An online presence is quintessential for any business; hence, the rising number of e-commerce platforms. One statistical report shows active e-commerce sites range from 12 million to 24 million globally.
Moreover, a second report showed that over two billion people purchased goods and services online in 2020. However, while establishing an e-commerce platform for your business is a step in the right direction, it is not enough.
You must develop and implement digital marketing strategies to grow your e-commerce presence sustainably. Below are actionable strategies to improve your e-Commerce performance and accelerate the platform’s return on investment.
Create a Professional E-commerce Website
A professionally-designed e-commerce platform translates into a positive user experience. Free, open-source e-commerce website builder tools are available online, allowing anyone to customize an e-commerce website for diverse business niches.
However, while free, open-source tools save money on website construction, constructing your website as an amateur leaves room for oversights that could negatively impact user experience. Therefore, consider hiring, or at the very least consulting, an ecommerce website agency to create a professional e-commerce platform.
A professional e-commerce website has essential elements that promote a positive user experience. First, professional e-commerce platforms have a fast load time. One report showed that websites with a 2-second load time have a 9.6% bounce rate, and the bounce rate increases by 4% to 5% with every second.
Second, a user-friendly e-commerce website is highly navigable with exhaustive product/service categories, a functional search box, and relevant calls-to-action (CTAs). Third, the site's appealing aesthetics include font size, color schemes, and the balance between graphics and white spaces. The website should look crisp and neither overwhelm nor underwhelm visitors.
Fourth, ensure website security to keep visitor data and payment details encrypted and safe from unauthorized parties. Professional website builders purchase security certificates like an SSL certificate verifying the website’s security. Lastly, the website should feature comprehensive and clear images and product descriptions, giving the consumer an accurate sense of each product and helping to build trust.
Invest In SEO
While investing in a professional website lays the foundation for your e-commerce presence, the real work on your e-commerce begins with search engine optimization (SEO). SEO refers to strategies that help your e-commerce site rank better on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Search engines rank e-commerce platforms according to three primary ranking factors; crawlability/discoverability, relevance, and authoritativeness. Second, SEO features three pillars that ensure a positive user experience, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and Technical SEO.
On-page SEO entails content marketing like blogs and product descriptions, illustrative videos, keyword research, heading tags, and links from the homepage to other landing pages. On the other hand, off-page SEO entails creating backlinks from other websites to your website and helps to establish your ecommerce site’s authority. Lastly, technical SEO involves website design elements like the site’s loading speed, sitemaps, and identifying crawl errors that could make it impossible for search engines to rank your website.
SEO is an ongoing process because search engine bots constantly index new pages and add fresh content to their directories. Therefore, consider investing in a comprehensive SEO strategy that adheres to SEO best practices. Such an SEO strategy makes your website appear organically in your target audience’s search results.
Optimize Your Website for Mobile (Responsive Design)
A responsive e-commerce website design means that your website detects and adjusts to any screen size. Therefore, users get the same experience on a mobile device as they would if browsing your platform on a desktop.
According to one statistical report, mobile devices generate 63% of organic website traffic due to convenience and features like voice search. Therefore, having a mobile-friendly e-commerce website will improve your e-commerce presence by increasing organic traffic. You can optimize your e-commerce site for mobile by compressing large graphics and minimizing pop-ups.
Amplify Your Brand’s Social Media Voice
Social media plays a vital role in your ecommerce site’s presence by creating an avenue to interact with your target audience and drive traffic to your website. According to one report, 54% of consumers use social media for product research, and 71% of social media users are likely to purchase products based on social media referrals.
However, social media content creation takes up a lot of time and effort, yet not all social media platforms align with your business. Therefore, establish a target audience persona and create profiles on the social media platform where individuals within your target niche spend most of their time.
Second, create shareable content that will prompt your followers, including employees, to share your posts and drive traffic to your e-commerce site. Lastly, run a lively page, create engaging content and encourage your followers to communicate with you; follower engagement creates user-generated content, reducing your content creation workload.
Create Business Profile Listings In Trusted Online Directories
Besides social media, online directories are valuable assets helping to drive organic traffic to your e-commerce site. Moreover, unlike social media pages, online directory profiles directly affect SEO rankings, improving your ecommerce site’s visibility, especially in local searches.
Also, such directories allow you to present vital business information concisely. Your directory profile can include your business name and address, e-commerce site link, working hours, contact details, and a brief business overview. Lastly, the directories allow consumers to leave reviews, building trust in your e-commerce site via social proof.
Have a Substantial Digital Marketing Budget
Although SEO generates organic traffic, paid traffic also helps generate new leads and increase conversion rates. Therefore, consider running digital paid advertising campaigns on various social media platforms and search engines to increase brand awareness and generate traffic.
Digital marketing tools like analytics software, customer relationship management (CRM), and email marketing platforms are vital for paid advertising campaigns. Such tools help you keep track of your ecommerce site’s performance using specified key performance indicators (KPIs) and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly.
Besides tools, you can enlist influencers within your target market niche to talk about your products on their online platforms. Influence marketing strategies like guest postings, reviews, and giveaways help improve traffic to an e-commerce website.
An e-commerce site shouldn’t merely exist but should complement your brand’s marketing efforts by boosting brand authority, generating high-quality leads, and improving conversion rates. However, a thriving e-commerce platform requires strategic planning and meticulous implementation to create a positive end-to-end user experience. Therefore, follow the tips above to build and sustain an e-commerce presence that works for you.