E-Commerce has become a monster industry in the last decade. Online retail revenue is constantly on the rise, with the 2019 forecast climbing up to the staggering $3.5 trillion. The new way of shopping is seriously threatening traditional stores as now 40% of purchases are made using only an online channel for searching and buying.
But it doesn’t mean that e-commerce has reached its peak already. A study shows that an average of 2.86% e-commerce website visits converts into purchases, so there is more than enough room for improvement in this field.
If you are running an online store, you need to understand every aspect of the business in order to maximize profitability. Our goal is to present you nine essential things you probably do not know about e-commerce. Let’s take a look!
1. E-Commerce Is Similar to Traditional Retail
While it is true that e-commerce introduces a bunch of new features and tactics into the shopping game, the fact remains that it is still very similar to traditional retail. All the fundamentals of the brick-and-mortar business apply to digital commerce and respecting these principles will help you rise above competitors who are completely tech-driven.
Which features are we talking about here? Our fellow partners at Resumesplanet helped us make a list of the most important similarities:
- Store front vs website: A website performs pretty much the same function as a store front. It gives visitors the first impression and lets them decide which way to go.
- Market research: Both types of business rely heavily on market research. Each company needs to know everything about customers, competitors, industry trends, and so on.
- Marketing channels: Traditional retailers and digital businesses use the same marketing tools and channels of promotion. Today, everybody has to take advantage of social media, paid advertising, or email marketing to attract new customers.
- Incentives: There is no difference between digital and real-world customers as they all love incentives. Things like discounts, promotions, and limited-time offers are the way to go in both worlds.
2. Creating a Typical Customer Profile Is Quintessential
This conclusion goes hand in hand with the previous notion that market research is important for both sides of the retail coin. As a digital business, you must define a buyer persona because it’s the only surefire way to learn how to approach your customer.
Customer specifics may depend on the peculiarities of your business, but each company needs to figure out the following traits:
- Age and gender: These facts are crucial because it’s not the same whether you sell something to high school girls or target middle-aged executives and senior managers.
- Location: If the vast majority of your clients come from the same region, you can tailor offers and content according to this feature.
- Education: The same goes for education since you need to design a marketing strategy so as to match the academic level of your average consumer.
- Average income: Well-off and low-income consumers demand different types of offers and promotional messages.
- Lifestyle and personal beliefs: You cannot approach customers successfully if you don’t understand their thoughts, their way of living, style of communication, and personal values.
3. Product Descriptions Really Matter
Do you know that almost 90% of shoppers characterize detailed product content as being extremely important to their purchasing decisions? This is a critical segment of online retail because users don’t get the opportunity to take the product and examine it physically.
In such circumstances, what you add to the description has the power to make or break your conversion rate. Writing service agencies like Essay Pro and essay on time specialize in product description writing, so you can consult with them if you want to learn more about the subject. However, we can share a few basic insights with you here:
- Product descriptions need to show the origin of the item with all the technical specifications.
- You have to include instructions to ensure effortless usage.
- Don’t forget to highlight product benefits and explain its advantages in a way that you know will attract target consumers.
4. Content Quality Helps You Stand Out
Everybody creates tons of website content these days. As a matter of fact, it seems like 60% of marketers create at least one piece of content each day. What caused such a drastic increase in content creation?
Well, businesses realize that the vast majority of consumers are tired of traditional advertising. A typical user does not trust or enjoy commercials and banner ads, but rather wants to see quality content instead. This clearly suggests that you have to publish outstanding posts consistently.
First of all, website visitors prefer long-form and analytical articles. They want to learn everything about a given topic, so you have to cover all aspects of the story and support it by adding proven facts and statistical findings.
Secondly, you should never write a huge bulk of text: divide content into smaller paragraphs to maximize the readability of your posts. Besides that, don’t forget to proofread posts before publishing. Even the smallest mistake can ruin years of hard work, so you need to double-check each article or hire an editing service such as the paper writing agency.
5. Integrate Social Media with Your E-Commerce Website
In case you haven’t noticed already, social media have become a major contributor to the e-commerce industry. With over two billion daily active users, the likes of Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram give you the opportunity to approach target customers globally.
There are so many ways to exploit this marketing and sales channel and make your digital business more productive and more profitable in the long run. One option is to add social share buttons next to your products, so everyone can spread the word about your items through their social profiles. That way, you receive additional visibility and improve brand recognition.
Another solution is to share user-generated content (UGC) on your website. UGC is a perfect tactic to show appreciation and acknowledge your customers while boosting brand advocacy. But there is a lot more you can do here: offer social sign-ins, use a social-based comment system or remind users to share after reading your posts, and so on.
6. You Don’t Want to Miss the Abandoned Cart Opportunity
Generally speaking, a big portion of visitors will abandon cart without completing the purchase, but you are not only supposed to sit and watch it happen. Your job is to do all it takes to reduce the abandoned cart percentage:
- State the shipping costs instantly. Too many people fail to convert due to hidden shipping fees.
- Allow easy checkout to keep the purchasing process simple and intuitive.
- Don’t force users to register because most of them just want to buy products without additional complications.
- Give website visitors more than one payment option.
You can prevent a lot of abandoned carts using these tricks, but it’s not over even if they leave your website. On the contrary, you need to make your move and inspire prospects to come back.
The system is simple: create and send a recovery email to stay in touch with the possible customer. For instance, you can invite them to come back and offer a one-time discount. It doesn’t require too much effort, but the results are amazing.
7. You Need a 24/7 Customer Support
The biggest advantage of e-commerce is the fact that you can provide users with around the clock customer service. This is not only a benefit but also a requirement as people browse the Internet non-stop and want to obtain information almost instantly.
How can you make your business available 24/7? Besides the usual suspects (mail, email, phone number, social media accounts, etc.), you also need a customer service that is fully operational any time, any day. This feature comes in the form of chatbots.
A study reveals that 64% of consumers think the 24-hour service is the biggest benefit of chatbots. Such a system allows users to engage with your brand whenever they want, while you receive highly relevant consumer-related inputs.
That is exactly why companies like Careersbooster use chatbot technology. They create a win-win situation for both parties, making customers happy and boosting conversions simultaneously.
8. Word of Mouth Spreads Very Quickly
You are probably aware of the power of social proof, but don’t you ever forget about it or underestimate its potential. Word of mouth spreads very quickly and it can make or break your business, so you have to nurture online reviews and customer testimonials.
Website testimonials and case studies represent the basic version of social proof. However, you can do much more by using some of these features:
- Reveal the number of total purchases. For instance, you can say that 211,546 users bought the product already.
- Add a review count next to the product.
- Add a best-selling badge to highlight product popularity.
- Show how many users added a given item to the shopping cart.
9. E-Commerce Software Vary in Features and Quality
When you search for e-commerce software online, you get to see hundreds of different options. They all look tempting and attractive, but don’t think they are all the same.
E-Commerce platforms vary in features and quality, so you need to be aware of your own professional requirements. Do you need an all-around tool or want to focus on specific functions such as security, usability, marketing tools, software integrations, or scalability? The way you answer this question will help you make the final decision.
You can find dozens of good-looking and reliable e-commerce solutions, but it is up to you to do the research and find the platform that suits your needs the most.
Online commerce is winning over the retail business, but it still has more than enough room for improvements. Running a profitable digital store requires a thorough understanding of e-commerce, so we made this post to explain to you nine essentials things you probably didn’t know about your business. Following these principles will help you increase revenue, so make sure to remember our suggestions – you will notice the benefits very soon!
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