When it comes to running a business, there’s no better idea right now than an online shop. Indeed, even though times are turbulent, Media Post reports that e-commerce spending in the US hit $82.5 billion last May. For reference, this was 77.8% more than the projected revenue for the same period on a normal year. Plus, recent transactions were recorded to be higher than shopping holidays in the country, like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Today, we’re going to take a look at some of the best practices around the world and how successful businesses have optimized their online shops.
Pick an engaging website theme
No matter where they’re from, the best online shops have one thing in common: engaging website designs. By engaging, we don’t mean themes that are filled to the brim with color and contain many boxes. In fact, for online shops, simple designs are often the best.
The more elements that you have onscreen, the more distracted your customers will be when they look at your inventory. It’s better to stick to those with two to three colors and let your products’ pictures do all the talking.
Make it mobile-friendly
Southeast Asia (SEA) residents are big on online shopping, with research by Accenture showing that the region’s share of e-commerce will exceed $30 billion in the next two years. This growth is attributed to the equally growing mobile connections in SEA. If you want people to buy from your shop, then it has to be mobile-friendly. Think big fonts and bigger buttons.
You can also look into responsive design - or the website automatically adapting to the size and shape of the screen that it’s viewed on - to optimize the shopping experience on any device.
Boost your organic traffic
The same Accenture study above has one more interesting tidbit: SEA e-commerce sites mostly acquire traffic via organic searches. The situation is much the same here in the US. Indeed, one of our 40 Proven Ways To Increase Your Website Traffic was to optimize your website for search engines. After all, a lot of people do discover brands and products via web searches.
Do your keyword research. Find out what words people are typing into their search boxes and scatter them onto your product pages. Don’t overdo it, however, as Google might see it as spam and penalize your site.
Introduce a rewards system
Nothing entices people to come back more than a well-built online loyalty program and this is true across the globe. In the UK, three in four Brits are loyalty card holders. Aside from everyone being return customers of a brand, 47% of them are likely to spend more, too.
Gala Bingo wrote about the different retailer reward cards in the UK and showed that the big brands opted for one of two options: a points-based system that grants customers points per purchase, which can then be spent on products or to unlock membership tiers for exclusive deals, or a flat out discount on specific products. Here in the US, online reward companies have even added a gamification aspect to their programs. Companies like Shopkick have turned shopping into a scavenger hunt as shoppers get more points by completing tasks.
Whether a simple reward arrangement or a more unique program your online shop could definitely benefit from this type of system as well.
Offer popular payment options
As the only continent where many of its residents have the perk of using the same currency, online shops across Europe have access to a big market of customers. This is why a payment gateways guide on TechRadar highlights that European merchants will almost always offer Stripe as an option. Transactions made through it are cheaper for European cards. This is much the same for American merchants. Except here, people often look for the option to pay via credit card or PayPal. Offering the payment option your customers are most likely to use will make their purchasing experience much easier.
Regardless of whether you’re an e-commerce veteran or someone new to the field, only those that know how to optimize their online shop can win the sales race. Depending on the technique used, you can have more potential customers visiting, purchasing, and even coming back in the near future.