1. Be User-Friendly
Your website design should be a digital representation of your company and its product(s). Having a poorly designed, hard-to-use website is not the kind of first impression you want to make. Instead, make it easy for your customers to know what your product is by using creative, high quality product images with a zoom option and from various vantage points. Include detailed product descriptions and information in an easily readable font. Make sure they know everything they need to know about your product by encouraging customer reviews and including a FAQ section. Simplify the checkout process—don’t make your customers click through ten pages to complete the transaction. The last thing you want is to lose a customer to your competitor because they had unanswered questions about your product or it was a hassle to complete the transaction.
2. Optimize Your Online Ranking
In other words, you need SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Drive traffic to your website by improving your SEO and using keywords in your site’s content that rank high in online search engines, such as Google and Bing. The use of these keywords will help increase your website’s search engine ranking, thus driving more traffic to your site. Keyword research is vital to ensure you’re using the words most relevant to your brand and the words that exactly match searches made by consumers. The goal is to get your site ranked on the first page of a search engine, preferably in the number one slot.
3. Be Mobile-Friendly
Traffic from mobile devices now accounts for nearly 50% of all online retail traffic, according to a report published by IBM Digital Analytics. This, coupled with Google’s decision to decrease rankings for sites that lack mobility, has made being mobile-friendly beyond necessary in the e-commerce world. The ideal way to achieve this friendliness is to make sure your website design is responsive, i.e., resizes according to what device it’s being viewed on. This enables your customer to view your full site from their smartphone or tablet with no sacrifice of content. In today’s market, you will lose sales if customers don’t have convenient access to your site.
4. Be Present on Social Media
Social media is growing by the minute and users are “sharing” their hearts out. This is why having a strong social media presence is so important. Pick a few sites to join that have users relevant to your client base and optimize your social presence by encouraging visitors to “like” and “share” your products, specials and blogs on the various outlets. The more exposure you receive on social media forums, the more potential customers you gain over your competitor.
5. Know Your Analytics (and your competitor’s)
Beyond research and design, knowing and understanding your customers is paramount to the success rate of your website. Analytics track website traffic and generate reports containing a variety of data, such as: what demographic your visitors come from, what keywords used in your content writing are most often searched, how many site visits convert to sales, etc. Having this information will ensure your marketing efforts are reaching your target market and all the hard work you’ve put into building your website is paying off. But knowing your data is only half of the battle—you must also know your competitor’s. If their sales conversion rate is higher, you can make comparisons to see where you may need to make adjustments on your site.
Following these five guidelines will, undoubtedly, help build your shop’s online presence. Having a well-designed, easy-to-find and use site that’s also mobile-friendly is beyond crucial to the success of your company. Knowing your customers and your competitors will also give you the leading edge you need to stay head of your competitors in the e-commerce industry.