You have all heard about the slow death of the shopping mall and how eCommerce is steadily eroding the ways in which we consume. This is nothing new and has already firmly entrenched itself in the current zeitgeist. However, while the pandemic inevitably sped up the process, the writing was already on the wall. Consequently, businesses that lack an online presence are very likely to fall behind their competition and eventually atrophy into a shadow of their former selves. Nevertheless, simply having an online store isn’t enough. In the cut-throat business world, you must ensure that you are doing everything possible to stand out. This might be in your offerings, the ease with which your customers can make purchases, or simply providing fantastic customer service. In reality, it needs to be a mixture of all of these factors and more.
This post will cover several tips that you should follow if you want to make your online offerings so tantalizing that users will have no choice but to become lifelong customers and sing your praises to their social circles!
Harmonize All Of Your Marketing Efforts
Build it, and they will come, said no one ever (apart from Kevin Costner, of course!) If you want to make your business a success, you need to incorporate a hefty dose of marketing. However, you can’t simply play the same game that all other companies play; you need to employ a mixture that aligns with your specific business type and what you hope to achieve.
Arguably the most efficient form of marketing is via email, which also happens to be particularly useful regarding e-commerce sites. Nonetheless, with a complex web of data protection initiatives aimed at protecting the data of end consumers, it can feel like a losing battle. Fortunately, you can utilize several exciting new opportunities that have picked up the mantle and enable you to speak directly with your target market and promote your brand more effectively.
Options like SafeOpt allow you to send targeted emails directly to those who have granted permission to be targeted. However, if you read the various SafeOpt Reviews, you will see that it involves far more than that. This platform helps you to increase ROI by increasing your subscriber lists organically and in a way that is palatable to the end consumer. In other words, it’s a win-win situation. You get to market your products to the very people most likely to decide to purchase them.
Prioritize Customer Service Satisfaction
Making customer satisfaction a priority isn’t merely something to differentiate you from your competition; it should be an integral part of the entire experience. In the competitive online retail space, companies focusing on delivering excellent service will always come out ahead of those who only provide a satisfactory experience. You can look at the world’s largest online retailer Amazon to confirm this. They place a huge emphasis on customer experience (sometimes to the chagrin of the sellers on the platform).
They have built a behemoth on the back of this core tenant. While you might never reach those outlandish proportions, providing a frustration-free experience should be your goal from the moment your site goes live. This means ensuring pages load quickly, navigation is intuitive (more on that later), and transactions process smoothly.
Additionally, the most successful e-commerce brands invest heavily in support channels like live chat, email, and social media assistance. They understand the value of promptly resolving issues and making customers feel heard. This level of care turns one-time shoppers into loyal, vocal brand advocates.
Provide Customers With A Variety Of Payment Options
If you really want to get your users to take out their wallets and take action, you need to offer a broad range of ways to make payments. Smaller operations can make use of the usual suspects like PayPal and Stripe, but if your business is more extensive, you might look to add your own payment portal to bypass the fees. Moreover, you must add both Apple and Google Pay options that allow people to pay via their online wallets. This form of seamless transaction is a detail that can make the difference between someone buying now or putting off the transaction until they figure out how to pay (and consequently forgetting about it).
Provide Timely Order Fulfillment
The days of week-long delivery times are firmly in the past, and those companies who fail to see the importance of providing prompt order fulfillment will lose sales to those who do. Slow fulfillment that leaves customers waiting weeks for items reflects poorly on a brand. It damages trust and results in higher return rates as impatient shoppers cancel orders. On the flip side, businesses that execute 1-2 day turnarounds earn reputations for reliability. However, you need to understand that offering fast shipping turnarounds requires a highly optimized backend operation, and inventories must be synced accurately across channels to avoid bottlenecks. Therefore, before setting up this option, be sure to get your backend running smoothly in order to cope when the orders roll in.
Use High-Quality Product Images That Tell A Story
For e-commerce brands, using high-quality, visually-completing product imagery is tremendously crucial for maximizing sales. Images that tell a story and evoke emotion better align with your customers’ needs and wants. Moreover, adding video content takes your visual story-telling even further. Short video demos bring products to life far more dynamically and reliably than a mere photo ever could. You can also use these videos as part of your promotional efforts and post them to platforms like TikTok and YouTube.
Ensure The Website Is User-Friendly And Easy To Navigate
Earlier, we mentioned that navigation is a key component of your UX. This is because sales and retention will suffer if your customers cannot easily find products or complete transactions effectively. A site’s information architecture and layout play a huge role in user experience. Product categories and search functions should make finding relevant items simple. Checkout processes need to be minimal and seamless. To make it work, you should walk in your customer’s shoes and see where the friction might lie. Extensive testing will help you to optimize your site to a level where you can increase the number of sales you make by simply tweaking a few options.
E-commerce offers businesses the chance to reach an almost unlimited number of consumers but is also cursed with extensive competition. Nonetheless, following a few fundamental tips and tricks, you can succeed beyond your wildest dreams and turn your brand into the go-to place for a particular product or service.