E-Commerce in 2014: Top Tips

Whatever your business size and industry and whether or not you have a brick and mortar shop; as a business owner you will no doubt now be aware that a quality e-commerce website is, if created and marketed correctly, a sensational tool that can help increase sales and boost brand growth in a way that off-line marketing may not allow.An e-commerce website is a virtual store that allows businesses to directly sell their products to the millions of users actively engaging in the ever popular world of online shopping. With a well designed website that offers a seamless experience and is optimised to appear in prime search positions; any business can achieve an ideal increase in sales.From large corporations like Amazon and ASOS to smaller high street retailers; mobile marketing and the increasing power of the internet has made online shopping second nature to consumers and a must have for retailers. Easy to view products, speedy checkout and often free delivery; shopping from the comfort of our own homes is something we can no longer do without. For this reason, 2014 will continue to be a year that is dominated by the e-commerce market.For retailers everywhere, it is important to ensure that websites are up to scratch if 2014 is going to be as successful a year as hoped. Below are my personal top pieces of advice that can ensure whether you are building a new e-commerce site, revamping your current one or just looking for ways to improve, your e-commerce site can be a key player in your business success…

SEO- Work with your SEO consultant right from the beginning as it will ensure that when developing your website (including the information architecture) your site will be effectively optimised. Realising you may have to make vital SEO related changes to your websites structure, after completion can be a difficult task so keep SEO in mind from the word go as it really can make all the difference.

Images- Use quality images that are not only clear but can be zoomed in on and even rotated. The more engaging and detailed your images, the better chance users will have of getting a real look into the product. Remember that unlike a store front, your e-commerce site doesn’t allow users to touch the product so the more detailed the images provided, the more likely the customer will be to make a purchase.

Codes- Marketing your e-commerce site is essential but knowing what is working and what isn’t, is the deal breaker. You will want to make to make your e-commerce site a success in the New Year and using unique codes can determine which promotions are proving effective and which aren’t ensuring that you get more quantifiable results for your spend.

Multi Channel Retailing- Create a shopping experience that is consistent across a range of platforms. Consider how and when your customers may visit your website- a user may have found a product on your site on their Smartphone during the commute to work but decide to complete the purchase on their desktop during their lunch hour. Work with your web design agency to anticipate the different scenarios in order to ensure you provide a different service (Amazon is the perfect example of this!).

Social Media- The constant reminders of the importance of social media can become tedious but it is true- social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and of course Google+ can make a great deal of difference to a business. Ensure you are engaging and showing off your products, announcing offers and sales via your social channels but also ensure that social media widgets have been carefully embedded throughout your site. Providing customers with the ability to like and share certain products can provide a significant boost.
Online shopping has become second nature to our everyday lives which is why it is important to ensure that businesses capitalise on the potential with a well designed, structured and promoted e-commerce website.The power of online shopping will only continue to grow in the coming year so ask yourself; are you doing everything right?

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