E-commerce: Your website and infrastructure can make or break your business
Running an E-commerce business is a daunting task, and trying to ensure its success is even more difficult due to the highly competitive world of digital marketing. Companies are tasked with determining what strategies will work best for their businesses and then need to be able to adapt to overcome various challenges to become successful.
The importance of scaling
To thrive as an E-commerce business, it is imperative to master the ability to increase traffic to your website. Successfully incorporating proper scaling into your e-commerce shop is a challenge many online store owners are unable to implement adequately. Having the ability to do so helps your store maintain loyal customers and acquire more new customers than the competition.
Your website needs to be able to scale up to handle spikes in traffic which occur around busy shopping periods. The revenue from Black Friday 2018 was an astounding $6.2 billion, a 23.6% increase year over year. The revenue made from this day alone is a significant contributor to whether an E-commerce business has had a successful quarter or not – so you don’t want to miss out on any opportunities. It is important to make sure your website is functioning properly on these promotional occasions as there might be a lot of new website visitors who are having their first encounters with your brand, so you’ll want to make a good impression. Most website visitors will be looking to take advantage of the available promotions, so you’ll want to make sure this transactional process is as smooth as possible. I remember an occasion when I was shopping online, and I wasn’t able to complete a purchase because the systems were too busy. This resulted in me getting the item elsewhere, and driving a customer to a competitor is exactly what you don’t want as an e-commerce company.
Visitor trust is important
Establishing trust with online visitors is essential. Not everyone who visits your site will be set on making a purchase. Some users will be visiting for the first time and may be hesitant to make a purchase from an unfamiliar site. Establishing trust, even in tiny increments, is the key to keeping more customers at your site during the early stages of the buying cycle.
A huge factor in gaining trust is having a system that works. If your customers leave due to busy systems or a slow-loading website, chances are those customers will not return, as they perceive you as an unreliable brand. A stable, well-performing e-commerce platform will give your customers a good experience, and they will happily return to purchase more. This means you need to support your website with infrastructure that performs well and can scale up to meet seasonal peak demands.
One more trust factor is security. As an e-commerce company, your customers trust you with their personal and payment data. Making sure that data is kept safe is vital for your customers, employees, brand, and reputation in the industry. It pays to have measures in place to ensure your infrastructure is secure and monitored.
Before you should ever consider a redesign for your site, it is important for you to analyze any potential defects in the existing conversion funnel. The lifeline of any e-commerce site can demonstrate what is causing a decrease in sales. You need to track down what is leading to the decline in sales and remedy the problem immediately in order to keep your business alive. There are several ways you can optimize your website to increase sales, and actually most of those have to do with the usability of your site, as well as the accessibility of your checkout and payment processes. If the shopping experience is tedious, your products are difficult to find, and paying for them is a hassle – your customers will go elsewhere.
Four steps to a better customer experience
- Begin by making sure your website runs properly
The website should load fast, allowing customers to view products and switch from product to product without any downtime. Long waits for pages to load often cause customers to abandon their carts to find websites that function better. Kissmetrics found that 40% of consumers abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.This means you need to ensure you run your website on infrastructure that can deliver the best possible latency, but can also bring the performance and scalability you need.
- Ensure your website is easy to navigate
Visitors should be able to maneuver from product to product without any issues, and they should be able to locate what they are looking for easily. Customers need to have information easily accessible, as this will keep them happy and encourage them to buy more products and services from you.
- Create a painless checkout process
Examine your existing checkout process. If you have a process that is overly complicated, requiring the customer to go through several steps just to place an order, chances are more customers will abandon carts instead of purchasing items they are interested in. Unexpected shipping costs, requiring customers to create accounts, security issues, and various other factors are leading culprits for abandoned carts. One often-forgotten aspect of the checkout process is the integration of your payment provider. If you have good connectivity, your checkout and payment processes will most probably run smoother, giving your customers a better experience.
- Make security a top priority
If visitors do not feel safe using your website, they will not feel confident in providing their credit card or personal information to you in order to make a purchase. Make sure you choose a trusted hosting partner for your site.
Trust and usability are key
If you have an E-commerce aspect of your business, you need a quick and easy shopping and checkout process, and a dependable system supporting everything. Choosing the right type of infrastructure, supported with a set of services that keep things safe and speedy, can make a huge difference in the success of your e-commerce business.