Operating an Ecommerce site is a fantastic way to have a business of your own while also maintaining more control over your own work schedule. The dream looks something like this: You can work however much you want and from wherever you want. You’re spending more time with your kids and income comes in while you sleep.
Online is where everyone wants to be. Right? Consumers are becoming more and more mobile in all of their experiences. They work, watch movies, and shop all from the comfort of, well, wherever they want. There were $453. 5 billion in total e-commerce sales in the 2017 year, which represents an increase of 16% over 2016, while total retail sales only increased by 4%. There is no indication that this trend is going to slow down anytime soon. IF your customer’s are online then that’s exactly where you want to be! But how can you make sure they find you so that you operate a successful online business?
In this article we will cover some of the most important things you will want to pay attention to with your Ecommerce site to give you that head start to online success.
There are quite a few little tweaks and implementations that you can do to ensure your success with your ecommerce site. From having an exuberant marketing plan to creating the coolest website will all go a long way to raising your online presence.
But at the end of the day the most important thing is customer experience.
This is really the only way to ensure that people will want to actually complete a purchase when they get to your site and keep coming back for years to come. You never want all the technology and automation to take the place of providing your customer with outstanding customer service. Rather, it should be an extension of and compliment to the customer serviced you already provide. Ultimately your success is directly related to making sure your customer’s get all the good feels.
This includes how well your site integrates with whatever technology they are using to access it, having the right products they want, and a quick, frictionless and above all safe purchasing experience.
Consumers who use mobile devices to do their shopping want an experience that is smooth and friction-less. They want compatibility that is fluid with the device they are using to access your goods. Keep in mind that mobile sales are expected to account for 45% of the $632 billion in total e-commerce sales by 2020, as reported by BI Intelligence.
Not only do you need a retail sales website but it must also be mobile compatible.
Mobile shoppers want an effortless experience. When customers spend a significant amount of time on mobile devices like phones, Ipads, and tablets they are used to working through apps. They are not as likely to open a browser and go to your website as they are to open an app. It’s a good idea, then, to have a storefront app in addition to your mobile compatible website. While it is important to have an intuitive website, you miss out on the bonuses that come along with your store app.
Because you are operating an ecommerce site it can get a little easy to think just in terms of sales instead of customers. You don’t see them face to face and you know what they say about “out of sight out of mind”! But these sales are your customers so you need to make sure you take steps to help them feel valued. Through a storefront app you can reach out to your customers with incentives, such as coupons, rewards, and even personal messages. The use of AI (artificial intelligence) can allow you to customize sales and information to the particular customer, and push notifications help you to reach out to your customers on a more regular basis helping you to create and increase your loyal following.
Operation = Optimization.
Make sure that your website is friendly to navigate. It seems simple but you’d be surprised how many websites are set up in a way that is just not user friendly!
Include complete product descriptions and details with every product. This will also benefit your website SEO. The words you use throughout your site will help you be found when your customer searches for the products they are looking for. Make sure there are customer reviews available too. This not only helps them understand the item better, it will install confidence in the purchase and lower incidence of returns.
Security is first and foremost and comes before everything else. Because if your customer’s do not feel safe being on your site or making a purchase through your site then they won’t be making any purchase at all. On of the best ways to protect yourself and your customers is to make sure that all of your equipment is PCI compliant and to complete your annual PCI compliance questionaire.You have to make sure that your security protocols are as up to date as they possibly can be. You actually don’t even have much of a choice when it comes to security. You must update all of your security protocols to be able to accept payments at all. The deadline of July 1, 2018 was set by the PCI Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) and attempts to make sure all merchants update their equipment to the newer security protocol TLS 1.2.
All payments providers have been notified that “Due to a number of security concerns the PCI council has determined that payments providers must disable SSL and early versions of TLS by end June 2018.“ That date is right around the corner. It’s also a good idea to prominently display well recognized trust signal\ls like McAfee, Norton and even the BBB.
Another item that instills trust is an iron-clad return policy. Prominently display your return policy for your customers. Not only will it give them confidence to make the purchase, but it will also help you to reduce chargebacks. You have much more of an opportunity to save the sale or keep a customer when you help them with a return instead of fight them over a chargeback.
Make it easy for them to pay you!
The last thing you need is for a buyer to get all the way to the end and have something get in the way of them pressing that BUY button. Consumers are becoming more and more comfortable with multiple payment avenues. Let your customers choose how they want to pay you. Of course you accept credit and debit, but do you accept gift cards and allow them to use PayPal? And did you know that Visa/MasterCard also just came out with their own “buy” button? With these buttons the consumer has his payment information stored with the company. Skip pulling out the wallet and entering the long credit card number on a site, just hit “buy” and the transaction goes through with the encrypted payment information from the card issuer.
We literally could dedicate an entire article to shopping cart abandonment! So we did! Shopping cart abandonment costs businesses about 35% of their sales. Or in other words, How would you like to increase sales by 35%? There are many things outlined there that you can do to reduce the incidence of your customer’s window shopping and turn them into buyers and you should do all of them. Some are steps that you will only have to do once on your site, like making sure your shopping cart has a “save” function allowing customers to come back at a later date and have their items waiting for them.
Others will require some ongoing maintenance. Many of them being the same things we have already mentioned here, like security and that all important iron-clad return policy, that will make your online endeavor a success.
Don’t forget your social media outlets. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter should not be ignored as powerful tools for your online business. These are an extension of your eCommerce site. You should be using these sites to influence your customer’s opinion of you as you gather a following you will use this avenue to nd to advertise to and/or simply keep your customers informed about happenings they are interested in.
Lastly make sure you have a merchant account with an honest and transparent provider. Merchant account rules are a little different for online sales than that of a brick and mortar store. Ecommerce merchant accounts will tend to have strict guidelines for chargeback ratios and going higher than their maximum can get your account shut down, and in the very least they cost you time and money. Take steps to manage and lower your chargeback ratio. Monitor you transactions for any suspicious activity. Many merchant service providers have chargeback prevention software you can employ to help you catch these instances before they become a problem.
Whether we are providing you with the most innovative technology, competitive merchant services or simply providing advice, Bankcard Brokers take pride in being there to support our business partners in their endeavors on their road to success. We are confident if you employ these simple steps and always keep an open mind to new technology you will have made great strides toward your online success. We’re not just credit card processors, we take the service in Merchant Service Providers seriously. Give Bankcard Brokers a call today and experience the difference.