If you’re finally taking the plunge and moving your business toward e-commerce, you obviously want to make sure that it’s well worth it. After all, creating an online store is about more than just selling products; it’s about positively representing your brand, better serving your customers and creating a store that people keep coming back to every time. So here are a few things that you can do to ensure your e-commerce platform does just that.
An Easy Purchasing Process
First things first, you want to make buying as frictionless as possible. Basically, it shouldn’t take more than a couple of clicks to get from adding something to a cart to getting an order confirmation, except for the time it would take to type in one’s card information. The reason this is important is simple – the longer it takes for your customers to deliberate on a purchase, the more time they can change their mind. You want to make sure your customers have an experience that feels as smooth and intuitive as swiping their card at a brick-and-mortar store. Otherwise, purchasing things starts to feel like a chore, and the thing they maybe really want or even need to buy just seems like a waste of time by comparison. The whole purpose of your online store is convenience. And if it feels less time-consuming to get out of the house and travel to your physical store to get what they need, you’re still a long way off from that.
Item Suggestions Based on Previous Purchases
Which brings up another important aspect of online shopping, which has helped brands like Amazon become the e-commerce powerhouses they are. You should strongly consider letting purchases guide customers to other things they’d enjoy. With Amazon, for instance, they take every opportunity to let visitors see things they might like. When you click an item, the site shows you what other people put in their cart alongside it, other items by those brands, and even shows you packages of items that complement what you’re looking for. Of course, Amazon also has analytics to help remind visitors of items they’ve looked at before. Other websites, though, try different tactics like showing visitors what other customers just bought, or prominently displaying their most purchased and best reviewed items.
If you can lead your customers to look at more than just the thing they came for, you can not only encourage them to buy more, but have them possibly revisit your site. Because, truthfully, them coming back is just as important as that first initial purchase, and a site that meets a customer’s needs will definitely be top-of-mind for future shopping.
One of the most important things to work on for your e-commerce platform is actually something more physical than digital. Whether you’re fulfilling your own orders or have another company dropping off products for you, you need to be thoughtful about the delivery. The online purchasing process is only as important as how people receive their order, and the condition that they receive it in.
That’s not just about making sure that your customers don’t get dented boxes with crushed products. It’s about giving them packaging that makes them think positively of your brand. For you, it may mean making sure that your boxes are easy to open or reuse. Some brands give coupons for future purchases or collectible items for their customers to remember them by. Some even give samples of other products, to encourage them to consider coming back to their store to get something else in the future. Those extra touches also have the added effect of giving customers something to post about on their social media, giving your online store some positive attention and attracting more visitors.
These are just a couple things to think about as you make your own e-commerce site into the next great online store. By taking these tips into account, you can start strong and set your business up for success. Don’t forget, though, that the first thing to work out is the payment platform that your online store will use to facilitate purchases. Stay tuned to this space for more e-commerce tips and tricks.
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