One of the great things about starting an ecommerce business is that there’s always going to be room to grow and improve.
Whether you are preparing to build your ecommerce website from scratch, have recently launched your new business, or are currently facing various challenges related to traffic, there are several best practices that apply to all online stores.
Internet commerce has evolved drastically over the past few years. This has of course led to new recommendations over time for how to best manage an online business.
If you’re looking to improve the management of your ecommerce website to reap excellent returns, consider implementing the following suggestions!
1. Ensure that your web hosting service is reliable
The ability to have your store’s virtual doors open for business around the clock is a true benefit for boosting sales. However, potential customers can’t access your ecommerce website or purchase your products if your hosting service is down.
Keep in mind that the cost of service isn’t always the best indicator of reliability. Ensure that you choose a hosting provider that has great customer service and the right features for your business.
Note that when you choose WiziShop’s ecommerce web hosting service for your online store, you’ll have a reliable solution that’s also affordable!
2. Make your web design simple and efficient
The internet is a crowded environment to run a business, and the competition is growing by the day. Your ecommerce website must be designed with individuality in mind so that it attracts customers and is memorable to them after they leave your site.
Simply copying a market leader will get your business nowhere fast.
One of the essential ecommerce features for a successful store is having a unique website design that’s simple, with a focus on effortless navigability. The size of the text, the content, and the images should all make your site easy to skim through.
This ensures that visitors to your store can quickly find what they’re looking for, such as a certain product. In addition, keep the site’s navigation bars and buttons visible on every page.
Graphics are important, but they shouldn’t be so large or numerous that they slow down your ecommerce site’s loading time.
However, you can improve the customer experience by having ample photos for each product. Minimize special effects that may be distracting, and make sure that each image adds true value to the user experience.
3. Use product categories to better manage your catalog
If your ecommerce business sells more than a few different types of products, organizing them into a catalog is essential. A catalog saves your customers time and energy as they search for the product that they want to find.
Keep in mind that some visitors may quickly click away from your website if they can’t immediately determine that your site can meet their needs. An unorganized catalog could lead to your online store not selling as well as you’d hoped.
As important as it is to create product categories, it’s best to have no more than seven to nine major categories in most cases. Too many categories may confuse people visiting your online store.
These categories can be broken down into subcategories as needed for improved management. Consider adding a search function if your ecommerce website has numerous products.
4. Be transparent about your business policies
Your company’s policies related to privacy, security, returns, and shipping should be clearly outlined and easy for each visitor to find.
These policies establish guidelines for your ecommerce business to rely on when customers contact your customer service department. They can also help give consumers who aren’t familiar with your business a higher level of confidence about buying from your ecommerce site.
Privacy policies may cover who you sell customer data to and the steps to opt out of receiving promotional material.
In addition to mentioning your security policies, your ecommerce website should be protected by Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or other comparable measures. These protect your customers’ data and help reduce the likelihood of a malicious attack.
In addition, your customers must be aware of the shipping and return policies for your store before they finalize their purchases. Shops engaging in internet commerce are known to have a wide range of regulations for shipping and returns. Make things easy for your customers and communicate your own rules for these areas clearly on your website.
The template for your confirmation emails should also include these various policies. Furthermore, be sure to add a link to them on your website. Include a contact phone number, email address, and other methods of communication in the confirmation email for good measure.
5. Offer customers a variety of payment options
Today’s internet consumers are increasingly comfortable using credit and debit cards to make online purchases as long as they have confidence in a website’s security. However, not all of your customers will want to pay for products with a credit or debit card.
As a matter of convenience, they may prefer to use a digital wallet or cryptocurrency when purchasing products from your store.
Providing customers with a number of payment options can help increase product sales. Try to offer as many choices as your chosen internet commerce platform will allow.
6. Limit pop-up messages
Pop-ups play an important role on ecommerce websites. Their messages might include building your email or newsletter distribution list and asking customers to take a final look before they exit the site.
On the other hand, pop-up messages can also sometimes distract and annoy customers checking out your store. If you decide to use pop-up messages on your ecommerce site, do so strategically and minimally. This will help keep your customers focused on browsing through your online store, hopefully leading to more sales.
7. Create a newsletter that highlights your products
A customized newsletter from your business is an excellent way to remain in touch with the loyal customers of your ecommerce store. However, if you start to bombard customers with marketing emails several times per week or more, you run the risk of alienating them.
You don’t want your marketing newsletters to go to a spam folder or for your customers to opt out of your distribution list. Maintain a regular distribution schedule that delivers a quality newsletter to your customers every few weeks.
Your newsletter could highlight hot products or new products. Special features and promotions are also good topics to cover. As you prepare each newsletter, think about the content that your audience would actually want to read rather than what you want to tell them.
8. Provide easy login and checkout processes
Many customers don’t want to create an account for a website that they may visit infrequently. After all, most people already have enough passwords and login IDs to manage.
Always offer your customers the opportunity to check out as a guest as a matter of convenience. You can also supply login methods through their Facebook, Google, or other established accounts.
For most ecommerce sites, there are two primary times in the purchase process to ask a customer to create an account. These are before starting the checkout process and at the end of the process.
Even if a customer opted to checkout as a guest, the customer has already provided all relevant contact information to create an account through the checkout page. After the transaction is finalized, offer the option to create an account with your online store simply by setting up a password.
For both the account creation and checkout processes, it’s best to make the forms only require the minimum amount of information. For example, don’t ask for a customer’s middle name if it’s not needed.
9. Promote your ecommerce business on a daily basis
Online promotion is essential for driving traffic and sales. The opportunities for online marketing are tremendous and include everything from regular newsletters to paid advertising, social media marketing, and more.
Because of the importance in establishing a regular stream of targeted traffic, your ecommerce website should be promoted in various ways on a daily basis.
Start to create a detailed marketing plan today so that you can expand the reach of your business strategically!
10. Invest in SEO
Search engines can bring a tremendous amount of traffic to your ecommerce website organically, but this isn’t achieved overnight. Investing resources in search engine optimization (SEO) upfront can yield impressive results months for your online store down the road.
Once your website achieves a top ranking for targeted keywords, you’ll likely be able to enjoy a regular stream of traffic. The best part is that you won’t have to work for this consistent traffic daily after putting in the initial SEO work.
11. Test frequently to determine what works and what doesn’t
There are no hard and fast rules for determining how to grow and manage an ecommerce website. The features and processes that help some stores engaging in internet commerce may not be as beneficial for your business.
Whether you’re introducing new products or managing your SEO campaigns and other marketing efforts, you must collect and analyze data to find what works best for you.
The ability to obtain accurate data and to comprehensively analyze that data on a regular basis will steer you toward improved operational management. It’ll also aid you in making smart business decisions throughout the life of your online business.
As soon as you launch your ecommerce business, your attention will turn to growing your business and producing an excellent profit. Each of these website management tips plays an essential role in achieving those goals. Keep them in mind as you look for ways to improve your efforts and to better serve your ecommerce customers!