It may seem like nearly everything’s gone digital these days. Television, books, and even shopping have been booming online. Fortunately, you don’t have to be intimidated by moving your business to the web. By understanding a few customer-centric aspects of an e-commerce store, you can set yourself up for success.
In this article, we’ll give you an overview of the e-commerce industry. Then, we’ll cover three essential tips to help you make the most of your online business. Let’s dive right in!
An Overview of the E-Commerce Industry
You’re probably already familiar with the concept of an e-commerce store. It includes any commercial transaction that takes place over the internet. The vendor can either be a brick-and-mortar store with an online presence or a company that sells exclusively online.
E-commerce offers merchants incredible amounts of flexibility and freedom. You might also find that a virtual marketplace expands your customer base and enables you to sell new digital products. Combined with the cheaper costs of a virtual storefront, this industry has a lot of economic potential.
The rest of the world sees those benefits, too. Global e-commerce sales are predicted to be worth $5.4 trillion by 2022. Therefore, we recommend that you get involved with online sales now. An early start can help you build a reputation and take advantage of future growth.
How to Succeed in E-Commerce (3 Key Tips)
Running an online business isn’t always simple. Nevertheless, there are a few essential practices that can help your e-commerce store thrive. Here are our top tips for new digital retailers.
1. Strive to Earn Your Customers’ Trust
The concept of merchants catering to customers is far from new. In-person stores have been doing it for centuries. However, since your shoppers will not be seeing you face-to-face, earning their trust is even more important in e-commerce.
It’s not just your consumers. A recent study found that most Americans are concerned about data privacy. As shopping online usually requires the exchange of sensitive information like credit card numbers, you may want to take steps to demonstrate your store’s security.
A straightforward way to build trust is by being transparent. Consider laying out your data policies in an easy-to-find part of your website. This can help communicate the full extent of your security measures to any nervous visitors.
Another option is to be upfront about fees. Most consumers expect to pay reasonable tax or shipping charges. However, seeing them for this first time as part of the final total can still be an unwelcome surprise. Communicate these costs with clarity to avoid lost sales.
Lastly, consider clearly marking your service number so customers can reach out with questions or concerns:
If a consumer has an issue, you probably want to help them solve it as quickly as possible. Investing in your customer support team and making it easy to contact them is the first step in this process.
2. Simplify the Shopping Experience
One of the biggest appeals of the e-commerce store is convenience. Online shopping simply involves less effort than traditional stores. If you want to attract more people to your site, consider streamlining the process as much as possible.
One way to do this is by accepting as many payment options as is practical. This is such a useful technique that some stores, such as the collectible sellers at Mini Museum, choose to feature it in their footer:
Expanding your payment options can appeal to audiences without major credit cards. If you want to further increase your store’s reach, consider adding more currency and language options as well. This can help you take advantage of e-commerce’s impressive ability to reach global audiences.
However, you can also use your design choices to simplify your store. For example, you might choose a straightforward navigation system to prevent shoppers from getting lost. Additionally, you could implement a product rating system to give customers a quick way to assess reviews.
Nevertheless, a simple site doesn’t have to be boring. There’s plenty of fun and functional technology that you can use to boost conversions. As an example, you might consider adding Augmented Reality (AR) features to give your shoppers the full digital experience.
3. Invest in a Digital Marketing Strategy
The history of digital marketing is a long and often successful one. To this day, it remains a vibrant industry that’s essential to driving site traffic. We recommend that you invest in a comprehensive strategy to spread the word about your e-commerce store.
Digital marketing comes in all shapes and sizes. For instance, many businesses find success with social media. You might want to consider setting up a profile for your online store on a popular networking platform such as Facebook or Twitter.
There’s also content marketing, which is when a store produces articles or videos relevant to its niche. For instance, you might try setting up a blog for your store. Another option is to use influencer marketing, where you pay commissions to industry leaders who help market your products.
Nevertheless, your audience is unique to your brand. As such, you might want to try using a service such as Google Analytics to learn more about your customers:
Analytics such as those provided by Google can help you understand where your shoppers are coming from. It can also tell you where they spend most of their time on your site. If you’re not sure where to begin, consider tailoring your ads to your customer demographics and narrowing your focus from there.
However, even analytics can’t guarantee a perfect campaign. Digital marketing often requires some degree of trial-and-error. Try to stay positive and learn from any missteps. Knowing your audience’s preferences can pay off in the long run.
E-commerce is the wave of the future—and to a large extent, the present. Even so, getting started isn’t always simple. Fortunately, you can help your store thrive by providing customers with a simple, trustworthy, and relevant shopping experience.
Do you have any questions about the e-commerce industry? Let us know in the comments section below!
Featured image credit: Pixabay.