A business ready to launch an inbound ecommerce site can apply the following best practices to achieve better results.
1 – Choose and customize a theme suitable for mobiles
Data from Bright Edge shows that 57% of web traffic comes from mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. It is therefore essential to use a suitable theme when building an e-commerce site.
Traffic on mobile and tablet vs on pc
E-commerce platforms offer free and premium themes, all optimized for mobile devices. This allows companies to choose the ones that best meet their needs and customize them. By adding their color palette and branding elements, such as their logo, they have the opportunity to create an e-commerce site that truly reflects their image.
2 – Optimize the site for conversion
Site optimization should be done with the goal of selling more online . It includes many strategies and tactics that can help a business convert more visitors to customers, including the following:
Write attractive product descriptions. Texts can encourage consumers to buy by employing certain psychological methods, such as the fear of missing something, reciprocity or even exclusivity.
Add images that showcase the products. Visuals are very important in marketing, especially for consumers who cannot see or touch a product before making an online purchase. To provide them with more information, static images can be supplemented by photos of models using the product concerned and by videos offering a 360 ° view.
3 – Create a perfect customer experience
Customer experience will be the main differentiator for sales by 2020, going beyond price and product. It is therefore important for a brand to create a perfect customer experience at all levels.
Here are some ideas:
Add an FAQ. A business that provides answers to frequently asked questions on its e-commerce site helps potential customers easily and quickly find the information they are looking for before making a purchase.
Reduce the size of images to speed up their loading time. Over half of site visitors expect a page to load in less than two seconds. If it takes more than three seconds for it to load, they will leave the site and are unlikely to return. It is therefore necessary to reduce the size of the images so that they load faster.
Use user-generated content. Including user-generated content (reviews, images posted on social networks, testimonials) on an e-commerce site is like adding social proof, which improves the overall shopping experience for customers.
Promote your e-commerce site
The best practices applicable to marketing in the e-commerce industry can help a business optimize its efforts.
Test social media ads:
With 1.62 billion daily active users worldwide, and 26 million active users in France every day, Facebook offers a large audience. Businesses can target this audience with posts and videos, then run tests to see which posts perform the best and generate the most sales and revenue. Instagram is also becoming an important marketing tool, this second service of the Facebook group has 1 billion active users per month in the world, 17 minutes in France.
Collect customer email addresses and send them communications
Recent data shows that email marketing offers an excellent return on investment, which can reach and even exceed 4000%. By collecting email addresses on their site and asking customers to opt-in to receiving communications, businesses give their visitors reasons to come back to their online store by sending offers, sale invitations, or even discounts to thank them for their loyalty. A good segmentation of your contacts allows in particular to increase your results.
Personalize offers and marketing messages
Personalization is more important than ever for online shoppers. Indeed, three quarters of consumers are frustrated by websites on which appear offers, advertisements and promotions that are far removed from their areas of interest. Companies must offer their customers relevant products, personalize their marketing emails and, in general, do everything to ensure that each target benefits from a unique customer journey adapted to their profile.
Collect customer feedback through surveys
When a company wants to know what its audience is looking for, its needs, its desires, the best way is to ask them the question. It may use online surveys to collect reviews and comments about its products, marketing efforts, and customer service interactions. All customer feedback is helpful, including negative comments.
Convert passing visitors into new customers
Several techniques are possible to improve the conversion rate of an e-commerce site: use of attractive color codes, addition of reassuring messages, implementation of guaranteed prices, inclusion of a follow-up sentence when leaving the basket, etc.
E-commerce: what method of inventory management?
Like any business, an e-commerce company faces the challenge of managing its inventory. Several solutions can be implemented, depending on the sector of activity.
The “just in time”, the FEFO or the calendar method
E-commerce companies can opt for just-in-time inventory management, in order to reduce their storage expenses to a minimum, when their supply chain allows it: local suppliers, reliable and flexible transport. Otherwise, companies that have regular, not very variable and predictable order flows will be more interested in a calendar management mode. In the food sector, “First Expired, First Out” is preferred to take into account expiration dates.
The ABC method, or selective inventory management
Generalist e-merchants, who offer varied and diversified products, cannot set up a single method of inventory management. They need a more selective and adaptive system, taking into account differences in value or nature. ABC analysis offers them the possibility of managing each range or category of goods with a specific management mode.
Drop shipping, a trend among newcomers
Imported from the United States, this management method is all the rage in the online sales sector, especially with new businesses or established sites that are launching into a new market or a new country. The drop shipping is to delegate the tasks of storage and shipping to its suppliers, and only play a role of intermediary (orders, cashing) vis-à-vis customers.
The future of e-commerce
The future of e-commerce is bright, and with the right strategy and tools, it can be easy to build an online store. By reaching out to an audience of engaged consumers, new businesses will be able to successfully enter a growing market.
Brands and entrepreneurs take control
For a long time, brands have abandoned the task of selling their product lines to distributors and marketplaces, preferring to focus on their core business. But mentalities have evolved in this area, and many manufacturers have decided to take matters into their own hands, by starting to sell their creations directly to consumers on the web. The sales made by this model increased by 34% in 2017 , and are expected to continue their momentum in the future.
VSEs, artisans and entrepreneurs no longer hesitate to launch their own online store, thanks in part to e-commerce platforms, which have considerably simplified the process of creating such a site. There are even solutions to launch your e-commerce store for free , some of which are offered in a multilingual version and thus allow young shoots to go international at a lower cost.
After mobile shopping, shopping by voice?
With a growing proportion of online sales made via a mobile terminal, the “Mobile First” phenomenon is in order, it is now a daily reality in the life of an e-merchant.
But this revolution is barely over when a second is already looming on the horizon. That of “Voice Shopping”, or more simply online ordering by voice, through a voice assistant or a connected speaker. This new channel could represent 40 billion dollars in sales in 2022.
A growing role played by artificial intelligence
Today, artificial intelligence is already being used to forecast sales and automate certain marketing tasks in terms of identifying prospects or making contact with customers.
In the e-commerce of the future, it will have an even more important place, by making it possible to build more personalized online experiences for customers, and to make recommendations that are much more consistent with their needs. Smart catboats will be able to chat in natural language with customers and provide them with fast and precise answers, without monopolizing a person all the time.
This article is written by the expert marketing team of Folio3 ecommerce development company services based in the USA.