The world of e-commerce is becoming even bigger and more popular, thanks to the growing number of online shoppers who use their smartphone, tablet and laptop to buy products online.
There are some factors to consider If you're planning on setting up an ecommerce website. For example, how do you maintain profitability and avoid going under? How do you differentiate yourself among the thousand other ecommerce sites? How will you design the website to attract visitors and make them buy?
Here are the top 5 tips for building a great ecommerce website:
1. User Experience and SEO
Your e-commerce site will have to meet responsiveness in order to get a foothold in the market. Being responsive means that your website will look good no matter the size of the screen it's being viewed on. Today, more than half of online shoppers make their purchases on their mobile phones. It's also a fact that you get ranked up higher on Google search rankings if you make your website mobile-friendly.
SEO is an important element to build up on as you create your website. While creating content, you should make sure that your site is optimized for SEO by doing the following:
- have relevant keywords on the URL.
- have relevant keywords on your blog.
- have local search keywords present on your site.
More than 70 percent of local search results end up with the user visiting the business or making a purchase. The bottom line here is that you should be visible to anyone who is using their phone.
Focus on good web design as well. You may have a great product, but if your website isn't responsive or is missing some essential design elements, your visitors will be more likely to leave than look around your store. An example of good web design is that it only takes your visitors two clicks to get to where they need.
2. Reviews and Ratings
Having ratings of the merchandise you sell and online reviews will help further the growth of your ecommerce website.
Product reviews are helpful for those who are looking for the best product a person has used before. It's like a testimonial to prove whether or not the item is a good buy, and it boosts trust in the consumers as well. Instead of having to do tedious research and read through numerous comments and posts, potential buyers can just read the review and make an informed decision. This saves them effort and time. Ratings create a buzz for your product and it improves your website's SEO presence as well.
One way to get reviews is to ask your customers for it. There are a number of post-purchase channels you can reach them at, i.e., email, SMS, social media, etc. Visitors who leave your ecommerce site without buying will most likely have a negative feedback, while those who do won't often leave comments or reviews because they are satisfied. But when you make the effort to understand your audience, they will gladly give feedback and often share their positive experiences with others.
3. Online Support
Support is the backbone of every successful business. In cases of ecommerce websites, having a strong online support presence is important. Make the effort to provide live chat support that's available 24/7. If it's not possible, at least show your customers that you are ready to answer any questions during working hours.
Online shopping is great, but more often than not the customers won't be able to feel, smell or touch the product until they have bought it. Your role is to fill the gap by letting your customers know that you'll be there when they need help. This can be done via aftersales troubleshooting or by answering quickly when a potential buyer has a question. Attach a pop-up invitation to contact support to increase your presence, and you can be sure that your site's conversion rate will go through the roof.
4. Social Media
The biggest brands leverage the most popular social media platforms for a good reason. Having an active social media account will benefit you in the following ways:
- It connects with your audience in a more personal manner.
- It turns curious visitors into loyal customers.
- It allows your customers to spread your brand.
- It attracts more visitors and therefore, more sales.
Word of mouth advertising is one of the most effective ways to spread awareness about your brand in the world of social media. It can be a deciding factor in terms of growth and the success of your ecommerce website. You can leverage your product on Facebook via Facebook ads, post appealing pictures on Instagram, spread informative and engaging content on LinkedIn and create short promotional tweets on Twitter.
Think about the things you do when you hear about an interesting product for the first time. You look it up on Google. You check out existing reviews about the product. You go on social media and see what others are saying about it. Suffice to say, social media can propel your business to new heights and should not be overlooked.
5. An Active Blog
A blog that's regularly updated serves a number of ecommerce benefits, but there are some elements you need to include for maximum effect. The content you post should be engaging and informative. Take the time to know your audience and creating content that answers their most pressing questions and concerns. Having the right keywords for your ecommerce site will boost your SEO presence and improve traffic as well.
Blog content can be exciting and something that your audience looks forward to. For example, you can run promotions and invite your customers to participate to get discounts. You can make your blog a how-to extension of your ecommerce shop, complete with helpful tutorials and frequently asked questions. You can also partner up with local businesses and promote each other by doing guest posts or exchanging links.
An active blog means frequent customer participation. Invite your visitors to leave feedback whenever you can. Comments may also affect your SEO ranking, especially if it's a hot keyword that's trending on the web. Remember that an updated blog that's filled with highly informative, engaging and useful content will always have readers and audiences.