The internet has changed every aspect of our life, including how we buy and sell things. Retailers who work online have definitely felt this shift as eCommerce sales in the US generated over $343 billion in 2019 alone, and are projected to reach about $476 billion by 2024.
However, even though eCommerce might seem like a great opportunity right now, online retailers face a number of unique challenges. That’s why getting the foundation right is so important. But when it comes to building a successful brand, even the implementation of the basics can be time-consuming.
To help you out, we’ve created a list of 6 eCommerce basics that every online retailer needs to master in order to build a successful eCommerce business.
1. Make Your Website User-Friendly
One of the most important eCommerce fundamentals is creating a website that provides a great user experience.
In order to nail your eCommerce web design, think simplicity. More than 75% of consumers expect to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily. Bear in mind that you only have seconds to impress your website visitors; otherwise, they will leave and go to your competition.
Luckily, simplicity doesn’t have to come at the expense of elegance and sophistication. On the contrary, today, minimalist and simplistic web design often results in a very refined appearance. Designing a good-looking, refined website can be easily achieved with the various tools provided by eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce, Shopify, and others. If you can afford it, you should consider hiring a professional Big Commerce development company to do the heavy lifting for you, because, after all, this is something you’d want to make sure is flawlessly executed on your part.
2. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
Today, having a website that is optimized for mobile isn’t essential only for eCommerce websites; it is a foundational element for any business that strives to be successful.
Mobile has transformed the way people shop online. Consumers turn to their mobile devices to check out product reviews, see ratings and compare prices. Moreover, according to eCommerce stats, more than half of all online transactions now happen on mobile devices, so competing for a slice of the mobile market pie should be your top priority. Without a mobile-friendly, responsive website, it’ll be very difficult for you to generate enough sales to grow your brand.
3. Use High-Quality Product Photography
In the world of eCommerce, images are everything. Bear in mind that people can’t touch your products or try them on, so your images will be playing the role of a store employee.
Make sure that your images allow people to zoom in and get a closer look at a product from different angles. In addition, highlight unique or important features, as they are very likely to make the items more attractive to customers. It also helps if you include images that show how the product can be used in order to trigger an emotional response. For some products, for instance, mechanical ones, white background works best as it provides a better look at the details and features.
4. Simplify Your Checkout Process
A too long or too complicated checkout process is one of the most common reasons for shopping cart abandonment. For that reason, providing a simple checkout process is one of the most important eCommerce basics.
Start by allowing your guest to checkout. Forcing shoppers to create an account is the reason for more than 30% of cart abandonment. Most importantly, keep your checkout process as short as possible. If possible, reduce the number of pages they must go through to one or maximum two. You can also use a progress bar so that shoppers know exactly where they are in the process.
Another important thing to do is to eliminate any form fields that aren’t absolutely necessary and consider using autofill to speed things up even more.
5. Offer Outstanding Customer Service
If you want to build a brand that is valuable to consumers, customer service should definitely be one of your top priorities.
Considering the fact that eCommerce retailers don’t have an opportunity to interact with clients face to face, they need to provide excellent customer experience. In order to cultivate customer loyalty, as well as positive overall sentiment, use multiple channels including email, live chat, and phone calls.
6. Have a Solid Marketing Strategy
And last but not the least, you need to come up with a marketing strategy for your store. After all, how can you expect to make sales if people aren’t aware that your online store exists?
So, where to start? There are so many types of marketing you can choose from, including social media marketing, SEO, email marketing, PPC, content marketing, etc.
Social media is probably the best place to start as social platforms like Instagram and Facebook have proven to be great channels for raising brand awareness and gaining new customers. Social media is also great for sourcing user-generated content, which is a very important component of eCommerce. Finally, social networks are a place where you can engage your audience and keep in touch with them on a regular basis.
That being said, social media is a great starting point but online retailers still need to create a detailed strategy that will help you increase visibility in the search engines, generate traffic, engage customers, and increase conversions.
There you have it – these 6 basics are crucial to eCommerce success. Try to test and combine these essential tactics with other eCommerce components to find out what works best for your brand.