The Importance of E-Commerce
In reference to the previous articles that we have written, it’s obvious we feel that having a great online presence is imperative to the success of a business today, and will be even more detrimental in the future. But now that we know an online presence is imperative to be successful, the next step is to find out which variables make you most successful. You will probably get many opinions on this matter, and that’s fine, as there are many things you can do to enhance your online presence. But in this article, we are going to focus on only one of them.
Having a website with e-commerce functionality is more important than ever today in the world of business commerce. Not only will this help you stay afloat, it will help you attain your financial goals much faster than you would have ever expected. Why? Consumers appreciate simplicity, and with the web being what it is today, what’s more simple than someone being able to purchase whatever they want from the comfort of their own home? If businesses want to make it, this is something they need to understand. They need to see this as an opportunity and take advantage.
Now that we know how important e-commerce functionality is to the success of a business, it’s time to break it down even further. Many business owners like to think that they are golden just because they offer products for sale on their site, forgetting that half the battle is making the process as easy as possible for the consumer. We’ve all been there before… you’re buying something online and either the checkout process takes forever, or there’s a problem with the selection, or heck, you go through the whole buying process and when you hit “place order” it then says your product is not available, as if they were waiting until you were done on purpose to annoy you even more. Having an e-commerce system is great, but if it’s not easy to use for the consumer, you’re better off not having it at all. Keep following along to find out what makes a high-quality, revenue-producing e-commerce system that converts.
If you want to keep up with the advances in modern technology, (which we suggest you do), not only does your website need to be responsive, but your commerce capabilities needs to be responsive as well. Meaning whether your consumer is on their desktop, laptop, tablet, or phone, they should be able to complete a purchase through your website without any problems. There are many companies that underplay the use of mobile devices, and these are companies that won’t survive unless they get with it.
Displaying your online store in a way that makes your business and products appealing to the consumer is just as important as the functionality itself. Product photography and display is a key factor for the user to determine whether or not to make the purchase. If you have a brick and mortar establishment and are selling your products you wouldn’t display them poorly or have them placed anywhere in your store without reasoning. You would set them up in proper location and categories and display them so they will be enticing to the buyer.
Have you seen sale or clearance signs in stores? Many consumers gravitate to these sections. New arrivals and special deals should often be the first thing your customers see when they visit your online store. In most cases, people already have an idea of what they’re looking for, but a great way to increase revenue is to coax these customers into buying more. Or you can look at it the other way, some people just want to browse and have no idea what they’re looking for, so you put these special deals in their face in order to show them what they’re missing out on. We assure you, there are only advantages when implementing this properly.
Trust on this business owners, when it comes to shopping online, saying that security is an important is an understatement. Anyone who enters their credit card information online wants to know that the site is safe and secure. In order to make sure your customers partake in safe transactions, your website needs to have a proper SSL certification. Without it, you will lose business to competitors with safer commerce functionality.
When people buy products or services online, they want to know that if they run into a problem, they will have instant access to support. This is an extremely important and often underrated factor in regards to online shopping. If you are going to offer 24/7 shopping on your website, it is imperative that you offer 24/7 customer support in order to tackle any issues or concerns that may come about.
Easy / Quick Navigation
When looking to make a purchase online, we all know that ease of use is extremely important. We don’t ever want customers coming to a point in the buying process where they have to stop and think about what to do next, or wonder what something means. The buying process needs to be simple, quick, and extremely transparent. We’ve all heard the saying that time is money. Well in this case, the more time it takes someone to actually purchase your product or service, the less money you will make. It is imperative to make your “total clicks until purchase” as small of a number as possible to help with maximizing conversions.
The purpose of this article wasn’t to scare business owners who are thinking about implementing an e-commerce platform into their website, it was to educate them about what is necessary to be successful. The design of the functionality not only has to be aesthetically pleasing, but it has to be easy to use. If you can put a “check mark” next to all of the above sections, nothing should stop you from seeing consistent revenue and high sale conversions.
