Every type of business in the world today has its own unique rulebook for those intending to succeed. eCommerce is no exception to the rule as while there are of course plenty of similarities to standard retail, there are also key differences to take into account. Approached in the right way, eCommerce can be a uniquely rewarding venture and one that has the potential to breathe life into unrealised dreams.
As for how to get it right, it’s all about knowing the most basic principles of eCommerce and following common sense guidelines. So if you’re thinking about getting into eCommerce or need a little guidance on how to make your current business more successful, consider the following fundamental basics:
Effective Product Descriptions
Incomplete or unclear product descriptions can be the biggest obstacles standing between any site and its potential success. Your target audience can’t examine your products first-hand, so it’s up to you to get all the necessary information across. This means going into some detail to include things like weight, size, shipping costs and so on, as well as the generic description. The real challenge however is nailing the 80 to 150 word sweet-spot for effective product descriptions.
Quality Images, No Stock Photographs
The photographs you use to display the products you have on offer should be taken by you and feature the actual products. This means forgetting about using Google Images to find stock photographs – they need to be the real deal. What’s more, they also need to be large, of excellent quality and ideally taken from a series of angles. The better your photographs, the better your business will do and the fewer complaints, questions and returned products you’ll have to deal with.
You’ll need to have solid policies in place by way of price promises, delivery estimates/guarantees, returns policies and so on and so forth. However, what’s even more important than the policies themselves is the ability to communicate them as clearly and concisely as possible. If your customers don’t understand how well their purchases are covered by your policies, chances are they won’t be won over enough to go ahead with a purchase.
Closely Followed Analytics
Here at Pivotal Hosting, we’ve always believed that analytics represent one of the most crucial factors in determining the success of any online business – eCommerce sites especially. The reason being that analytics provide your only 100% accurate window into the behaviour of those visiting your store. How long are they sticking around? Which pages capture their attention? Which have the highest bounce rates? To constantly follow your performance using analytics is to have all the answers right in front of you.
Clear Contact Information
And finally, nobody likes to buy anything at all online unless they know there’s a way of getting in touch with the seller if there’s a problem. As such, you have to make it not only apparent how to get in touch with you, but also that you’re ready and waiting to hear from anyone with any questions to ask. This immediately breeds the kind of trust and confidence you need to instill in order to convert with an eCommerce website.