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E-commerce businesses are seated with numerous challenges and opportunities with the evolving world wide web. Competition from established brick and mortars as well as millions of other online start-ups can make for a difficult set of challenges for a new eCommerce business.
More than any other business, Toronto based eCommerce organizations must place a premium on their web presence. But many eCommerce websites make the mistake of pouring all their time and energy into the look and feel of their website, while wholly neglecting the full customer experience and channel engagement of their website, product and overall brand.
Five Tips for eCommerce Websites:
#1 Good Product and Pricing – Obviously, most startups cannot afford to have a product selection like Amazon. Don’t think that having an enormous selection of products is the key to success. Limiting your online product selection will allow your customers to quickly find what they are looking for.
What this means is product selection should be carefully thought out and strategized. And always remember: trying to source tons of inventory can have its own logistical nightmares that can cause order delays and customer frustration. Definitely consider chopping down your selection and your price points.
#2 Website Design and User Experience – Your website doesn’t need to be pretty, it needs to engage. Engagement is key. Ecommerce design is about driving prospects into transactions with little or no frustration, while building trust, enjoyment and comfort with a brand. Ensure that customers can browse, socially share and understand your products. The design of the product gallery should be easy to navigate and intuitive for the most part. Study drop off rates for all pages within the site to ensure that the website navigation is clear and that users have both the ability to browse and navigate to specific interests.
#3 Online Merchant Account – The biggest advantages for a merchant account are the reduced fees and custom return policies. The delayed cash flow from modern third party gateways like Paypal will slow down the shipping process.
With most e-commerce solutions it’s easy enough to change how you’re getting paid. With WooCommerce it’s as simple as inputting your new merchant account credentials. I recommend every new eCommerce business to accept payments with an online merchant account.
#4 Improve your Online Customer Service – Yes, the website provides opportunities for customer service. Consider providing helpful hints during the buying process, an easy-to-understand exchange policy, clearly articulated and accessible content information, usage instructions and supplementary content. Don’t forget social media. It is vital that you personally engage customers and prospects through all channels with more than just sales copy. Be helpful. Answer questions. Support their buying process and try to win them as long-term brand advocates. Remember that businesses with great customer engagement will also win favor with Google, and those that have a poor customer experience will be punished by Google. Authenticity is key! Don’t just write fake reviews, Google is on the hunt for these as well. Your website and marketing needs to provide an memorable customer experience.
#5 Fast Shipping – You have to deliver on your promise and quickly!
A survey from Reuters for showed that Amazon didn’t always deliver on time. In fact, 10 percent of the nearly 1,700 consumers surveyed who chose the two-day shipping option on Amazon orders between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 said their orders did not arrive within two days. Amazon denies that these statistics are accurate, claiming they don’t match up with their figures.
I think the Christmas shopping season of 2015 is going to be a challenge for all eCommerce retailers. Balancing the requirement for on-time delivery and relatively speedy delivery versus consumers’ desire not to pay a lot for delivery — on the one hand, if you want to draw in consumers and sales, free shipping is extremely successful. But on the other hand, you have to deal with the rising costs and the challenge of on-time delivery.
Nowadays, website development limitations are just an excuse. Unlike most e-commerce providers in Toronto we have the knowledge and experience in building successful online stores. Do you need help with your new eCommerce website design in Toronto? Let us know!