How many purchases have you made using your smartphone in the past month? How about in the past week? With the rise of smartphone-friendly shopping carts, many businesses are catching on to the benefits of ecommerce. In fact, recent years have brought more and more small business retailers to ecommerce as an effective means of selling their goods.
One of the obvious benefits of having an online store (such as INOVA Professional) is the lack of need for a brick and mortar location; no rent and no space to heat or cool equals a lot less worry, much less the money out of pocket! Even those locally owned businesses who have a physical location in your town may be using web ecommerce in tandem with their in- store purchases as a means of boosting their sales.
This article offers four tips for retailers wanting to get in on the benefits of ecommerce:
1) knowing your customer,
2) having a secure and streamlined payment system,
3) incorporating pictures and videos, and
4) including customer reviews.
Knowing your customer
What is one thing at the forefront of your customers’ concerns? If you don’t know what your customers are interested in or want to know more about, you need to find out. Knowing the nature of your target market is key to increasing sales. When you can meet the needs of your potential customers, you’ll not only keep the ones you have, but you’ll likely gain many more.
Knowing your market translates into smart web design- building a site centered on the customer’s interests and wants. Incorporate a blog into your site that continually provides fresh content for search engines (i.e. SEO optimized). This way, when customers search for a particular phrase or keyword, your site will land in their results.
Secure and Streamlined payment system
Nothing will lose a customer faster than a payment system that malfunctions or the sense that a payment transaction isn’t secure. Get your payment system verified by major names in the online payment industry. Having their logo as verification on your site builds trust and increases reliability with your customers.
How quickly can your customers check out for low cost or high cost items? Is the speed for both the same; does it need to be? Customers purchasing lower priced products could be provided with a limited number of checkout screens- enough to gather needed information and provide confirmation. Those spending more money, buying pricier products, may want the feeling of security from a longer checkout process.
Incorporate pictures and videos
Even online shoppers want to feel as if they are shopping in a physical store. Provide them with many pictures of your product, giving enough information that they feel as if they know and understand the item in question. The closer you can make your customer feel as if they are experiencing your product, the greater the confidence they will have in their purchase.
Customer reviews: ask for them, and display them
Product reviews have a mutualistic purpose. They help you by knowing which products are most popular, and which ones are not. They help the customer by providing useful information from fellow customers. If the reviews are positive, your products will increase in sales. Customers are also more comfortable with a business who is willing to put reviews out there for all to see. It shows confidence in your product and can help to build lasting relationships with your customers.