Building Trust in Your eCommerce Company

It’s not easy getting an online store off the ground when you’re a small operation, not least because you don’t have a ready-made reputation to piggyback off and a lot of consumers are hesitant to buy stuff online when the company is not well known to them. That’s why it is so important that you are able to build trust in your eCommerce company. This is something that you should prioritize when you launch your eCommerce store.

Okay, but how do you build trust in my business? Start by doing the following:

Personalize Your Website

People trust other people, not websites. So, when you are launching your eCommerce company, be sure to give it the personal touch, perhaps by writing out your story and how you came to launch your company, and definitely by including your name and a picture of yourself, as well as a company address. This will help visitors feel more at ease when it comes to making a purchase.

 

Make It Simple and Secure

Security

When designing your website you should (or have the person who’s designing your site for you) not only ensure that your website is clean and easy to use, but also that it is secure. If potential customers don’t see that reassuring lock in the address bar when they come to checkout, chances are they won’t be confident enough to make a purchase.

 

Make it Uniform

One very often underlooked way of building trust is consistency. If your website looks professional and it is branded in exactly the same way as your social media site, and if your emails and documents all use the same template, it will paint a more cohesive and professional image of you. The software at https://www.templafy.com/ can help you to achieve consistency in emails, slides and other documents. However, you will need to discuss your style with your web designer to ensure that your eCommerce store and other online accounts all have the same style.

 

Get Feedback

Of course, the best way to build trust in your eCommerce company is to get positive reviews from other people. It might, then, be worth sending out a few free samples to get the ball rolling. Send your products or offer your services to a few of the  social media influencers at https://izea.com/2017/11/01/top-influencers-2017/ in return for a review or mention, focus on giving them a good experience and then watch the positive reviews roll in and the trust in your company grow. Also, allow reviews to be made on your site.

 

Mitigate Against Risk

Since many people are hesitant to buy from a new company online, it makes sense to mitigate against any perceived risks by offering a generous guarantee or no questions asked returns policy. If they know that they have nothing to lose by making a purchase they are more likely to trust you and to actually make a purchase – it’s basic common sense.

Building trust doesn’t happen overnight, but if you are consistent in your efforts and you do all of the above, it won’t be too long until people recognize your brand and associate it with quality, honesty and value.

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Why User Experience is Important for Your eCommerce Business and Some Tips to Improve it in 2018

User Experience is Important for ecommerceBy some estimates, every 1 out of 10 websites on the internet is an eCommerce site- putting its number in millions. And even if we take into account the top 1 million eCommerce websites, the top 50% sweep away 97% of the revenues. Now if you have a digital store to run, this should make two things very clear to you: 1. With so many eCommerce platforms out there, it is almost certain that whatever you are selling, there is someone else doing it as well; 2. eCommerce is a winner takes all industry and unless you are among the top, you are a failure.

Our apologies if that seemed a bit demotivating but we have a different point to make. If most of those eCommerce sites sell more or less the same products, how come a few succeed over the others? That where user experience comes into the picture. While having a wide catalog and competitive pricing are the basics, it is not the products themselves that deliver success but how consumers feel while purchasing it, is what makes the difference. That is, if you want your eCommerce business to be successful, the user experience is where you need to excel and here is how you do it:

Usability

Remember this- the easier customers find your website to use, the more they will engage. Finding a product description is as important as looking at the way it is displayed on screen. Proper indentation, spacing, font style, font size, colors and figures with labels – all adds up to the overall aesthetics of the content. And while businesses agree that their store should be easy to use, the problem arises when it starts to conflict with the interface or aesthetic beauty, as some call it.

The solution is simple- if you have a layout that looks very good but isn’t simple to use, don’t deploy it. The best example is Amazon.com. They have all the expertise and resources to create the most beautiful site on the internet but yet choose to be more efficient. Keep all your products in neat categories, provide images with a description, provide links on images, allow express sign-in, are just a few of the small details that can make or break the mood of your potential customers.

Minimize friction

But how do you test the usability? The general rule of thumb is to look for friction, i.e clicks. You should aim to minimize the number of clicks that a user has to do to make the purchase.

While it is tough to quantify for those customers who are just browsing, it is the single most important factor for regular customers- they should be able to make the purchase without having to use their mind even once. If it takes more than 4-5 clicks from the product page to the final invoice, you need to cut down the complexity.

Feature-rich shopping cart

People are generally confused while shopping and having a shopping cart that can’t handle even the simplest of tasks like changing quantity or size, is simply off-putting and generally results in cart abandonment. That is if you want your traffic to convert, get any seasoned eCommerce development service capable of building a sophisticated shopping cart for your store.

Payment options

Most of the internet traffic comes today from mobile devices but the majority of the businesses still rely on payment methods designed for desktops. After all, it is okay to enter credit card details on a full-size keyboard but on a 5-inch screen when on the move? Not really. This is something eCommerce developers must take into account- responsive design can take you only so far. after that, it is only a mobile-first strategy that can deliver a superior experience.

