Your First Ecommerce Site – How To Build A Smashing Success
While ecommerce can be a path to great success, it only happens if you build the right website for your business. The following tips demonstrate the most important steps to take as you develop the site for your ecommerce business:
Build your ecommerce site slowly and methodically. Many business owners rush to launch a website online without carefully tending to every detail. In order to make a fantastically memorable impression on your visitors, you are better off delaying a launch, to achieve perfection – rather than forcing the launch of an incomplete premature site.
Test every aspect of your site multiple times under various circumstances. Every element must not only work, but should also endure different end-user generated circumstances. Actually, try to create errors by having test people push every button, order items, cancel items and exhaust every resource on the site. It is better to force these errors to reveal themselves under controlled circumstances than to have them pop up in front of real customers (who are most likely to leave your site and not come back).
Demonstrate your inventory with great pictures and video. Since your customers cannot pick up your products and examine them the way they would in a brick-and-mortar shop, you really need to use visuals to show them off. Testimonials, reviews and suggestions for use can also help sell products in the absence of an in-person demonstration.
Include useful articles or connect to a helpful blog. Your ecommerce site provides greater value to the user when it contains relative information about the products you sell and the industry you represent. You can also use the content to sell certain items as you feature them. Additionally, great content goes over very well with major search engines, meaning you have more ranking power.
Maximize your social media reach. Social media is a separate, but highly valuable partner to your ecommerce site. Use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and more to connect with new customers, announce sales and promotions, and to keep in touch with or thank existing customers. Offer your visitors incentives for liking or following your company too. As an added benefit, search engines show favoritism to sites that have a major presence with social media.
Gather information from your users, either by offering special promotions or a weekly newsletter, or by enticing every visitor to provide you with a return email address. This will help you build sales and establish connections. Store their data for future use, notifying them en masse of the next promo you run or the latest product you have put on your digital shelf, or of the next site you open.
Make SEO a major part of your ecommerce operations. You are not going to generate any sales if people do not find your site in a generic search; therefore, it is essential that you incorporate Search Engine Optimization in your business plan. Learn how to link, network and shine under the scrutiny of Google and Bing, so people can find you when they happen to search for the items or services you sell. Also, avail yourself to SEO analytical tools that will help you determine who your visitors are, where they are coming from and what they do when they are on your site.
Keep up with change. Technology evolves at light speed, meaning you need to as well. Check your site’s functionality on different mobile devices and desktop browsers. Seek constant input from customers and act on the information they provide. Subscribe to industry publications that present you with new trends in communications, hardware, software, social media and salesmanship. After all, the more you know, the more you can sell.
The Technical Elements Of A Successful Ecommerce Site
In addition to the groundwork you lay to develop your site into a successful business, there are very important technical and informative elements to include on your ecommerce site:
The Shopping Cart – Fine-tune this most important aspect of your site, and ensure that all charges to the customer are completely clear. That includes shipping info, discounts, coupon codes and expected delivery dates.
A Search Box – If they cannot find an item, they cannot buy it. A search box makes shopping fast, and much less frustrating for the consumer.
An Organized Navigation Bar – Your polished ecommerce site will be much easier to use through a razor-focused navigation bar. The easier it is to use, the greater the likelihood of sales.
Browser History – This vital info improves the shopper’s environment, by guiding them and making suggestions based on what they have already done.
Chat Widget – Let the visitors know that there is a real person to talk to – live, and that there is someone always available to actively help them solve problems.
A Modal Box – This box allows you to make announcements or otherwise interact with your customers in a private space, without needing to open a new page or interfere with the shopping experience.
Your FAQ – Include your company’s contact info, shipping rates, return policy, privacy terms and anything else relative to interacting with your site.
Take your ambitions to the next level by entering the exciting and potentially lucrative world of ecommerce. Be prepared with a solid website that serves as the foundation for a very successful future.
Jonathan Leger has been a successful Internet Marketer for over 11 years. He owns an SEO Tools suite at www.keywordcanine.com