E-Commerce Trends for 2017 - A Half Year Review

Over the past ten years, shopping online has changed from being merely a convenient alternative to being the norm. Before the advent of the internet, shoppers had to leave home, fight their way through traffic and battle the elements on the high street to get what they wanted. Online shopping has changed all that – now, you don’t even need to get out of bed to buy what you want.

Today, consumers can find almost any item online, and can compare quality and prices quickly and easily. With there being so much competition online, it can be difficult to get your products and services noticed, but there are several steps you can take to increase sales.

  • Define your target market

One of the most important factors in achieving success in online business is to clearly define your target market. Different generations prefer to receive information in different ways, and tailoring your online content to your target market is key to converting visitors into customers.

For example, millennials tend to prefer visual content when shopping online, while older generations usually prefer more detailed, text-based information. Consider the demographics of your target market, research their habits when shopping online and content that matches their preferences.

  • Keep your buying process simple

Creating a positive customer experience is essential if you wish to be successful selling online. Making it easy for customers to browse gives them a positive experience that will keep them coming back. However, a long, complicated checkout process gives them more time to reconsider making a purchase, and can cause them to turn to competitors.

Give customers the option to save their payment details, as this will save them time when they return, increasing the chances of them buying again.

  • Provide customers with the opportunity to review you

Being able to read reviews is one of the biggest advantages of the online shopping experience for the consumer. Online shoppers have become accustomed to using reviews to determine whether to make purchases; enabling your customers to review the products and services you offer is a simple way of both generating content that motivates prospective new customers to buy, and enhances your reputation.

  • Provide excellent customer service

With there being so much competition online, excellent customer service is essential.

Of course, while you do your best to ensure customers are happy with their purchases, occasionally you will get an unsatisfied customer. An excellent way of dealing with this is to offer a money-back guarantee for customers that are dissatisfied for any reason.

You should also aim to make it easy for customers to return orders and get a refund, and you should ask for feedback when they do so – this will help you improve your operations and leave customers with the sense that you’ve done your utmost to look after them, which could keep them coming back.

  • Follow up after sales

Following up with customers is an excellent way to both get feedback on their experience and let them know about new products, services and promotions. Doing this helps establish credibility with customers and shows that you value them.

Always remember – happy customers are the key to long-term success.

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