There is a tremendous amount of research done each year on ecommerce. No surprise, considering we spent over $225 billion last year buying things online here in the U.S. I could spend a week putting together a list of things to pay attention to for your ecommerce website, but unfortunately I have other matters to attend to. So instead I will focus on some of the most important considerations to keep in mind.
1. Be realistic
If you intend to have a successful ecommerce website, you will need to make a proper investment in it. Time and again I speak with people who think they can make a paltry investment and earn millions in no time flat. I once had a conversation with someone who said he was sure he would make $100,000 in his first year of having his website online. And he was only willing to spend $1000 to have his website developed. Really? He expected to have a 9900% ROI on his investment in the first year? Wow, sign me up!
2. Market your website
One of the biggest mistakes I see is people launching an ecommerce website and then not marketing it (SEO, PPC, Social Media, etc.) Sorry, but just launching a website and expecting people to serendipitously find it is a pipe dream. It’s like opening a business on Main Street and not putting a sign out front. There are somewhere around 650,000,000 websites on the internet so you are only a flea on the buttocks of the internet. If you don’t actively and relentlessly market it you are going to fail.
3. Stick-to-itiveness is key
Building a loyal following is something that takes time and effort. Then more effort and more time. You are going to have to spend countless hours blogging, working social media, finding other websites and blogs who may be interested in telling their audiences about you, participating in forum discussions, and much more. It’s a thankless job, and rarely will you see an immediate payoff. But it is crucial to stick to it and continue to evangelize about your products.
4. Give people a reason to return
Hopefully you have a product that people need to buy more than once (and not because it breaks easily!) Finds ways to incentivize customers to return and purchase from you in the future. Or just as well to tell their friends about you. It’s always easier to get current customers to buy from you than to constantly have to find new ones.
5. Be accessible for your customers
Simple things like having a customer service phone # can significantly increase conversions on your website. The idea of sleeping on the beach while your website is churning out orders is the stuff of whimsy. Customers are going to have questions and problems and complaints. You need to be there to help or you’re going to get a bad reputation online, which is a killer. Besides that, your customers are going to have something critical to your success: feedback. They will tell you what they like and dislike about your products, and what they would like to see from you in the future. If you want to be around for the long haul, taking this type of feedback into consideration is going to be crucial.