The vast eCommerce industry can seem like a fertile field for profiteering, but it is a crowded and complex market. If you want to succeed in this ultra-competitive world, you are going to need to get a step or two ahead of the game. Here are some tips for eCommerce newcomers.
Don’t Forget SEO
SEO practices are extremely important if you want to rank your eCommerce website higher on Google. Search Engine Optimization practices include keyword research and inclusion, metadata editing, backlinking and content creation. Don’t skimp on SEO if you want consumers to actually find your products.
Know Your Target Audience
Get to know your audience and refine your product stock accordingly. Ideally, you want to know your target audience well enough to sell only products that appeal to them – cutting down on wasteful ‘dead’ products as much as possible.
Connect With Social Media
The near ubiquity of social media platforms means that connecting to them is a no-brainer for eCommerce business leaders. Make your main selling page into something of an online hub – linking to and from all of your social media accounts. Remember: the bigger your network is, the better your presence on the internet. Social media is also a goldmine of useful data about your target audiences.
Ensure Mobile Compatibility
More than half of the world’s internet traffic is mobile. This rather staggering fact should give you an idea of just how important it is to make sure that your eCommerce website is fully mobile-compatible. Mobile compatibility typically involves the creation of scalable websites with simple UX and very sparse text. Mobile-compatible websites often shun complex structures with lots of animation in favor of a design that is easily understandable on a small screen. As with many of the other tips in this article, mobile compatibility also improves your site’s SEO performance.
Accessibility Is Key
You need to make sure that your eCommerce business is as accessible as possible to the widest range of people possible. Luckily, the World Wide Web Consortium publishes a regularly updated guide to the ideal online accessibility standards. These guidelines include recommendations for site simplicity, text size, text-to-voice technology, and a great deal more. Not only will keeping your site accessible make it more available: but it will also drastically improve its search engine performance.
Although it might be tempting to build your eCommerce website from scratch, you might struggle to compete unless you piggyback off on the success of a larger business. Giant eCommerce behemoths like Amazon dominate the market. They offer small eCommerce businesses the opportunity to share in their success by hosting their products and pages.
osting your eCommerce business on Amazon is a good way to start off and develop a loyal customer base. One established it might be possible to move away from Amazon in order to unchain your business from the giant’s fees. Piggybacking off of a massive eCommerce hosting site is a wise move for beginners.
Don’t fall into the trap of the ‘wall of text. Massively text-based websites used to be the status quo in eCommerce, but now they do more to drive customers away than entice them in. Large amounts of text usually fail to keep the attention of people that just want to purchase something. The old saying a picture is worth a thousand words certainly rings true in eCommerce.
Make sure to pepper your site with illustrative images that fit in with the overall brand ethos that you are trying to push. Images can also aid in the Search Engine Optimization efforts you should be making. Google’s search algorithm takes image metadata into account when ranking sites. Don’t just use stock images that contain generic metadata. Instead, spend a little bit of money on custom images – be they illustrations or photographs.
Implement Swift And Effective Customer Service
All retail businesses need to implement good customer service. In the world of eCommerce, technology can be a big force multiplier when it comes to offering your customers quick and useful responses. One of the latest innovations in eCommerce customer service is the chatbot.
Modern chatbots are able to effectively emulate human conversation – dealing with simple enquiries and effectively passing on more complex enquiries to human operators. The most modern AI based chatbots can analyze the context of the text in order to provide the most intelligent answers to consumers. Simpler bots recognize questions and give answers from a set ‘menu’ using a flowchart system.
Chatbots cannot fully replace human customer service staff. Make sure that you have an adequate in-house staff of people ready to field questions. The quicker a customer enquiry is answered, the more likely you are to retain those consumers, and retainment and repeat custom are extremely important to your success.