How to Improve the Conversion Rate of Your E-Commerce Website
The last decade has seen an exponential rise in the popularity of e-commerce. From a new, tentative subject, e-commerce has gone on to become one of the most ubiquitous forms of business. According to an open source ecommerce company, this industry started growing when people started sharing electronic documents in the 1980s, followed by the launch of websites like Amazon and eBay in the 1990s. Customers all over the world were suddenly able to buy everything from bricks to clothes to automobiles.
The benefits of e-commerce are many, as stated by the top e-commerce website development company. E-commerce boasts of various advantages like:
1. Being available round the clock.
2. Speed of access.
3. Availability of a wide variety of goods and services
4. International deliveries.
5. Competitive prices.
As observed by the top e-commerce website development company, all these factors point towards one common parameter – customer service.
Essentially, it is customer service that drives a business and this is no different for e-commerce. User recall and engagement are the primary factors that help improve conversion rates of an ecommerce website. A website that is quick and appealing to look at, with enough stickiness on the home page will automatically have a higher conversion rate than a website which takes time to load and has very little content that can be of any interest.
Factors that improve the conversion rates of your e-commerce website:
1. Harnessing social media.
In today’s day and age, not having a public social media profile for a brand is akin to being invisible. Since most of the users using an e-commerce site are bound to be active on social media, it is important to grab eyeballs on that platform. A study conducted by an open source ecommerce company showed that e-commerce is increasingly being tapped into by mobile users, thanks to the popularity of social media. Statistics by Invesp further show that in the year 2015, 5% of all online spending was through social media commerce, and this trend is only going to rise over the next decade.
It is important for brands to choose the right social media platform and create engaging profiles so potential customers can experience a personalized, one on one contact with the brands.
Product videos surprisingly have shown to increase the product purchase by almost one hundred forty four percent. This is because videos a re easy to watch and easier to understand; one does not have to go through lines of text to understand a product or service. This mass appeal of video has helped many big brands on global social media channels like Vimeo and YouTube.
3. Website UI
The website that a customer visits needs to be visually appealing and easy to use. Most people spend only 3 seconds on a home page before deciding if they will become a part of the conversion rate of the site or simply click away. Additionally, good websites are optimized to show up in organic search results, further upping the conversion rates.
The design of a website is another important factor when it comes to improving the conversion rate of an e-commerce website. Ideally, the design should be clear, easy to maneuver through and have functional, visible conversion paths.
5. Customer’s Talk
Reviews, ratings and testimonials – these are the three things that customers can provide to help improve conversion rates. Reviews and ratings tend to make people stay on the page for longer, reconsidering their options and judging their purchasing power.
Improving the conversion rate of an e-commerce website thus depends on a mixture of customer feedback, social media engagement, use of videos and effective website design. Social media particularly has experienced exponential growth and the social media advertising industry is growing with leaps and bounds. Customers are shifting towards mobile social media, creating a new dimension for conversions.
How To Start Marketing Your Business
To new business owners, starting a business is often its own reward. They are thrilled to be able to be their own bosses, and to successfully get a business up and running. Often they are happy just to keep the dream alive.
But every business needs to grow. That doesn’t mean you have to reach out to a larger market – it means working toward increasing your share of the one you are targeting. This will keep your business healthy enough to survive obstacles such as tough economic times.
In order to keep moving forward, we need to market our businesses constantly. We need to dedicate a certain percentage of our resources to building our brand and reaching our target market. Here are some simple things you can do to help your business grow.
Have a clear picture of your target market.
Find out what types of people use the products and services you provide and respond to your business philosophies. If you’re not marketing to the right people, all will be lost.
Research, research, research.
Determine how to best reach your target market and what they expect out of your offerings. Study your competition carefully, and make note of what they’re doing right and wrong.
Choose your marketing channels wisely.
If your target market rarely reads, there’s no point in advertising in a magazine. Use what you’ve learned about them to find the best possible outlets for your message, and focus your marketing efforts there.
Give your advertising a chance.
Studies show that consumers require repeated exposure to a product before they will even consider buying. So don’t be surprised if one ad run doesn’t bring spectacular results. If you’ve done your homework and found a viable way to reach your market, run the ad at least two more times before you evaluate the results.
Take advantage of free publicity.
