Five E-commerce Best Practices for Today’s Global Merchants

We hear about it a lot, “The reign of brick and mortar retail stores is ending.” Today, the e-Commerce industry is the crowning glory, ruling the global market unlike ever before.

To put it in numbers, the four-year bankruptcy count now sits at 57 of once considered landmark retail chains. Manufacturing market share and in-store sales for consumer packaged goods are flat or declining. Online “microbrands” have devoured the lion’s share of growth, as e-Commerce’s gains continue to trounce retail as a whole.

With the online retail industry growing at such a rapid pace, merchants all around the world are actively working towards standing out from the rest. The truth of the matter is, if you want to be recognized, you need to step up your game, and here’s how.

SAFETY AND TRUST GOES A LONG WAY

Customers are putting in their money, and they do not want to take risks. If your website feels ‘un-secure’, then chances are your visitors will leave just as quickly as they landed on your site. Get a safety certification, and display your safety badge. Additionally, include contact details. A physical address can work wonders as well. This way, customers know that should there be any mishap, they can reach out to you.

Reviews are another great way to gain the trust of customers. If someone loves your product or service and tells others about it, you’re instantly building trust, as well as word of mouth marketing. This is social proof at its best. Humans tend to follow the herd, and they believe what the larger group says.

EYE CATCHING IMAGES AND VIDEOS

We’ve touched on this in a previous post titled Ten Quick And Effective E-commerce Sales Optimization Tactics, however, we can’t stress this enough. You know what they say – a picture says a thousand words (videos, more so). Go ahead and make your website eye-catching with great images and videos, but make sure they are relevant. We live in the age of visual culture. Images are everywhere. Which is why social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are flying. Research suggests that websites or articles with images, get 94% more total views, as opposed to the ones that do not have images. So go ahead and deck up your website with some great images or videos of your product or service. However, the quality of the images and videos is important as well. Nearly 67% of online shoppers believe or trust images that are of good quality. Invest in a good photo op, and watch your sales fly.

SHOW THEM YOU CARE

Sure, we’re talking about e-Commerce but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be available for your customers. All customers love to be taken care of, so you have to be there for them if you want to succeed. So how do you do this? Enhance the customer experience by offering Live Chat Support. This way, you can address customer grievances as and when necessary. Also, try and be available on call at all times. To make your life a little easier, you could add a section that answers a few FAQs as well. Do a survey to figure out what the most commonly asked questions and issues are. This way, the customers can just skim through the list and solve their problems.

DID YOU SAY FREE SHIPPING?

Over 55% online customers, that is more than half, abandon their shopping carts the minute they know that shipping charges are included. Everyone loves free stuff, and somehow, the customer mind set these days is that shipping should be free. Bearing the shipping costs might seem to be weighing heavy on your pockets but the rise in sales will eventually help you out. However, while this can be applied to several retail goods, there are a few that you cannot practically apply it to. Weigh out your options and see what works best for your business.

MAKE EVERY MOMENT COUNT

How many times have you visited a website, and left due to slow loading speeds? No one has time for a slow loading website! Two seconds. That is how much time 47% of online customers give a website to load. You or I do not have time or patience, in a world that is so fast-moving. Invest in a good website developer to make sure that your online portal is quick to load. Optimize your images, reduce the number of plugins, reduce redirects, minimize HTTP requests, enable compression, and reduce the server response time to ensure fast loading.

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