Updated: Feb 3
Everyone seems to know that they can expand their business and increase their sales significantly by selling their products online. This applies to both selling to consumers (B2B) and those selling to other businesses (B2B).
Successful eCommerce store is a lot more than picking a catchy domain name and selecting whatever eCommerce software one finds and go live and start offering the company’s product. Many tend to forget who is going to come to their site if no one can find them on web where thousands of companies like them are all trying to get customers attention.
Starting a webstore is a big and continuous commitment. It cost money to get started and lot of efforts for maintaining it. Products needs to be added and removed, prices need to be updated when changed, items must be marked in or out of stock, download the orders on timely basis and ship them promptly.
Companies who are not very clear of their objectives and offerings right at the outset, it can take a long time of trial and error before things start to get rolling. Here are some tips:
It is all about Market Share
The thing that one need to keep in mind is that it is all about the market share. The purpose of going online is to expand into new markets and reach out to the markets which were not hitherto accessible by the business.
The program used to develop your online webstore should be well equipped and compatible with all the current tools and techniques used by marketers to extend their reach and to increase the visibility of their offerings.
Many times, people tend to forget that making a web store is not an end game, increasing the sales, reach out to new markets, add new customer and increase the sales to existing customers or in other words, a higher market share is the end goal.
How to make the best use of eCommerce site to increase your market share
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO is vital for every kind of website as well as for eCommerce portals.
Though the degree of impact that SEO have on a site varies with the type of site and the customer, the major source of acquiring new customers is to have the site visible to potential customers. Since, unlike the websites, the web stores have limited capabilities to use many keywords, the eCommerce program that you use usually have inbuilt capabilities to promote the keywords of your choice.
It is also usually a lot of work to define the meta tag, meta keywords and meta description for all the existing items and for the items that will added in the future. Some programs provide functionality to use the power of Excel to add the SEO information to the web store.
Ease of Navigation
Getting customers to find the eCommerce webstore is a significant challenge, but the bigger challenge is to offer them the goods and services they are looking for. This is handled by a well thought over Product Catalog.
The bigger the company’s product range is and the more complex the product offerings are the more important it becomes to help customers by simplifying the search process. Per one study, three fourth of the customers will prefer buying from sites which make it easy and convenient for them to make a purchase.
Many times, one product is shown under multiple categories on the product catalog. For example, an IPhone can be shown under Mobile, Smart Phone, Electronics, Gift Items and on Sale categories. The eCommerce program being used should not only be smart enough to allow multiple cataloging of same products but also can bring the web traffic to those items.
Today a significant portion of the referral traffic to websites come from social media. It is important to realize that without taking the advantage of social media to boost website traffic, one cannot achieve the main objective of having an eCommerce webstore, to make more sales and to increase the market share.
Social media is the best platform to announce product launches, special promotions, big deals, product features which are essential to enlighten the customer as the first step in their buying process.
Social media is also being also one of the powerful tool for product reviews. Reviews provide testimonials from other customers and are very effective way to convince the potential customers. Reviews on social media are trusted more by the customers than the references on the company’s site.
One must be cautious when choosing the software for eCommerce and its ability to incorporate the new things that are coming in the social media world. Social media is a fast-paced world in which new developments are coming all the times. eCommerce solutions provided by companies with small customer base are often unable to keep pace with the competition.
The major source of traffic today is not the desktop, nor it is laptops or notebooks. Most the customer now use the mobile devices, smart phones and tablets, to browse and place orders.
A website which is not enabled to handle the traffic coming from these devices will lose their customers in an instant. If you do not see the content of the site in an easy, well organized, readable manner, would you stay on the website or move on? There are two ways to handle the traffic coming from mobile.
The bare minimum requirement to welcome the traffic coming from mobile is to have a responsive web design. A responsive web theme is a combination of multiple themes each meant to suit certain type of devices. The theme is intelligent enough to identify the device being used by the visitor and present the layout compatible for that device.
Mobile Apps are Android and IPhone apps developed to allow customers to browse products, check prices, compare items and place orders using the custom apps. Imagine the power of customer being able to browse products and place orders that goes directly in Dynamics GP using a mobile application which can be used on Smart Phones and Tablets.