7 E-Commerce Rules By Which Every Entrepreneur Should Abide

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Succeeding in the world of e-commerce isn’t just about the products you sell or the prices you sell them for. In fact anyone with at least a bit of experience in retail could easily conclude that e-commerce is the future. It requires an online business customers can find, navigate and purchase from with ease. Here are seven e-commerce rules all entrepreneurs should abide by to attract more and more online visitors. And off course, keep them turning into customers. Bellow are some success rules those can certainly help e-commerce store owner if well taken care of. All of these tips seem quite simple and may appear and logical.

1. Test Your Ideas First

The Lean Startup methodology condones the notion of validating ideas and assumptions before investing a significant amount of time, money or resources into them. E-commerce business owners should adopt a similar approach to manage costs and maximize conversion. Test creative messaging and layout on your e-commerce site’s  landing pages before you choose an approach; ask your social media followers about products they want and are unable to find elsewhere before you spend hours sourcing products, or tie up your cash flow with inventory that may not sell as you presumed.

2. Monitor Site Analytics Habitually

Make it a habit to check site analytics with tools such as Google Analytics; use them to guide decision-making. The more adept you are at understanding e-commerce metrics, including what brings customers in and causes them to leave, the better you can leverage what tactics work, and tweak those that do not.

3. Define Your Target Market

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Your e-commerce site should have a well-defined purpose and niche audience. This will attract customers who may return to your site and recommend it to friends. This way they can help you to build a brand position in the surrounding marketplace. Be clear about exactly whom you exist to serve, and use messaging that addresses the needs and wants that appeal to that audience in your marketing, product offering and promotions.

4. Invest the Bulk of Your Efforts in Retention

Research says it can cost five times more to attract new business than serve existing customers. Data indicates that existing customers spend three times more than first-time visitors. Develop targeted marketing promotions using email or display messaging when customers visit your site. Tailor messages based on the products they’ve searched, pages they’ve visited. Items they’ve placed in their shopping cart or promotions they redeem can also be considered. You can also target the average amount they have spend each time.

5. Test Usability

When the Baymard Institute examined 33 well-established e-commerce sites, it found that the average cart abandonment rate was about 68 percent. While reasons cited were site layout and design issues, slow site load times and checkout processes that were difficult to complete, they all shared one thing in common — poor site usability. Test your site’s usability on mobile and desktop devices, using Android, iOS platforms and various web browsers. Ask friends and family to take a test drive on your site; collect informal feedback about items that are hard to find and categories users find difficult to navigate.

6. Invest in the tools that Reflect Accurate Shipping Costs

A recent study shows that being presented with unexpected shipping and handling costs is the No. 1 reason more than half of online shoppers do not complete a purchase. Invest in tools that accurately reflect shipping costs for customers based on their location, preferred shipping method and items in their cart before they get to your checkout page.

7. Ensure a Secure Checkout Experience

Protect the sensitive data your e-commerce customers provide when paying using a debt or credit card by equipping your site with secure payment gateways that are PCI compliant. This ensures that your payment processing partners follow current best practices in payment security to minimize the likelihood that customers’ sensitive data could be intercepted by data thieves, and minimizes the risk your business bears in the process. E-commerce sites are lower-overhead business models than brick-and- mortar alternatives, but the online marketplace is competitive. Follow these seven e-commerce rules to minimize your upfront investment and risk, and increase the odds that you’ll build an online business that thrives.

Kristen Graminga

Chief Marketing Officer at BluePay
Kristen Gramigna is Chief Marketing Officer for BluePay, a credit card processing firm. She has more than 20 years experience in the bankcard industry in direct sales, sales management and marketing.
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