Five E-Commerce Tips For Small Businesses

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Every day your business relies on sales transactions to keep the “open” sign on the door and the company mission afloat. When you sell your products from a brick and mortar location, these transactions are person-to-person. You control the logistics of the sale in terms of pricing, discounts and product delivery, and make sure the customer walks away happy. But what if some or all of your sales happen online?

A great e-commerce site can be your company’s best friend. With nearly unlimited space for inventory, instantaneous access to worldwide markets, fewer sales costs and easy order tracking, an internet storefront helps small businesses compete with much bigger companies.

E-commerce transactions, despite their great advantages, also present unique challenges to business owners. What is second nature in-store falls to the mercy of a computer online. So when complex circumstances like stackable discounts and international shipping arise, you need to make sure you don’t overlook important logistics, lest you lose money or your customers’ trust.

Here are five tips on doing e-commerce well:

  1. Make It Easy. Just like in-store shoppers, online shoppers respond favorably (buy) when they can “get in and get out” with little hassle. Your chosen e-commerce platform should provide a seamless and direct buying experience. A good measure of the ease of an interface is the number of clicks it takes to get to the desired action (the fulfillment of the order). Click to add to cart, Click to go to cart, Click to choose desired options (if applicable), Click to enter billing and shipping info, Click to complete the order. That’s 5 clicks, and you shouldn’t need more than that, with some exceptions. 
  2. Provide Options. If it’s in your power, be sure to offer as wide a range of product variations and options on your online store as possible. One of the reasons many people shop online is to locate those hard-to-find items that weren’t in the brick and mortar store. If they find them in your online store, customers will be more likely to return when they face a similar situation in the future.
  3. Get Social. Another great way to ‘make it easy’ for your online customers is to integrate e-commerce capability into your social advertising. For one of our e-commerce clients, Primm built a secure online store placed as a tab on their Facebook page so that customers don’t even have to leave Facebook to complete an order.
  4. Consider The Complexities. We mentioned before the issue of stackable discounts. These refer to how a business chooses to handle the application of multiple discounts to a single order. For instance, say you choose to run a “buy one get one” promotion for a certain product while simultaneously offering a promo code for “one free [insert name of same product].  Without taking the time to program your e-commerce platform to reject the ‘stacking’ of these discounts, you could lose untold money and inventory. That’s just one of the logistical complexities you need to take into consideration in order to get the most out of your e-commerce site.
  5. Place An Emphasis On Customer Service. Though you may never meet your online customers face to face, it doesn’t mean that you can’t give them the stellar customer service you would afford to in-store shoppers. Along with fast, complete and trackable shipping, make sure you have a clear and convenient process for returns.

 

As you can see, there is a lot to think about when running an e-commerce site. If you’d like, the web team at Primm can save you time, energy and money by handling your e-commerce operation. Call or contact us today.

image courtesy of: freedigitalphotos.net