So you’ve spotted a gap in the market, created a website, set up an online shop, and sales are beginning to trickle in. Now is not necessarily the time to sit back and relax, because there’s so much more nurturing needed to help grow your site into a successful e-commerce business.
Creating an e-commerce strategy may seem overwhelming, but this three-step guide will show you the areas to concentrate on first.
First and foremost, your site needs to rise above the competition and be visible in search rankings to attract potential shoppers.
Start by brushing up on your SEO skills. Research the keywords that are most relevant to your brand and products, and ensure these are included across your site.
Next, you should focus on your individual product listing pages. Use simple, informative, keyword-orientated vocabulary to describe your products.
Just make sure you don’t copy content provided by the manufacturer or from elsewhere on the web – Google ranks unique content highly and will downgrade websites which duplicate content.
Lastly, consider allowing customers to leave reviews for your products – this is a win-win as it provides more unique keyword-rich content for search engines, builds trust in your business and helps shoppers make informed purchasing decisions.
We realise there’s a lot to think about when it comes to advertising, but a good place to start would be with a retargeting campaign.
The majority of shoppers don’t buy the first time they visit a new website. This is where retargeting becomes an effective tool in converting customers at a later date. Running retargeting adverts on other sites builds brand visibility and reminds customers about the product they previously had their eye on.
You can run these ads using a number of platforms including Google and Facebook. You could also consider a retargeting email campaign to remind customers who have an item waiting in their basket.
For more detail on digital marketing strategies, read our blog on building your digital presence
Now you have more customers finding your site, it’s important to streamline the online buying experience.
When it comes to the basics of e-commerce, businesses need to be thinking about mobile optimisation before they consider any other digital bells and whistles.
Ensuring customers can easily access your website and products on the device they carry everywhere is key to any successful e-commerce strategy – and it also helps with SEO as search engines look favourably on mobile-optimised websites.
Next, take a look at how many clicks it takes a customer to get from product to checkout – the fewer pages they have to go through, the less likely they are to abandon their purchase. It’s also worth thinking about providing delivery and shipping costs upfront – because no one likes being stung by extra charges as they’re about to click ‘buy’.
As for the checkout itself, ensure everything sits on one page and incorporate mobile wallet functionalities like Apple Pay or Google Pay where possible to make payment quicker and easier for shoppers.
Another tip to cut down on back-and-forth emails would be to have a detailed FAQ page on your website, so your customers can quickly and easily find the answers they need.
Finally, you need to make sure your website is secure. Knowledge is power, so learning about the most common threats puts you on the best footing to keep your customers and business safe.
For further ways to optimise your site performance, read our previous blog post
Your online shop is nothing without your customers – and you can’t assume they will remain loyal just because they bought something from you one time.
Keeping them engaged with content is key. Here are a few ways to connect with potential and existing shoppers:
The key is creating a community of shoppers who have an ongoing relationship with your brand, so that they keep coming back.
Further down the line, you could even look at setting up physical pop-up shops, workshops or brand partnerships to help your business develop a human touch and really ramp up community engagement.
And remember, engagement doesn’t have to be big or expensive, just thoughtful. Bike enthusiasts who shop with Wiggle love it when their orders arrive with a tiny bag of Haribo sweets – and most importantly, they rave about it to their friends and share their appreciation on social media.