Principle Economics Of Operating An Online eCommerce Store
Although the latest news may not be that great for the traditional “Brick and Mortar” businesses, online businesses who has an actual eCommerce solution are generally doing quite well. But in an online industry which is dominated pretty much by one of the largest companies in the world, Amazon, it may as a result be difficult to begin finding immediate success.
It may become a little more clear however, if you take a look at some of the more accomplished of the ecommerce companies, and then study what they’re doing and discovering their secrets.
Product Pages Vitally Important
When designing your home page, it’s not as important as in the past to spend that much time and effort to make it as SEO relevant as possible. This is because it appears when studying the analytics of ecommerce sites, that the majority of the visitors will never even see it.
The biggest reason for this is that Google and other search engines are now micro indexing pages by finding the exact products via keywords, which are most relevant to the user’s search. So it’s the exact product page that the searcher lands on instead of your homepage.
What the users will usually do is just click on the first result which leads them directly to the product page of a site, where they’ll read the review or details on the product and then make their decision to whether purchase or not. The websites home page thus doesn’t become that much of a factor.
So because of this, the actual design of the product page itself is of utmost importance. On these pages. you should be including all of the important information, such as your shopping cart icons and pages which may otherwise appear just on the home page. Also make sure that you include all of your promotions and deals, your company info, alternate product options and anything else which you feel may be important for the buying process directly on the product pages.
Placement And The Design Of Buttons
On an ecommerce site, one of the most important but surprisingly overlooked keys to a successful site is the actual “Add to Cart” button itself, and its immediate surrounding space. The “Buy Now” button can actually make or break a sale, and the customer doesn’t even realize it.
Also, the only way to know if a particular “Add to Cart” button is working is by actually testing it, then testing it again. Amazon for example, they have it down to an exact science. They are continuously tweaking the placement of their buttons, and as a result, they have been extensively altered and moved over time, as they try to determine which placement drives the most conversions.
So over the years, Amazon’s button has evolved from being a single “Click Here” button to two buttons strategically placed on a page, along with a “one-click” shopping option, while also changing the size and color of the button on the product page, this numerous times until they got it right.
They have the luxury of testing it over time, even at various times of the day, with massive amounts of their “looky loo” traffic. They also have the luxury of testing it on actual “big ticket” items to determine the exact placement of their “Buy NOW” button.
The ultra successful massive online companies realizes that even just the very subtle differences such as the different shades of orange or blue on their “Add to Cart” buttons can make or break a sale. They are finding that small design changes invisible to the human eye can have an enormous impact on the conversion rate of an ecommerce page.
Social media for everyone, and for some time now is completely transforming how users behave on the Internet, and more importantly, when it comes to ecommerce. The latest trend also seems to be the combination of the two.
So what’s been tagged as “Social Commerce” involves the sharing as well as the reading of reviews and ratings, analyzing general opinions regarding brands, products or services which are found on the various social media sites. It also now involves the actual shopping and purchasing goods on these social networks as well, such as buying or selling through Facebook for instance.
The actual use of social networks and combining it with actual transactions is still in the conception stage however, and the majority of social commerce still focuses on monitoring a certain brand’s online reputation as well as interacting with consumers to help influence it.
There has been studies that show the majority of consumers will rely on the various social networks to help them decide making a purchase, and if that certain product has a favorable rating, they are more than likely to purchase it.
So it’s clear that consumers are putting a lot of stock into the actual opinions of their peers on these social networks when it comes to making actual shopping decisions. So because of this, the most successful of the ecommerce sites will incorporate and leverage the various social platforms directly on their sites.
Retention Of Visitors
In the online world, it’s well known that attention spans are extremely “gnat” like short. So when it comes to ecommerce, because customers will instantly switch “stores” with just a click of a button, providing exception customer retention methods are absolutely crucial when running a successful site.
So since consumers are placing an extreme importance on social media based reviews and opinions, finding and retaining customers can become extremely difficult. So once you do attract someone to your site who’s interested in your product or service, you’ll need to work extremely hard to keeping them there. After all, the marketing cost that’s required to just finding one new customer is 7X times more than retaining that customer.
Keeping that customer can be as easy as providing a superior product or service, having excellent customer reviews and providing helpful customer support. It’s been proven that ecommerce businesses who are able to retained just 5% percent of their customers, have reported profit increases as much as 90% percent.
This is primarily because of most consumers indicating that the actual quality of customer service that they receive is important to them. They will actually spend more on those companies who provide better service.
When using additional and advanced customer service techniques, such as providing online live chat, are better ways of providing as well as supporting a satisfied customer base. Brands are also able to use social media, such as Twitter, to listen to customer feedback and issues and then dealing with them in a timely manner.
Online Globalization Of ECommerce
The Internet because of its massive reach can deliver success because of its immense and instant global reach, making borders easier to tolerate. Despite the problems that companies have when providing their product or service internationally, such as language and currency barriers and customer support issues, this may just be the tip of an enormous economic iceberg.
Pushing your business towards going global isn’t an easy task, this even for large enterprise-level ecommerce companies to be able to go truly global. But with that being said, all of the trends are indicating that there will be a full global economy in the very near future. This is spurred primarily by the availability of the Internet to all corners of the industrialized world, and ecommerce is expected to play an extremely major part in it.