The e-commerce landscape is constantly evolving. Entrepreneurs know that staying aware of the latest trends and developments can give them a competitive edge, keep their websites looking up-to-date and help to keep their business exciting and flowing with traffic. These five need-to-know tips will help to keep your e-commerce business growing.
Keep the Mindset of Experimentation
It is better to learn by doing. While it is useful to read about the success stories of your heroes in the industry by studying about the many methods they employed along the way, it can be a form of endless procrastination that will delay you from acting. If you're waiting for the time when you will fully understand the industry and develop a perfect plan, save yourself the time; it won’t happen.
While it's helpful to stay abreast of what other popular sites are doing, and doing so can even save you research dollars, you'll never really know what strategies will work in your particular niche until you try them in your own ecosystem. What works for somebody else may not work for you, and vice versa. An excellent tool might not produce results if it wasn't correctly implemented. A technology that was strange and unpopular yesterday might be intuitive and easily navigated by people today.
Keep the Ecommerce Sales Funnel Focused
One of the most important philosophies for designing your site will be understanding and applying effective strategies in building the ecommerce sales funnel that will convert views to sales into every aspect of your site's design. While your website should be built like a funnel to drive sales, it's better to think about the ecommerce sales funnel as extending beyond your site. It should extend into social media, blogs, reviews, useful articles, and any other forum that you can use to collect eyes and bring them to your site.
Utilization of backlinks, or hyperlinks that are placed into content ideally posted on external sites that link back to content hosted on your site, is one way to extend that funnel. Learning about how to recover abandoned carts is another. Whenever you're implementing new architecture, ask yourself if it's making it easier or harder for customers to make a purchase.
Marketing and Social Media Matters
There is no such thing as overemphasizing the importance of marketing in the domain of e-commerce. If you're spending the majority of your time building your site and making it the coolest place you've ever seen, your dedication is admirable, but your energy might be slightly misspent. It doesn't matter how amazing your site is, or how flawless the customer experience is if you can't get eyeballs on the page. Spending the bulk of your time on marketing will help you to grow your business the fastest.
Remember that your e-commerce store is a liability. There are many costs associated with operating your store. If you're building your store and running it at a loss, you might be putting the cart in front of the horse. You're not paying for your social media accounts, and you can begin building an audience before you spend a dollar on an actual website. Why not open your doors to a crowd of people who have been hyped about making a purchase instead of opening your doors and hoping to grab the few sales that trickle in?
Mobile Optimization and Ease of Access
There are many ways to grow your ecommerce business and tools you can use to tailor your marketing strategy. In today's market, there is no stronger tool than mobile optimization for attracting an audience. In the last six years, the dollar amount used to purchase goods through mobile devices increased from $6 million to $31 million, and it continues to grow. This technology has evolved from being a useful advantage utilized by enterprising entrepreneurs to a fundamental component of anyone operating in the e-commerce space.
Returning to the concept of the ecommerce sales funnel, your funnel should extend to where your potential clients are most likely to be. More and more people are utilizing their mobile devices as their primary source of entertainment and information as well as their most used e-commerce tool. You should implement mobile optimization in your strategy as early as possible, even to the point of emphasizing it above the traditional web-browser experience.
Keep it Minimal
Today's e-commerce sites benefit from nearly three decades of marketing research and data. E-commerce entrepreneurs understand that in the world of design, less is usually more. Websites are as clutter-free and straightforward as possible to present a professional appearance, and more importantly, to facilitate compatibility across the broadest range of possible platforms, particularly the mobile market. A simple design aesthetic will maintain its appeal across the most browsers and devices.
You should only have a limited number of pictures and videos, per page. This is a great way to maintain a visually tidy site. Utilizing themes specifically designed with your type of commerce in mind and avoid extraneous information or visuals is also important. Each page on your site should have a clear function, and anything on it that doesn't support that function should be cut or re-imagined so that it does.
Developing an e-commerce business is about trial and error. What works for one platform in one particular niche may not pan out as well in another environment. When we keep the mindset of experimentation, negative data is still useful data. If a particular strategy doesn’t work for you, it’s nice to be able to cross it off the list. It’s also important not to get complacent. If you’ve found that winning combination of strategies that seems to be growing your business at record rates, it doesn’t mean there isn’t an even better combination of strategies waiting around the corner or that your current strategies will stay persistent. Try implementing these five tips into your business, but try and adapt them to your particular needs. Keep what you love, lose the rest and good luck!