Cate Barnes, Marketing Executive at Citrus-Lime, shares her top 10 tips on how to grow a successful ecommerce website
Growing a successful ecommerce site is one of the key topics we get questions about all the time. It’s quite common for retailers to feel that their website is under performing, with sales that just don’t meet expectations. There’s sometimes a feeling that ecommerce is separate from their bricks and mortar store, rather than supporting it. The best websites work for both online and in-store, boosting sales across both channels.
Here are 10 essential points to growing a successful ecommerce website that supports your physical store.
1. List all your stock
People can’t buy what they can’t see. Your ecommerce website has got to be the online equivalent of somebody walking through your door and taking a look around. They need to see everything nicely displayed and ready to buy.
2. Show accurate stock positions
This builds trust in your business, and means that people are more likely to pop into your shop because they know you have what they need. It’s also essential for click and collect, various marketplace feeds like Amazon and Ebay and for your Google Shopping feed (the most effective online marketing we’ve seen).
3. Get new stock online FAST
Products achieve the best margin at the beginning of the season, when demand is high. This diminishes over time as the season comes to a close, when products achieve their lowest margin. Therefore, the sooner you get products online, the more you can sell in that optimal window of full margin, before sale time kicks in.
4. Keep it simple and easy to use
This means having a mobile-friendly website with a great find and filter function, so it’s easy for shoppers to find what they want.
5. Flexible payment options
It’s also key to make it easy for people to pay however suits them. Do you offer finance, as well as card payments, PayPal and Apple Pay?
6. Click & Collect
The fastest growing trend in ecommerce for a reason. Customers love it, and it works so well for independent retailers, increasing sales online and in store.
7. Flexible delivery options
Research shows that the majority of online shoppers are happy to pay more in order to get their purchase whenever suits them, and they’ll buy from the retailers that can meet that need. Do you offer next day delivery? Saturday? Pre-10am?
8. Pictures and descriptions
Essential for helping browsers make their buying decision, showing multiple pictures and a detailed description helps to build trust in your site, and stops visitors heading to another site for more information.
9. Content optimisation
Get your content in front of those searching for it – essentially, keeping search engines happy.
10. Keep in touch
Reward loyalty, remind people you’re there. Retaining customers is cheaper than acquiring new customers. Give people plenty of reasons to come back to you.