E-commerce: Why retailers need to adapt and move online
Businesses and retail shops adopting e-commerce increase their sales and reach new customers. Look no further than 2020’s global pandemic and you’ll see that the businesses that flourished were the ones that adapted by taking their businesses online. For many, the lockdown was a wake-up call. Being forced to provide online services or change business models completely, enabled brands to still meet customer demands and keep business running with little impact.
3 ways to improve e-comms for your business
Besides, pandemic aside, online shopping is easier and more convenient for the majority of people, and why wouldn’t you want that for your customers? Here are some simple tips to help you move your business online and what you need to do to improve your e-commerce.
1. Build or update your website
Building a website can seem daunting. But, to be frank, having a website is the single best thing you can do for your e-comms. Your website is your flagship store and will be the place that customers and clients will look for.
It sounds obvious, but your website must work. Have you ever tried to find something on a website, only to meet broken links, pages that don’t load – or even worse – and have out of date or wrong information? You wouldn’t make a customer go through hurdles to get to your physical shop to buy something, so why would you do it to them online?
A successful website must look amazing and be easy to use. You need to provide interesting and useful content for your customers that gives them all the information they need.
Your website needs features that let you update your stock, prices and delivery times easily, but it also needs to allow you to keep in touch with your customers. A good ‘contact us’ or ‘about’ page will do wonders for your brand.
Lastly, people expect professionalism. Make sure that your website is free of spelling errors, typos and wrong information. Links must work properly and lead to useful pages in order to convert visitors into buyers.
The more professional your website looks, the more trustworthy your company will appear and makes people more comfortable purchasing from you.
2. Optimise your website and make sure you’re seen
You’ve built that amazing website. Now what?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is massively underestimated. Yet without it, your customers won’t be able to find your website when they use a search engine, like Bing or Google. SEO is the tool for helping your website and business to stay ahead of the competition and rank among the first results in search engines.
Have you ever searched for “SEO tips” and seen that Google delivers some 195,000,000 results in less than a second? The page at the number spot has been optimised, meaning that it ticks all the boxes Google looks for and recommends to you, the searcher, that this is the best source to meet your needs, based on your search term.
Optimising for SEO ranges from using relevant keywords, using relevant and useful headers and images, site speeds, redirects and usability. You can read more about the importance of SEO here.
3. Use Social Media to interact with your customers
If you’re not already, start using social media. Your customers will expect you to be on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Like a website, a social media presence makes you more trustworthy. It also gives you another way to sell your products and services through their e-commerce features.
It’s important to remember that you don’t need to be on every social platform; just the ones where your customers are. For example, for most B2C companies, their audience will be on Facebook. Knowing this means that you can make estimated predictions about what they want to see, and tailor your content accordingly. Understanding where customers ‘hang out’ online also opens up opportunities for social media advertising, which lets you specifically target certain customers and redirect traffic to your website.
The main thing to remember with social media is to keep your content visual, engaging, and always provide a link to your website so that customers can access it for more information.
Implementing your e-comms
To improve your business’ e-commerce, you must get a good working website that has been optimised for SEO and start using social media to help build brand awareness. The key to good e-comms is simplicity; make the buyer’s journey as easy as possible. Whether it’s finding you among your competitors or making a sale on your website, strive to make it the best for your customers and you won’t go wrong.