Online shopping isn’t just the domain of eCommerce giants like Amazon and eBay. According to a study conducted by UPS, 70 percent of shoppers prefer to visit their favorite retailer online. With that in mind, no online store—regardless of its size—can afford to ignore eCommerce marketing.
That said, far too many small businesses commit mistakes that could potentially doom their eCommerce sites long-term. Fortunately, we’ve not only identified the four most common missteps made by online business owners, but also ways to avoid them.
Too Many Choices
If you drove by a restaurant that served sushi, hamburgers, Tex-Mex and Indian food, would you think it did any of this well? The same principle applies to selling online. To be competitive in a $ 1.5 trillion global eCommerce market, you can’t be average, you must be great. You are competing not only against corporations that sell products by the thousands and can survive on much smaller margins, but also against foreign companies with low labor costs that can do what you do for half the price.
Besides diluting your competitive advantage, over-diversifying your product offerings eats up valuable capital in stock that may or may not sell. Identify your core business niche and build your eCommerce marketing strategy around that one category. Later, when you have built your brand and carved out a place for yourself, you can consider expanding your offerings.
Difficult Checkout Process
Sales are the entire purpose of your eCommerce site, so why make it difficult to complete a transaction? According to British research company Baymard Institute, 67 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned, meaning people add items to their carts, but do not or cannot complete the purchase. So, how can you prevent that?
If you make it easy for a customer to find a product, you make it easy for him or her to buy the product. Make sure your site has an intuitive navigation menu that reduces the number of clicks it takes for customers to find what they’re looking for. From there, creating a shopping cart that doesn’t make people jump through hoops is key. Asking customers for unnecessary information will make customers abandon what’s in their cart, as will a bad checkout design. Keep the process simple with easy navigation and only one checkout page.
Adding SEO as an Afterthought
eCommerce search engine optimization is critical to attracting new customers, but too many small businesses only think of integrating it into their strategy once they have already built a site. SEO entails more than just the use of keywords, it includes:
- Meta data
- Title tags
- User experience and more
Since SEO encompasses virtually the entire site, it ties into why narrowing down a niche is so important for your company, since it will help you identify the keywords that will be most useful for your site. By optimizing your site based on your offering and what people are searching, you’re ultimately bringing in new audiences and building your customer base.
Ignoring Valuable Data
What do you know about your customers? When consumers shop in person, you learn many things about them, such as their age and gender, and can naturally build a bond with them based on these indicators. Online, every consumer appears the same, so it’s more difficult to build the kind of brand loyalty that leads to repeat business. Here are a few options for comprehensive data capture that will help you to cultivate the type of profile that allows you to send personalized recommendations and offers to create repeat customers.
- Google Analytics—this is an incredible tool that showcases the demographics of your site’s visitors.
- Shopping Profiles—offering your customers the ability to build shopping profiles will help capture data like birthdays and gender and can help track shopping habits long-term.
Remember that when it comes to online shopping, you aren’t the only store in town, as a customer has literally thousands of places to shop on the Web. If you avoid the mistakes outlined above and develop an effective eCommerce marketing strategy, your online B2C sales stand to become very lucrative.
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