Every successful business owner would probably give you their own golden rules for making it in eCommerce. Suffice to say, some of which would be more useful and relevant than others.
Still, irrespective of the type of business you intend to establish, there are certain standards you need to address to succeed. So whether you’re starting out at ground level or looking to improve the performance of an existing business, here’s a brief overview of the three most important rules for successful eCommerce:
1. It’s all about the experience
First up, it’s no longer simply a case of combining quality products with low prices to guarantee your success. If you are unable to provide every customer with a memorable and engaging experience, you’re looking at a dead end.
The customer experience is the single most important and relevant tipping point in the world of eCommerce. Studies show time and time again that customers are typically willing to pay more for the same product and services, if the overall buying experience is superior.
Every step of the customer’s journey must be smooth, seamless and capable of painting a positive picture of your brand. If not, all the low prices and traditional bargaining chips in the world simply aren’t going to make any difference.
2. Experimentation drives success
You can only ever learn a certain amount about your audience’s behaviour and preferences through traditional research. The reason being that when push comes to shove, all your predictions and general expectations could prove to be entirely off the mark.
This is precisely why experimentation and A/B testing are compulsory components of eCommerce success. To simply assume whatever it is you’re providing is 100% flawless is naïve and dangerous in the extreme. Irrespective of how solidly your eCommerce site is performing, there’s always plenty of room for improvement.
Accept the trial and error nature of the industry and carry out as many tests and experiments as you can along the way. Allow the result of the tests to determine the best course of action to be taken to continually optimise your eCommerce website. If it works, go with it – even if it goes against your initial vision.
3. Metrics tell you all you need to know
Last but not least, once your eCommerce website is up and running, analytics will tell you everything you need to know to make it a success. By studying key metrics, you’ll know exactly what’s working, what’s sending your customers in the opposite direction and where things could stand to be optimised. After which, it’s a case of getting busy with A/B testing and determining what works.
Intensive and on-going use of analytics means gaining access to all the information you’ll ever need to create a blueprint for eCommerce success. It’s all right there in front of you – the elements of your website that are engaging customers, bounce rate data, demographics, preferred access points (desktop/mobile etc.) and so on.
Not only is it completely priceless data – it’s also 100% free to access and analyse to your heart’s content. If you don’t have the time to do it yourself, consider hiring someone who does!