Best Ecommerce Tips and Strategies for 2024

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Ecommerce transactions continue to trail brick-and-mortar retail sales. The momentum and the future is however decisively in ecommerce’s favor. Smartphones bring convenience that favors ecommerce.

Nevertheless, the existence of great opportunity is not a guarantee of success. Like their physical counterparts, ecommerce businesses fail.

There is a lower barrier for entry which makes the competition intense. Getting it right requires tapping into the experiences, knowledge and best practices modeled by those that have made it.

It’s not possible to cover all of the dozens of tried-and-tested tips for ecommerce success here. The following are those that show the greatest potential for making a decisive impact on business success.

1. Make a Good First Impression

Humans have a short attention span. It takes just a couple of seconds (or milliseconds) for the average person to judge whether a site is worth their time. A website is to an ecommerce store what facade and floor space is to a physical store. e

Ecommerce website design is central to making a good first impression. Webmasters should pay attention to:

  • Functionality — Have all the core features expected of an ecommerce store including a navigation bar with menu categories and subcategories, as well as site search.
  • Navigability — Have flawless transitions between different pages and screens. Where need be, include internal links that lead visitors to the page and product they are looking for.
  • Usability — Have good contrast between background and foreground for ease of readability. Make the most of popup windows to provide or request contextual information but only have them where they are not disruptive to the buyer journey.
  • Visual Appeal — Have the right blend of buttons, colors, animations and other page elements necessary to attract users. Be creative, memorable and distinct from other websites.

Website design is not a one-off process. Regular review and update is important to keep up with evolving technologies, market changes and user preferences.

2. Write Informative, Concise Product Descriptions

In a physical shop, potential buyers have the chance to touch, feel, study and try the product in person before they make the purchase. Ecommerce stores enjoy no such luxury.

To make up for the remote nature of the interaction, product descriptions must be comprehensive enough to relay all the information the average buyer needs to make a decision but concise enough not to lose their attention.

Product descriptions should be accompanied by high quality photos and videos that show the item from multiple angles. Visuals can greatly reduce the amount of text that is needed to describe the product.

Each item’s description should have indications of size, weight and material so users can get a sense of the product’s real scale and nature before they place their order.

3. Create a Seamless Checkout Process

Buyers abandon shopping carts for multiple reasons. One of the most significant is the length and complexity of the checkout process. Ecommerce stores should have a checkout process that is:

  • Simple — Do not require buyers to fill in more information than they need to. Keep the number of checkout steps at the bare minimum and clearly indicate what fields are optional.
  • Inclusive — Accept standard payment options such as major credit cards and web wallets. Depending on the target audience, it may be necessary to include other methods such as cryptocurrency and mobile wallets.
  • Secure — Concerns over the safety of personal and financial data is one of the primary reasons people do not shop online. Reassure buyers their data is secure. All pages but especially the checkout page should be protected by SSL certificates.

4. Offer Fast Shipping, Shipment Tracking and Predictable Returns

Ecommerce stores should ship orders promptly and use reliable shipping service providers. Provide multiple shipping options so customers that are willing to pay a little extra to have their shipments delivered quicker than usual have the opportunity to do so.

Offer shipment tracking by default to manage customer expectations and reduce the number of customer enquiries checking on how soon they can expect the package.

Create a return policy that governs under what circumstances a refund is acceptable and, where need be, the process for paying refunds.

5. Provide High Quality Customer Support

Stellar service is a signal that the business cares about its customers. Invest in the technology, people, procedure and technology required to provide the best possible customer experience.

Respond to customer enquiries quickly and resolve issues conclusively to avoid recurrence. Create a frequently asked questions (FAQs) page to preempt the most common general enquiries.

Be reachable through as many channels as possible. That may include live chat, support tickets, social media, phone number, mailing address and email address. The email address should be a business address with the same domain name as the ecommerce store. This is considered more professional and credible than free Internet email services such as Gmail or Yahoo.

Subject all new employees to customer service training irrespective of their role. Schedule refresher training for staff to continuously emphasize the central role customers play in business success.

6. Use Social Media

Major social networking apps like Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, WhatsApp and X (formerly Twitter) can enable ecommerce stores to expand their reach, increase brand awareness and grow their customer base. Competition for social media eyeballs is intense. To gain traction, business should:

  • Post regularly and consistently — Identify the times of day or days of the week when most of the social media account’s followers are online and active. Stick to posting around the same time so followers always know when they can next expect to see a new post.
  • Work with influencers — Influencer marketing allows an ecommerce store to ride on an influencer’s sway over their audience.
  • Create profiles on multiple social media platforms — It is possible that much of the target audience is found on just one or two platforms. Many businesses have taken off based on activity on just one social media platform. Still, diversification is vital. Not only is it a means to reach an audience outside the primary platform, it also keeps at bay competitors and fraudsters that may exploit the store’s absence on other platforms.

7. Master Search Engine Optimization

Search engines and particularly Google are bound to be the largest source of visitor traffic for the average ecommerce store. The higher a website appears on search results, the greater the traffic it can expect to receive.

3 in 5 Internet users click on the first 2 or 3 results — 9 in 10 users click on the first 10 results. Appearing within the first set of results translates to more traffic and therefore more sales.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of making a website’s pages rank among the first set of search engine results for select keywords. There are dozens of SEO strategies such as:

  • Register the website with Google and Bing.
  • Create a Google My Business profile.
  • Research and identify the keywords and phrases the target audience uses most often when looking for the ecommerce store’s products. These keywords should be included in relevant content including blog posts and product descriptions.
  • Incorporate keywords taking into account search intent when crafting a page’s title, URL and meta-description.
  • Create fresh, high quality and authoritative content.
  • Improve the website’s loading speed.

8. Provide Incentives

Provide incentives that encourage visitors to buy. Examples include:

  • Discounts and Promotions — Offer discounts on products while stocks last or run time-bound (e.g. one week offer) or transaction bound (e.g. first 50 orders) sales campaigns.
  • Free/Discounted Shipping — If offering free shipping on all orders is not feasible, the store can set a minimum order value that’s eligible.
  • Loyalty Programs — Create a loyalty program that rewards regular buyers with members-only discounts, bonuses and freebies.

9. Focus on a Mobile Friendly Site

As of 2023, more than 95% of Internet users accessed the World Wide Web via smartphone. Google has a free Mobile-Friendly test that webmasters can use to check how well their site scores for smartphone access and any usability problems that arise.

Nevertheless, it is important that web developers eventually perform their own tests to confirm that the store is properly accessible across all major device types. That means for example, checking if buttons, images, forms and navigation bars are proportionally-sized and clickable.

Conclusion

Ecommerce is rapidly becoming the default playground for business. Companies that want to have sustainable, long term success must find a way of navigating and winning in this space. This article has covered some of the most important aspects one needs to pay attention to but is by no means exhaustive.

For best results, ecommerce stores should assess their strengths and.weaknesses then identify and employ the strategies that can best amplify these strengths and plug the weaknesses. In a marketplace where there is not great variation between the products offered by any two stores, these tips can provide the edge a business needs to get ahead of the competition.

Rebekah Carter

Rebekah Carter is an experienced content creator, news reporter, and blogger specializing in marketing, business development, and technology. Her expertise covers everything from artificial intelligence to email marketing software and extended reality devices. When she’s not writing, Rebekah spends most of her time reading, exploring the great outdoors, and gaming.

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