E-Commerce. How to increase your online sales
How to Optimize E-Commerce for My Business
The power of the high street retailer is dwindling with every passing year. As consumers continue to have more and more faith in online retail outlets, and also experience greater choice and more competitive pricing when shopping online, e-commerce continues to experience growth. For traditional retail store owners, such as somebody who owns a store selling merchandise based on film and television brands, now is the time to move into the online space and grow as an online retail business in unison with your brick-and-mortar shop. But when taking those first tentative steps into the world of e-commerce, what does a retailer need to be aware of to ensure that their online business becomes a success? User Interface. When it comes to online shopping, the user interface of your e-commerce store will be make or break for your success. Every website that wants to keep visitors on its site needs to have an interface that is simple and intuitive. For a website such as an e-commerce store that needs to persuade people to part with their cash, creating a simple user experience is all the more important. The most important factor of your user interface it that it needs to showcase your product offering so that people want to buy. Once they have decided to make a purchase, your user interface needs to make the checkout process as smooth as possible. Having a great search engine on the site helps enormously and Christchurch based SLI-Systems are world leaders in this type of E-Commerce search. Their website has a lot of very useful information on e-commerce for websites including site search tip videos and e-commerce podcasts which Tandem have produced for them over the years; they are also really nice people. (Click here to see our video interview with Geoff Brash, co-founder of SLI) POS System. When you branch out into the online world, you are not going to simply ditch your high street store. Instead, the two stores should be integrated in order to maximize sales and maintain a seamless presence. POS systems, such as those from Shopify, do exactly that. When you use this kind of system for sales in your retail location, the whole product catalog can be browsed, purchases can be made via credit card, and receipts can be printed. This is all synced with the web store so that inventory and sales analytics are tied together, and you don’t need multiple platforms to manage your multiple retail outlets.
Image Courtesy of Flickr.com Social Media. We all know that social media is the cornerstone of online engagement in 2014, but how can retailers leverage their social media presence to generate sales? First of all, you need to identify the social media channels that would be most appropriate for promoting your particular product to your particular audience. A merchandising business is very visual and it is the strength of product images that will ultimately shift units. Twitter, which is not the most visual of social media channels probably won’t be the right tool for product promotion, but Pinterest, whose whole premise is sharing of images, could work very well as a promotional channel for an online retailer. Think Mobile. As well as shopping via their personal computers, many people are now choosing to shop while on the move via their tablet and mobile devices. For this reason, it is very important to ensure that your e-commerce site has a responsive design – this basically means that it will be optimized for use on PCs, smartphones, and tablet devices. Any e-commerce store that doesn’t have responsive design will lose customers who choose to use their mobile devices for shopping. As the mobile market continues to grow, retailers may even want to think about creating their own mobile application that gives consumers a fully optimized mobile shopping experience. By taking these actionable steps, a physical store owner should be able to make the transition to e-commerce tycoon, creating a valuable new revenue stream for themselves. Camille McClane is a writer and editor based in Southern California. She is very thankful to be a part of the Tandem Studios community, and encourages you to find her on Google+ where she enjoys chatting with like-minded techies! All Images Courtesy of Flickr.com