It’s 2016. You can bet that a lot of new and existing online buyers received a smartphone or computer for Christmas. New studies show that ecommerce will grow up to 20% this year.
While big brick-and-mortar retailers are embracing buyers that scan in-store products by providing better pricing and more details, smaller ecommerce businesses can help online shoppers in exceptional ways.
Here are nine things ecommerce companies must implement this year to harness the power of selling online.
1) Better mobile optimization of the entire site.
This comprises the home page, product pages, category pages, checkout page and supporting pages (about us, contact us). Mobile optimizations serves 2 primary purposes:
- An amplified visibility across the web, particularly in shopping directories and search engines;
- It provides a perfect user experience.
2) More focus on visionary.
Within 10 years, visionary — roughly, those born in the 1980s and 1990s — will make up about 75 percent of the global workforce. They grow up to become tech savvy and assisted shape social media and mobile platforms as we know them today. That means website content needs to be quick to access, user-friendly and up to the mark. Don’t confuse “tech savvy” with the need to be excessively flashy. While implementing popular technology can be supportive, ease of use and speed will close more sales across the widest demographic.
3) A loyalty program.
You don’t have to go for broke, but offering some sort of reward to loyal customers pays off. While you may not be able to launch the next Amazon Prime, rewards that can result in “earned” future products prompt people to buy more.
4) More personalization.
Online buyers want to feel like people. If applying high-end services that depend on sophisticated data and detailed browsing histories is not in your budget, some options are comparatively affordable and simple. Logical related products (displaying truly related items, particularly in the shopping cart) and smart search tools are key.
Other economical ways to personalize include displaying the shopper’s name when he’s logged in, and offering saved shopping carts. Make use of customer accounts? High-class landing pages after login or special coupons for returning customers (with their name on the page) can help boost conversions and order totals.
5) More engaging content.
Monotony kills an online store. Buyers need to stay involved. From landing pages to product details, both textual and media content needs to compel buyers to either buy or search the website for something they want. Find a healthy balance between sprucing up the content you already have and introducing new content, such as supporting videos and how-tos.
Need help? Writing captivating copy isn’t simple for everyone. If hiring an experienced writer is possible, do it. Otherwise, you can make use of online apps. Grammarly is a free grammar and spell checker that can help identify awkward errors. It includes tools to boost clearness.
6) More payment options.
It’s all about speed, organization, and security. Many shoppers have a payment method of choice, and if your store doesn’t accept it, you may lose the sale. While it’s not feasible to accept every possible method, go beyond just credit cards and PayPal. Loyal Amazon shoppers often prefer to pay via Checkout by Amazon across all sites. Mobile payments — methods exclusive to mobile use — are also growing in popularity.
7) Better choices in shipping methods.
This past holiday season, USPS was heavily criticized on social media because of delivery issues. Many ecommerce buyers were irritated with false claims that notices were left or addresses were undeliverable. UPS and FedEx have also had issues. It makes sense that some people have preferred carriers. If a customer wants delivery only to a P.O. Box, he should have that option.
8) Multiple ways to communicate.
Show that you’re approachable. You’ll not only build trust, but visitors will be more apt to report website glitches. Shoppers will be more forgiving if you make it easy for them to contact you and get answers. Provide several methods of contact, including a phone number, an email address (or easy-to-use contact form), and links to social media profiles.
9) Regular checkups.
Study your website’s analytics every week. This is a key way to determine what’s working and to predict trends within the demographics you target. Ignore the data and you’ll have no way of knowing what to do next.