Succeeding in Ecommerce in 2015

March 10, 2015

8:00 am

There’s a lot of money to be made in ecommerce. It’s forecasted that ecommerce spending in the United States will increase from 177 billion dollars in 2010 to 379 billion dollars in 2015. In 2012, shoppers spent a record breaking amount online: more than 1.2 trillion dollars.

If you have the means to ship goods worldwide, there’s even more money to make. Forty percent of worldwide Internet users spend money online. That’s an enormous chunk of the population, if you consider there are nearly 3 billion people connected.

Despite these figures, competition is extremely fierce for new ecommerce sites and many fail. Newer ecommerce sites are often lost in the thicket of no name recognition, and a lack of branding or website visibility. Household names, such as Amazon.com and Walmart.com, dominate sales figures. This does not spell disaster for ecommerce sales and service organizations who produce quality content, and have a strong team of web developers and customer service professionals.

Quality Content Delivered Seamlessly to Devices

Ecommerce content can include marketing materials, product descriptions, blog posts, and informative articles.

If you’re established in ecommerce, or you’re looking to make the most of its growth, you will benefit from well-written content. Moreover, content should be streamlined for device reading; meaning no large margins, and a lack of advertising content in the sidebar. On a traditional website, viewed on a laptop or computer, a developer can place ads surrounding content and it’s still readable. This isn’t true for mobile and tablet devices where site content must shrink to fit the smaller screen.

If you don’t shrink your site for devices, you’re putting yourself at risk for alienating your customers. You may be asking yourself, “Then, how do I benefit from the content?” Or, “How do I utilize upsells by advertising similar products and services, such as the “Customers who viewed this item also viewed…,” portion on Amazon’s ecommerce site. Here are some ideas for overcoming this hurdle:

  •  Place advertisements or product within the content; or along the bottom
  •  Include authority links within informative articles, linking back to a sales page
  •  Include a call to action upon visiting the page; click here to sign up for emails and receive a discount. The customer puts in their email address, the box closes, and they’re delivered the content they’re seeking.

It is important to understand, too, that the ability to host an interactive mobile website–one that is streamlined for all devices and can handle the amount of traffic you’re trying to attract without crashing–requires a VPS or virtual private server. You can get a VPS with either the Linux or Windows operating systems to run any ecommerce software. Both versions are offered by Arvixe web hosting and allow you to spend less money, but handle the needs of your ecommerce site like site speed, which will ensure that your business has the best chance of success.

Why You Need A Crack Team of Web Professionals

Maintaining and updating an ecommerce website is no easy job. It takes a team of professionals; each capable of handling and delegating multiple tasks. Visibility, especially through search engines and online deal sites, is essential to ecommerce success. The following jobs will need to be filled, in order to maintain around-the-clock visibility.

  •  SEO professional focused on new trends
  •  Content delivery company; or team of writers
  •  Web designer
  •  Web hosting company, with stellar customer service and rare downtime
  •  Customer service and technical support teams (see below)

The Customer is Going to Call…

No matter how much online support you offer (text messaging, help & faq sections, chat sessions, etc.), your customers are still going to call. It’s important that your phone staff is qualified to give excellent support, and upsell your product if you accept phone orders. As hard as it is for web professionals to believe, some people still aren’t sure how to checkout online, and will call customer service hoping to place an order.

It’s important to accept that it may be impossible to build a business that is comparable to the biggest names out there. Consider those businesses the mega-corporations that exist in today’s world. For every Walmart, there is a smaller (and, yet still recognizable) business. Besides, with so much spending happening online, your chances of becoming a maga-corp are greater than ever.

Image Credit: Flickr/Fosforix

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Victoria Heckstall is a professional writer who specializes in internet marketing and business topics.

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