Buying online is bigger than ever. Consumers are increasingly forsaking the high street and heading to the digital marketplace for their regular bout of retail therapy. With web-savvy shoppers able to purchase everything from candles and clothes to bacon soap (yes, really) online at the click of a mouse or the dab of a digit, it’s no surprise ecommerce now accounts for more than 15% of total UK retail sales – some £60 billion.
And that figure is only set to rise. By 2019 it’s estimated web sales will be worth more than £86 billion – almost 20% of the market. The message is clear – whatever your business, you need to be set up to sell to the smartphone society we’ve become. Don’t worry, we’ve pulled together some top tips to make sure your customers, whether they’re surfing your site from a smartphone in the sun, a tablet on their chaise longue or a laptop on their lunch break, get the best experience possible – and you, savvy ecommerce operator that you are – get the best results. Take a gander:
As the old saying goes, you only get one chance at a first impression. One of the biggest mistakes businesses make when moving online is rushing the launch of their website. While it’s fine to do some groundwork – grab your domain, build a bit of buzz with a ‘coming soon page – for the love of the digital Gods don’t even think about launching until everything is in place. Without substantial SEO, a social media strategy and advertising, you could find your hastily-launched ecommerce platform quickly goes the way of Woolworths…
Focus on your customers
The big advantage ecommerce has over the traditional shopping experience is its convenience – there are no high street stores (if you find one, let us know!) that will let you shop for new shoes at 3am on a Sunday in your underwear. If you take away that convenience, whether by some element of your site not working as it should, not listening to feedback or failing to invest in (and react to) analytics, your customers will soon head back to the high street, or worse – one of your competitors.
Social media is the heartbeat of any good ecommerce business. You might not be able to chat to your customers over the counter like in a traditional store, but you can engage with them through you social platform of choice. Engaging with people on social media lets your customers – and your prospective customers – see the personality and authenticity behind the words and pictures, building brand loyalty and awareness for little to no budget. It’s also a great way to gather in-depth info on who your audience is, what they want, and how well you’re delivering it to them.
Psst… Fancy some more social media tips? Mosey on over to here and fill your boots.
A responsive website equals responsive customers. What’s a responsive website, you ask? Well, you’re on one! Simply put, it’s a website that has been constructed so that all of the content, images and structure of the site remains the same on any device. We’re all increasingly inseparable from our smartphones and ever-growing numbers of us now shop from them. A responsive website means you get the same experience whether you’re shopping from a smartphone, a laptop, a tablet, a phablet or any other combination of screen and circuitry.
With mcommerce (mobile commerce – we know, we know) set to account for more than 40% of online sales by 2019, businesses that don’t respond to the call of consumers and big hitters like Google to embrace responsive web design could find their sales suffering as a result.
Course, we’ve only skimmed the surface of the benefits of responsive design. Fancy diving in (no floatation device required) and learning a bit more? Step right this way…
Technology, trends and consumer tastes constantly change. If your business isn’t evolving with them, you’ll soon be extinct.