While ecommerce proprietors everywhere are interested in growing their businesses, many only make tiny cosmetic changes rather than examining the four pillars of long-term ecommerce success. Sure, a website redesign can increase interest in your brand for a while, but it has to reflect what customers really want.
Let’s be clear: While there is no failsafe recipe for ecommerce success (to mix our metaphors), there are a handful of tried-and-true ingredients to improve your operations. The best thing you can do is mix and match these suggestions. With enough practice, you’ll find the perfect combination for sustaining long-term success.
Employ a Good Platform Provider
First things first, you must have a stable and reliable website to serve your customers. Some proprietors decide to build their ecommerce sites from scratch, others hire an agency to do it for them. The problem with these methods is the former is time consuming and clunky, while the latter is time consuming and expensive.
Instead, a lot of owners are finding success with website builders like Shopify. Working this way makes it incredibly easy to conduct business like selling your furniture online free from the worries of backend coding, payment processing and other concerns because those features are already built in.
Embrace Social Media Marketing
Ecommerce is about more than just making sales online, it’s also about connecting with customers in a meaningful way. Social media is a perfect venue for this as it is ideal for announcing your latest product launches, flash sales and holiday discounts. Even better, sites like Facebook and Instagram enable two-way conversations between brands and consumers. This could take the form of an online contest where you encourage followers to share photos of themselves wearing or using your merchandise. Similarly, you can get information from your followers about their favorite aspects of your ecommerce store; think of it as cheap market research.
Listen to Customer Feedback
Once you have gathered market research on your target audience via social media, customer surveys, or data analysis, you have to actually put the intel into action. This might be easier said than done because customers are fickle. One shopper might say they love your products, but wishes they were made with sturdier materials. Another shopper might disagree, saying things are pricey enough already without adding the expense of higher quality materials. It’s up to you to make the final decision in these instances.
Other times customers just want to be heard. A tiny complaint about shipping requirements can fester into a social media flame war about your poor customer service. Always address concerns early to see if there’s anything you can do to fix the situation. This helps more than you can imagine.
Increase Customer Conversions
Here’s a big one: increasing customer conversions. There are literally dozens of ways to achieve this. You can increase your sales and your customer base by spending a greater amount of time on social media. Another idea is to compress your website images so webpages load faster; after all, customers tend to abandon sites with load times exceeding 3.5 seconds.
Good design can also play a huge role in customer conversions. There is a whole world of discussion surrounding how colors motivate shoppers. For example, a red “SALE” button drives customers to buy more, while a green or blue background is very calming and might cause a shopper to spend more time on your site.
Observing these four pillars of long term ecommerce success will position your business for exponential growth if you stay abreast of industry developments and implement smart changes when they’re needed.