Purchasing a domain, selecting products, writing a business plan — those are the easy parts of starting an ecommerce store. Once the prep work is out of the way, the real challenge begins: getting shoppers to your store and turning them into repeat buyers. And if you feel stuck where you are after sorting these tips, remember you can always connect with Hustling Hotties for an expert consultation!
How Shoppers Find Your E-Commerce Store
In order to draw customers to your ecommerce store, you need to understand where they’re looking. When customers want to buy a product online, these are the places they start:
Google used to dominate shoppers’ searches, but nowadays, most online shoppers start their product searches on Amazon. That doesn’t mean you should ditch your ecommerce site and sell solely through Amazon Marketplace, but establishing a presence on the ecommerce giant’s site is a smart way to gain first-time customers and grow your name recognition.
Amazon may be leading the ecommerce charge, but search engines haven’t lost their relevance. One in five product searches still start on search engines like Google. Search engine optimization is the key to turning up in Google search results. Ahrefs explains in depth how to apply SEO concepts to your ecommerce store.
36% of consumers say they won’t buy from a business if it doesn’t have a website. This statistic proves that your website is an important tool for establishing credibility. If customers Google your store and discover no web presence, they may question the quality of your products or the trustworthiness of your practices.
A good ecommerce site is attractive, engaging, and user-friendly. It should feel familiar but not formulaic, eye-catching but not overwhelming. It’s a fine line to toe and straying too far in either direction could cost you sales, so it’s worth spending the money on professional freelancers who can make your website shine. While a big ecommerce store might want a full- or part-time web designer, smaller stores can save by hiring flexible help to do work as needed.
While it only accounts for 1% of product searches, social media is still an important tool. That’s especially true as platforms like Instagram integrate native shopping features into their apps. In addition to using their own social media pages to build a brand, share content, and engage with customers, ecommerce brands should experiment with influencer marketing and social media ads.
What Makes Shoppers Return
Getting those first customers is tough, but if you give them a good experience, they’re likely to buy again. These are the factors that matter most to customers when deciding whether to return to your business:
Consumers aren’t only searching for the lowest prices. They’re also looking for brands that align with their personal values. It’s that emotional connection that makes customers remember your brand and come back when they’re buying again. Make sure your website and social media showcase your story and that, whatever your brand’s values, you’re sharing them authentically.
Ease of ordering
Surprise charges at checkout, shipping that takes longer than stated, and re-entering payment details every time you buy are the little inconveniences that convince online shoppers not to return to your store. Make the checkout process as seamless as possible so that when customers are ready to buy, nothing holds them back.
There are few things more important to your ecommerce business’s reputation than customer service. If your store doesn’t offer easy returns, multichannel customer support, and readily available self-help information, customers will buy from one of the many online retailers who do instead. Zendesk lists 12 things ecommerce businesses can do to keep their customer service up to par, like offering live chat and posting FAQs.
After a few months of hard work, you’ll have your ecommerce store up and running, but the work doesn’t stop there. Building your ecommerce business is a never-ending journey that starts and ends with your customers. By giving customers what they want, where they want it, you can keep your customers happy and your profits high.
Guest Post written by : Lucy Reed
Image via Unsplash