According to Statista.com, by 2020, there will be 2000.0 million e-commerce users. That is mind blogging figure and may even tempt you to open an e-commerce store.
However, things do not appear that shiny on the other side of the coin. The competition is stiff. You need to have the stature of Amazon or Alibaba to beat it.
So if you are thinking of jumping on the bandwagon and come out with flying colors; think again.
Be aware of the ground realities and have a solid action plan ready before you launch your store.
Otherwise, you will get lost in the jam-packed e-commerce ecosphere.
So what is your action plan to invite viral traffic that converts, within a short span of time?
Here are 17 actionable insights that help you do that.
- Research and brainstorm the perfect e-Commerce store for your business.
Do not be in a mad rush to win the rat race.
Ideate and research on what your e-commerce business should be exactly.
Know your customer
Figure out how your business is going to help your customer.
Your customer problems drive your business. Your customer is your boss or employer in the true sense.
So, put yourself in the boots of your customers and ask yourself questions.
How easy and smooth the website will be?
Is it safe to do online transactions here?
Is the website user-friendly?
The question list will be long. Try to answer them unbiased.
Brainstorm on your website’s design, features and functionalities, usability. Customization and scalability, third-party app integration and budget. Take the help of an expert and figure out the perfect store. Find or develop the perfect one.
- Embed the SSL certificates and trust seals on your website. Win the trust of buyers.
There are many instances of the e-commerce sites getting hacked. The online security concerns are there in the mind of users. It is one of the key reasons why you see reports on lost sales due to cart abandonment.
A trust seal shows that the website is legitimate. It is third party certification that endorses the e-store. For example:
- McAfee badge on your site indicates that it is a non-infected, hacker-free site
- PayPal badge shows that you have secured payment gateway on your e-store
These are the trust indicators that you customers will look into before they buy.
Place the trust badges close to the payment fields. It increases the trust factor exponentially.
Secured Socket Layer (SSL) is more technical. It indicates a secure connection between browser and web server. There is no possibility of illegal intrusion or eavesdropping in SSL.
A trusted SSL seal on your e-commerce website indicates a secure HHTPs. Hence, all online transactions are secure. This will prompt visitors to take the call to action.
Important – Demand strong security practices from your service provider backed with verified industry certifications.
- Make the product search quick and easy. Increase user experience and conversions.
Look below at the screenshot of Amazon store. If you enter a keyword, ‘books’ in the search box on the top of the page then you get all possible search results.
Click the right one and go to the page.
A powerful search feature that makes product search, quick, easy and exact.
Power up the product search in your store, the same way and see the difference in terms of increased traffic, customer retention and conversions.
- Show real, high-resolution product pictures from different angles. Convince and speed up buying decision.
Customers cannot feel the product in an online shopping cart like they do in the physical store. Upload real pictures of products, shot from different angles. Provide option to change the color and zoom-in feature, just to help viewers get a better idea. It helps to build a good decision about the product and take a call to action.
- Write a compelling copy of product description. Connect well with readers and make them buyers.
Do not copy the product description from the manufacturers or your competitors. It will hurt your search engine ranking. Hire a creative copywriter and put up crispy, creative product descriptions on your store. You will engage more readers and convert more of them into buyers.
Make the product description more informative, sprinkle it with benefits and explain their solutions. The benefits or solutions sell the product.
Important – Remember, you are not selling a product but selling a solution for your customer’s problem.
- Guide buyers through clear, easy checkout page. Bring down abandonment rate.
A lengthy checkout confuses buyers and only encourages them to quit before they buy. You definitely do not what that to happen on your website. Create one-page jquery, easy-to-fill checkout page with minimal navigation.
Make user create an account, choose shipping and payment gateways on a single page. This speeds up the checkout process and improves user-experience.
- Make your store mobile friendly. Tap the untapped market.
Your store lacks web responsive design.
It is sure to lose a huge chunk of traffic – from the mobile users.
Many online shoppers use the smartphone to shop on the move. A new way of shopping and that trend is growing.
Make your website mobile friendly. It looks the same on your mobile as it does on your desktop and laptop.
Guarantee its smooth navigation and usability on mobile phones. The mobile traffic will overwhelm you.
- Provide multiple shipping options. Make shipping a breeze.
Shipping is sensitive customer touch point. It can make or break your business. Would your customer continue to buy your products if you do not ship them on time? Or will they remain loyal to your brand if your shipping woes continue?
Bad shipping can kill your business.
