Top Tips for Successful eCommerce Companies
The tech titans. The digital juggernauts. The girls who you just can’t sit with at lunch. We’re all familiar with companies who’ve struck eCommerce gold, and it’s quite likely that we model our own business decisions after their sweeping success. But how exactly did they get there? Were they born with it… or was it Maybelline?
Wait, cut! Wrong take. Long, full eyelashes may not be what these online retailers have in common, but we can tell you what is. After keenly observing the eCommerce game, we’ve compiled nine moves that will have you passing go and collecting $200 (and more!) in no time. Let’s begin!
#1. Great Products
All the marketing in the world won’t save you from lackluster products, which is why you need to make sure that you’re talking the talk and walking the walk. Put it like this: if you’re not jazzed about what you’re selling, how can your customers be jazzed about what they’re buying? A high-quality catalog is a foundational aspect of any eCommerce business, so don’t skimp out on the good stuff!
Tip: Just starting out? Limit your inventory! You can always add to it later, and fewer options have a tendency to be less overwhelming… for you and your customers.
#2. Solid Branding
Think about your favorite store (online and offline). In all likelihood, there’s something about their branding that catches your eye, like a quirky logo or a catchy slogan. The thing about branding is that, by itself, it seldom compels a purchase — rather, it nurtures a positive experience that aids tremendously in both customer acquisition and retention.
Tip: When fine-tuning your branding, don’t forget that it all starts with a defined niche and distinct demographic.
#3. Seamless UI & UX
UI, or user interface, and UX, or user experience, are fancy terms that encompass a wide array of important features, like how fast a web page loads or how easy it is to navigate a website. UI and UX are highly influential in the realm of sales conversions, as a confusing layout or negative checkout experience can lead to missed opportunities and abandoned shopping carts — oh no!
Tip: Not sure if your UI and UX are up to speed? Ask for feedback! Or, better yet, put yourself in your customers’ shoes to see how far you can walk… erm, click.
#4. Fast & Free Shipping
It wouldn’t be a ShipMonk article if we didn’t talk about shipping! But, in all seriousness, shipping is a major component of eCommerce success — just look at Amazon! In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a company that didn’t offer a little somethin’ somethin’ with their shipping options, whether that be fast shipping, free shipping, or, ideally, both!
Tip: Want to really turbocharge your shipping? Outsource your order fulfillment!
#5. Praiseworthy Customer Service
Hey, “ship” happens. And even when ship doesn’t happen, everyone appreciates a company who knows how to treat their customers right. Flexible return policies, speedy communication, and attention to even the most minor of details will have most shoppers swooning (and raving, and coming back time and time again) like there’s no tomorrow.
Tip: As simple as it sounds, getting into your customers’ good graces begins with an easy way for them to get in touch with you! Make your contact information front and center.
#6. Multichannel Expansion
Easter is just around the corner, but that doesn’t mean you should be putting all your eggs in one basket! Instead, spread them out around the house for a myriad of benefits, like a wider demographic reach, increased profit potential, and super savvy risk diversification.
Tip: Need help finding the best “hiding” spots? We’ve got you covered, as per ushe. 💅
#7. 10/10 Mobile-Friendliness
Are you reading this article on your phone? (If you are, we aren’t surprised.) In 2021 and beyond, mobile optimization is most definitely here to stay, and the top dogs of eCommerce know it. Some even go as far as creating their own smartphone apps, but that’s not a necessity — simply ensure that your digital UI and UX (throwback to #3!) work on big and small screens alike.
Tip: What’s more friendly than a prioritized mobile checkout experience? As “mCommerce” continues to grow, easy breezy checkouts are an absolute must.
#8. Good Photography
Like peanut butter and jelly, great products and good photography go together. Sure, you can have one without the other, but does it really make sense? The answer, obviously, is a firm no. Jokes aside, enhancing your inventory with high-quality snaps is a no-brainer, but you don’t have to be a professional for professional pics. Don’t believe us? Our product photography guide will have you convinced!
Tip: Keep it simple! If this is your first rodeo, there’s no need to get out your fisheye camera or set elaborate backdrops. A white background will do just fine — the key is staying consistent!
#9. Clear Product Descriptions
Lastly, it’s pretty rare to see product pages with shoddy product descriptions. No one’s asking for Shakespeare-level writing, but crystal-clear product descriptions with proper spelling, punctuation, and grammar are subtle green flags that do wonders for legitimizing your brand in the eyes of scrupulous customers.
Tip: Don’t have the gift of gab? Hire a copywriter! You don’t have to keep them on forever, and your website will be better for it.
#10 Customer Reviews
Joan Jett will disagree, but now is not the time for a bad reputation. After all, would you consider buying from a store that’s riddled with negative product write-ups? Like it or not, public opinion goes a long way in establishing credibility, and successful businesses have oodles of stars (and rave reviews!) under their belt.
Tip: Got any recurring customers? Ask them to leave a positive review!
No two eCommerce companies are exactly the same, but these key characteristics are objectively actionable steps towards success, whether they’re followed by Apple or your favorite mom-and-pop shop. And pretty soon, you’re going to be joining the ranks… if you’re not there already!
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