For many businesses, store management can be so time-consuming that the idea of spending time and energy creating an ecommerce website can feel overwhelming. Yet ecommerce is a vital and growing sector of the economy. Whether you’re considering adopting an ecommerce approach or tweaking an existing ecommerce site to increase sales, you can learn from the best practices of established retailers how to attract and retain customers.
Presenting your Best Face
Just as you stock your physical storefront with knowledgeable employees and thoughtfully curate your inventory, so should you present your online store. An outdated, ugly or disorganized online store appearance can create high bounce rates as potential customers may take an instant dislike to your website. Browse your website as if you were a shopper. Is it easy to find the items you need using the navigation? When you search for particular items, can you find them using the search tool? Are questions about shipping and bulk orders found on a FAQ page? Use drop downs menus, clearly worded navigation terms and visible calls to action to help direct both new and returning customers around your online storefront.
Ensure that your server can handle the amount of traffic an ecommerce store will generate and provides enough space to store high-resolution product image for your full inventory. If your server crashes regularly, you’re missing out on sales and harming your bottom line. Consider choosing a dedicated ecommerce Web host to enjoy peace of mind that your server is helping you create a good store, and not working against you.
Engaging your Customers
An attractive storefront will get customers past your front door, and engagement will make sure they have a positive user experience, netting you repeat customers and brand fans. Several factors go into keeping your customers engaged. TOFU or top of funnel customers may arrive at your website via a shared link, search result or other page. When they arrive, they may not know who you’re and what you do. They may only be looking for a particular item. Help these customers gain insight into your brand through compelling Web copy, clear navigation and calls to action.
On the other hand, bottom of the funnel (BOFU) customers know exactly what they want. Your job is to help them get it faster, for a better user experience. If your website remembers what customers bought, saves shopping carts or allows users to see past viewed products, they can shop faster and may remember to put in that extra item they didn’t buy last time.
Social media allows you to engage all customers and help maintain top of mind awareness. You might advertise upcoming sales, highlight new product lines and connect with customers by demonstrating your products’ or services’ usefulness. An effective social presence engages with others and offers your customers value-added content.
When users feel that your store is attractive and user-friendly and that your ordering and checkout process is easy and meets their needs, they’re much more likely to return. These changes can help both new and old ecommerce sites grow business and increase ROI.