At this point, it should be safe to say that e-commerce is much more than a fad. It has solidified itself as the fastest-growing retail market, generating billions in sales in 2019, and it’s projected to hit $4.135 trillion in sales in 2020. Estimates put the number of e-commerce sites on the internet between 12 to 24 million, making it a highly competitive space that could be challenging to break into, let alone succeed in.
If you are a budding e-commerce retailer looking to make it big, take your advice from the experts in the field. We’ve compiled a list of useful insights you can use to build your very own online shopping empire below:
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes.
To become an effective seller, you’ll have to appeal to the customer. It may be impossible to know what your customers will like when you’ve only just launched, but—having had experience in being a customer yourself—you must already know how to avoid certain obvious pitfalls.
There are many ways to enhance the customer experience. One of the most important ones is to integrate some form of support into your e-commerce website, whether it’s customer-facing via phone, live chat, or email or self-support using a dedicated portal or FAQ page. Optimizing order fulfillment with an automated system or by using a third-party fulfillment or shipping service can speed up the process of getting your products into the customer’s hands while minimizing lost or damaged packages, among other advantages. Also, making sure that your website is clean, intuitive, and user-friendly on both mobile and desktop platforms will allow you to reach more customers. These are only a few “Customer First” approaches that you can employ when you start your own ecommerce business. Remember: the easiest way to turn someone’s passing interest into a sale is to make it easy for the customer to buy your products!
Good content is everything.
Never underestimate the power of a good content strategy. According to a 2016 article from Forbes, 88% of all online shoppers rank detailed product content as “extremely important”. Providing useful, informative content will boost visibility and attract even casual users to your site. On the other hand, detailed, content-rich product descriptions can influence shopping decisions and are a proven effective deterrent against cart abandonment.
An easy comparison to make is to think of product descriptions as the e-commerce equivalent to salespeople. They should be engaging, informative, and most importantly, accurate. The online shopping experience can feel impersonal by nature, and a customer that doesn’t trust what he sees on his screen will not be likely to go through with his purchase. Accurate, well-written product descriptions help manage customer expectations and improve the image of your brand.
Make the holidays work for you.
In 2019, the retail and mobile retail e-commerce industry generated a combined 199.64 billion US dollars in sales, accounting for 13.4% of all sales made during that period. It’s no secret that people love to shop during the holidays, and your business would do well to capitalize on this yearly phenomenon.
One of the easiest ways to get in on the holiday sales game is to hold themed events around these special days. People will expect prices to drop over Thanksgiving and Christmas, but you can give your customers more reasons to celebrate by making up your own special days, such as your brand’s anniversary or dates with easy recall such as 11-11 (November 11th) or 12-12 (December 12th).
Maximize your presence on social media.
As of 2019, the global average for time spent on social media per day is 2 hours and 23 minutes. Social media isn’t just used to connect with friends and family members anymore. For many people, social media is a source of news and information. For online retailers, they are valuable marketing platforms and it is advantageous to be on every single one.
Being on 3 to 4 social networks might seem daunting at first, but there are many programs and applications that allow you to fire posts simultaneously to every account you own. Using a combination of social media platforms makes you competitive and dynamic, able to attract customers on all fronts. To further maximize what social media can do for your brand, it could be a good idea to link up with relevant influencers who can bring your content to their audiences.
Having a great product is simply not enough for shoppers these days, especially in an environment where they’re spoiled for choice. With our tips, you can distinguish yourself from your competitors and truly make a name for yourself in the digital retail space.