Finding success with e-commerce can be laborious and requires devotion. It’s noble to want an online store, but going in with a well-devised plan is the only path to success. When looking at an e-commerce store’s homepage, the process of creating a shop may not appear arduous. However, there are many challenging behind-the-scenes tasks involved in maintaining a successful online store.
The amount of organization, categorization, functionality, development and problem solving that makes up a thriving online store can be head-spinning.
Savoir Faire’s team has extensive experience with e-commerce. We can work with almost any open source, PHP-based e-commerce system to build a customer-focused site and integrate with your back-end systems to handle inventory, payment and fulfillment of large or small catalogues of products. Some of the most popular are WooCommerce (which utilizes WordPress), Magento and Shopify.
Savoir Faire works with all the major open-source e-commerce systems, including: Shopify, Magento, Opencart, VirtueMart and WooCommerce.
With an online store, your profits are no longer determined by the number of customers that walk through the door of your brick and mortar location. You have the ability to create a global presence – one whose profits aren’t slashed by the vagaries of in-store overhead. Plus, e-commerce allows you to serve customers who shop during every hour of the day – from wherever they are when they decide they need what you sell.
With access to analytics, Savoir Faire can help you judge metrics to see what your customers are seeking, allowing you to make strategic adjustments to your product catalogues. We can help take the guesswork out of the challenging – and expensive – product selection process.
We can also help strategize ways to entice back those who left without completing an order. Or customers who haven’t come back in a while.
In 2018, global e-commerce retail sales are expected to generate $653 billion, says Statista.
According to Disruptive Advertising, on average, millennials now make 54% of purchases online (versus 49% of non-millennials).
Stores that have at least one social media account have 32% more sales on average than stores that don’t use social media.
Considerations when building your e-commerce website
Make it a customer-friendly experience
Giving specific product details in a clear way will give those visiting your site a positive experience, especially considering they can’t physically touch the products.
Reviews are key in many markets
New and established e-commerce sites should utilize online reviews. According to BJC Branding, 85 percent of customers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from people they know.
Be transparent about all pricing:
One out of every four shoppers will abandon their shopping cart if an unexpected shipping cost pops up at the end of a transaction.
Customers like the speed of guest checkout
If your online store forces a shopper to take the time to create a new customer profile — especially if they have to visit their email to check-out — expect them to bounce. Guest checkout should be speedy and painless.
Learn from your customers
Many e-commerce packages include the option to collect data that will aid you in constantly improving the customer experience. Don’t forget to study your customer reviews, too, to learn about trends and the shopability of your site!
Being mobile-friendly is a must
With a third of U.S. e-commerce sales happening on mobile devices, and Google evolving to a mobile first outlook for website rankings, your site has to be simple to use for those on a phone.
Brick and Mortars Need E-Commerce, Too
If you operate a brick-and-mortar store, utilizing an e-commerce website could boost sales both on- and off-line. Sure, many customers are taking advantage of an end-to-end online shopping experience, but others have become Buy Online, Pickup In-Store (or BOPIS) consumers. Kibo Commerce reports that 67% of shoppers use the BOPIS option. While they are in your physical location picking up product, there’s a great opportunity to provide top-notch, in-person customer service — and maybe do some upselling?
Tales of E-Commerce Triumph
Two of our clients needed quick, reliable and profitable e-commerce solutions.
The initial challenge for the first client was creating three separate e-commerce stores and customer pathways and placing them into the same WordPress-based website. Depending on what type of customer you are and what your needs are, you are taken down a pathway to one of those three stores.
Simple functionality of the stores was essential, but they also needed to be able to:
- allow payment deposits into different bank accounts
- allow custom checkout fields
- build three distinct check-out processes
- include conditions that could (and also could not) be checked
- provide a positive user experience
The new site met all these conditions and set the client up for a new level of success.
The second client was also reaching for a new level of success. This company’s unique travel-based product line and costly inventory made it essential for us to position the company as a highly-trustworthy organization. Their ideal customer may not even know what they exactly need, so creating educational content on the site was important. Building clear pathways through the site for different customer types was important, as the existing site was outdated and did little to move the customer through the purchase process.
In our discovery process, we went over many scenarios that would elicit a significant (and fast) customer return. We quickly realized that we would need to help our client develop and maintain strong relationships with their customers.
Boom, they needed a brand-new e-commerce site that would be super-easy to navigate, quick, secure, and well-organized. Wonky-looking sites drive down customer trust, a critical element for online success.
Using the e-commerce host Magento, we reorganized their products and found areas within the site to put lengthy, but still important, technical information about their product lines. The site sent customers off in two distinct directions: one for those who are ready to buy and one for those who need to be educated before making a purchase.
The new website allowed the client to leapfrog ahead with the marketing and sales of their products.