While selling on platforms like eBay or Amazon may seem like the easier way, creating your own e-commerce website is always a preferable option. Apart from the obvious reason of cutting out the middleman, you are also branding your business and providing your products with more legitimacy. Still, just making an e-store is not enough for success. In order to get there, you need to learn the rules of the game. With this in mind, here are top four tips that can ensure your e-commerce platform is on the right path from day one.
1. Don’t despair over high shopping cart abandonment
A lot of people in the e-commerce business obsess about the issue of shopping cart abandonment. However, you should be aware that about 17 percent of all people who leave your store are just conducting research and plan to return at a later date. Dismissing all of them simply because they left without making a purchase is a preposterous concept, which sometimes makes people eager to fix problems that aren’t there in the first place.
On the other hand, not a single person from these 17 percent will return if they find a better offer elsewhere. In order to make them come back, you need to make sure that A) your prices are competitive and B) you offer special shipping offers. These two ideas alone can be enough to propel you to the very forefront of the industry.
2. Focus on the visual
Think about traditional resale for a moment. Even with live-testing and showcasing, the only way for you to check the quality of the product is to buy it and test it yourself. So, how do people try to evaluate which product is the better quality one? Well, sometimes they look at the brand name, other times, they read reviews. Some people look at the price, assuming that the more expensive product is always of higher quality. In most cases, however, the product that looks better tends to be evaluated as the superior one. Therefore, you need to focus on the visuals.
For an e-store, this means creating quality photography and knowing how to present your products in the best way possible. Needless to say, for this, you need someone who is both an artist and a marketer. You would be surprised at just how much of a difference flatlay photography can make for the appeal of your products. On the other hand, when selling a clothing item, you can achieve much more with the ghost mannequin technique. It’s all about creating a context.
3. Be transparent about your prices
Even though tricking people by making your prices appear lower might compel them to make a purchase, you can achieve so much more by being transparent about your prices. One of the tactics that often gets used by e-commerce retailers is showing the price without the tax and the cost of shipping. Earlier on, we talked about the shopping cart abandonment rate. Well, about 25 percent of all people who leave your store without making a purchase do so over an unexpected shipping cost.
Being transparent about your prices might lose you some one-time patrons, however, it also stands to earn you some repeat customers. Price transparency boosts your credibility and even increases the overall user experience, and in turn, this causes your audience to come back at a more consistent rate. Seeing as how 40 percent of all your profit is a result of purchases made by only 8 percent of your regulars, this is definitely an idea you shouldn’t underestimate.
4. M-commerce is the future
Finally, you need to keep in mind that mobile users are currently the fastest growing demographic online and, as such, should never be forgotten or neglected. In fact, an average adult spends about 59 percent of their total time online on their phone. Therefore, make sure that your platform is optimized for mobile browsing and shopping. In fact, the simpler the checkout system is, the more appeal your e-commerce website has for your audience.
While having a great product might provide you with a bit smoother start, you need to keep in mind that your price, retail infrastructure and your ability to showcase what you’ve got might carry more weight than the quality of the product itself. Furthermore, you need to learn to accept that sometimes, bad metrics (such as high shopping cart abandonment rate) do not necessarily mean that your business is not on the right track.