According to industry experts, the UK e-commerce industry topped more than £133 billion in 2016. That figure is set to rise even higher this year, and so now is the best time to get involved in the marketplace. All retailers, regardless of the products they sell, should aim to make headway online if they haven’t done so already. There are many benefits to launching an e-commerce site, but the most important one is that brands can sell to customers all over the world. With that in mind, there are also a lot of common mistakes entrepreneurs make when investing in the strategy. Hopefully, the seven simple suggestions published below will assist business owners in avoiding the pitfalls and getting things right first time around.
Avoid these website mistakes
There are lots of errors people make when it comes to designing their ecommerce website. In most instances, using a free site builder is a terrible idea. That is because consumers have come to expect a level of professionalism when they spend money. Anyone over the age of ten will manage to spot an amateur design a mile away. So, be sure to employ the services of a dedicated development firm with an excellent track record. Most specialist designers will publish portfolios and testimonials online. That means the process of sorting the wheat from the chaff and identifying the best brand shouldn’t take a long time. Entrepreneurs will also want to avoid the following:
- Making the site too complicated
- Using too many different colors
- Publishing too much information
- Failing to release enough information
- Not choosing a catchy domain name
Create stunning product listing pages
Anyone who struggles with this concept just needs to search Google for articles that offer tips. However, this section should make the perfect starting point for that research. Just take a moment to browse e-commerce sites like Amazon for inspiration. Entrepreneurs should notice that all products benefit from professional images and well-written descriptions. People who don’t have impeccable English grammar skills should do themselves a favor by employing the services of a talented freelancer. There are lots of websites where anyone can list writing jobs for little expense. Ensure the content is alluring but to the point for the best results. The biggest expenses include:
- Purchasing photography equipment
- Investing in editing software
- Paying freelance writers
Protect the website as much as possible
Thousands of hackers make their money from stealing information online. E-commerce sites are often the best targets because consumers have to enter their billing information. It’s vital that all business owners take precautions to ensure it’s impossible for a criminal to spy on the process and sell the details for profit. There are also some IT risks people will have to consider relating to ex-staff members. Employees who used to work for the company will often know many important passwords. For that reason, it’s sensible to get some advice from IT support professionals on the best security procedures. The last thing any retailer needs is for a disgruntled ex-worker to take their frustrations out on the company.
In most instances, the best strategies for protecting a website involve:
- Keeping all software up to date
- Changing passwords weekly
- Not allowing visitors to upload anything
Drive traffic to the site using PPC advertising
PPC advertising is a Godsend for retailers who operate e-commerce sites. The process is straightforward, and it’s possible to target internet users based on many different criteria. Entrepreneurs just need to conduct a lot of market research to ensure they know some basic facts about their customers. In most situations, those who know the ages, sexes, interests, and locations of the people they want to reach will have no trouble achieving their goal. The most popular PPC tool at the moment is Google Adwords, but there are plenty of others available, and so business owners just need to read as much as possible about different services. The benefits of PPC advertising include:
- Quick to implement
- Easy to measure and track
- Works alongside other marketing channels
- Provides the company with lots of useful data
Provide multiple secure payment methods
Internet users like to pay for their shopping in many different ways. With that in mind, it’s vital that e-commerce site owners try to accommodate all of the most popular methods. Just be sure to keep the pages secure so nobody can steal information. At the very least, retailers will want to accept:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- BitCoin and other cryptocurrencies
- Apple Pay
If entrepreneurs manage to add all of those payment solutions to their websites, they should miss out on fewer sales than they otherwise would have done. Just don’t forget the fact that there are often fees involved when withdrawing funds from PayPal and other accounts. It’s crucial that business owners factor those costs into their budgets.
Use live chat to deal with customer issues
Customer service is one of the most significant problems in the success of most businesses these days. Companies that fail to give consumers the support they desire will always struggle to make a profit. One person who has a bad experience might write about their problem on Facebook or another social media site. With a few days, the brand might develop a bad reputation, and that’s often difficult to turn around. So, all retailers must go the extra mile when it comes to dealing with queries and complaints. While all firms should provide telephone numbers and email addresses, savvy entrepreneurs might want to go a step further. Adding a live chat tool to the site will mean visitors can get in touch in real time. That should stop people from looking elsewhere if they encounter a stumbling block.
Here are some of the most frequently used live chat solutions, but there are plenty of others:
- Zoho SalesIQ
Just contact the web design team and ask them to install something suitable as soon as possible. Business owners will then have to train some staff members to sit at the computers and answer the requests.
Add all email addresses to a mailing list
Every time a consumer enters their details into the website to make a purchase, they will include their email address. It makes sense for retailers to automatically add those details to a mailing list database unless the individual wants to opt out. With a bit of luck, company bosses can then use that list to send bulk mail shots and increase website traffic on demand. Just try to avoid sending too much spam because customers will unsubscribe if they become annoyed. A couple of emails each week should be more than enough to create the desired results. Include information about the latest deals and offers or new products. Also, ensure all images link to website pages. The best mailing list tools available right now are:
- Constant Contact
Entrepreneurs just need to read as many reviews as possible to ensure they invest in the right product for their brand and circumstances.
Those seven simple e-commerce suggestions should be more than enough to help retailers make a start in the online marketplace. Of course, there is always more to learn, and so readers should take the time to check out some of the other articles on this blog before they leave. Some people might also benefit from employing the services of a business advisor with lots of experience in this subject. Those professionals charge a fee for their time, but it’s worth the investment to get the most accurate and up-to-date information possible.
Now, get out there and make a killing!