As an eCommerce store, you must provide the widest possible options in terms of payment. The aim should be to not force customers to use any payment mode they haven’t used before- because people generally aren’t comfortable sharing financial details!

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Set Up Your Own E-commerce Website?

Do You Have What It Takes To Set Up Your Own E-commerce Website?

The world of e-commerce is exciting and filled with possibilities. You’ll have read many success stories about people who’ve made their fortune with an online store and perhaps even felt inspired to give it a go. If you’ve always wanted to work for yourself, e-commerce could be a great option, a venture that allows you to call the shots and reap the rewards. It sounds great, but it’s not exactly easy. Think you’ve got what it takes to make it big in e-commerce? Take a look at the following before you dive in.

Getting started

Getting set up with an e-commerce website isn’t as simple as just having an idea and building a website. It has to be a great idea and an outstanding website to stand any chance of success. This 7 part guide on how to get started in e-commerce explains the step-by-step processes you need to go through to build a successful online store. You’ll need to do a lot of research and testing to find out if people even want to buy your product. The initial research is worth it, however, to make sure you don’t invest a lot of time and money into something that won’t pay off.

You’re going to need help

An e-commerce business has a lot happening behind the scenes. Not only does someone need to manage orders and deal with queries, but there are also people responsible for the website maintenance, marketing, finance and other areas. This may all sound like something you can do yourself, but you’ll soon find that it takes a team to get this working. To get a team in place, you might need to source investment or take out a business loan – something that could be a gamble if your venture doesn’t take off.

It could be a long time before you see any profit

There’s a misconception that the money to be made online is instant, and sadly this couldn’t be further from the truth. Your success depends on many different things, and you could go months or even years without seeing real profit. Many people have to retain their income from elsewhere to get by during the launch phase of an e-commerce venture, so don’t think about quitting the day job just yet. There are many mistakes that people make with e-commerce at the beginning, so if you make sure that all bases are covered before you begin – you could see a profit sooner than expected.

 

E-commerce is a great money-maker if you know how to play it, and could be the start of a profitable new adventure for you. At the heart of every great e-commerce venture is a fantastic website, and there are a lot of elements you need to make sure your website is a success. Do your research, ask others how it’s done and make sure you know what you’re doing before you throw yourself into the world of e-commerce.

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how to shorten your ecommerce sales cycle

5 Practical Ways Content Marketing Helps Shorten Your Sales Cycle

We all know that in these times when everything has become digital the biggest tool of your marketing strategy is your website. But, of course, it is not enough just to have one. You need to design it carefully in order to allow your users to have free circulation inside it and all the information must be easy to find to make their trip through your sales funnel as fast as possible. Your prospects need to be fully aware of the nature of your business and you need to provide them with all the information necessary, so you don’t get yourself into the position where you will need to explain to your potential customers what is that your company does. In order to help your sales team use their time as effectively as possible in order to shorten your sales cycle, take a look at these tips:

1. Have your answers prepared

Today most of the people are reluctant to buy products or services right away. They want to know everything about a certain product before they purchase it, which results in series of questions that can take for hours. The point is that all these questions are quite similar, so you should gather them around and analyze them to find the certain pattern. When you do, just answer them and put those answers on your company website’s FAQ page. That way you will evade unnecessary questions and make the impression that you’re completely open to your buyers. Maybe it seems too difficult to ‛guess’ all the questions because people have different ways of putting them, but you just need to use effective keywords and every potential customer will find the way to the answer he or she seeks.

2. Spit it out

Most companies instruct their sales team to postpone the information about the price of a certain product or service until the end of the conversation, which can result in a wasted time. You’re gonna have to tell the price to the customers eventually, so don’t spend hours in the negotiations to realize in the end that they are not prepared for such price from the beginning. Instead, you should make a price page on your website with all the pricing information. That way you won’t be losing your time on people who are not prepared to pay the required sum and that transparency will also make your business honest and trustworthy. Just spit it out and then your salesman will do the rest.

3. Lead them the whole way

When it comes to buying services, your customers will want to know exactly what they get, step by step. We live in capitalist society and our new god is called ‛Calculation’, which means that nobody likes surprises anymore, especially when their money is concerned. That’s why you need to tell them in advance what exactly can they expect from doing business with you. That’s why you need to include a step by step breakdown of everything that will be happening once they purchase the service. You can use this breakdown to include some call to action buttons that will additionally drive the interested ones deeper into your sales funnel.

