5 Tips for Streamlining E-commerce Business

Post written by Nate Vickery
On Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

53% of global internet users have made an online purchase in 2016 and spent approximately $1 billion. This stat, obtained from the U.S. government, illustrates the potential of this industry, but there’s still much room for improvement. Census.gov and Office of National Statistics say that e-commerce sales in the U.S.  contribute to total retail sales with only 8%. It’s also good to know that e-commerce offers high rates of return on investment, so if you’re thinking about running your own online shopping business, now is the right time to jump on the bandwagon. There are a couple of things to take into consideration to make things run like clockwork.

Simplify the checkout process

Baymard Institute has calculated that the average online shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.23%, based on 37 different stats. One of the main culprits behind this customer behavior is a complicated and perplexing checkout process. That’s why you need to make it as easy and transparent as possible. Online shopping websites make a number of mistakes which practically kill their conversion rates. Put progress indicators so that your clients can see that their order is being processed. Don’t ask for too much information and let your customers know that their sensitive data is safe and protected. It’s also a good idea to offer several payment methods and ensure that typing errors can be easily spotted and corrected, without the need to fill out everything from scratch.

Be helpful

Sometimes people can’t make their mind up about ordering an item because they need extra information, or they need help with the checkout process. That’s why it’s important that your contact details, including a phone number or an email address, are visible. You can embed a live chat button and ensure that your customers can easily contact sales representatives that will address their issues on the spot. InboundNow offers a wide variety of plugins, extensions, and landing page templates to help you create a great customer experience. Email communication isn’t suitable for online shopping as it’s very likely that potential shoppers will abandon the cart while they’re waiting for your answer.  Customer service is one of the most important aspects of any business, and according to a survey, 68% of customers churn because they think that salespeople are indifferent, so make sure to show them that you care.

Outsource

While your company is still small, you can do almost everything on your own, but once it starts growing, you’ll have to start delegating and outsourcing. For example, many online businesses tend to store and ship their products themselves, but when the orders start coming in, it takes up much of their time and energy to attend to everything in a timely manner. That’s why it’s always the best and most cost-effective idea to opt for 3pl storage, and dedicate your time to improving other aspects of your business instead of managing the warehouse. It’s also vital to conduct inventory counting on a regular basis and set up reorder notifications, as being out of stock results in lots of lost opportunities to sell your goods.

Optimize for mobile devices

Cisco estimates that mobile data traffic will grow 7-fold from 2016 to 2021, which can be translated to an annual growth rate of 47% globally. No wonder that an estimated 30% of mobile shoppers abandon the cart if the e-commerce website isn’t mobile friendly. Purchasing through mobile has become increasingly popular, and in the UK, 51% of all e-commerce sales are made via phones and tablets. This increasing trend indicates that if you want to boost your e-commerce business, you should optimize your website for mobile devices. There are two options, and you can either build a mobile version of your site, or you can simply optimize your site by means of responsive design. The latter option is much more cost-effective, and it can improve the user experience across different platforms.

Simplify return policies

A recent ComScore study has shown that as much as 60% of e-commerce customers read a return policy before they make a purchase. According to the same study, the return policy influences 80% of the sale. In other words, if you want customers to purchase from you, it’s important to make the return process as smooth as possible. This way they will be more likely to buy the item they like, knowing that in case something’s wrong, the company will offer them a refund or exchange for it. By introducing this practice, you will also boost customer loyalty, and build a great reputation.

If you follow these few, simple steps, you can easily grow your e-commerce business and deliver a seamless customer experience.

About the Author:
Nate M. Vickery is a business consultant and editor-in-chief at Bizzmarkblog.com. He has a degree in marketing and almost a decade of experience in company management through latest technology trends.

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