Starting an e-commerce business is becoming all the more common these days. But simply creating a website and making products available for purchase on-line is not enough. In order to run a successful store on the internet there are many things you can do to have both you and your customer reap the rewards.
First pretend you’re the customer and think like them. Organize your site well and place your products in more than one category. Consider up sell and cross sell opportunities by offering products that make logical sense together. For example, if you sell baby furniture such as cribs, show the best accessories for these cribs whether they be toddler rails or crib bedding. If you sell a line of products that have a wide range of prices, show the progression from the least expensive to the most expensive. Customers may choose to purchase the higher priced items if they’re presented as options.
Use photos of your products and go easy on the text. Pictures really are worth a thousand words. Online usability studies suggest that people tend to scan. Maintain compelling product descriptions alongside your product offerings, but do not be too wordy. Bullet point the information you need to give.
Make your site information clear and easy to navigate. Keep the process simple. If you have too many steps to view or purchase many people can become frustrated and abandon their search and shopping cart. Successful e-commerce sites make products easy to find, display clear pricing and shipping information and simplify the checkout process. Have contact information such as phone numbers easily available. Post clear return policies and access to customer service. Studies suggest that consumers feel more confident knowing you’re just a phone call away if they have a question or if there’s a problem with their order.
Online shoppers need a way to give you money online. Payment processing should also be simple. You can accept credit card payments with either a PayPal account or an online merchant account or both. The easier you make the transaction – the better for both you and your customer.
Lastly, market your website. You need to make an effort to promote your e-commerce store to new and existing customers. Optimize your site’s content for relevance and submit it to the major search engines. Collect e-mail addresses on your site to help you keep in touch with customers.
The e-commerce businesses that follow these tips can benefit in two ways: People purchase more and they experience greater overall satisfaction with the web site.