11 Practical Tips to Avoid an eCommerce Crisis - Helping Small Businesses Thrive 11 Practical Tips to Avoid an eCommerce Crisis - Helping Small Businesses Thrive

11 Practical Tips to Avoid an eCommerce Crisis

It’s extremely important to optimize your eCommerce website processes and stay up-to-date with consumer expectations. Review these evidence-based tips so your eCommerce site can avoid problems and ultimately thrive.


1. Allow Social Registration on Your Website

Streamline the action steps a user must take to order from your store. Modern online shoppers don’t want to take the time to register on your website in order to make a purchase. But, if you don’t have their contact information and you can’t track their buying behavior, it’s impossible to deliver an optimized eCommerce experience. So, you need to make registration as simple as possible.

Use a social media login tool to allow your customers to register and login with the click of a button. Doing so will allow users to bypass a tedious registration process while associating your brand with a trustworthy name like Facebook, Twitter, or even Amazon.


2. Simplify Your Checkout Process

Again, the shopping experience should be streamlined. 28% of 1,799 shoppers surveyed abandoned their online cart due to a complicated checkout process. Avoid this by including as few pages as possible and including trust signals in your shopping cart flow. Remember: online shopping is all about convenience.


3. Stop Withholding Information

Just as shoppers need to know whether your products are low or out of stock, they demand to know the final costs of their purchases, upfront. There’s no need to keep secrets, especially since you may only have a shopper’s attention for as little as eight seconds. On all pages, make sure your product price and shipping costs are clearly posted. You’re more likely to generate sales this way.


4. Offer Free Shipping Whenever You Can

Another way to avoid cart abandonment and increase customer loyalty is to offer free shipping. This simplifies the shopping journey for your customers, since they don’t have to do the math to discover whether they’re getting the best deal. There are several ways to offer free shipping.

  1. On all inventory
  2. With a minimum order quantity
  3. For select products
  4. At certain times of year (ex: holidays)
  5. To specific locations
  6. For “members” only
  7. Within loyalty programs
  8. Add shipping fees to product price
  9. On returns

Even if it decreases your profit margin per order, it’s best to offer free shipping whenever you can. This tactic can generate more sales than if you charge shipping costs, which consumers are growing to loathe.


5. Pay Attention to Your Competition

Customers trying to find the best deals are researching where they can get the fastest service and best prices on the highest quality products. If you aren’t monitoring your eCommerce competitors, you’re giving away potential sales to someone else. So, follow your competitors on social media, subscribe to their newsletters, and follow their prices and marketing strategies to avoid falling behind.


6. Monitor Reviews of Your Brand

While you’re monitoring your competition, don’t let your own brand reviews fall to the wayside. People are communicating online, and they have a lot to teach you. Let negative reviews be your guide to doing more of what people love and making improvements to the aspects of your business that aren’t working. Use tools designed to monitor brand mentions on social media, review websites like Yelp, and more. Engage with the customers giving both positive and negative reviews of your brand. [Source]


7. Use Software to Track Your Product Stock

Manual inventory management is slow, energy-consuming, and riddled with human mistakes, which can lead to unhappy customers. Yet, nearly half of small businesses still use these tactics. Tracking your product stock using an inventory management app will help you create an informed shopping experience, save you time and money, and help you avoid excessive refunds on out-of-stock orders.


8. Sell Your Products Across Multiple Channels

If you’re only selling on your branded website, you’re missing out on a tremendous amount of potential sales. By taking an omnichannel approach to retail, you open doors that would otherwise be locked.


9. Run Frequent Web Page Speed Tests

Your product pages should load in just a few seconds. If they don’t, shoppers are more likely to move away from your website and many of them will never return. So, use a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights to analyze your pages. Use the insights gained to optimize your pages for speed and functionality – your shoppers will thank you with a lower website bounce rate.


10. Outsource Specialized Tasks to the Right People

One of the greatest challenges of any online store owner is finding enough time to handle all tasks required to be successful in eCommerce. Luckily, you can find specialized freelancers and contractors to handle many of these tasks at a low cost on sites like Fiverr and Upwork. If you need your product descriptions updated, hire a copywriter who regularly writes for your industry or an SEO expert, depending on your goals.


11. Assume that Shoppers are Browsing via Mobile and PC

For the last half decade, you’ve no doubt been reading the significance of a responsive website. If you’re not on board now with Google’s mobile first indexing and the reasons for it and impact it plays on eCommerce, it’s time to step up your game. Make the assumption that every one of your shoppers uses their phone to browse and add items to their cart and their PC to make final purchases. This way, you’re sure to create an experience that appeals to all customers, no matter what device they’re using to shop.

 

Ashley Kimler is a team member of Heroic Search, Tulsa. She has been helping businesses with digital marketing and online promotions for the over 10 years. Follow her on Twitter @ashleykimler.

 

 

 

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