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ecommerce-things

Article Contributed by Kunjal Panchal

So your brand name is huge and you sell some of the coolest stuff online? That may not be enough to run an e-commerce store successfully.

Modern consumers are increasingly tech savvy and want to have the best online shopping experience every time they visit your website. Further, they also expect brands to provide them with exceptional customer service before, during and after they make a purchase.

This sounds familiar and almost every brand promises to fulfill every customer demand, but actually doing so is easier said than done. Regardless of how big or small your brand is, your e-commerce store needs to cater to specific needs of online customers.

This post highlights a few factors that brands need to be mindful of when selling through their e-store.

  1. Interesting and Engaging Website Content

We live in times when a visually-appealing website with high-quality products to sell is the norm, which is why it is important to exceed these expectations. This is the most effective way to stand out from the crowd, especially when the Internet is inundated with e-stores from every brand. Providing your customers with valuable and engaging content can help you do so.

An increasing number of businesses are employing content to capture new audiences as this has proven to be an effective way to not only get them to engage with the brand, but also strike an emotional connect and earn their trust.

There is a difference between content and good content, and you want to strive for the latter. Good content is fresh, unique, informative, and even inspirational and insightful. It will help you acquire new customers and retain them in the long term. It can be presented in various formats such as blogs, press release, white papers, social media posts, infographics, videos, podcasts, advertisements, and so on. Brand managers will only gain from using different forms of content (in a consistent manner) to tell their brand’s story.

  1. Responsive Design

Not convinced about why your e-commerce website needs to have a responsive design? Here are a few statistics that may change your mind:

  • Between December 2013 and December 2015, tablet Internet consumption grew by 30%.
  • Between December 2013 and December 2015, smartphone Internet consumption grew by 78%.
  • Between December 2013 and December 2015, desktop Internet consumption dropped by 1%.
  • Mobile devices now account for nearly 2 of every 3 minutes spent online.
  • 13% of adults access the Internet via mobile only. 11% access the Internet via desktop only.
  • 40% of smartphone and tablet owners search for B2B products on those devices.

A responsive website looks great and performs flawlessly on all devices. Having a responsive design comes with another advantage: your website will rank better in Google search. If you really want to attract more traffic to your site and increase conversions, you need to have a responsive e-commerce website.  

  1. Social Media Readiness

Is your brand social media savvy? Is it sufficiently present and visible on social networks? If not, then you may want to work on changing that. That’s because 71% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase based on social media referrals.

Other studies in the recent past have also indicated that social media does influence shopping decisions. Also, it serves as a great platform that facilitates interaction between brands and customers. People find it easier to trust unbiased advice from their friends/real-life users of a product/service than believe what paid endorsements try to sell.

Recent findings by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC) revealed that 22,618 digital buyers aged 18 years and older. Respondents had shopped online at least once in the past year. Nearly half (45%) of digital buyers worldwide said that reading reviews, comments and feedback on social media influenced their digital shopping behavior.

Not being present on social media will only limit your progress. The truth is that social media has become an essential part of e-commerce because it infuses the much-needed collaborative element in the buying-selling process. Underestimate the power of social media at your own peril!

  1. Multiple Payment Options

Modern tech-savvy customers know that they have the ultimate power to decide exactly how they want to pay for their purchased goods/services. In fact, they expect to be given options as per their preferred modes of payment. At the same time, customers also want to choose the payment option based on the merchant. It is, therefore, best to satisfy diverse preferences with multiple payment methods.

Brands need to be open to accepting payments through credits cards, debit cards, PayPal transactions, mobile payments, mobile wallets, Bitcoin payments, direct deposits, and so on.

  1. Faster and Free Shipping

Did you know shipping charges kill conversions? 28% of shoppers will abandon their shopping cart if presented with unexpected shipping costs.

Customers, today, are impatient and want to shop from websites that can deliver their orders as soon as possible. Their buying decision is greatly influenced by whether or not their purchase will be delivered on time. If they find they the delivery will take time, they prefer to head to the brick-and-store and buy their (preferred or similar) product, rather than wait for the item(s) to be shipped.

To mitigate this, many brands have introduced same-day delivery and guaranteed overnight postage (where possible). Amazon is planning to introduce Amazon Prime Air for deliveries in the future. It is believed that this technology will involve autonomously flying individual packages to customers’ doorsteps within 30 minutes of ordering (certain terms and conditions apply).

  1. Flash Sales

This is a growing trend among most progressive e-commerce websites and has more to do with website offerings than features. Customers, especially those that buy impulsively, love great deals and often snap up goods/services, even if they’d never thought of buying them previously at all. The roaring success of trends such as Cyber Monday is testimony to the effectiveness of flash sales.

Conclusion

Having an e-commerce store can open up tremendous opportunities for brands, which is why it is important to know and understand the elements that facilitate the buying process. Earlier, only the big players made used of this online channel to enhance their bottom line, but things have changed today. Small businesses can also capitalize on this channel and make the most of the platform. The above pointers can go a long way in helping brands run their e-store successfully.

Author Bio:

Kunjal Panchal is a Digital Marketer at E2M, the fastest growing digital marketing agency in India. She is a social media geek, a complete foodie and enjoys trying varied cuisines. A perfect day for her consists of reading her favorite author with a hot cuppa coffee.


 
 
 

 
 

1 Response to 6 Things about E-Commerce That Brands Need to Know

ash

November 15th, 2016 at 3:04 pm

Great! Thanks for the information!

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