The expansion of technology throughout the past years has generated a new online platform for businesses to access customers. Online shopping has become integrated into society as a faster and more convenient alternative to regular physical shopping. With 79% of Americans shopping online, it can be easy to directly assume that the quantity of shoppers signifies large purchases. The online shopper is educated, global and cost-conscious, which can make it incredibly difficult to get their attention.
It can be increasingly difficult for online businesses to succeed, given the large corporations they’re up against. The eCommerce market is expected to make up 17% of all US retail sales by 2022. The growth of eCommerce is due to the behemoth of Amazo because it drives the majority of online sales growth. Online businesses not only have to struggle to compete with traditional brick and mortar retail stores but major online players as well.
Fighting for the consumer’s attention online has become an arduous task, which is why more than 90% of all Internet business start-ups end in failure within the first 120 days. The high percentage of failed businesses can be alarming and troublesome as more online businesses emerge and attempt to beat the odds. It can be easy to fall into that prominent percentage, but the challenge can be overcome through careful planning and management. Rishabh Chokhani, CEO, and founder of Naturevibe Botanicals, shares five useful tips for success in the eCommerce business.
High-Quality Images and Product Descriptions
The competition for online shoppers is extremely ferocious. If you’re lucky enough to grab their attention, then it’s essential to keep it until a purchase is completed. As mentioned earlier, the online shopper is intelligent, global and cost-conscious, which means the quality of the online store should be up to par.
A downside to online shopping is that customers can’t physically touch the product or visualize it before their eyes, thus they rely on pictures. Encourage customers to purchase your product through multiple high-quality images that accurately reflect the product. Take pictures from all angles, and consider including close-ups. Short video walkthroughs are also helpful. Provide unique detailed product descriptions that go beyond generic descriptions. By personalizing the experience for the shopper, their confidence will be increased and a sale is more likely to happen.
Online shopping should be simple, quick and easy for the consumer. Avoid confusing and frustrating the customer through multiple steps requiring complex unnecessary information. A simplified checkout enables customers to quickly purchase the products in their online cart. Amazon was the first company to really stake their entire business model on the simplicity of checking out, and it has paid off in spades for them.
The longer the checkout process is, the more time the consumer has to hesitate, doubt and change their mind about their purchase (leading to shoppers “abandoning their cart”). Avoid requiring registration for purchases, but instead, give customers the option to register. A facilitated process with a user-friendly interface encourages the customer to rapidly complete their purchase without hesitation. Simplify the checkout process and ensure more purchases in the future.
Over $18 billion is lost on sales every year when customers decide to abandon their online cart. Minimize the occurrence of cart abandonment by sharing shipping rates upfront. Shipping rates hidden until the end of the purchase process will only cause the customer frustration. Transparency in fees and shipping charges will foster an honest relationship between your company and the customer. Consider offering multiple shipping options, from budget to expedited. Make sure the appropriate taxes are clear, if applicable.
Complete and Accessible Contact Information
Provide complete and easily accessible support contact information to reassure the customer there is a human point of contact if they have any questions. Don’t make the customer search endlessly for the information. Instead, make it easy to access on the website. Readily available customer support can be a significant and necessary point to generate trust between potential customers.
Social Media Presence
More than 81% of the United States population has a social media profile. Since the development of social media, marketing to the entire U.S. population has become more accessible than ever. Utilize social media platforms to assert your presence, advertise and grow your following. Social media promotes exposure and visibility for your company, which in turn drives customers to your website and increases potential sales. Visual content should be implemented because it is more than 40 times more likely to get shared on social media. Using hashtags helps gather people interested in those select keywords and help drive future sales as well.
In the dog-eat-dog world of eCommerce, following these simple five tips will have you on the road to success.
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