E-Commerce has virtually taken over as its demand has sharply increased with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that spread like wildfire just over one year ago.
Now, online shopping isn’t simply just a fun and convenient experience, but a necessity. As we deter away from crowded places to reduce our possible exposure to the virus, we’ve become more dependent on eCommerce for everything from food, household products, and more.
According to recent insights, the overall revenue generated by eCommerce in Ireland is expected to produce an annual growth rate of 6.50%, which will result in a projected market volume of €4,153 million by the year 2025. Additionally, user penetration will be at 70.7% this year in 2021 and is expected to increase to 77.5% by 2025.
Therefore, it’s absolutely essential for every business to have a prominent online presence and a well-designed and responsive website with intuitive navigation. Of course, with the eCommerce world being as competitive as it is, you’re going to need to do a bit more than just have a fancy looking website.
Here are 5 tips for e-commerce success in 2021 – tips for ensuring your business website will be effective in generating more business and increasing sales:
1. Put the User Experience First
Everything we do online is all about the user experience (UX), especially shopping. Moreover, most people use their smartphones and devices more than desktops to do their online shopping.
That means if your website isn’t formatted for mobile devices, your load time is slow, or there are any other lurking vulnerabilities, it’ll have a negative impact on the traffic and sales of your website.
Here are a few things you can do to make the user experience a whole lot better:
- Make Your website mobile-friendly
- Provide easy communication outlets, such as contact forms and 24/7 chatbots
- Keep the text on your website short, sweet, a succinct. Consider using a professional copywriter to communicate your message clearly and efficiently – ecommerce shoppers do not tend to read long paragraphs
- Use clean imagery – show off your product using images and video content
2. Have a Clear Brand Design
Your brand design is essential to your entire business. It’s how your customer base will recognize your products without having to see your name first.
Your brand design serves as the functional and creative element of your online store, i.e., the layout, fonts, background, images, and videos.
There are two primary things you need to keep in mind when it comes to your brand design:
- Don’t overcrowd your website. Your visual appearance is the first impression your first time customers will get when browsing your site. The last thing you want to do is overwhelm them by cluttering their screens with unnecessary images, graphics and animations.
- Lock down your brand identity. Your brand identity is how people will perceive your company. The first thing you need to do is create a professional and engaging logo that will appear throughout each web page, social media page, and on or near all of your products.
3. Drive Traffic – Using Paid Ads & Content Marketing
Not only do you need to provide your customers with an exceptional product, but you also need to get the word out and look to provide value outside of simply the product or service.
Just like a physical shop owner will pay monthly rent for a high footfall location, most successful online retailers run consistent paid social ads and/or search campaigns to drive traffic to their e-commerce site.
The COVID19 Pandemic has seen significant increases in this advertising medium. In 2020 Google advertising Return on Ad Spend (ROAS) doubled, while Facebook was up by two thirds – Wolfgang Digital
Another great way to add value and drive traffic to your website and improve eCommerce success is by including a blog section, the content included will position you as an industry expert. You can leverage this to educate your audience which will gain their trust, thus improving your eCommerce sales.
4. Keep Website Security at the Forefront
If your website isn’t safe to use, you’ll lose a lot of trust and a lot of customers. Even one data breach can set you back immensely.
So, how do you assure your customer base that your website is secure? There are several ways to ensure site security but for the purpose of e-commerce, these two stand out:
- GDPR Compliance. GDPR is central to any discussion about data these days, and for good reason. It is essential to make sure that you are storing customer email lists and data securely as well as making sure you have permission to engage and advertise your product to them.
- SSL Certificate. Ensure your site has an SSL certificate. These small data files that encrypt your website are crucial for user confidence when visiting your site, and a lack of one can result in in-browser warning messages – resulting in significant drop offs in traffic.
5. Be Flexible with Shipping
Shipping rates these days are always an obstacle. Even if someone is willing to spend upwards of €100, an extra €15 in shipping can cause them to abandon their shopping cart.
Slow shipping and delivery can also put customers off since they’re purchasing things they need now.
Here are a few things you can do to stay flexible when it comes to shipping:
- Offer free shipping on certain amounts
- Offer several shipping rate options (which will invariably affect the shipping speed)
- Consider partnering with a trustworthy fulfillment service to ensure fast and efficient shipping times. Fulfillment services enable customers to track their deliveries each step of the way, making both local and international shipping much more transparent. They also streamline the entire shipping process, which greatly reduces shipping issues that cause delays.
These tips are by no means a one-size-fits all, however by testing and tweaking your eCommerce site – the goal is to make sure your site stands out via customer focused UI, clear brand design, security measures, traffic driving content, and diverse shipping options, you’ll be one step closer to ensuring an overall better user experience.