In today’s business world, eCommerce sales opportunities are rapidly growing. In 2017, eCommerce was responsible for $2.3 trillion in sales, and this figure is expected to reach $4.5 trillion by 2021. In the States alone, online shopping already accounts for 10% of retail sales and is expected to grow at a yearly rate of 15%.
However, with great opportunities also comes competition, so many stores fail in their first year. In other words, it takes more than a good idea in order to run a successful eCommerce store. There’s a number of factors that can influence the success of your online store, but how do you choose the ones that will make a difference? This article offers 6 tactics that will help you optimize your eCommerce site for sales.
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1. Choose a Good Hosting Provider
Regardless of how good your eCommerce website might be, a poor choice of web host can come back to bite you. Your choice of hosting affects your website’s engagement, traffic, and profitability. For that reason, it’s very important to choose a reliable, cheap web hosting provider that suits the needs of your eCommerce site.
When choosing a hosting provider for your online store, you should consider 2 things: the amount of data you need to share on your site and your budget. Shared hosting means that you will need to share space with other sites, which might affect your site speed. However, this could be an ideal solution if your budget is tight or you still haven’t reached a broader audience.
It’s also important to choose a host that guarantees regular and safe backups in order to make sure that all the data from your site is protected. In addition, your hosting plan should include fast page loading speed in order to prevent your customers from leaving.
2. Invest in SEO
To optimize the profitability of your online store, you definitely need search engine optimization. SEO can help customers find you online more easily, reduce dependence on paid web traffic, increase sales, and boost profit.
Another great thing about SEO is that the results it produces are not only targeted but also cost-effective, quantifiable, and long-lasting. Unlike other strategies, SEO has no shelf life.
However, winning at eCommerce SEO can be a big challenge as established players have already recognized the value of organic search and have had years to invest in and improve their SEO efforts. For this reason, it might be a good idea to consider hiring an SEO agency that offers eCommerce SEO optimization services including competitor analysis, keyword research, and content creation, to improve your SERP rankings and boost your sales.
3. Be Mobile Friendly
Research has shown that more than 80% of the population owns a smartphone. More than 50% of people today choose to shop from their mobile devices rather than from laptops or desktop computers and as a business owner, you need to recognize this and adapt.
Having a website that’s optimized for mobile is an absolute must. Your eCommerce site must be easily viewed on any screen size and responsive design should include resized text that is easy to read on smaller devices, fewer images to increase load times, and enough space around links so people can click on them easily.
4. Ensure Quick Loading Time
If your eCommerce website takes more than 3 seconds to load, you could lose up to 40% of your customers. Just one second delay in page load time can lead to an 11% decrease in page views and a 7% decrease in conversions.
Consider all the money you spend on advertising web design, and creating content and if your eCommerce website is loading slowly, your traffic will be leaking out and your sales will suffer. Finally, a slow website doesn’t only discourage shoppers, but it could also have a negative impact on your Google search rankings.
This is why you need to make sure that your digital team knows a website that will load quickly. Before launching your online store, make sure to test loading times with a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights, GTmetrix, or Pingdom.
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5. Make Your Contact Info Visible
Nothing is more frustrating for a customer than having to chase you down in order to receive proper customer service. Having a contact form on your site is ok, but that must not be the only way that your customers can get in touch with you. Make sure to also include your email address, phone number, physical address, and live chat – all in a visible place like the page footer.
Live chat is the best way for customers to get answers to their queries in real-time. It’s much more time-efficient and convenient compared to calling the support team or emailing a question. It allows for direct interaction that will help you build a trusting relationship with your customers and, as a result, increase sales.
6. Simplify Your Check-out
According to studies, more than 60% of shoppers abandon their carts before checking out and one of the most common reasons for this is a too complicated check-out process.
The best solution for this problem is a one-page check-out. You should also allow shoppers to make purchases without having to register. However, if you really must require them to set up an account, make it your first step. Finally, ensure that your forms contain as few fields as possible and that all of the fields are clearly labeled.
Many online stores are unintentionally making their customers jump through hoops, so instead of encouraging them to make a purchase, they only manage to chase shoppers away. The 6 success factors in this article are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to building a truly successful eCommerce store. Customers who don’t know how to use your website, poor navigation, unexpected shipping costs, and more could also be problems that require your attention. However, taking each of these factors into account is a great starting point that can help you stand out from competitors and set up your online store for long-lasting success.