For those who enjoyed reading and taking notes from the first installment in our three-part series, How to run a successful eCommerce Business Part 1: Suppliers, Website, Shipping and Marketing, part two only continues to build upon that foundation, with more tips and investment options for growing e-commerce businesses.
While it’s no secret to e-commerce owners that customer service is one of the backbones of their business, what they likely don’t know is that it could cost way more for them to start attracting new customers, rather than retaining the relationship that they currently have with existing customers. In turn, providing excellent customer service translates to increased sales and profits and with so many exceptional ways to provide customer service online, there’s really no reason your business shouldn’t be on-board.
“eCommerce businesses can thrive and fail by their customer service,” explained Feargal Harris, Client Success Manager at Numinix.
“As online shoppers have reviews at their fingertips, and some may have already made the decision to trust you before they’ve even made it to your site. It’s important to champion your customer service efforts and make sure you have a lot of happy customers who will, in turn, promote your business, products, and brand.
While different businesses possess a variety of expectations when it comes to customer service, popular, high-purchased brands have promised and orchestrated a higher degree of service among the consumer population, so it’s essential as a business owner to align with these retailers and manage your consumers’ expectations in the same way that they would receive from these large-scale brands.
“Informing your customers and managing their expectations is important,” added Harris.
“Preemptive measures, like announcing delays or flagging products on backorders can help with this, as well as having a range of shipping options to allow the customer a choice in what service level they wish to receive.”
Search Engine Optimization
Online users trust search engines to give them the best search results using the keywords that they have provided, which is why this technology is important to utilize on your eCommerce site.
“Practicing good SEO is extremely important because it directly affects where you show up in search results. Great SEO will have you at the top on the front page, where the click-through rate is 31%, meaning three out of 10 people will click on to your site. Whereas having bad or no SEO will leave you so far back that people don’t even know you exist.”
“SEO is a no brainer for eCommerce websites. Information is at our fingertips and whether we’re looking for a restaurant or a new hat, we’ll whip out our phones and use a search engine to find what we’re looking for.”
The main problem with search engine optimization is that it involves a lot of skills, which is why most companies opt to outsource the service, so that they’re able to achieve the same benefits as other growing businesses. Nevertheless, since SEO implementation takes years to master, it’s essential to select a company that complements your business and specializes in an expertise that gets you where you need to be, and beyond.
If you’re a business owner who’s invested in fulfilling the needs of your customers then you can devote both time and money to providing a positive user experience (UX). With so many options available for our online shopping needs, if you’re looking for a consumer base with a sense of loyalty to your brand and products, then you will need to measure your business success by the user experience you can provide for both visitors and returning customers.
“There’s a science behind UX and small changes that aren’t obvious to the naked eye can make a significant difference to the conversion rate of your website,” noted Harris.
For starters, you need to ensure that your current website meets the design standards of your niche industry, keeping in mind that these can change daily, meaning that your website should receive a redesign every three to five years.
“If your design hasn’t changed for more than five years, it’s likely hurting your sales by having a bad or outdated user experience,” he explained.
Also, many businesses focus their home page efforts on advertising their highest performing products, so it makes it easy to add them to the cart and quickly proceed to checkout.
“As well as you’re ensuring the page is not cluttered… make sure your site doesn’t take too long to load, or you could be losing out on guaranteed sales if your site is not being maintained to a high enough standard.”
If you’re looking to lower your customer acquisition costs and get more value from your visitors and users who are currently making purchases, then it’s worth diving into conversion optimization. Essentially, by optimizing your conversion rate, you’re able to increase visitor revenue, acquire more, prospecting customers, and grow your business overall.
“I would recommend hiring a web developer to review the speed reports and fix all the issues that are slowing down the load time and page speed of your website. There are also plugins that you can buy on eCommerce platforms, but it’s always best to have someone manage that for you, especially if you depend on your site’s uptime for revenue.”
“A good web developer can optimize your website to reach its full potential in converting visits that are coming in from your SEO and digital marketing,” explained Harris.
Are you ready to explore the final phase in our 3-part series? Next, we will move onto a discussion of scaling vs. growth, automation, and integrations!
Now that you can collaborate Part 1 & Part 2 to successfully run your e-commerce business, drop a comment below to discuss how your business objectives have changed since last month.