E-commerce is a forced to be reckoned with. In Australia, online retail sales grew 9% in 2014 and reached $16.6 billion, while in the US eCommerce sales rose to 7% of total retail sales, and the global number of online sales reached $1 trillion in 2012. The numbers keep climbing and consumers keep jumping on board. It’s safe to say that e-commerce is the future of retail. What are some of the optimum ways to compete in the market?
Marketing experts over at KISSMetrics have put together a huge, comprehensive guide to succeeding in the e-commerce game. Below are a few important takeaways from that guide.
Design mobile-friendly websites
One in every ten e-commerce dollars is spent on mobiles and this number is expected to rise in the future. Users will often browse on their phones, locate an item and, if they don’t buy it right there, they’ll wait till they get home to make the purchase. As anyone who has worked in retail knows, getting the customer’s attention is the first step.
This means that it’s extremely important to enhance the customer’s online browsing experience. Google has already installed mobile-friendly algorithms which will leave non-mobile-friendly websites in the dust, so gearing your retail website to better fit mobile screens is a wise move.
When it comes to ideal mobile designs, simple, clean and with as little data as possible to load is ideal. Customers want things on their phones to load fast, and they want it to be easy to navigate.
Know your SEO
Proper SEO is a complex science, but luckily it doesn’t take an advanced degree to get savvy with it. Managing your SEO is all about controlling your online presence. You want to know where your brand is appearing, who’s visiting it and how many people are buying when they visit.
Installing and understanding google analytics and google webmaster tools is a good place to start. From there you can monitor your website’s data, look at your ranking and manage which keywords draw traffic to your site.
Make sure your social media accounts are publishing regularly (everyone knows an unattended twitter or facebook account will simply starve to death) and, if it’s relevant to your website, start up a blog. All of this will keep your presence on the internet steady, and knowledge of google’s mechanics will allow you to control it.
This one is similar to ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, but it’s addressing the concern on a wider scale. What is it actually like to navigate around your website?
Think of website design like the architecture of a retail store. Shelving, displays and floorplans are all organised in ways which will enhance the customer’s shopping experience while drawing their attention to the things you want them to buy. KISSmetrics talk about placing your search bar in the middle of the screen, reinforcing customer validation and reducing clutter.
Shopping online may be done from the comfort of one’s home, but the best companies are the ones providing an attractive, easy and perhaps entertaining experience for their customers. Website design is about more than how many banner ads you can cram onto the page.