E-commerce tips for businesses

Whether you’ve just set up an e-commerce website or you’ve been trading for years, here are some tips for improving your online sales:


1. Pick the right software: There are many ways to develop e-commerce sites and its important to know which software will work best with your website.  Specifically created e-commerce software such as Magento is ideal for online selling because of its various functions, including voucher codes, multiple shipping options, best sellers, etc.

2. Invest in a strong design: Imagine walking into a shop on the High Street where the floors are littered with clothing, products are strewn on the shelves, and paint is peeling off the walls.  Chances are you’d walk out quickly and take your custom elsewhere.  Why? The company’s unwillingness to properly invest in a shop may indicate a similar attitude towards its overall business practices, leaving you, and other customers a bit wary of their products and services.  The same can be applied to e-commerce websites. In order to gain visitor interest and sell products your site has to offer an environment customers feel comfortable with. This includes a properly designed and developed website that offers an easy-to-navigate layout, well-written text, and a safe payment system.  The website itself is just as important as the products you offer and the investment needs to be taken seriously.

3. Know your audience: Just because anyone can access your website doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a target audience.  Ideally your visitors should become purchasers, and knowing who they are will allow you to tailor your website to meet their needs.  You’ll need to consider whether the site should include a language translator, currency converter, and international shipping options.

4. Offer something different: There are millions of e-commerce sites out there and they are all at the fingertips of your customers, so make your business stand out.  Make sure you have something unique to sell, whether you offer competitive prices, unique products, or outstanding services, let visitors know why you beat out your competitors and why they should keep coming back.

5. Showcase your products: Customers want to know exactly what they’re getting before they order a product, so make sure you give them as much information as possible.  A good product image will work wonders, so use large high-quality images to show customers exactly what they’re buying and help them feel more at ease.   Zoom options and images from various angles are also great for showing off your products.  And don’t forget the content–a well-written product description is concise and gives an overview of that item.

6. Promote different products: Whether you regularly add to your product catalogue or carry a consistent line of merchandise, showcasing different items on a regular basis will help keep your site fresh, improve sales, and increase visits to your site. Use images or call-to-action graphics to direct people around the site and introduce them to products they might not have considered.  Additionally, including some special offers is a great way to gain customer attention and keep them coming back to your site.

7. Be tough on security: Before any customer buys from your website they want to feel confident in their transaction, so make sure your security is top notch.  E-commerce sites that don’t use a secure payment system will struggle to keep their credibility, so use a payment option that people recognise.  Display relevant security badges on your website to assure visitors that you have taken the right steps to keep their data safe. Also, make sure your customer details are encrypted and stored in a secure area.  By ensuring your website meets security standards, you can focus more on improving your business and its services.

8. Develop your customer service: Your company’s privacy policy, return policy, shipping policy, and terms & conditions should be displayed on your website and accessible to visitors.  The easier it is to find this information, the less frustrated your customers will get, so take time to locate the pages in logical places.  Any feedback or complaints should be handled quickly and professionally. Avoid sending out anonymous replies by personalising responses and addressing their specific concern.  If you have a phone number listed on your website, make sure a person answers your phone rather than a machine.  Without some sort of human interaction somewhere in the process, customers may get annoyed and not make anymore purchases from your website.  If you lose them it will be hard to get them back.

9. Promote your site: Before anyone buys from your e-commerce site, they need to know about it, so spread the word.  Search Engine Optimisation and Pay Per Click advertisements can help you get noticed. Social networks like Twitter and Facebook will help you develop relationship with your clients while giving you another platform to market yourself.  Also, a blog on your website allows you to publish company news and promotions in a friendly and interactive manner.  Using these platforms allows your customers to feel as though they have a connection to your company in an otherwise anonymous environment.

10. Analytics: Once a website is up and running, you can keep track of its traffic with Google Analytics.  You’ll be able to find out who is coming to your site, how long they are staying, what they are looking at, and where they came from.  This information will help you know more about your audience and what works (or doesn’t work) on your site.  You’ll also be able to track your online marketing to see how effective it is in sending people to your site.

Interested in setting up an e-commerce website?  Our team are experts in designing and developing secure e-commerce solutions to help your business grow.  For more information give us a call on 0116 254 9888.

Find out more about our e-commerce sites for Diamonds & Rings and Pex.