Starting an eCommerce website can be a major undertaking, and it is important that you build a strong foundation before launching your site. You need to have a plan for the future. Otherwise, you run the risk of your site dying before it even gets going. Read on for tips on how to make your site successful.
Don't Rush the Launch, Differentiate Your Business
This is one of the biggest mistakes newbies to the eCommerce world make. They launch their site just for the sake of putting something out there, but they have no long-term strategy for what they plan to do with it. Take the time up front to figure out the direction you want to take with your business. It will save you a lot of time and headaches down the road.
Put the Focus on the User
We have all visited websites that are so poorly designed that we just give up and search for what we were looking for somewhere else. In today's world of instant gratification, you only have about 10 seconds to win over your reader before they click away from your site. Make sure that your site is intuitive and easy for your customers to use. They and your bottom line will thank you.
Get Your Technology Right
While it is crucial that your website be as bug-free as possible, there is more to technology than just that. It is also important that the technology you use works for you to help accomplish your business goals. Beyond the functionality of your website, make use of autoresponders and mailing lists to stay in contact with your customers without having to craft each communication individually.
As we become increasingly dependent on our mobile devices, it goes without saying that your site needs to be mobile responsive. Your customers will love the ability to shop and buy from your store directly from their smartphones or tablets. Without responsive web design, you run the risk of losing your customers to other sites that do have it.
Work Closely with Social
Before you launch your eCommerce store, get your social media accounts set up. Visually based social networks like Pinterest and Instagram are ideally suited to eCommerce businesses, but other platforms can be useful as well. Find out which networks your customers are using and build a presence on those sites. Try to resist the urge to push sales through your social media channels. Use them instead to engage with your customers and build brand loyalty.
Use Channel Distributions
Customers do not always find your site the same way. It is important that you give attention to all of your distribution channels, including paid ads, social media, search engines and online shopping marketplaces. Keep track of data regarding how customers arrive at your website. Then, nurture the areas that have high conversion rates and experiment with the less successful areas to find methods that work better.
In addition to selling your products on your own website, you can also sell them in online shopping marketplaces, like eBay, Amazon and Google. Customers can find your products by searching or browsing the marketplace. Then, when they wish to make future purchases, they are more likely to come to your site directly. While these marketplaces will charge you a transaction fee or percentage, they can drive direct traffic in the long run.
Have a Comprehensive Content Strategy
There is much more to an eCommerce site than simply selling products. Your site also needs to deliver online marketing content that is of value to your customers, either through an integrated blog on your site, an email newsletter or your social media platforms. This helps to build your credibility as an authority in your market so your customers know they can trust you to deliver high-quality products. Develop your content strategy before you launch your site so you are ready to start building your online presence and authority right from the start.
Stay on Top of SEO
If you want your shop to appear in search engines, you need to have at the very least a basic understanding of search engine optimization (SEO). This is not about keyword stuffing just to get noticed. True SEO does indeed involve keyword recognition, but it also involves back-links from other credible sites, providing value for your readers and building your authority. Focus on constantly producing content that is high-quality, not just high in keywords. Search engine algorithms are constantly changing, so make a point of staying updated on changes in the industry.
It is crucial to your business that you understand your customers' behavior on your site. Webmaster tools like Google Analytics can help you analyze where your customers are coming from, what they are doing on your site, and when they are leaving the page. This can help you to evaluate what is working and what is not so you can make adjustments accordingly. Customer preferences are always evolving and changing, so what worked in the past may not be as effective in the future. Regular monitoring of customer activity can help you stay on top of these trends and keep your site successful.
The experts at Maximize Studio can help you get your eCommerce site off to the right start so it can be successful and profitable. From the earliest planning stages to the official launch of the site, we will be with you every step of the way. But we don't stop there. We continue to follow up with you after the launch of your site to ensure that everything is working properly and that you are on the right track to manage the site going forward. To find out more about who we are and what we can do for your business, fill out our contact form to request a quote and get things started.