Tie-up with the trusted shippers and provide many shipping gateways on your website.
- Localize, localize… speak in the language of the customers. Bridge the cultural divide, book more profits.
Localize the content of your e-store in different local languages. Give it a local look and feel. Your business speaks in customer’s language and bridges the cultural gap.
A picture of the less-dressed woman in a style merchandise website will not go down well with Arabs. Skin display is taboo there.
Be careful about sensitivities of your local audience if you want to engage and convert.
Create the emotional and cultural connect through localization.
- The support page on your e-commerce site. Help visitors to take informed decisions and become buyers.
There is no physical help in an online store like in a brick-and-mortar store.
So what you do if your customers have a question to ask you before they make a buying decision? You can definitely help with different support pages or links like:
- Live chat
- Email and contact form
- Social media and share buttons
- Online Help guide
- Existing customer testimonials
- Perfectly optimized for search engine. Get on the topmost ranking in the search results.
You have a great content on your e-commerce store. But it is of no use if you are unable to show it to the right audience.
The reason, SEO not done the correct way.
Use the right keyword (keeping in mind the search intent of customers). Include long-tailed keywords and phrases in the content.
Place important keywords in the product name, product page headings, sub-headings, and URL. Also, place them in the product descriptions and supplementary pages.
Do not overstuff, lest you suffer because Google hates keyword stuffing.
Link up all the product pages with supplementary pages. It catalyzes a positive buying outcome.
- Speed up the loading time. Pull more traffic to your store.
Your e-commerce store loads slowly, visitors will abandon it and go to the website that is faster. You lose business to your competitors.
So every loading second matters. See the relation between the rate of cart abandonment and loading time.
This is what to you should do to keep the loading speed ideally under ideal 3 seconds.
- Keep the page size just right. Strike the right balance between losing customers to slow load time versus gaining customers due to richer graphics (which reduce loading speed).
- Specify image dimensions and standardize them across the website.
- Use catching or in-memory technology and avoid unnecessary calls to the database.
- Compress the data.
- Avoid website redirects because it increases loading time.
- Use fast hosting servers.
- Use Viral Marketing. Drive useful, voluminous traffic to store.
Use viral marketing techniques to promote your e-store far and wide. Engage the audience on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and other social media platforms. Spread a word about the great offer or special discount on social media. You will see traffic go viral on your e-store.
Unleash compelling brand campaign, discuss it on the forum. Back it up with solid content marketing strategy. Shoot blog post and emails to the targeted audience try to win their faith with good customer reviews.
Personalize your campaign to connect with the local audience and get more returns.
- Personalize to connect better and deeper with your customers. Win their heart.
See below one of the Amazon’s secret that you did not know. How good they are at personalizing.
These days many e-commerce stores invest their resources to personalize their offerings. The aim is to increase conversions, boost average order value and increase brand following.
Use personalization to cement a strong bond between your brand and buyers.
Invest your resources in 1-to-1 personalization offers to thousands of customers each day. It will pay back exponentially.
Personalization keeps your website content fresh and keeps attracting visitors for new offers. Hence, it increases user engagement and conversions.
- Create a holiday marketing campaign. Reach out far and wide; cash in on a spending spree.
Holiday season offers a great opportunity to make your e-commerce store go viral.
The major holiday season starts in December. Around the Christmas Advent and continues to New Year. Prepare your store well in advance and launch it with irresistible offers. This is a perfect time to drive viral traffic to your website.
According to Statista, holiday season accounts around 20% of the retail industry’s annual sales.
- Have a clear Return policy. Win buyers’ trust.
If the store does not have an easy return policy, repeat orders will shrink. The criticism will find its way in customer testimonials, social media shares, and forums. So stick to the easy return policy and try to improve the user experience of not satisfied customers.
Give them an opportunity to come back to your store again. Show transparency on return costs, timeframe, product exchange, etc. No hidden costs should crop up and defame your business
- Build compelling Landing pages. Speed up conversion rate.
A landing page is your conversion funnel. If done well, it will attract voluminous traffic and trigger high conversion rates.
So make sure it is perfect. Write a captivating line and back it up with sub-headline that complements well.
Ensure logical flow of content from headline to CTA like the story.
Backup the text with great design and visuals (graphs, buttons, images, videos, etc.).
Make your landing page a short, sweet story that flows well from headline to CTA.
Surviving the rat race on the e-commerce highway is a big challenge. But if you judiciously implement all the seventeen tips in your e-commerce business you will definitely get a head-start and a winning lead.