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1. This IS The New ‘Norm’
Consumers have shifted their buying habits, turning to online shopping – even the boomers – because of restrictions brought on by the pandemic. COVID-19 has indeed played a pivotal role in the accelerated growth of ecommerce, possibly by up to 4-6 years.
Companies that have explored e-commerce before the pandemic are now experiencing expansion and booming sales. It is projected that around $4.2 trillion sales can be expected from e-commerce by the end of 2020.
‘Going online’ impacts every single part of your business model. It’s a massive operation for starters – not quite as simple as throwing up an ecommerce shop and having your products on it.
There will still be plenty of businesses playing catch-up so the sooner you jump in, the better the opportunity to….
2. Build with Best Practice Right From The Start
With a range of online stores, it’s easy to see what’s working and what’s not.
This enables you to use these best practices right from the get-go to ensure you’re staying ahead of the competition.
1. Customised Experience
Don’t sacrifice customer experience just because you’re doing it online. As always, consumers prefer to have that personalised experience whenever possible.
Keep it efficient – keep it automated – AND keep it human.
You can achieve this by showing content, product recommendations and special offers based on your customer’s browsing behaviour, previous actions, enriched personal data or based on their preferences.
Adding that human touch to your business helps overcome competition.
Data is key to getting this done.
You can use social media and search engine trackers to help you extract a ton of data to help you better understand your customers.
It may be daunting at first but think about it as formulating a story about your customers that informs their purchase decision.
2. Social Commerce
Social commerce is different from social media marketing because, with this, you are directly selling the product on social media platforms. You are no longer directing people to your online shop, but you are giving them an immediate ability to check out the item.
Businesses are utilising both macro and micro-influencers to help them market their products and drive social commerce to increase sales. This stops customers from shopping around, or second guessing their purchases if the option is there for an instant checkout!
This type of influencer marketing has been around since the start of the social media era, but it’s ramping up even more now and we can expect this to continue beyond 2020.
3. Interactive Product Visuals
The most common problem of consumers when buying online is that they might get something different from what they see online. When a customer hesitates, your item may be added to the cart, but it never is checked out.
A high-resolution image is just the starting point. The consumer prefers more pictures, some even 360-degree image viewing to see all angles of the product.
With a solid base line foundation in place for your store, the next step is to stay ahead of the curve by going above and beyond your customers’ expectations to give them that stellar shopping experience.
3. Go Above and Beyond
1. Make sure that your customers can easily purchase your products
Sadly too many business owners get overwhelmed and even distracted with the technology that needs to be incorporated into the website. Most order one with all the bells and whistles without considering the customer experience.
- Remove any complexity around the sign-up process
- Include easy to navigate images
- Crystal clear images are a must – but avoid enhancing it so that it is no longer similar to the actual product
- Include all available information regarding the logistics – cost, delivery time frames, express deliveries or couriers etc
2. Mobile-friendly experience
Majority of your customers will browse your online store using their mobile rather than using their desktop. Keep your online store organised, clean and easy to navigate across all devices.
- Use images that are crisp regardless of the device.
- Make sure your FAQs and terms and conditions are easy to locate and even easier to understand
- Clear access to shipping and returns
- Make sure your customer can easily contact you if they have any questions
3. Redesigning your website with these in mind helps build trust and credibility.
Utilise best practices for online stores
Have a streamlined process for your product catalogue. If it’s overly complex it’s going to be a minefield to manage and even more difficult for customers to find – they won’t! They will simply go elsewhere.
Utilise SEO optimisation for your products regardless if it is in demand or not, to target your ideal customers. This includes:
- Using model numbers in your title tags and H1 headings.
- Using brand names in your title tags and H1 headings.
- Making sure your images have alt tag information
- Not repeating your keyword phrase over and over again on the page – that’s keyword stuffing!
- And NOT using iframes please – Make sure your content actually exists on the product page it is meant to be on.
Encourage customers to sign up for a new profile – offer an incentive to do so – to build your contacts. But also enable checking out as a guest should they prefer.
Provide customer service to your online customers:
- Is there a number they can call?
- Do you utilise live chat support?
4. Tighten up security for your customers
No one wants to leave any information on an unsecured website.
Give your customers peace of mind by keeping your website hosted by trusted platforms. Ensure that the checkout process is 100% secure.
5. Keep growing!
Online stores are not ‘set-and-forget’.
Going online to keep growing your business requires adapting to the operational changes going forward.
- website management and maintenance – you’ll need a team or a point of contact to manage images, inventory, offers and customer service for your website.
- website analytics – you’ll need to continue collecting and monitoring the data so that you’re responding to your customers’ changing preferences. Doing so will also ensure that you always provide a superior shopping experience.
- growing marketing and sales – the best online stores keep their customers informed about what’s to come and make sure that they are always promoting to grow their customer base
Managing all of this can be overwhelming if you haven’t got a team to support you. Or worse you’re trying to project manage several freelancers doing separate tasks for you AND run the rest of your business at the same time!
That’s what we’re here for.
Let’s have a chat to see what you need.
We have a team of specialists who can help you launch and grow your online store.