Sending out press releases and finding other ways to attract the media will give you high-quality exposure, and it won’t eat into your budget.
Keep track of the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.
If what you’re doing is working, you should be generating more revenue. Use some of that revenue to do more marketing. If it isn’t working, make adjustments and try again.
Sometimes you’ll have to take a step back with your marketing plans. But that’s not a sign you’ve failed. It’s a sign that you’re a smart marketer. Sometimes the market changes, and it’s up to us to monitor those changes and adjust our marketing plans accordingly. No successful company markets the same way forever. By evolving with our target market, we can make our marketing work better.
The Core Components of a Marketing System
The core marketing system of a company comprises the suppliers, company, marketing intermediaries and target customers. The success of the company is also affected by competitor’s presence and other segments of public. The management has to watch and plan for all these factors to serve and satisfy the specified set of needs of a chosen target market.
- Supplier selection:
A company has to choose suppliers who offer the best mix of quality, delivery schedule, guarantee and low cost. Say, a firm involved in manufacturing confectioneries has to procure sugar; cocoa, caramel, milk powder etc., Labor, equipment, fuel, electricity and other factors of production are also to be obtained. If the company’s product has a good market, it can opt for continuous production. If it is a growing firm, it cannot go for voluminous production, but only supply goods against confirmed orders. In either case, the choice of suppliers is determined by one major factor called ‘cost’. Of course,one can never compromise on quality and so the company has to decide whether to purchase the inputs or make its own.
The relationship of a company with the suppliers should be of a long-term nature, since any sudden change in the supplier’s environment will have a substantial impact on the company’s marketing operations. Sudden supply shortages, labor strikes and other events can interfere with the fulfillment of delivery promises to customers. This will result in sales decline in the short run and loss of goodwill in the long run. Back orders lead to loss of customers and in course of time their trust. The business firms must plan for alternate source of supply to avoid the risk of over-dependence on any one source of supplier.
The marketing department has to work in tandem with the other departments of the company, namely, finance, production, personnel and research and development, while designing and implementing its marketing plans.
Finance department – has to be consulted for the funds available to carry out the marketing plans.
Production department – to gauge market demand and to decide on the supply of products based on demand.
R and D – new product development.
- Marketing intermediaries:
Channel members are the link between the company and the customers. Agents and middlemen find customers who are wholesalers or retailers to take on the title and sell the merchandise. Also there are physical distribution firms who assist in stocking and moving goods from the warehouse to the destinations. The marketing executives have to deal with these intermediaries prudently in order to enhance the operational efficiency of the marketing function. Logistic firms, shippers and airliners help to move the goods from one location to another.
All the business firms in a particular market segment vie for the same resources and customers. A car manufacturing company in an automobile industry has to compete with other car manufacturers as well as with two wheelers. This implies that competition may come in different forms and each company has to identify potential threat from competitors, study their activities and capture their moves to win over the competition.
A company has to keep a watch on people’s preferences to satisfy their requirements and also companies are expected to give back something to the society in the form of social welfare measures. People belonging to different culture groups with differing attitudes, lifestyles and tastes have a great impact on a company’s ability to achieve its objectives.
Markets whether homogeneous or heterogeneous must serve the purpose of satisfying the customers by providing more than what is being asked for. This discussion is with relevance to the factors that rule the micro environment of a marketing plan and there are greater forces in the outer environment looming large, say, social, political, legal, environmental and the like, which have to be tactically handled by the management to overcome the challenges and exploit the opportunity.
Ecommerce the New Definition of Online Trade
The branch of technology that incorporates the electronic media in the buying and the selling process is known as the Ecommerce. Since the inception of the World Wide Web, the market has been clustered with millions of competitive websites that needed to use completely new strategies to attract their prospective consumers from around the world.
With the technical world advancing rapidly, and online stores gaining more momentum, environ is such that the consumers buy products regardless of their geographical barrier. This unprecedented growth of the E-commerce website has made this a feasible option making it probable for the sellers to deliver their products all over the world.
Just as a website can be the online brand identity, the ecommerce website enables the entrepreneur to successfully display information about their products and services. This category of websites construes the services and the products. Accrediting the business organization with this type of website, allows the industrialist to carve a niche among the million others. Nominal in investments, this website garners the potential of the website to yield unfathomed results.
