E-commerce is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. One of the main benefits of this concept is that it allows small business retailers to compete with the big retail chains. You can easily run an e-commerce operation from your home with one personal computer and a garage or self-storage for stacking the ordered goods.
If you already have a location-based store, the build-up of successful e-commerce operations will be even simpler. Most small business retail stores already have storage capacities, so you just need to find a personal computer and a solid internet connection. You can develop an e-commerce scheme while working your shifts in the store, or you can hire professional web designers to build an online store that will attract visitors and provide them with an easy and satisfying shopping experience.
Know your resources
The e-commerce concept opens many doors for small business retailers. It allows them to sell their goods to shoppers from other cities, regions, and countries. Many business owners get so amazed by these new benefits that they overestimate the resources they have and start building huge online stores that require complex maintenance and a team of web and UX designers. If you run a small retail store, you probably don’t have too much money to spare. The best way to enter the digital market is by placing your store within a larger online platform or by creating a simple e-commerce website.
Provide the best experience
Customer experience brings you customers in a location-based retail business, and it is equally important in e-commerce. The difference is that in online retail, the overall customer experience doesn’t depend on the smile on the salesperson’s face or the tone of their voice but on the store’s practicality and the amount of information shared on the product pages. Since more than 70% of online shoppers access online stores from their phones, your website should have a responsive design and layout. Spotless and easy navigation is the cornerstone of an online store’s user experience. Your visitors shouldn’t have a problem with finding products and categories they are interested in, and the checkout process should be easy enough to be finished in just a few clicks.
Offer real-time support
Even the easiest and the most informative online stores have visitors who can’t find the desired product or can’t figure out the checkout process. That’s why you should always be available to your potential customers. Offer them support and be fast, before they leave your page. In this case, you shouldn’t rely on email communication, because it is slow and ineffective. The best channels for providing real-time support are live chat apps, conversation apps, and social networks. Conversation apps are great because they allow customers to contact you for free at any time. Live chat is also great, but you need to keep your app open at all times. If you chose to provide the support through social media, opt for Twitter or some other similar network with a fast news feed that runs in real time.
Follow your operation closely through analytics
It doesn’t matter whether you are running your store on the e-commerce platform or your own website, you should improve your sales with the use of analytics and advanced audience targeting. There are many free analytic tools, like Google Analytics, that offer a wide variety of customization options. Before you start following your sales on some analytic platform, make yourself familiar with the concept and read e-commerce analytics guides that will help you determine the most effective parameters and use them for improving your operation.
Make your product pages colorful
We have already mentioned the importance of sharing information on product pages. These pages serve as a salesperson in the online purchasing process. They should contain plenty of information about the products and the link to the manufacturer’s page so that visitors can find out more information about the production process.
In addition to the textual information, retailers should also make their product pages more colorful with high-resolution and 360-degree photos, videos and graphics. For example, if you sell backpacks, you can share a video that explains to your customers how to use their storage space in the best way or a graphic made out of drawings of items you can store in the backpack. This way, you will share practical advice that concerns your product and shows off the huge amount of storage space it comes with.
E-commerce continues to grow, and large companies have started to invest a lot of money in creating fancy online stores that offer the perfect experience to customers. That is why you should enter the game as fast as possible and create a large customer base because the market is becoming more competitive and if you wait too long, you won’t be able to make your business stand out.
Author Bio: Emma Miller is a digital marketer from Sydney. Works as a blogger, Senior Editor for Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends.