If you’re a small business, taking the first steps into e-commerce can be daunting. You’ll not only be opening up your products to a much wider audience, but you’ll be setting your business alongside huge global companies. The competition is strong, but that’s where we come in. Moving your business online is becoming increasingly necessary for brands to stay alive and continue to reach customers, but it doesn’t have to be as scary as it first seems. Here at Cornell Studios, we provide our customers with help and guidance to create a website they will love, that is easy to maintain, and that will help your business get a strong footing in the online world.
One of the primary considerations when building an e-commerce website is presentation. Consumers are going to be immediately attracted to a website that is aesthetically pleasing. This means a good theme, so each page is connected and no sections appear jarring. It also means a pleasing structure, each page and dropdown flowing naturally to the other. Once a user has landed on your website, an easy to navigate website will be instrumental in improving your click-through-rates and ensuring customers are browsing your website for longer. The longer a customer stays on your website, or the higher the likelihood of them returning to your website, the more confidence you can have that the customer will make a purchase.
To aid in customers making purchases, you will need your e-commerce website to have a smooth process from initial landing page to check out. This could mean the addition of a search bar so the customer can quickly find what they are looking for, and it could mean the addition of an ‘add to basket’ button without a customer having to click directly onto that product page. When a customer has added their items to their basket and decided to check out, it’s vital this process is streamlined as much as possible. Each additional step in the checkout process increases the chances of the customer abandoning their purchase, so try only to ask for essential information: billing information and shipping address. This is all you will need to complete a transaction.
Customers should never be forced to create an account on your website. When people are shopping online, they are fast-moving and don’t like to be slowed down by the details. You can add a prompt to create an account that will speed up their shopping process on their next purchase, however, it is important there is a ‘guest’ checkout option, allowing people to quickly purchase what they need. The easier the process, the more likely they are to return to your shop.
Whether you already have a well-known business or are just starting out, the need to promote your products never ends. We recommend when you start your e-commerce website to build a strong customer base, and an excellent way to do this is to collect customers emails. They can choose to subscribe to your business and you can make them aware of any latest offerings you have. Having customers emails is also great for sending out shopping cart abandonment emails. If a customer is reminded of a product they had forgotten about, it is likely they’ll return to your website to purchase. If you have a blog on your website, subscribers could even receive the latest updates straight into their inbox.
It’s important to remember, that by putting your website online, you are no longer targeting your current customers, but also looking to gain new customers too. Keeping this in mind, we must understand that not all customers will land directly on your website, but rather will be using a search engine such as Google to search for the product they are looking for. It is up to your digital agency to prioritise SEO when maintaining your website. SEO stands for ‘Search Engine Optimisation’ and is used to ensure you are appearing at the top of the list when potential customers search for your product.
Finally, remember that the internet can often seem like a cold and distant place, and consumers can often feel at a loss if they don’t have a physical person to speak to about a product. So, make yourself available to your customers still. Have a contact page with your phone number and email address, if you’re feeling up to it you may even add a chat function to your website. This allows your customers to feel connected, and the more informed they can stay about your products, the more likely they are to purchase.
Cornell Studios Can Help!
It’s clear that 2020 has led us into a predominantly online world, and the only way to stay ahead of a fast-paced market is to have a business that is just as fast. Whether it is time to upgrade your website, or introduce your goods to the world wide web, Cornell Studios is here to help. From initial design concept, right through to the build of your e-commerce website, we’ve got the skills and the expertise to make sure you have a website you’re proud of. We continue to look after our customers long after their website is built also, applying digital marketing strategies to help boost your sales and give you confidence as you enter the world of e-commerce.