E commerce owns a bigger part of the overall sales of a retailer in the U.S and this has made it compulsory for even small business to move a part of their operations or even the entire operations online. These e commerce sites are powered by specific, easy to use e commerce software that integrates commerce into a normal business website. With as low as even $100 one can add any of the e commerce components into an already existing small business and attract more customers or even use it to make a new online store.
When there’s already a business website, the easy way is to just integrate a standalone shopping cart to it for ecommerce functionality. This is the best bet for those who need to have a good control over the site, but would have otherwise needed an IT staff or technical expertise to host and run the ecommerce site. Another option for small business owners is hosted ecommerce software. Here everything is provided from a domain name registration to giving away tools required to run an ecommerce site including a shopping cart, and that requires minimal technical and design knowledge. Most of them take care of the PCI compliance too in order to keep the customer’s data safe.
The benefits of using hosted ecommerce software are the low costs incurred and the ease of use. Also, this kind of software grows with your business typically giving the freedom to choose the options as and when the business has a requirement or need. Most ecommerce softwares provide the basics from a customizable site design templates, inventory management, integrated shopping cart, email marketing options, search engine optimization and analytics. Once an account is registered, using the store management tools helps in customizing the online presence of ecommerce sites. Depending on the need and requirement of a site it is essential to pick out the software that is best suited. Email marketing is generally most sought after and so is mobile marketing for some businesses. Considering software with these options is ideal in such cases.
A few popular options while considering hosted ecommerce software – 1. Ability commerce – Amazon channel feed, 2. Big Commerce – Real time E bay integration, 3. Intuit Ecommerce – the merchant account, 4. Shopify – Advanced SEO and analytics and 5.vendio – Automated selling on EBay, Amazon and facebook. With the right choice of software a small business can find the right kind of quality customers and enhance the online presence and online sales in return.
An e commerce website should be designed in a way that the main focus and target is fulfilled and unhindered. The colours of the website or the template used could disturb customers or distract their attention and a template can be too flashy and actually be an eye sore to anyone visiting the site. Below are few tips that help you enhance customer relationship and thus increase the visits and sales eventually:
- Visible shopping cart – It is essential for a customer to see their products registered in the shopping cart visibly. This gives a sense of satisfaction and trust. Also, this shopping cart has to be visible at all times and pages till the end and serve as a reference point too for customers when they need to check the products loaded for buying.
- Optimize the “Add to cart” button – Keep it simple and less complicated. Either a “buy now” button or an “add to cart” button will serve the purpose when compared to “need more details” or “learn more” buttons. Also, the color used to highlight the “add to cart” buttons or “buy now” buttons need to be in gentler tone and in connectivity to the rest of the website design and color rather than flashy colors.
- Search option – A search option is imperative for any ecommerce site and this helps save time and makes navigation easy
- Clear navigation paths – Too many categories jumbled in the webpage leads to confusion. Fly out menus can be the best choice for such sites. This gives opportunity to customers to surf any given category at any given time without being caught in the clutter of the whole scene.
- Visitors need to control their shopping – Give them the freedom to do so by categorizing based on price, brand, bestsellers, comparisons and reviews.
- Product review – Add a product review to each product to help the shopper understand before fixing on a particular item
- Placement of content about a product is extremely important
- Availability of a product needs to be displayed
- Provide display product variations like sizes, colors etc clearly to help make shopping easy
- Keep the check out page as a one step procedure. Too many steps for confirmation or any other distraction in the check out page may actually distract a customer.
The above tips are sure way to win customers and retain those loyal shoppers as well.
“SEO” may be a new term for many of the new online sellers. But once you know what it does and start working on it, your business may see a new surge in revenue. Basically Search Engine Optimization (SEO) helps in giving a higher rank to your webpage in the search engine results. It also increases the number of visitors to your page. Following are some of the SEO tips which may help the e-commerce websites boost their revenue:
- Incorporate the right keywords: Proper keywords help in directing the searchers to your webpage. Use all the possible keywords relevant to your business in every individual page. You could also use the analytics tool to verify the most used keywords used by the searchers in the search engine. A look on your competitor’s website will also give you some idea on the list of keywords to be used.
- URL: See that the URL of your site speaks about the content of your page. Make it clear and more descriptive, so that the searchers will have an idea about the content on looking at the URL of your page.
- Anchor text should be more meaningful. Anchor text is the text which can be clicked on. It has a hyperlink, when clicked it connects to the related page.
- Backlinks are a ranking factor. A link of your website present in another website is known as a backlink. Backlinks can be created in many ways. One of the easiest ways is to write blog posts on other blog. There are a lot of strategies for working on backlinks. You could also create some partners page, where you can exchange links with someone seeking to create backlinks.
- Interlinks: Just like backlinking, interlinks are used to connect pages within your websites. Have interlinks between every page your website carries. This could make your website more user friendly.
- Describe the images: Text is very important for your webpage. Make sure that every image in your website is well described. Usage of right keywords in the image description could also help in reflecting your website in the search results. Make the descriptions crisp and clear.
- Keep your content up to the date. Always update the content of your webpage on a regular period. This could increase the number of visitors to your page. Anything new tends to attract people and make them anxious to check your website for new contents regularly. Contents should also be more creative, so that your website gains some uniqueness among other relevant sites.
SEO could be a right tool for ecommerce websites, provided all the above factors are followed properly. Also remember that SEO is not an overnight process. It does consume some time to make a healthy progress. To be patient, could be the first tip if have chosen to make a successful SEO for your online business. Slow and steady wins the race!