With eCommerce remaining a steady platform across a wide range of industries it’s more important than ever that businesses put the time and effort into making their online stores sharp.
Your store is your sales funnel. If your funnel is broken, full of holes, or clogged, how will your leads ever come through?
Much like a brick and mortar store, when it comes to eCommerce you want to ensure your store looks and feels good. While your eCommerce store may not have four physical walls or a big shop window, there are just as many digital equivalents to look out for.
Choosing the right eCommerce platform
Before you even consider the design or user experience, you’ll need to choose the right platform. To do this, you need to know your business and its needs. It’s no use spending all your time and money on a custom CMS if you’re only selling one product. Make sure you know where it’s worth spending and where you can save for your business without sacrificing your results.
Depending on your business needs there are several platform options to choose from.
Big Commerce has the most built-in features than any other platform and great SEO capabilities to boost organic traffic. But its complex nature may be unsuitable for beginners.
Shopify has the best inventory management system and it is the most user-friendly eCommerce platform out there. At the same time, it lacks good SEO, which makes it harder to gain organic traffic. If your business is international, it might not be the right choice for you either as it relies on third-party apps for multi-currency support.
Woocommerce is great for businesses who want to launch eCommerce on their already existing WordPress website. It’s an open-source platform, which is best for customisation.
How to optimise your eCommerce store to boost sales
Once you’ve picked the right platform and built your store it’s time to optimise. In the eCommerce world, so much of your success relies on how you optimise. By not cutting corners, being thorough, and doing a little research, you can make sure every page and product in your store is working to convert your customer every step of the way.
Make a strong first impression
This one goes without saying. Think about what your customers are going to see first. Your landing or home page is a great place to show your returning and future customers exactly what your brand identity is with engaging, exciting, and intriguing content to draw them in.
Make accessibility your priority
If a customer lands on your site on a certain device, and can’t access it properly or the formatting is off, you’re going to lose them straight away. When setting up your site, consider how you can make it totally accessible. Ensure your site is optimised for use across desktop and mobile devices.
Design with your customer in mind
If your eCommerce store is slow, unresponsive, or confusing, people will simply click off. Nobody would walk into a badly lit store full of obstacles. The same goes for eCommerce. Keep your designs simple and logical. Showcase your product or services in a way that is easy for customers to navigate.
Don’t write to sell, write to connect
Customers aren’t looking for that hard sell anymore. Instead, speak to your customers on a personal level. Speak to their interests and lifestyles. Don’t tell them what they should or shouldn’t do. Harness the power of persuasion and show them how your product speaks for itself.
Offer unparalleled customer service
Your eCommerce store is open around the clock. This means you need to offer customer support to match. Whether it’s an FAQ page, a chatbot, or a contact link, make sure customers can reach you. Ensure all customer queries are resolved promptly to build on customer retention, satisfaction, and loyalty.
Create a blog that compliments your products
Creating a blog for your eCommerce site is a great way to provide insight, feature products, educate, and entertain your customers. It simultaneously helps generate traffic through the use of relevant SEO keywords that help you rank higher in search results.
Generate leads with social media
Social media is a powerful lead generation machine. Pick the right platforms for your brand that will provide you with the reach and target audience you wish to engage with. Linking your store with strong social channels means you can generate word of mouth marketing to help solidify brand identity and authority.
Optimise your product or service pages
Ensure your product or service pages are properly named, easy to access, well organised, and responsive. Optimising them with the right keywords means people who are looking for your product or service, will be able to find them faster. Your product pages should be filled with original, unique content.
Growing your eCommerce business
There is always room for growth, development, and change in an online environment. eCommerce platforms generally come with access to a wide variety of KPI tracking tools. This means you constantly have access to data that shows exactly how people are interacting with your store.
Set up specific KPI goals that you can monitor to ensure your store stays on track. Things like your cart conversion rate, churn, repeat purchase rate, year-over-growth, and more are going to help you make the most out of your store.
This data allows you to see exactly where your store needs to pivot, where and what you should invest in for the most return, and what is holding you back.
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