The electronic commerce website draws in several technologies to ultimately produce the desired outcome. These following technologies like the supply chain management, electronic funds transfer, Internet Marketing, electronic data exchange, online transaction processing, inventory management systems, are integrated to make the website successful and functional. The electronic commerce is considered the sales component of any business. This exchange of data to facilitate the financing and the paying aspects is also a characteristic of the transactions that occur through the website.
The various components of the E-commerce Website
- Virtual storefronts integrated in the website with online catalogs, which is clustered to form a “virtual mall.”
- The demographic data collected through Web contacts.
- Electronic Data Interchange or the business-to-business exchange of data.
- Email, Fax and the use of media to promote the future endeavors and to establish the consumers.
- Secured business transactions.
- B2B trade and selling.
With groundbreaking popularity in the world, the retailers today prefer to have an online platform. Each year billions of dollars undergo transaction. The future of this looks bright, and with the recent developments in the field of web design and development, E-commerce is now a dynamic website that can be customized accordingly. Now, the website welcomes its prospective consumers with a more appealing ambience. This piques the curiosity of the end-users, thereby increasing sales and maximizing the returns.
Propaganda by the social networking platform is also popular. Millions of people use these social sites to connect and this makes it a potential hub for the sellers to propagate adverts. The relevant audience can be targeted with a complete detailed feedback so that they can ameliorate in their services.
The mobile boom has also affected the market with everyone now using a Smart phone to search the Internet. Being easy and always accessible make them a preferred podium to shop. This is the reason that E-commerce website be optimized to a M-commerce wherein the owner can display all his products. This should be adept for mobile viewing.
The e-commerce website has shrunk the diversity of the world. Now, integrated even in the mobile, the websites has increased their sales radically.
Marketing Planning – Don’t Do SWOT
SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) is a popular framework for developing a marketing strategy. A Google search for “SWOT” and “planning” turned up almost 93,000 hits (August 2004), most all of which laud the use of SWOT. Some students have said that it is the most important thing they learned at the Wharton School.
Although SWOT is promoted as a useful technique in numerous marketing texts, it is not universally praised: One expert said that he preferred to think of SWOT as a “Significant Waste of Time.”
The problem with SWOT is more serious than the fact that it wastes time. Because it mixes idea generation with evaluation, it is likely to reduce the range of strategies that are considered. In addition, people who use SWOT might conclude that they have done an adequate job of planning and ignore such sensible things as defining the firm’s objectives or calculating ROI for alternate strategies. I have observed this when business school students use SWOT on cases.
What does the evidence say? Perhaps the most notable indication is that I have been unable to find any evidence to support the use of SWOT.
Two studies have examined SWOT. Menon et al. (1999) asked 212 managers from Fortune 1000 companies about recent marketing strategies implemented in their firms. The findings showed that SWOT harmed performance. When Hill and Westbrook (1997) examined the use of SWOT by 20 companies in the UK in 1993-94, they concluded that the process was so flawed that it was time for a “product recall.”
One advocate of SWOT asked: if not SWOT, then what? Borrowing from corporate strategic planning literature, a better option for planners is to follow a formal written process to:
- Set objectives
- Generate alternative strategies
- Evaluate alternative strategies
- Monitor results
- Gain commitment among the stakeholders during each step of this process.
I describe this 5-step procedure in Armstrong (1982). Evidence on the value of this planning process, obtained from 28 validation studies (summarized in Armstrong 1990), showed that it led to better corporate performance:
- 20 studies found higher performance with formal planning
- 5 found no difference
- 3 found formal planning to be detrimental
This support was obtained even though the formal planning in the studies typically used only some of the steps. Furthermore, the steps were often poorly implemented and the conditions were not always ideal for formal planning.
Given the evidence, SWOT is not justified under any circumstances. Instead, use the comprehensive 5-step planning procedure.
Armstrong, J. S. (1982) “The Value of Formal Planning for Strategic Decisions,” Strategic Management Journal, 3, 197-211.
Armstrong, J. S. (1990), “Review of Corporate Strategic Planning,” Journal of Marketing, 54, 114-119.
Hill, T. & R. Westbrook (1997), “SWOT Analysis: It’s Time for a Product Recall,” Long Range Planning, 30, No. 1, 46-52.
