Month: June 2013

ecommerce-tipsAre you hoping to start your own online business? No matter what you are selling, running a successful e-commerce business requires dedication, hard work and a solid strategy. Not only do you need to drive traffic to your website, you also need to create a simple and effective shopping experience to keep your customers coming back for more. Here are a few things you should be implementing with your online business.

Products

Although this seems obvious, the first thing you need to do is get a great product. Make sure what you are providing is going to have a large demand and is of high quality. You could have the most exciting website but without an amazing product to back it up, your website will soon fail. Once you have your product, come up with some fresh and engaging content to go on you site.

After content, photographs are the most important thing. People want to see what they are buying and, if your customers are like me, they won’t buy unless they know exactly what they are getting. A photo gives you an indication of this and entices users to purchase the product. You also want to include detailed product descriptions with all of the important information such as size and colour.

Usability

You want your customer to be able to find what they are after with ease. Whether they are looking for their size if you are selling clothing or a particular item, they want to find it quickly without going through pages of products. This may mean including a search function on your website. You may want to include a section that details what other customers who purchased the same products also bought.

By including all of the relevant information in the right place, you will increase your potential for successful sales and minimise your inquiries. Make sure you create FAQ, Shipping and Returns pages as these are going to be essential to users. Include contact information as this not only builds credibility but will help you take care of customers easier.

Customers

Draw in customers using every avenue you have available. Take advantage of social media and run regular promotions throughout the year. Use analytics to see where your traffic from and what they are searching for. This will help you determine whether your strategy needs tweaking. Once you get them on the page, make sure you are doing what you can to get them to stay.

Clear call to action buttons such as ‘order here’ are important. Think about size, colour and positioning as this will dramatically affect your conversion rate. Avoid lengthy sign up forms and simply ask for an email and password. You can also allow guest users to purchase products without the need to sign up; you can then ask them later on. This will avoid potential customers getting to the checkout before deciding it’s too time consuming and go elsewhere. Making shopping easy and deliver great products and they are sure to sign up.

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best online shoppingWhile the convenience and affordability of online shopping is undeniable, there are some instances where it may not be the best option. Good old fashioned shopping can still have its perks and can be a great day out. If you are wondering whether you should be taking a trip to the shops or getting your PayPal account ready, here’s some information for you.

Firstly, consider why you want to shop online. If you trying to find items you haven’t been able to find in local stores, going online is a great option. If it is simply for money savings however, you may want to consider whether shopping online is going to give you the results you want. Sometimes, without realising, purchasing goods from websites is actually more expensive.

Shipping fees are the massive difference between online shopping and retail stores. While you may find an amazing bargain online, the shipping fee required to get it to you can actually cancel out any of the savings you managed. Going after those small items under $10 may not be worth it either if you have to pay a shipping fee on top of it.

Sometimes if you are looking for larger goods such as home appliances, it may be worth checking shops. Often if you are willing to pay cash you can haggle over price – this isn’t an option with online shopping.

However, if you can find it at the right price, some online stores offer free shipping if you spend over a certain amount.

If you’re after clothes, going to the store itself might be beneficial. Often there will have great sales if they have too much merchandise you’re also able to try it on. This is great for those who require difference sizes depending on the material. This can be great as sometimes images don’t give a clear indication of what it looks like on.

If you’re someone who considers themselves to be a little impatient going to your local shops may be the best option. While online shopping can give you some truly amazing deals, the downside is you have to wait for it to be delivered which can take weeks. If you’re last minute shopping for that weekend party outfit or gift, go to the store and get it straight away.

On the other hand, online shopping offer perks to those who don’t have the time to spend in shops and those who have busy schedules. Getting your groceries delivered to your door for example can be really handy for many households. Often brick and mortar retail stores offer an online version as well.

You also have the perks of being able to get everything you need from your mobile phone or laptop without having to leave your home or office.

Going online can be great for holidays, accommodation and experiences like scuba diving or rally car driving. There are plenty of deals sites out there that can give as much as 90% off of the original price. Sign up to deal websites and you can get regular emails on great products at really cheap prices.

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