E-commerce for small business
There are many great things about e-commerce for small business and perhaps one of them is that you are able to compete with the biggest operators in town. It doesn't matter how small you are if you have a brilliant website and offer smooth sailing for the customer shopping cart experience, you have as much chance as anyone in the business world to win the same customer.
And it should come as no surprise to know that the e-commerce industry is a multi-billion-dollar operation with two other important aspects. The first is it’s a growing industry and second more people are using more digital appliances to carry out their e-commerce than ever before. People can go shopping using their phone in the train on the way home from work today. There are more devices on more platforms and the future for e-commerce is akin to the sky being the limit. Take advantage of this massive trend.
So as a small business operator it's essential that you do all you can to make your e-commerce operation the best it can possibly be. Here are some tips to help you ensure e-commerce is a winner for your small business.
- Words are great but pictures are better.
- User-friendly is the only way to go.
- Take advantage of favourable comments.
- Make sure you have guarantees and refunds available for everyone.
- Incentives give people an incentive.
- Do you have customer support at every stage?
- Never surprise purchasers with a new cost.
- Keep it simple, stupid
There is no excuse today for not having a superb looking website. There is any number of web designers available to create something special and regardless of who you have doing your website it is vitally important to remember that a picture paints a thousand words. Clever use of excellent photos is always a great selling point for any small business and especially when it comes to e-commerce.
One of the big problems that many small businesses have when it comes to the website is that the actual shopping experience is not user friendly. This is a big mistake. You need to structure the navigation through your website to make it as smooth an operation as possible. Before you upload your website spend time having any other members of staff work through the various steps of your e-commerce process. Iron out any problems.
It's possible to invite customers to give a review of their purchase or leave feedback. Once you get positive reviews and certainly glowing testimonials take advantage of this fact. Put them in a prominent position. People are always inclined to be more enthusiastic about making a commitment to buying something online when they see that other people have done that already.
Every one of your competitors will offer a guarantee and a possible refund if required. If you don't keep up with your competitors you will fall behind.Incentives always seem to work. There are so many incentives you can offer to help people make a purchase. It could be a reduction for a bulk purchase, a 2-for-1 for special deals for returning customers or a reward for introducing a new customer. To get people to sign up for your newsletter then offering them a freebie will often do the trick. It's not good enough these days to have a smooth operating shopping cart experience for your customers without giving them the option of asking a question midstream.
One of the main reasons why people abandon their shopping carts and don't make a purchase is because they come across what they perceive to be a problem. If you have a help button or something similar which will offer immediate advice to the customer you stand a much better chance of keeping them in the queue. You will see advertising today where the company doing the selling boasts about the fact that there are no hidden charges. They make a point of this fact. Surveys show that many people abandon their shopping cart when a surprise occurs as far as the cost is concerned. Be upfront at the beginning with the total cost.
And finally the old adage of KISS or Keep it Simple, stupid always applies. The trickier you make your e-commerce operation to work for the customer the quicker they will leave and leave without making a purchase. Ease of operation is a vital ingredient if you wish to make your e-commerce business succeed. And e-commerce is not just here to stay, it’s here to expand.