E-commerce is just another word for business transactions that happen online. Popular e-commerce websites include Amazon, Zappos, eBay, Overstock, and others.

It’s a billion dollar industry that continues to grow with each passing year.

The exciting thing about e-commerce is that it levels the playing field. Fifty years ago, you would have needed a large amount of capital to start your own business.

You would have spent that capital by renting a store, buying inventory, paying for advertising, hiring employees, and more.

Thanks to e-commerce, you don’t need to have deep pockets to go into business. All you need now is a desire to serve customers and a strong work ethic.

If you have these two traits, then you can become part of the e-commerce movement.

Best Practices for E-Commerce Shops

The most important part of running an e-commerce shop is making checkout simple and easy for customers.

It doesn’t matter how great your products are, if customers can’t easily check out, they’ll get frustrated and leave before the transaction is finished.

Fortunately, you can prevent this from happening by following these best practices.

Use multiple payment gateways.

When you only accept one type of payment, it can lead customers to abandon their cart. Try to offer at least two or three different payment gateways. That way, your customer can pick the one they prefer to use.

Allow customers to check out as a guest.

Not all visitors will be ready to go through the process of opening an account, so give them the choice to check out as a guest to reduce the chances that they will take their business elsewhere.

Offer affordable and quick shipping options.

When your customer is ready to check out, the first things they look for are your shipping choices. They want to know when they can expect their item and how much you’ll charge for this service. Give customers several options so they can choose the one that works best for their needs.

Optimize your search functionality.

Make sure that customers can easily search your site and navigate to the products they are most interested in. Use keywords in product descriptions to help customers find what they’re looking for and improve their overall impression of your site.

Minimize page load time.

More consumers are making purchases from their tablets or smartphones than ever before. This means that your page load time is important. If your shop takes too long to load, then your potential customer is likely to move on.

Keep your checkout speedy.

Your customer’s transaction is more likely to be completed if your checkout requires only a few screens. Ideally, it should be no more than three pages of information — one for the customer information, a second one for the payment gateway, and the third for shipping options.

Make customer service accessible.

Don’t make your customers hunt for a contact number or email address. This information should be visible on every page of your site. If you outsource customer support, be sure to train your representatives so they’re fast, knowledgeable, and friendly.

Now is the time

More big-name store closings are announced almost daily as major retailers are shutting down local stores, citing customer preferences for shopping online as one of the main factors.

With the number of online buyers increasing, it will literally pay to get in on the e-commerce boom as soon as possible. Use these tips and strategies to start cashing in with your own e-commerce business.

What are your e-commerce solutions? Let us know in the comments.

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