17 Oct 10 tips for ecommerce
1. Make your products easy to find. Your shopping cart software comes with the ability to set up categories so it’s wise to take advantage of that. Making it easy for customers to find your products will enhance their shopping experience.
2. Make payment processing easy. Let your customers pay you in multiple ways – bank transfers, simple payment systems like PayPal or Paymex, or through online payment gateways (which allow credit card processing in real time and keep customers on your site through the payment process). The more payment processing options you can accept, the better.
3. Don’t forget to promote your site. Setting up a great site with a cool domain name is one thing, but how will your customers know about it? Think about purchasing a SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) ecommerce add-on so you can use friendly names in your URLs which are easier indexed by search engines, and better remembered by customers. Submit your domain name and URL to the search engines about every six weeks to make sure they keep coming back. And if you have a marketing budget, put your domain name on your flyers, business cards, shop front, posters, newspaper ads and everything else. Banner ads and affiliate programmes could also help you.
4. Add your personality to your site. Give your potential customers a real sense of who you are, where you’re based and what you believe in. Include a photo of your office if you have one and physical contact details. Impersonal or missing About Us pages could prevent you from achieving sales. Anything you can do to bring a sense of personality to your site through your About us page or the way you write your descriptions, could help your site be memorable. Include links to your privacy and returns policy.
5. Ask customers if they would like to sign up for a newsletter – but only after a sale is made. Customers hate having the sale process interrupted to answer questions – if you annoy your customers as they go through the checkout, they’re less likely to be satisfied by the sale experience.
6. Let people know how to contact you offline: If something goes wrong and customers want to be able to contact you, they’ll want to know somewhere to write or a phone number to call. If you don’t include this information in your site, they could be wary of buying from you.
7. Display good quality, large photos of your products. Would you buy something in a supermarket by only looking at it from across the aisle? Putting good quality, higher resolution images of your products on your site can be time consuming, but well worth it as your customers will probably want to see what they are getting. Make sure the photos show the products in their best possible light.
8.Try creating packages of items: Pre-made packages suited to particular customer groups or occasions can help sell your products and move less popular items. Put yourself in your customer’s mind and think interesting and appealing names for your package. Sell it at a slightly discounted price than purchasing the individual items that make up the package. If you sell packages, try to sell ‘light’ or simplified versions of your products – this works well if you sell electronic products like books, reports or music.
9. Purchase a cross sell module: Accessories are a great money-spinner for retail stores, so why not take advantage of them on your site too? If you purchase an ecommerce add-on for your site that allows cross selling functionality, you could increase your average sale amount for every customer who goes through the check-out. A simple ‘you might also like these products’ could help
10. Get your site ready for the holidays early: Traffic’s up during the holiday season, so get it coming to your site. Email your top 20 or 50 customers with a discount coupon, or suggest items they may be interested. If you hold stock for your site, start purchasing it now to make sure you have extras in time for the holiday season. Look out for wholesale options.