There are a great many of challenges as it relates to ecommerce, still after so many years. Which is why we’re going to be talking about some of the more common challenges and how to overcome them to make your online business more successful than it ever has been.
I’m sure you’ve seen them, you know… those sites that drive you away as opposed to bringing you in. No matter how great the product or service your site must be representative of what’s being sold as well as your entire brand. So let’s focus on a handful of areas where small changes can yield significant positive results.
1 – Keep it Simple.
Often there is an inclination to put as much on a site as possible and bombard the customer with different opportunities from all angles. As a rule of thumb for small and medium sized businesses the best approach to all online operations, especially ecommerce is to use the “KISS” method of “keep it simple stupid”. Avoid bogging down the site with bells and whistles that take away from your initial offering. With ecommerce, your goal is to get the user to pay for the product or service you’re offering. Solution – remove anything from your site that is not critical. Especially on your front page, if it’s not creating or converting a customer for a future sale or driving the customer to an immediate sale, take it off or put it somewhere else on the site.
2 – Instill Trust
I don’t know about you but with all the news reports about credit card information being compromised online I’m not likely to buy from a site that does not at least look like I can trust them. Many sites are thrown up quickly and with minimal care taken as it relates to the prospective customer. Remove as many hurtles as possible between your customer and the buy now button. Start with informing customers that you secure their payment information and follow up with any trust badges you can find such as those offered by many gateways, PCI organizations and payment companies as well as any guarantees which you may offer. By taking this minor step you’ll be giving your customer something very valuable – peace of mind.
3 – Let them Pay You
Ecommerce has a singular purpose, to provide your customer with substantial enough value convincing them to pay you. So while your customers are at the critical step of submitting their payment information, make it as easy as possible. Minimize the number of steps needed to complete the transaction. It’s best to have multiple payment options as not everyone has a credit card or debit card, also provide an ACH (payment via the bank account) option or even PayPal. This become even more important as your ecommerce business expands into international markets, but that’s a conversation for another time.
4 – Call Customers to Action
Never, ever… ever assume that customers will know what to do or how to do it. Many ecommerce websites and online businesses fail to succeed because there is an assumption that the users will know what to do at each step. By creating a few (refer to number 2) clear and concise calls to action you’ll greatly increase your website conversions and return on marketing investment. Remember though, each page of your site, especially the shopping cart area should funnel users to the next page
What are your thoughts? Do you have any tried and true processes that can help businesses who are looking to operate online succeed? If so, we’d love to hear them.