Last year, approximately 1.8 billion people around the world purchased products and services online. Moreover, global e-retail sales summed up to $2.8 trillion and online sales are expected to grow to $4.8 trillion by 2021.
Having a beautifully designed website and logo can make your shop stand out from others which use pre-made layouts or logos. Although it can be expensive to hire a logo designer, programs like b12, 99Designs and Looka can help you create custom designs for less.
So, what does that tell you about eCommerce? Just that it’s as strong as ever. Not only is it evident that more and more consumers are flocking towards e-commerce, but that eCommerce stores are popping up left, right, and center, too.
With the advent of smartphones, it’s now easier than ever to shop online. However, this also means that businesses that choose to sell online need to keep up with the challenges that come with an ever-evolving world. Continuously adapting to new developments in the e-commerce industry is no longer an option; it’s a necessity.
Keeping everything in mind, eCommerce startups, in particular, may find themselves in a tricky position. On the one hand, cutting edge technologies are readily available, so they don’t have to deal with issues previous e-commerce businesses had to deal with. However, on the other hand, it’s crucial for startups to update their business’ infrastructure constantly. There’s no longer room for simple e-commerce sites.
- Ways To Make Your eCommerce Store Stand Out Last year, approximately 1.8 billion people around the world purchased products and services online. Moreover, global e-retail sales summed up to $2.8 trillion and online sales are expected to grow to $4.8 trillion by 2021.
- Sep 14, 2018 6 Ways To Make Your Ecommerce Store Stand Out September 14, 2018 September 27, 2018 Guest Post One of the biggest challenges that you, the modern ecommerce store owner faces is making your brand stand out.
Keeping the current environment in mind, here’s how your e-commerce startup can stand out:
Personalize User Experience
There’s no way to make a customer more happy than making them feel important, and there’s no better way to do that than by giving them a personalized experience. Some of the simplest forms of personalizing user experience are by using geolocation data to automatically change currency and language setting and sending push notifications to remind customers they left some items in their carts.
Customer data can further be used effectively to improve the user experience. Advancements in many fields, such as machine learning, are leading to hyper-personalization in ways we have already starting to witness, including product suggestions based on what we’ve already viewed.
Using a combination of machine learning and analytics allows eCommerce businesses to send targeted messages to customers based on their history. With the speed at which things are changing, technology will soon be able to predict future purchases based on past trends and activities.
Protect Your Customers
While it’s safe to say that customers are more trustworthy than ever today, the risk of fraud is at an all-time high too. Fraudsters today are coming up with all kinds of ways, the most common being the use of stolen credit card details to buy digital and physical goods. While owners of credit cards usually get compensated due to the chargeback system, merchants, unfortunately, don’t get the same leeway.
Hence, it’s no surprise that the demand for fraud protection is increasing at a fast pace. However, sometimes legitimate transactions get blocked which could potentially result in customers not returning. Such measures, while undoubtedly necessary, still have room to be improved.
One way to do this is by getting fraud protection services onboard so the entire process can be automated, ensuring only the fishy purchases get flagged and real transactions go through quickly.
Don’t Ignore Automation
Even if you have the most impeccable product catalog available, potential customers aren’t just going to rush to you. Successful e-commerce businesses are always accompanied by powerful marketing techniques that help them attract customers and convert them to result in repeated sales.
Due to the substantial amount of customers that companies need to reach out to, it can be challenging to send emails and track their abandoned carts individually. Marketing automation can simplify the process tremendously by sending out customized offers through newsletters and push notifications. The timing for these can be customized too, and you can set up a system where an email will be sent out at a particular time based on when the user is most active, overall leading to better response times.
Apart from marketing efforts, you’d be surprised what else can be automated. You can even automate product image editing and have high-quality pictures of your products available to you in under a minute.
Be Responsive To Your Customers
Perhaps one of the most significant issues customers experience with online shopping is poor customer service. At a brick-and-mortar store, customers can always go up to a sales representative and get any problems with their order resolved. However, the absence of the human element makes this a considerable obstacle.
E-commerce businesses often provide customer support in the form of email and message systems and chat widgets which give customers the chance to convey their problems to a live agent. However, these techniques can sometimes take time and come at the risk of fed up customers.
Companies often deal with large volumes of transactions which need their time to be sorted out. Moreover, sending customers continuous messages can also send them the other way. One way to address customers’ problems is by engineering the process in a way that customers get messages at specific points in time, such as when they abandon their carts.
Remember, time is money, and this isn’t more applicable than it is in eCommerce. You can consider making your e-commerce business even more efficient by looking over a dropshipping guide getting a third party manufacturer on board to ship the products directly to customers, improving customer experience through fast service.
Customers today, especially those shopping online, demand swift service and excellent user experience. By sorting things out in the background, whether you do that by implementing high-end technologies or using a team productivity tool, you can ensure your customers are getting the best experience.
In a world full of millions, even billions, of businesses where everybody is competing at a global level, it’s more crucial than ever to put your best foot forward. By breaking through the clutter and providing the best possible experience, you will have nothing to worry about.
So, how is your e-commerce startup working out for you? Do you have suggestions on how it can stand out? Contact us below to talk or start a project.
