In an ideal world you want to be wildly successful with your online ecommerce website from the moment you launch it. In a real world, overnight success is rare.
However, even though there is no proven one-size-fits-all formula for building a successful online company, there are some do’s and don’ts that can give you a very real competitive edge.
So read on and set yourself up for your own unique brand of success.
Top 6 Do’s of Your E-Commerce Website:
Build On a Sound Foundation
That means you should pick a robust platform to build your store on. For an online ecommerce website, it is important for store owners to have the ability to confidently add design features, payment gateways, update products and make essential tweaks on your website easily without the need for extensive coding or tech knowledge. If you are working on a platform like Shopmatic, you are covered on both counts; a robust platform, and the ease of using it. Take some time and understand the platform so you are able to easily customize it well.
This is a no-brainer these days. Your website must be accessed with the same ease on mobile as on a computer. It is understandable that some features are lost on mobile, and most visitors to your website will allow for that. What is important however is that the images, content and main features of your website are ‘responsive’. That is to say, that the website loads and looks the same on mobile and other devices.
Do Collect Data and Use It
Your store attracts visitors, buyers, and potential customers. They come through different routes, like different products on your website, shop at varied timings or prefer certain ways to pay/ get deliveries. Your webstore should be equipped to give you information about all this so that you can use the data and make better decisions for your business. Learn to collect and analyze this valuable webstore traffic data either directly through tools on your store platform, or by integrating google analytics on your store. Business strategy that you create based on this information about real engagement with your store will ultimately result in a smooth journey for your customers.
Build an Email List
A list with email addresses of potential and actual customers is a valuable resource to any online business. Sending appropriate emails is a high impact, low cost way of delivering your marketing message to your audience. It is perhaps the most direct, powerful and personal line of communication you can have with your prospective customers. So use a contact form, or gather emails from customers when they check out and use the opportunity it provides to form more long term and meaningful connections with them. A word of caution; ensure that the content and frequency of your emails to your list is well thought out. Make it relevant to make it count.
Add Quality Photos of Your Products
Plan the display of your products well. That is the window of your store and you need it to be attractive to customers as well as visitors. Adding quality photos is a straightforward and simple way to address that. If you are taking pictures of your products, choose good background lighting, use a well performing camera, and try to add more than one image of a product to give a clearer idea to viewers. You should put in all information like options or varieties available clearly as well. These little details build trust with your customers.
Leverage Social Selling Channels
Putting up and managing your online ecommerce website is only the first step. In order for you to attract more visitors and to create a brand identity, you must think of reaching out via social media channels. Link a Facebook page, share on Instagram or Pinterest. If you are comfortable on one channel, that’s ok too. Not every store needs to be on every social channel. Choose what works for you and keep up a regular connection with your network to leave a clear digital footprint on your chosen social channel.
Top 5 Don’ts of Your E-Commerce Website:
Don’t Bury Your Products In Clicks
Allow your products and services to be readily accessible to your customers preferably directly through your landing page, clearly classified. Plan the categories you have so that your page makes it easy to understand what you sell, as well as where to find it. Avoid too many banner ads on each page. Use pop ups and banners judiciously so you don’t overwhelm your customer. Plus your webstore looks neater, more pleasant, and is more intuitive to navigate.
Don’t Promise Tight Deliveries
This sounds obvious but is surprisingly often miscalculated. Don’t commit to a tight delivery schedule or over-promise delivery times because if your package is late, the customer is going to be unhappy. In fact, if your package reaches your customers before your promised date, they will mostly be delighted. So keep your promises real and comfortable, give your buyers access to updates through an online login and tracking system, and develop a reputation as a trustworthy brand.
Don’t Restrict Payment Options On Your Store
If your platform allows you to integrate more than one payment option, go ahead and enable your store with those. Customers like to pay in a variety of ways and by accepting all credit cards, debit cards and bank transfers, you open up the opportunity for more people to buy easily and securely from your store. Ensure the payment gateways you enable are trusted and secure options.
Don’t Ignore Customer Service
Just like in a physical store, customers like to feel special or a little more ‘humanly’ connected during the shopping process. Your best options are to make use of live chat options if your platform allows WhatsApp or Messenger to connect with your customers directly. Also, look at the copy (words you write on your store for greeting buyers, checkout messages, announcing discounts, etc) on your store and make the words speak to the visitor directly as well. Respond to messages immediately and if you do have a complaint, handle it politely and professionally right away. Customer care is equally important online so don’t miss this one!
Finally, entrepreneurs like you understand resilience; so