How Soon-to-Be Ecommerce Stars Can Snag Customers and Keep Them Coming Back
Are you just starting out in the exciting world of e-commerce? Do you have an up-and-running e-commerce store but experience troubles bringing customers your way? Do you attract potential customers but have a hard time keeping their interest? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, consider these tips if you want to release your inner e-commerce star.
Only accept a great website — nothing less
An e-commerce business cannot become successful and maintain that success with just a mediocre website. If your job is to get online customers to buy your products, it stands to reason that the portal on which they potentially shop must be clean, attractive, fast, and well-designed to promote ease of use. It’s a fact that 38 percent of people will simply leave if your website is clunky and hard to use. You can’t afford to lose that many potential customers.
Improving your website also involves being diligent about your links (none are broken), including pertinent information in easy-to-find locations, valuing design over content (but still including quality content), and possibly using a blog to better promote your business. You’ll also need to choose a hosting plan for your website. Usually, shared hosting is the option that’s most affordable because the costs are split between many businesses. These plans are ideal for businesses just starting out that don’t have a lot of daily traffic.
You’ll also need to be able to accept payments online, and you’d do well to hire an e-commerce specialist to improve the process. An e-commerce expert should have skills in web design and development and have experience working with e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, Amazon, and Magento.
Optimize your site for mobile devices
If you think customers will abandon a poorly designed desktop website, just wait until you talk about mobile users, which now outnumber desktop users. Surveys have found that around 60 percent of mobile users will abandon a bad site. Without a mobile strategy, your e-commerce business is doomed. For a great mobile site, Acquire says to “make your site responsive, make sure your site loads faster, optimize your mobile site and improve site search, and simplify the checkout process.”
Spend time improving your search ranking
The bad news about e-commerce is that there is a lot of competition. Wading your way through that and rising to the top takes grit. Part of that effort means taking as many steps as possible to boost your ranking in search engines. You have to build quality backlinks to your site. You have to structure your URLs in a certain way. You need to create engaging blog content. In reality, you need to learn basic search engine optimization tactics and possibly some base-level HTML. If you don’t have the time or inclination to do this yourself, contracting SEO work is always an option.
Keep customers coming back with fresh inventory
Sometimes, mixing up what you sell is the key to keeping customers coming back. Often you can get away with rotating seasonal items and adding new inventory to replace slower sellers. Another way to shake things up is through a drastic and then continual change in inventory. With clothing sales, for example, you can rotate items at least four times a year without having an inventory backlog if you stick to a dropshipping model. This also keeps overhead low.
Keep them loyal
Loyalty is key to driving return business. A major part of this is building a brand that your customers want to keep coming back to. But you can’t look past the power of solid loyalty programs. They can take various forms — points and rewards, free items for accrued purchases, gifts for superusers, and so on — but all good loyalty programs make the customer feel like they’re getting something they couldn’t possibly get elsewhere.
New technology can give you ideas about how to constantly innovate when it comes to your loyalty programs. Incorporating digital wallet technology or even blockchain, for instance, can set you apart and keep repeat customers.
The world of e-commerce business can be as thrilling and diverse as you care to make it. Having solid products and a clever business idea isn’t enough. You have to put in the work to attract the high-quality customers that will buy from you for years to come.
If you’re looking for investors to help you jump-start or grow your business, join Liftoff Capital’s matchmaking site today to find the funding your business needs!