Menon, A. et al. (1999), “Antecedents and Consequences of Marketing Strategy Making,” Journal of Marketing, 63, 18-40.
Why Digital Marketing Is Important
There are some new methods that are faster, more practical and versatile than the old traditional ones. Following are some of the most common forms of digital marketing
Website (SEO content)
Online video content
PPC (pay-per-click) advertising
Social media (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, G+, etc)
Mobile marketing (SMS, MMS, etc)
The importance of digital marketing works not only in favor of marketers, it provides something innovative to the consumers too. Let us understand the importance of digital marketing.
1. Cost Effective
It is more cost-effective than other traditional marketing. This is particularly important for small businesses as they don’t have many resources or capital. New media can provide you with a less expensive and more viable promoting channel.
2. Utilize Content to Connect with Customers
Utilizing digital content either sponsored or free enables you to interface with customers more adequately than direct mail or PR campaigns. The quality of your online presence now directly connected to the achievement of your business.
3. Take into account the Mobile Customer
Innovation has evolved so much that mobile devices are no longer thought to be simple other options to PCs or laptops. 91% of grown-ups always have their mobile devices & regularly use them to browse the internet. The largest group of customers is utilizing their mobile devices daily, so it’s important that to use a marketing solution or advertisements that target these devices properly.
4. Acknowledge Higher ROI and Revenue
By increasing digital outreach, you can build your revenue. The more information that you can extract from your outreach campaigns, the better your expectations and along the ROI will be.
5. To Track Customer’s Journey
Utilizing analytics services like Google Analytics, you will be able to monitor all your client’s activities, preferences and get a better insight into their behavior. Analytics enable you to build the persona of your client with the goal that you can offer them the ideal experience.
6. Expanded Conversions
If you have an online business and you are advertising products and services online, you can easily measure your success by incoming traffic that gets changed over into subscribers, leads or sales and this way you can ascertain and enhance your conversion rates.
7. Empower Social Media Engagement
In the event that you need your organization to grow, you can gain new customers utilizing different social media channels. Make sure always to focus on your customers based on their interests, ages, and country. This way, you will be able to better interact with them and empower engagement through digital media.
8. Build People’s Trust
Digital marketing develops from social verification, social media signals and genuine testimonials from customers who have beforehand used, joined, acquired or profited from a service or product advertised by your business. Most customers would trust a service or a product when individuals they know give positive feedback or information about a specific brand. So great suggestion by a person with a strong following on Facebook or Twitter could represent the deciding moment your business.
The Stages of System Analysis and Design of an eCommerce Website
How to get started?
Designing an eCommerce website is certainly the best thing for the website designers, because it allows them to use their creativity to the fullest. Today, the eCommerce website has become the great trend setter and is more associated with the customer’s morals and emotions. Every eCommerce website has a USP and something that clinches buyers to visit the website.
Whether it is Amazon, eBay or Alibaba, history tells that every successful eCommerce website has written their own success stories at the time of designing only. All these websites are so popular among the users not just because of their services or the range of products they offer, but because of their great user interface and extremely friendly website design.
Even a person who doesn’t know much about the computer or the internet can spend hours on these websites simply because they provide a very friendly design and architect. This signifies how important is the designing and analysis of the eCommerce website.
How does it all start?
Getting started with the design of an eCommerce website is a big challenge for the designers and also for the people who have initiated this idea. Having your own eCommerce store sounds quite resounding, but it takes a hardcore approach to materialize the idea in the real world. Before you began with the designing of your own eCommerce store, you must have the answers of these questions ready, so that you will end up in providing a great product to your audience.
What is the objective of your store?
What would be your target audiences?
In which area or demographics you are targeting your customers?
What products or categories of products you want to sell through your store?
Which major brands you want to associate with?
What would be the initial budget of your store?
Site Architecture and Wire Frame
Now, since you have all the answers ready with you that means you can move ahead and get into the real part of the designing. The site architecture and the wireframe are the most critical part of the eCommerce store. How much you invest your brain and creativity in designing the site architecture will write your success story. History tells that even after investing millions of dollars, many eCommerce stores have failed to get attention from the customers because of their poor architecture and wireframe. Though, you could take every bit of the technology for designing a great friendly UI and website architecture, but your own creativity will be the key to success.
