29 Apr 2013
Ecommerce can be a daunting prospect for businesses new to the game, but in this day and age it’s the only way to stay competitive in the marketplace. With a little help from the following list, you can be sure that your ecommerce solution is delivering all the sales it can.
Understand the Possibilities
As a business owner, you probably don’t want to get mired in the technical details of your website. You should be focused on running your business, not just your website. But make sure that you take the time to explore the competition’s websites, and see if that generates any new promotional ideas.
Most retail websites are huge, and customers don’t have the advantage of easily walking up and down every aisle. Even as brick-and-mortar stores have large in-store highlights and advertisements for their high-margin items, websites can promote their own products internally with very little effort.
Also as a side effect of the sheer size of most retail websites, customers tend to start their shopping session with a search. Make sure that your search functionality makes it simple and easy to find exactly what customers want.
Because your website is essentially a large database of your products, it’s easy to associate different products. For example, if your customer purchases an iPod, it’s easy to also suggest that they purchase a fancy pair of headphones and a protective case, since they are related products.
This idea works on the same technological principle as upselling, but has added psychological value for the customer. By offering several low-margin products paired with a high-margin product and offering a special ‘bundle price’, you can drive sales and boost customer satisfaction.
Take Care with Your User Interface
Take the time to actually use your own website. Put yourself in the mind of a potential customer, and try to navigate from your homepage to a successful purchase completion. What problems arise? What isn’t immediately clear? These issues can have a serious impact on your bottom line.
Listen to Your Customers
By the same token, it’s important to listen to what your users are telling you – and to make sure that it’s easy for them to give you feedback. Market research can never be overvalued, especially when it’s free of charge!
Track your Sales
As an added benefit of conducting your business online, you have the option to set up tracking software such as Google Analytics that will generate insights into how your customers use your website. This will showcase any problem areas that are leading to shopping cart abandonments and other problems that hinder sales.
For customers who’ve created accounts and then abandoned the site with their shopping cart full, try sending targeted promotions based on the products they were interested in purchasing. Often, a small discount is all it takes to bring the customer back to complete the sale.
Run A/B Tests
A/B tests, also known as a split tests, are essential for getting the most out of your website. The principle is simple: show one version of a page to half your users, and show a second version to the other half of users. Measure which version results in more sales, and implement it across the whole site. Then try the same process again, adjusting a different element to further refine your site.