How to boost your e-commerce site’s performance
Now is the perfect time to be running an e-commerce site. More than half of consumers prefer to shop online rather than in high street stores, and for young adults in their 20s and 30s, that preference rises to about two-thirds. With numbers like those, it’s certainly worth spending some time evaluating and tweaking your site. There are many e-commerce sites, both big and small, that stand out from the crowd, and here are some ideas you can use to help you join them.
Find your niche
Amazon, John Lewis, House of Fraser and other major e-commerce firms have the luxury of providing a huge variety of items for sale to a very diverse customer base, however, if you’re a small firm or a start-up, trying to compete with them on the variety of items available is a sure way to limit the prospects of your success. When you’re relatively small, your best bet is to concentrate on a niche. Define your unique selling proposition (USP) and give your customers a reason to shop with you rather than with other online retailers.
About 10% to 15% of people only use mobile devices to access the internet, and that percentage will certainly continue to increase. Not only do you need to give your customers the same experience on both mobile and desktop devices, but your mobile site also needs to stand on its own and provide an easy checkout experience. While about 60% of e-commerce traffic takes place on tablets and smartphones, most sales still take place on desktops due to consumer worries about security and privacy. Reassure your customers with an appropriate message on your checkout page that their personal and financial information is encrypted and that making an online purchase is safe and secure.
Give your mobile customers simpler and more secure ways to pay. You could offer an option to scan their credit or debit card rather than typing their account information, or you could allow customers to use stored card information to make purchases quicker and more secure. Consider accepting PayPal or other mobile wallets that are now becoming very popular and convenient.
Provide incentives for returning customers
Incentives can be a very powerful tool for retaining customers. Occasionally, consider providing customers with a voucher they can use on their next purchase. For example, you could offer a $10 voucher on purchases of $50 or more that your customer can redeem on their next purchase within the next 30 days. It’s hard for customers to skip using “free” money, and many will purchase more than the voucher amount when they return.
Make it easy for customers to communicate with you
What works for one customer may not work for another, so give your customers as many options as possible to communicate with you. Email, live chat, telephone calls and messaging apps all are useful, and your customers will appreciate that you have given them several options.
Above all, listen to your customers and respond to their concerns and suggestions. After all, you can’t stay in business without them.