If you are looking into joining the world of eCommerce and online retailing, now is certainly the time to do it. With the tide of the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the globe, eCommerce has evolved and experienced unprecedented growth since March 2020. eCommerce retailers are reporting that they experienced Black Friday-like traffic and sales during the hard lockdowns and that sales have not dwindled.
In fact, COVID-19 has seemed to change the face of eCommerce for good, and the industry is simply expected to keep growing beyond initial forecasts and expectations. So, now is the time for you to jump on if you are looking to kick off your online empire. We took a look at some of the key elements you need to start off your eCommerce site and how you can quickly evolve it into a successful money generator.
Launch Your App Early On
It is somewhat commonplace for eCommerce businesses to launch a website first, and thereafter launch an app. But in these times of instant gratification for the consumer, it is advisable to launch them together, or even as close together as you can.
We know, this means hours of development work, tight deadlines, and endless pots of coffee. Therapy sessions for your devs might also be in order, but the result is that your customer gains a full, all-round experience of your business and access from any point that they choose.
Keep in mind that the modern consumer is somewhat of an anomaly. Each customer desires a different contact method, each one wants to transact differently, and each has vastly different expectations. So, try and meet them all in one go. By doing this, you will be building up loyal customers from the outset.
If building a full app from scratch is a daunting task, and we can guarantee that it will be when launching your site too, consider using an app maker to get the app off the ground. It is quicker and easier to build and launch, and you will be able to tweak and make changes as time goes on.
Optimize Your Product Pages
Let’s move onto your actual web pages. In particular, your product pages. These pages are not only important to convert your web visitors to actual paying customers but for SEO purposes as well. There are many elements on the product page that you should be optimizing to ensure that you’ll increase your conversion rates.
Product descriptions are your key selling point to your customer so you need to write ones that actually sell. Remember, they cannot physically see and touch the product, so you will need to describe it as accurately and in as much detail as possible. But, make sure it is simple, and also ensure that you have the right keywords in the description for Google to rank you.
Give your customer as much visual aid as you can with your images. Add one central image and carousels of images from various angles and with different views of the product for your customer to get a good idea of what they are purchasing.
Customer reviews are integral to other customers. They are not only able to get a bit more insight into what they are purchasing, but good reviews can make a customer feel more at ease to purchase.
Spend some time perfecting your CTAs. You will need to ensure that they are the right shape, color and have the right copy to persuade the customer to buy. Placement on the page is also key, so use a tool like Hotjar to identify where to place them.
Additional Vital Information
Don’t wait until your checkout page to let your customer know what the shipping costs will be and how long it will take to reach them. If you make this clear from the product page, you will be guaranteed to reduce your abandoned cart significantly. The top three reasons for abandoned carts are due to unexpected costs and excessive shipping times. Get that information out early on.
Perfect Your SEO
The main function of Google is to scrape your site, understand who you are, what you do and where they can place you in the search results. Keyword research is integral in your SEO strategy, so make sure you set time aside regularly to find out what keywords you need on your site, and whether you need to update them to keep up with current trends.
We chatted about images earlier. Well, these are also highly important in your SEO strategy. Not only do they need to be high quality, but they do need to be sized correctly. Images that are too big slow down the loading speed of the page entirely and result in a higher bounce rate. Google will also pick up that the images are too big and will penalize you for it. It is also important to add accurate and simple descriptions to each image posted. Add the keywords in, and this will allow Google to scrape, find, and categorize the image correctly.
Take a deep dive into your blogs and articles too. WordPress is usually incredibly helpful when it comes to your blog SEO, as they offer the Yoast tool which guides you in increasing your SEO rankings. You will need to ensure that your headings (H1, and H2), URLs, and images have the right keywords and are simplified for SEO purposes.
And if you are asking whether you need a blog section on your site, the answer is an absolute yes!
This is a function that you need to start getting used to doing from the launch of your business. Keep track of all traffic coming in and out of your site at all times with Google Analytics. You can track where it is coming from, how the customers are behaving and what your bounce rate is like. By doing this, you will be able to work out what is working for customers and what isn’t.
Say, for example, you released a great article to your mailing list as well on social media. You can track how well the article is doing, if the customer is clicking through from the email or social media, and if they are following the CTAs in the article. In this way, you can identify what your customers want to actually see and structure your future strategy around that!
It is also important to test various elements on your site. Try two different versions of everything and monitor which receives the most click-throughs. From copy to CTAs and images, A/B testing will show you from launch just what your customers want from you.
The most important element to keep in mind when kicking off your eCommerce store is your customer. Your brand needs to be reflected through every single touchpoint on their customer journey. Take the journey through your site yourself to see what your customer sees and spend time at every point making sure that they are being surprised and delighted at every single stage. Lastly, make sure that you are educating, informing, entertaining and empowering your customer with your brand and content. You will find that you will build a loyal fanbase up much quicker with this kind of marketing.