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Make your online retail business a success with these seven easy steps.
While high street chains and independent stores continue to suffer in this tough economic climate, the ecommerce market is rapidly growing. As consumers turn to the web for their retail needs, now is the perfect time to see your online business soar. In order to entice, satisfy and retain your customers, you will need to be digitally savvy. Including everything from clever marketing to consumer experience – these are our seven digital tips to make your online shop thrive.
Customer reviews are beneficial for your ecommerce site in many different ways. They are helpful because they will assist the buyer with their decision making. Additionally, they are valued more than just basic product descriptions. In fact, 84% of people say that they trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation. Also, having user-generated content in the form of comments written by users actually boosts your Google ranking. Displaying your reviews in the form of a star rating is a great idea, as it’s a simple measuring scale that’s familiar to most users.
As of July 2017, 38.76% of all online UK content was viewed on a mobile. If your site isn’t optimised for mobile use and consumers are viewing your web page on their smartphone, they will at worst leave almost immediately, or at best, have a very bad user experience. So, if your website doesn’t operate correctly on mobiles, then you are essentially eliminating over a third of your potential customers. The easiest and slickest way to perfect your mobile site is to use a responsive design format that simply adjusts the layout depending on how the user is browsing.
You’ve succeeded at driving traffic to your website, but now you need that time online to convert into actual sales. In order to for this to happen as frequently as possible, you must prioritise the ease of the customer journey. If users can’t find how to select the colour, style or quantity of the product or have trouble using the shopping basket, they will lose interest very quickly. This is where sophisticated ecommerce platforms like Shopify and BigCommerce come into play. They offer various levels of online shopping infrastructure – everything from a pre-set shopfront that organises your products in an easy-to-view display, to the backend functions like order processing and inventory management, so your transactions can run as seamlessly as possible.
The search tool is something that is utilised by the digital consumer a lot – especially if you have a wealth of products and extensive categories on your website. But, as well as enhancing the user experience, a search bar is crucial for you to track and analyse what your website visitors are looking for. If you use an ecommerce platform, then the search option may be inbuilt, but otherwise you can opt for an add-on like the Google search bar.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an all-singing, all-dancing website; if it doesn’t rank well on Google, then you aren’t going to get a lot of organic search engine traffic – and less traffic correlates to less sales. Firstly, it’s essential to keep your content updated, as a stagnant, uninteresting site will never get boosted. Also, get in the habit of using keywords wherever possible – not only in your product descriptions, but also in your image alt tags, as these will help to improve your searchability. Another search engine optimisation secret is the art of securing as many backlinks as possible, because the more people that are referencing your site, the more credible your business becomes. Reach out to bloggers to review your products and also ask your manufacturers to list you as a stockist on their web pages.
Newsflash: when online shops ask you to create an account, it isn’t just to make your life easier for future ordering purposes. Consumer data is the holy grail of marketing because having your customers’ email addresses on file means that you are free to pitch to them at any given time. With an email sign-up system, you’ll find yourself acquiring a substantial mailing list very quickly; then you can send newsletters to inform your customers of discounts and new products. Just be sure to keep the content relevant and perhaps add a capacity for the receiver to decide how frequently they get notified to prevent any unhappy clients from feeling bombarded.
As an online business, you simply cannot ignore the ever-growing juggernaut that is social media. There are 2.8 billion active social media users worldwide, so getting your brand into the social space is essential for success. The constant process of updating social media can be incredibly time consuming, so perhaps channel your focus and energy into one key social network that’s most relevant for your brand. If you’re selling products to 18–25 year old women, you will need to have an Instagram presence, but if your target audience is 30+, then consider a Facebook page.
With these tools and techniques under your belt, you’re now in the best position to excel in the ecommerce market and make your business a resounding success.
This post was a guest post from: Victoria Greene: Brand Marketing Consultant & Freelance Writer.
I work with online businesses and entrepreneurs to create valuable content and marketing strategies that yield strong results. I am always happy to share my knowledge and love discovering opportunities for collaboration.
If you’re looking at changing the way you look at life, the best thing to do is head off into the big wide world and head to university. I’m Kat and I write over at www.gingersnapblog.co.uk (drop over and have a read….) where I blog about surviving university one week at a time. I try to cover tips and tricks to make life a little bit easier as well as sharing the really stupid things that we more often than not get up to…..
There’s so many things I’ve learnt in the last few years at university, things I now couldn’t live without knowing alongside things I wish I’d known when I started. I’ve decided to share my top 5 tips for surviving university – who knows they may make your life that little bit easier…
1. Budget, budget, budget! I know, I sound like my parents but it’s something that I really I wish I had in my first year… I definitely do now – most of the time – because there’s nothing I hate more than having to penny pinch in the final few weeks of the term.
2. Attempt to make as many friends as you can… In lecture, in your flat, or even in societies. But accept that not everyone you meet will land up being particularly close to you. People have a very different way about them when alcohol is involved….
3. Remember that academics aren’t everything, make sure you get the chance to go out and experience everything you can (this ONLY applicable in the first year, I’m not condoning not doing work, make sure you pass) There’s nights out, parties, society meetings, trips and so much more!
4. Take a million and one photos. Trust me, you’ll look back at some of the photos and wonder where and what the photos are of. But at least this gives you the chance to look back on all of the silly things you’ll do. You’ll want it.
5. Understand that you will see things differently to other people, and that this will cause arguments no matter how laid back you are. You may well see the mess in the kitchen and think it’s not bad, another flatmates will think its horrific. You may well think it’s fine to leave dirty underwear on the bathroom floor, another flatmates will think this is the worse thing you could possibly do in life! Just stay calm and try and come up to a solution that works for everyone!
University is the maddest, funniest, most expensive, time to learn in your life. You will look back and wonder where the time went. Appreciate every moment, it will be the little things that get you through surviving university.
Kat is a Finance and Business Student at Portsmouth University