Some of essential and vital elements of a good wire frame and the site architecture
Site Home Page Feasibility
Menus, Sub Menus and Product Pages
Shopping Cart feature
Secured and fast Payment Gateway
Bradcrumb and Side bars
Header and Footer structure
Visualizing the design
All the great programmers or designers always take the blueprint of their design and use their visualizing skills to create a replica of the design in their minds. This will give them the sheer thought in which way they are moving and isn’t they are moving in the right direction. Most of the occasions, during the stage of the wireframe and site architecture, people get diverted from their original ideas and objectives. Here, visualization helps them to end up in a mainframe design that resounds well with their initial idea.
Began with the programming
The zest of the entire design is the programming. Once you have the sound visualization about the theme and concept of your website design, then it’s now time to do some ground work and get started with the programming. Doesn’t matter which language or framework you are using like Php or.Net, but it is important that programming must go with your initial idea.
The most important part of the programming is the workflow and work management. Designing an eCommerce store is really a tough deal for the programmer because they have to create thousands of pages and embed tons of functionality for designing a great user friendly website.
CMS and Content Delivery Networks
The highly critical part of any website is its database. While designing the eCommerce store, you must give a thought of having a comprehensive and extended database to accommodate all the information on the website. If you don’t want to have a static Data Base then you can certainly go with the CDN’s (Content Delivery Networks), that will help you in providing an effective database with a good uptime on the server that means your users’ will enjoy browsing on your website.
Make precise and good CSS and Java elements
Uploading products on the website
The products are the zest of every eCommerce store; therefore a special care should be taken while uploading the products on the website. It is really an exhilarating job for the designers, if you are uploading the huge bunch of the products under different categories. Here you should have the high definition images of every single product and those images should be fragmented and processed by a professional designer. Though, it is also important that every image should be compressed before uploading otherwise, it will increase the load time on the server and user won’t be able to see the product images properly.
Testing and Launching of the website
Now it’s time to launch the website, but before that you must consider your website for testing. Testing is often the final funnel through the website goes before going live on the web. The professional website engineers conduct various tests on the website and suggest better ways to improve the feasibility of the website for the users.
After your website successfully passed through the testing, then it’s now time to take your website live on the web for the users with a bang. Make sure that you must consider various display marketing, PCC and digital marketing techniques for promoting your website to the users.
4 Important Tips to Consider for Ecommerce Website Development
Ecommerce shopping is the buzzword of our times with millions of customers across the globe opting for online shopping over brick and mortar shops. This has made it imperative for retailers to go for entrepreneurs are still focusing on ecommerce website development or finding a reliable turnkey solution to take their business online.
The task of website development for any business model is complicated. It needs analysis of several aspects from user-experience till the performance. If the ecommerce website is not good enough to offer a simple way of shopping to the users then customers are likely to choose some other site for shopping.
One effective way to save time and create an online store at an affordable cost is by choosing ecommerce platform providers. They provide a readymade solution for all your ecommerce website creation needs with multiple attractive features. Before choosing an ecommerce platform, there are several points to be considered to make the outcome fully functional.
Let’s take a look at some of those key points.
User friendly platform- An easy to use platform that allows existing as well as new users to search for the desired products and checkout easily is always the first choice of customers. In the ecommerce website development process, the convenience of the customers while using the platform should be prioritized. As per statistics, 30% of customers use the search option to find their desired products. Hence easy navigation, quick search option, and seamless checkout are mandatory for attracting customers and should not be missed.
Security- The biggest concern while making transactions on the internet is security. Customers share their confidential details like credit/ debit card number, passwords etc with the trust that their data is secured. Ignoring security can even lead to the loss of money of the customers which can ultimately have adverse effects on the reputation and sales of the online store. In the ecommerce website development process, it becomes necessary to implement SSL encryption for ensuring the security of the personal information of customers.
Responsive Design- Ensuring that the ecommerce website is optimized for mobiles is important as the majority of the customers use their mobile phones for shopping nowadays. Implementing responsive designs such that the ecommerce site is easily accessible on every device is important for making it successful. If the online store is not optimized for all the devices and does not provide a good user experience then the site is likely to lose the ever-growing group of customers.
Creating an online store with all the mentioned features is not a task that can be accomplished in a single day. But making the process easier can be done with the help of ecommerce platforms that provides multiple features and saves time.