There are many people out there who just don’t know what to look for when it comes to distinguishing a professionally designed website from the website their 13 year old nephew designed in 2 days. And if you’re one of these people, we’re here to tell you that IT’S OKAY!
We are here to educate, period. We want to tell you the benefits of a professionally designed website so you not only make a knowledgeable decision down the road when you decide to get your own, but make a decision that will ultimately increase your bottom line.
It’s like this gang: If you’re going hunting, would you bring dull arrows? If that’s all you have, it’s not life or death, you just won’t shoot anything. Having that sharp arrow will not only provide you confidence, but will give you the actual ability to snatch your prey. That’s what a website is, it’s a weapon, and you’re most important one at that. Don’t let your potential customers slip through your fingers because your website wasn’t impressive or professional enough. It’s all about that first impression, you won’t always get a second “shot”.
The worst feeling in the world is stressing out about whether or not your potential customers will be able to view your site properly, praying they pull it up on their computer because you know it’s a mess to look at on a phone or tablet.
A professional website should include a design with responsive formatting, meaning your website will respond to your customer’s screen size and platform. I mean let’s just think about how cool that is for a second. Your website will have the technology to AUTOMATICALLY respond to the user’s preferences. This is big time, and imperative if you want your website to be successful.
Commonly known as Search Engine Optimization. Ladies and gentlemen, SEO is an investment, but an investment with a HIGH return. Look, we understand you just spent some major coin on your site, but Google still doesn’t know who you are. It’s like this…
Josh is the new kid at school, and with the big event coming up, he wants to make a great first impression. He rents a limo, is dressed to the 9’s, and even has white doves that fly out as he makes his grand entrance. He enters the party, everyone looks him up and down for a split second, and before you know it, they’re back to dancing. What happened? Well first, they don’t know who Josh is. They don’t care about the fancy car and how he’s dressed. What Josh has to do is NOT take it personally. Being popular takes TIME. After awhile, these people will get to know him, and over time, he will have a better shot at being the life of the party. In the meantime, Josh needs to continue to make friends, go to every function possible, and network his brains out. The more people that are talking about Josh, the more popular he will be.
That’s what SEO is all about. It’s about being popular and staying popular. Having a visually stunning website is great, but the search engines don’t care. They care about you and your content. It’s up to you to provide the things they want. It’s important to remember that SEO is a big deal, and because it’s a big deal, it should be handled by a professional. If done right, this professional will get you qualified leads and will transform them into cash-spending customers.
Let’s take a look at this from a different angle now. We know that SEO is great for your website, but it’s still not enough to drive in sales on its own. There are some people who know how imperative SEO is to their website success, and unfortunately, that’s the only thing on their mind.
Let’s meet Josh’s brother, Mark. Mark is ahead of the game. He knows that in order to become popular at school, he has to focus on networking and meeting as many people as he possibly can. Mark wants to be popular, however, just like every other kid his age, his mind is on one thing: Women (customers). Here is the problem. Mark has gotten so concerned about his popularity, that he has not been keeping up with his appearance. He wears the same clothes every day, has bags under his eyes from lack of sleep, looks as if he hasn’t seen a shower in quite some time, and drives a 1971 Ford Pinto. While it’s true that many people are talking about him, it’s not in the greatest light. If he wants a legitimate shot with some of the ladies (customers) he’s interested in, he’ll not only have to talk the talk, but walk the walk.
Did we all understand that? Popularity (high search engine ranking) + Appearance (visually appealing design) equals a truly successful website. Some business owners are so focused on their search engine ranking that they end up neglecting the design and appearance of their site, which is equally as important as their content.
The qualities listed above are not the only things that should be implemented into a site to make it successful, but act as a great start and a foundation for good ROI. If you haven’t paid attention to what i’ve been saying so far, at least pay close attention to this last tip… A professionally designed and developed website may seem costly up front, but this cost will seem like pennies down the road if you do not get your website done right the first time around. So plan ahead, and hire a professional marketing company or website design firm from the start in order to put your internet marketing endeavors on the right track.