it comes to selling. A list or grid of product categories can be the perfect thing to help your online store. Include a search option to make it easy for people to find what they want. A great selling tool is a 360 degree view or even video of each product in addition to the photo; it really helps the customer envisage what they’ll get.
- Have a clear logo and brand identity
This is critical to ensuring the customer builds trust with you and recognition of your company.
- Include a blog and latest news/offers
The latest offers and news should be featured on the home page.
- Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a great tool for tracking your customer’s behaviour on your website. You can also find out where they came from, their demographics and set goals – in other words, set some targets about what you want them to do when they get to your website. Learn more about setting up Google Analytics
- Contact info
Do you find it irritating when you can’t find a phone number or ‘contact us’ button quickly? Well, so will your customers! It’s also a good idea to include an online chat feature – this can be set up so that if you’re not free to respond the message is sent as an email that can be replied to later. However, if online purchases can be done 24-hours, there is an argument to provide 24-hour customer service.
- Social media
In addition to social media buttons on your website, your business should be marketing through social media to bring people to the site. There’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, Google Plus, Snapchat and, for business–to-business, LinkedIn. It’s also really simple to set up discounts for those customers that share via different social media channels. Consider using social media for customer enquiries too; many of the major retailers are doing this. You should also be aware that complaints are made via social media so ensure that you’re monitoring that activity at all times.
For help with setting up your e-commerce website contact us