The future looks bright for online businesses as ecommerce sales continue to increase and customers become more used to the convenience of shopping online. 16% of total retail sales in the US in 2019 were online sales, and consumer spending with ecommerce businesses topped $601 billion. Given this success, it isn’t hard to see why aspiring business owners are attracted to the idea of online stores. Online storefronts also let entrepreneurs avoid many of the costs associated with building or renting a physical storefront. Still, even with all their advantages, an ecommerce site isn’t a guaranteed success in the making. Here are some important things you can do to get your online business off to a good start.
Keep the Design Simple
Few things turn users away faster than a cluttered or difficult to use website, and users form near-instant opinions about any site they visit. Your landing pages should be devoid of clutter while guiding the user’s eyes toward the most important information. It’s generally a good idea to collect all your products and services in just a few categories so you can keep your menus as streamlined as possible. You’ll also want to include a search bar in your design to let users quickly and easily find whatever they’re after. Lastly, it can be obnoxious when every site requires users to make ecommerce accounts, so you may want to avoid mandatory accounts on your site.
While you’re at it, ensure your site looks good and functions well on both desktop and mobile devices. Mobile accounts for over half of all web traffic, and you’ll miss out on thousands of opportunities if you aren’t catering to those users.
Focus on SEO
If you aren’t ranking in search engines, people are going to have a hard time finding your site. You could always hire a firm to help you with link building, but there are cheaper ways you can build your online presence. A great way to become more well known is to create original content that shows off your business as an expert authority in your niche. Post video tutorials to YouTube or make contributions to blogs and other websites that your target audience visits. The more you spread positive messages about your company online, the more likely you are to rise in the ranks.
Find Reliable Servers
Speed is one of the most crucial elements for successful online businesses. Users are unlikely to spend much time on an unresponsive site, and speed drops during checkout can easily cost you conversions. Ensure you have a hosting option that can fulfill your current needs as well as future ones by choosing VPS hosting. A virtual private server provides hosting services across multiple virtual servers, meaning the server can essentially scale with your needs. You don’t have to share your VPS server with other websites the way you would have to share dedicated servers in physical data centers. VPS solutions are compatible with any operating system, and they are guaranteed to provide the disk space you purchase since the virtual server is dedicated exclusively to your site.
Offer Exceptional Customer Service
Your customers are the most important people to your business, and you should make them feel like it with the best customer support you can offer. A great way to do this, especially once your business starts to grow, is with an omni channel call center. This lets customers reach your contact center via their communication channel of choice—whether that’s a phone call, text message, SMS, live chat, or more. Even better, a true omnichannel solution lets customers switch channels in the middle of a conversation so they never lose their progress. This lets you create a personalized and memorable customer journey for each caller. You can also easily collect customer data to provide even better service in the future. Customers often share their experiences with others, and providing better service than your competitors may be the deciding factor in your favor.