Guest Blogger Bio:
Dave Schneider is the marketing manager albacross.com, the free B2B lead generation platform. In 2012 he quit his job to travel the world and has visited over 65 countries. In his spare time, he writes about SaaS and business at DaveSchneider.me
During the early days of the internet, it really felt like every business had its own unique website. Everywhere you went – even if it was to different competitors offering the same basic service – there was a strong sense of identity there, and a sense of who you were dealing with as both an individual and an entity.
These days, much of that uniqueness is gone. The success of services like WordPress has left a number of sites looking almost identical in everything apart from logos. Many tell their readers to use WordPress for small business to get ahead! The focus on SEO rankings over actual content means even the written aspects of sites are in danger of becoming homogenized. So in a world where everyone has a website, everyone spends money on search engine rankings, and nobody seems to be able to shout louder than anyone else, we have one question. How are you supposed to stand out?
We’ve done the research and the reading, and we’ve compiled some tips that could help you create an online brand that stands above the sea of beige. We’re not trying to reinvent the wheel here – just encouraging you to consider some of the things that appear to have been forgotten as time’s gone by.
Clarity Of Purpose
This should be obvious, but judging by the look and feel of many a market leading website, it really isn’t. Anybody who logs on to your website for the very first time should immediately understand exactly what service you offer. Sometimes, it feels like in the desire to have an attractive image in the header, along with warm, SEO friendly opening text full of big ideas and slogans, people forget to tell their audience why they’re there in the first place. Every image visible on the home page should make it explicitly clear what you do. The purpose of your business should be stated plainly in the first paragraph of text.
If you log on to a UK slots site, it’s immediately obvious you’re looking at an online casino. There’s no attempt to hide it, and there’s no confusing it for anything else. That’s the strength of impression you’re looking for. If you sell telephones, people should see a picture of a telephone. If you sell insurance, there should be the logos of prominent insurers there. If you sell mortgages, show the world a picture of a house that’s just been sold. Help your audience. Make the message clear.
Demonstrate The Personal Touch
It’s increasingly common for businesses to feature mini profiles of their senior staff on their websites. That’s a positive thing. Research strongly indicates that people like to know who they’re dealing with, and it’s important to have an “About Us” page that ticks all the right boxes. That might mean changing your understanding of what that page is really for.
Just listing your qualifications and industry experience doesn’t meet the mark anymore. That tells people what you’ve done, not who you are. Share a little information about who you are as a person. What kind of music do you like? Which sports teams do you follow? What do you do with your spare time? Also, the world has seen enough headshots of people in business professional dress suits. Everybody does that, which is a great reason for you to break the trend. Share something relaxes, personal, and fun. When it comes down to it, people don’t buy from firms, they buy from other people. Boost your chances of making a personal connection by helping potential customers get to know you.
Make Use Of Video Content – And Appear In It
Have you noticed how many YouTube stars have crossed over into the mainstream recently? That’s because video is a great way of helping people to feel comfortable with you. They can see you, and hear you, and pick up on aspects of your personality. Like having a strong bio, this is a crucial element in changing the perception of your business as just another faceless entity in a sea of thousands. You are what makes your company unique. Sell yourself.
In addition, nobody likes to sit and read enormous blocks of text. People likely came to your site looking for something specific, and if they can’t find it in the first few moments, they’ll click away and land on one of your competitors instead. A one minute video explaining who you are, what you do, and why you’re great is much more valuable to you than two thousand words of text.
Don’t Let It Go Stale
We don’t have a precise figure for the number of business who pay big money to get a brand new website set up, and then leave it exactly as it is for the next several years, but it’s a lot. Nothing suggests that a business is stagnant like having a website that’s looked the same since the day it went online. Fresh, new content will engage readers keep people coming back to your site. More than that, it tells them you’re still there.
There are thousands of websites out there, still online, belonging to companies who have long since died. A customer landing on your website will want to see evidence that you’re still trading here and now. So have fresh, weekly blog content on topics relevant to your industry. Include a live Twitter feed. If appropriate, have a portfolio online showcasing your latest work and achievements. Post news from within your industry – and why not give your opinion on it, too? Your website should scream “We’re here, we’re fresh, and we’re relevant”.
Never, Ever Use Stock Images
We really can’t stress this enough. Nothing ruins a great first impression on a website like clicking through a few pages and finding wall-to-wall stock photos. In the modern world, everybody knows a stock photo when they see one, and it’s a massive turn off for customers. They just look so phony and staged, and they’re so obviously not representative of your staff, your office or your customers. But do you know what does? Your real staff, your real office, and your real customers!
5 Ways To Make Your Ecommerce Site Stand Out Like
If you have a happy customer, ask them if they’d mind sending in a picture and a testimonial. It will come across much better than a cliched, staged photo of a couple holding hands in the sunset or walking across a field. Your real life office might not look as sophisticated as a stock photo image of a beautiful, spacious New York office block, but guess what? Nobody’s does! Take pictures of your own office, with your own staff hard at work, and people will buy it as authentic.
5 Ways To Make Your Ecommerce Site Stand Out As A
If you take one clear message away from reading this piece – it’s this. Be you. Don’t be a cliched profile. Don’t be a stock photo. Don’t hide being walls of text or synthetic marketing. Be yourself and sell yourself. You are the one thing that your competitors aren’t, and can never be. If your website is plain, old, and full of text and stock photos, it’s time to make a change.