Make It Happen: 5 Strategies for Creating an E-commerce Success Story

Business.com / Sales / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Five core elements that are responsible for success of your E-commerce venture.

When I started my first website, I knew virtually nothing about “conversions” and “click-through-rate”.

I was focused on making money. So, I made a lot of short-sighted errors; tripping over dollars to save pennies. I cut corners on our website’s development and seriously limited our advertising spend.

Luckily, I was able to save myself from my own mistakes. Through a long process of trial and error I found a groove and created something meaningful. To become successful, I mastered five key strategies to create a strong E-commerce presence that generated life-changing income.

The lessons are flexible enough to be applied to almost anything. Ignore them at your peril.

Related Article:Don't Let It Happen to You: Top 4 Mistakes That Kill eCommerce Businesses

Spend Money on the Components That Your Customers Interact With

If you’re going to create a website using a free, do-it-yourself website builder, you’re going to run into problems. Either you’ll end up spending way more time on site design than you had originally planned, or you’ll create something that looks amateurish. An online website needs to build instant credibility with a consumer.

Two-tenths of a seconds, and 2.5 seconds. Those are your two most important numbers according to a recent study of Internet impressions. When a visitor reaches your site, they create their first impression of you in just two-tenths of a second. By the 2.5 second mark, their eyes have focused enough on the various aspects of your page, and your reputation with them is solidified (for better or worse).

Don’t cut corners when it comes to site design. Hire a reputable agency that has a proven track-record of creating great websites. Build a long-term relationship with a quality designer, and you’ll be able to quickly pivot to keep up with marketing trends.

Focus on the Layout of Information

While the quality of the information on your site is important, how that information is presented is sometimes even more important. Take a look at Apple’s website.

By many measures, Apple is one of the largest companies in the world. They can afford virtually any design agency and an unlimited amount of content creation. But, their website is kept simple, elegant and clean.

It’s not just big companies that focus on simplicity. Smaller companies have taken note and are strategically placing information in an easy to digest layout. In a discussion with Michael Sheridan, Chief Designer of Cheap Games, he mentioned that “…segmenting customers into serious vs. casual viewers is key to creating content that converts.

It’s easy to cater to one type of customer, but strong websites create a flexible experience with a variety of customers in mind.” On their site, you’ll notice a heavy reliance on graphics and easy-to-digest grids of information. For power-users, a search box allows for viewers to get to exactly what they’re looking for, without the need to scroll. For more casual viewers, their grid view still provides a browsing experience for a casual interaction.

Related Article:Sales Ahead: 30 Tactics Proven to Increase E-commerce Conversion [INFOGRAPHIC]

The Value of Search Engine Optimization

The best sources of reliable, cost-effective traffic to a site are Google, Bing and Yahoo.The reason is simple. People go on the Internet to find answers. In marketing, it’s always advisable to market a website to the group of people that are most motivated to make a purchase.

The people on the Internet that are most likely to be motivated to make a purchase are the individuals searching for information about your product, service or industry.

To market a website to a search engine, it isn’t about design or graphics (outside of site load times and accessibility across platforms). Your website needs to teach, inspire and add value to a user’s experience on the Internet.

Focus on answering questions. Forget the sale for a moment; the opportunity to make a sale will elude you if you can’t grab the target market’s attention. Optimize your site to answer questions in a way that will lead a search engine to include your website in its search results for terms and phrases related to your product or service.

Create a Compelling Blog

The best strategy for creating content that answers user-questions is the creation of a compelling blog. The beauty of a blog is that it’s easy to post content that’s trending and creative, without needing to code a new page for a website.

A blog allows you to encourage search engines to serve up your site, with informative articles targeted at answering the questions users are already asking about your product or service.

Type “Web Design Blog” into Google and you’ll likely come across this blog article that discusses web design trends and strategies. There’s a lot of valuable content there, but here are a few things you should take note of for your blogging efforts:

  • Titles with numbers in them create instant value for a reader and increase engagement.
  •  Notice that the paragraph lengths are short and concise. Readers like to read in bite-sized stretches
  • A pop-up comes up while scrolling and encourages the reader to sign-up for an email list; increasing interaction and establishing a relationship with the writer.
  • Tasteful graphics break up the text and make the page feel warm and inviting.
  • The page’s focus is to provide value quickly and keep the reader’s attention by providing additional, instantly-accessible value.

Related Article:Project Management Tips for Creating an E-Commerce Site

Fresh Content, Instant Value and Search Engine Answers

If you’re creating a website with the goal of generating revenue, you need to focus on creating something that instantly provides value to your target-audience. Transparently trying to grab money out of a customer’s pockets is a horrible model for creating trust and loyalty.

Focus on answering questions, being helpful and showing you care about the person on the other end of the screen. In return, a percentage of your site’s audience will hopefully find ways to financially reward you, both directly and indirectly, for your efforts.

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