4. It’s not enough being honest, you need to prove it

Today we are surrounded by false information and exaggerating, so you can’t blame your customers if they are not ready to believe everything you say in the beginning. You need to back up every quality you claim to possess. If they are not able to see black and white proof, you won’t have the credibility in their eyes. You need to prove your worth through testimonials and case studies. But don’t brag and flatter yourself, that will cause suspicion immediately. You need to tell stories about your customers, not your company. If you want them to know you offer reliable and super easy storage solutions, you need to talk about satisfied customers whose life was changed by that product. Yes, changed. You should take examples where your customers were in the transitional moments of their lives like changing homes or expanding the business. This way you will have a voice of a satisfied customer but also an emotional factor to which your potential buyers can connect. They will be sure that you’ll take care of their possessions because you’ll have proven results and there won’t be a need for any additional proof that you’re a confident business choice.

5. Let them know who you are

Tell the story of your company through a portfolio where your work will speak for itself, without bragging. Do it like with testimonials and case studies – concrete results, spiced up with some images and maybe even video. People want to see with their own eyes, and that’s why it’s also a good idea to include pictures of your employees because customers’ money goes into their hands. If you give them a face and a name, your future customers will be able to develop their trust more quickly.

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Business man

Why Email Marketing is a Must for Ecommerce Businesses

E-commerce is a spectacularly competitive industry and it takes a lot of a new online store to build a name for itself. With millions of online stores vying for customers’ attention, making enough sales to stay afloat can be a challenge in itself. This is why e-commerce business owners have to be smart about their marketing and invest in strategies and tactics that will yield results. One practice that has definitely been shown to yield amazing results is email marketing.

Email Marketing Statistics

In order to best understand the value of email marketing for e-commerce companies, you do not have to look further than the cold, hard numbers.

For one, almost everyone (91% of people to be exact), open their inboxes every day. If we were to compare this to daily users of Facebook or Twitter, where daily use rates are around 75% and 42% respectively, it becomes obvious that a promotional email is far more likely to be opened the same day.

Perhaps even more importantly, email is actually the preferred channel of communication for e-commerce customers. In fact, when they are asked to choose a channel through which they would most like to communicate with online businesses (not just e-commerce stores), nearly 75% of people say email. Another number that should paint a picture is the fact that two-thirds of online consumers say they made a purchase because of an email they received at some point in time.

When we are talking from a simple investment standpoint, email fares far better than pretty much any other marketing tactic for e-commerce companies. Namely, Digital Marketing Association recently came forward with data that the average ROI for email marketing is 3,800% for e-commerce companies. Put differently, for a single dollar invested in email marketing, an e-commerce business can expect a return of $38. On average.

Endless Possibilities

It is important to point out, however, that it is not just about the numbers with email marketing in e-commerce. It is also about the innumerable possibilities of this type of marketing. It may not seem that way to someone who has never done email marketing before, but it is actually a fantastically versatile type of marketing.

Purely promotional emails are probably the first thing that comes to people’s minds. These are emails which inform customers and potential customers about ongoing or upcoming deals that they shouldn’t miss out on. These emails also inform recipients about new products that became available at the store or about time-limited offers that are just “too good to miss out on”.

And while these promotional emails are the most direct way to use email marketing to boost one’s e-commerce business, they are definitely not the only possibility.

For one, there are the transactional emails that do not contain overtly promotional material but instead serve a different function. For instance, you will set up welcome emails for people who subscribe to your email list or who become members of your website. You will send emails informing people of their purchase and letting them know what they can expect in terms of delivery. If you want to convert your email campaign successfully, you will leverage these transactional emails to tell a brand story, to make customers feel special and to provide a unique experience that will turn them into repeat business.

When you throw in cart abandonment emails, retargeting emails, and a few other types, it becomes quite clear that a smart email marketing practice can do more things for your e-commerce store than any other form of marketing.

Doing it Right

Of course, in order for you to be successful in email marketing, you need to know how to do it right. In an article like this, we can only cover the basics, unfortunately.

For one, you have to start building your email marketing list as soon as possible. Namely, the law prohibits you from spamming random people and you can only send your e-commerce emails to people who have opted-in. In other words, you have to entice people to subscribe to your mailing list, usually by offering special deals and loyalty awards.

You will also want to ensure that you have segmented your email list properly, categorizing people according to a number of metrics that will help you send more precisely targeted emails that have a greater chance of converting.

It goes without saying that you will also want to learn about and experiment with the actual emails that you will be sending to your customers. This will involve quite a bit of A/B testing and serious data crunching, but it will be worth it. The good news is there is no shortage of email marketing tools that can help you with the more demanding parts of this.

Of course, when deciding on the incentives that will stimulate potential customers, you have to factor in your margins. In other words, a 70%-off offer will definitely bring you customers, but if you are losing money on such a deal, it will be counterproductive.

Closing Words

Email marketing is, without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best ways to market an e-commerce business. That being said, you have to invest time and money in it if you wish to do it right.

In the end, however, it will pay off.

 

AUTHOR: James D. Burbank is the editor-in-chief of BizzMarkBlog. He has years of experience in advising e-commerce businesses on marketing and brand promotion in general.

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