This is a guest post. The views expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of Mainstreethost.
Today plenty of online stores are ready to offer customers an extensive range of products and services that can meet all their needs and expectations. But with the enormous and ever-growing level of competition, web store owners have to think of retaining existing clients and drawing new ones to their website.
If you wish to avoid significant mistakes while growing your online store and creating a return customer base, it’s crucial to develop a long-term business strategy. In this article I will outline main aspects of such a strategy that will make a difference and allow your store to stand out.
Reputation is one of the most critical aspects for any online venture, though building it isn’t easy and takes time.
Perhaps one of the most essential things online store owners need to pay attention to is the level of customer satisfaction and loyalty. You should remember that understanding customer needs and expectations can help to retain them and get a never-ending referral path. Never try to mislead your clients and offer them only correct and full information and honest reviews on the products available. Share truthful facts about your company and explain goals you want to achieve.
Pay special attention to customer feedback in social media networks, forums and yellow pages. Nowadays almost all clients prefer to show & discuss products and services using such websites as Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Encourage them to write their thoughts and opinion to know whether people like your products, the level of support and what they wish to see in the future. Respond to all customer questions politely and in a timely manner.
Discounts and Daily Deal Strategies
Traditional brick-and-mortars can create effective discount strategies in their online stores to entice more customers. You can calculate your average profit margins to understand how much discounting is possible and provide registered users with a loyalty program. Rest assured customers will love the opportunity to save some money, and they probably won’t go anywhere else with their next purchase.
A special daily deal is another way to make your online store stand out and increase its profit gains dramatically. The main idea of this strategy is to sell a limited quantity of products for some special price in a limited period of time. With the help of a daily deal strategy, a web store can not only get high revenues, but engage a large number of new customers and increase a loyal client base. Moreover, customers will be able to explore other items from your product catalog and buy them in the future.
Another way to present a website to a large target audience is by using affiliate programs. They’ll allow you to promote your products and services on hundreds and thousands of other websites. Usually affiliates use banner ads, text links or referral newsletters to send visitors to a particular website, doing all promotions and selling for you almost for free. You begin compensating a pre-defined commission to your affiliates only when paying customers will be sent to your website.
Variety of Payment Methods
Very often, plenty of online stores make the same mistake, providing customers with only a few payment options. Don’t bind your clients to standard options. Integrate as many popular payment solutions as possible, for example: Amazon Payments, Braintree, WePay, etc.
Some online shops have technical limitations on implementing money transactions, allowing only credit or debit cards. If you wish to enhance your client base substantially, provide your clients with the opportunity to pay using e-checks, wire transfers, money orders or bitcoins. Make your online business exposure boundless.
Another unique and innovative way to sell products and stand out from the crowd of competitors is to provide a free shipping option. Your customers can be scattered all over the Globe: that’s why it’s necessary to include shipping costs into the final price.
Of course, a web store doesn’t have to offer free shipping with every order. It’s possible to offer free shipping on some particular orders or fix special shipping prices. This can positively meet your customers’ expectations and generate higher conversions. Prospective clients should be motivated to buy in your online store rather than going to the local brick-and-mortar one.
Mobile-Friendly Web Store
In our age of mobile devices, every vendor should have a mobile version of their web store. Currently, customers prefer making purchases on-the-go, saving time on opting for products or reading information about required items.
Unfortunately, a lot of website owners can’t boast of having an appropriately optimized responsive design for mobile devices, thereby losing many prospective clients. Though mobile optimization can be rather expensive, it will pay for itself very fast with the potential to increase sales volume.
I hope this all sheds some light on the main aspects of ecommerce success. If you have any additional tips to share, please leave your comments below.