Five simple steps to ecommerce success

You've established you can sell online with eBay, that's the market research complete. But why isn't your new online store doing as well?

You’ve established you can sell online with eBay, that’s the market research complete. But why isn’t your new online store doing as well?

This isn’t uncommon and can be remedied. How I hear you ask? As a web developer with experience in building e-commerce websites for companies including estate agents, sports retail outlets and clothing stores, I have faced the challenges of creating ecommerce websites and found ways to overcome them. Follow these five steps to set yourself on the path to ecommerce success.

Step 1: Install and monitor web analytics

If you haven’t got Google Analytics running on your site, get it installed. Website analytics allow you to identify trends, such as what keywords and key terms people use to find your site and how they navigate through it. The information you glean from reviewing your web analytics can help you optimise web usage, turning website visits into online enquiries. Analysing Google’s data effectively can be time consuming. Web marketing specialists, like PRG, can install Google Analytics on your site and provide you with a website report that’s simple to understand and helps you gain a clear picture of your site’s performance.

Step 2: Get a website audit

At PRG, this is always our first port of call. Ask someone to assess your website.

  • Does your site include clear calls to action?
  • Can your customers navigate it in a logical manner?
  • Is it obvious how to purchase items?
  • Have you stated your postage rates and payment methods?
  • Are your product names and descriptions relevant?

By making this information immediately obvious to the customer, it will keep them on your site. As soon as they need to start rummaging for information, chances are they will leave frustrated and not return. Similarly, ensuring the product is clearly (and correctly!) named with an accurate product description will help convert online traffic to web sales.

Step 3: Add clear calls to action

Making it obvious how people can contact you is essential. Don’t be afraid to state the obvious. There is nothing worse than having to add an item to the basket just to find out how much the postage will be.

Emphasise these key factors:

  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Postage costs
  • Payment methods

Step 4: Structure your website’s content

eBay has this pinned down very well:

  1. You search for a product.
  2. You filter through the available options (clearly seeing the price and postage rate).
  3. You can proceed to pay or,
  4. You can ask the seller a question.

Your ecommerce site needs to work in a similar fashion:

  1. Make it easy for people to navigate through your site.
  2. Try to abide by the three-click rule – if customers can’t find what they’re looking for in three clicks, they’ll leave.
  3. Present product pages clearly – a relevant product name and short product description is essential, but so are the finer details like making sure your product options (colours, sizes) and quantities are correct at all times.
  4. Make the checkout process simple – when purchasing products online customers don’t want to go through numerous stages, they want a quick and effective payment process.

Content is also very important in terms of cannon fodder for search engines. Writing keyword-rich content that contains words and terms people use to search for your products is a step in the right direction and, in time, will boost your website’s organic rank in the search engines.

At PRG, we have a team of web copywriters who are trained in writing content with the search engines in mind.  If you’re not confident in your website copywriting abilities, invest in specialist support.

Step 5: Marketing your website

Now that you’re monitoring your analytics, you’ve completed a website audit, added clear calls to action and invested in a website copywriter to improve your site’s organic ranking in the search engines, it’s time review your website marketing.

One option is the use of Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising campaigns. Targeting specific buyers and products will gain you quality clientele to your website. PRG’s PPC offering is a great way to promote your site. By reviewing your website’s analytics and conducting a Free website review and data analysis, we can create a Pay Per Click campaign that suits your requirements.

There are other options available besides PPC which PRG can recommend upon review of your website.

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