As more and more devices and electronic gadgets make their way into our daily lives, people are spending more of their time online. It seems obvious, right? Today’s average adult has 2.3 media devices, including a smartphone, laptop, eReader, or other. Not only that, but the average adult in the United States spends over two hours online per day. With this heavy focus on the internet and social media, it is no wonder that consumers are also turning to online stores for their shopping, even for everyday items.
If your business is ready to start selling your products or services online, it’s important to think through your strategy first. If you don’t have a clear goal and a compelling value proposition, you need to solve that first. And, not all eCommerce platforms are the same, which means you need to think about what is most important to you and your business.
Avoid these common eCommerce platform mistakes
It wasn’t all that long ago that we needed to hop in the car or on the bus to head to a local retailer to pick up what we needed to take care of our home or to find that next outfit for a night out on the town. The internet and eCommerce have drastically changed the way people around the globe research and conduct transactions for the things that they want or need.
But many sellers make mistakes when they first set up their online shop. Many expect overnight results, and it certainly doesn’t work that way. The most successful online sellers have spent months and years developing trust with their customers, and building awareness to grow their brand. And before you begin selling, you need to determine your goals and then allow yourself to invest until you reach those goals.
So, what are the mistakes that many new eCommerce sellers make?
- Many sellers don’t think through their needs properly and select the wrong eCommerce platform. The last thing a budding business person needs is to inadvertently choose a platform that limits your business potential and growth. And if the platform doesn’t integrate with their existing systems, this can lead to a range of issues such as revenue loss, lower conversions, reduction in traffic, security risks, poor design, and much more.
- Understanding your target audience is critical to your success. Before you launch a platform, you need to make sure that your product will actually fulfill a need. If you fail to define and create an experience that will resonate with your customer, and if you don’t have a brand message that will grab their attention, your online business will fail, and it will fail fast.
- When starting out in business, financial resources are often tight, and as a result, business owners don’t make the proper investments in their website. When this happens, oftentimes, the website can’t grow with the needs of the organization. And this can mean costly upgrades or site redesigns in the future.
- The user experience is key. If your website and the online shopping experience isn’t easy to navigate, and if it isn’t intuitive, your prospective customer might abandon your site because they can’t find what they are looking for. While clicks are a good thing on your site, and you want your customers to spend a fair amount of time browsing, it isn’t good when they need to spend a lot of time clicking through and can’t get where they want to go.
- Make the checkout process easy. If your customer has made it to the checkout process, don’t lose them by making it an overly complicated experience. Ask for just the information you need and avoid making them set up an account before buying a product. Let them spend their money, and then, consider asking for their email address afterward.
The advantages of Shopify for your online store
E-commerce has completely changed the way we do business. As a result, eCommerce stores need to be developed to account for all of the challenges listed above, while creating an appealing and branded experience that aligns with your company’s overall visual identity and value proposition. Platforms such as BigCommerce, Magento, OpenCart, PrestaShop, Shopify, and WooCommerce are some of the most widely used platforms on the market. Shopify, however, is a preferred choice for business owners who desire quality, efficiency, simplicity, and a branded experience for their customers.
Shopify is easy to use and manage, integrates with your company website, and offers a reliable infrastructure along with optimized hardware and software. This gives the platform superior loading speeds, which means less risk of site abandonment by your customers. Furthermore, the Shopify platform offers best-in-class security, which is critical for an online business that takes in personal financial information as part of the transaction.
Additional benefits of Shopify include:
- Marketing tools that complement the work of your marketing team – Shopify offers SEO capabilities and advanced e-commerce analytics. Furthermore, you can create custom gift cards, discount coupons, targeted email marketing, and more.
- The site is mobile friendly and responsive, and that is imperative for an online site. Small retailers may experience online conversion rates up to 30% higher than that of large retailers, and it is estimated that four in every 10 purchases are made online. This means that your site needs to be mobile friendly to serve today’s multi-channel shoppers.
- Shopify is on all the time, which will be a lucrative feature for your business. The desire for instant access and round-the-clock convenience and quick turnaround will be the standard and the minimum expectation in years to come, driven primarily by the expectations of today’s Millennials and Generation Z.
Finally, Shopify offers 24/7 customer support via email, live chat, and phone, which means that your store will stay running, even when you and your employees are fast at sleep. With all of these features and alignment with a business’s compelling product and value proposition, a small business will be well set up for success to sell their product online, while growing their business for years to come.