Image Source: Unsplash
Creating an established e-commerce site is no easy feat. With over 24 million e-commerce sites on the web, building one that is functional and user-friendly is crucial. But, it’s also only the first step. Because there are so many e-commerce businesses and people have taken to online shopping even more since the COVID-19 pandemic, your site needs to stand out to remain relevant.
Whether you want to start selling more online or your site is just overdue for an upgrade, there’s never a wrong reason to make enhancements. So, what can you do to make the most of your e-commerce site and create a user-friendly space that outshines your competitors? Let’s look at a few things you can start with.
Sustainability should be at the forefront of any successful business nowadays. While an e-commerce site might seem more sustainable than a traditional physical store, there are still things you can do to make your efforts more sustainable. If you do, you can use those efforts in your marketing to let consumers know what you’re doing to take care of the planet. Some of the most environmentally-friendly practices you can start putting in place include:
- Consolidating orders
- Using sustainable packaging
- Managing your supply chain
- Optimizing your network
- Using collected data to improve shipping methods
A Nielsen survey found that 73% of consumers would change their shopping habits if it helped to reduce their negative impact on the environment. When you choose to make more sustainable efforts within your company, you’re showing your audience that the future matters to you more than your bottom line. As a result, they may be more likely to buy something from your site over a competitor who doesn’t make sustainability a priority.
Social media is its own entity on the Internet. As of 2019, 72% of Americans used some form of social media, with YouTube and Facebook topping the list. It’s easier than ever to get social and stay involved since so many people carry their social media platforms with them in their pockets – using their smartphones.
Not only do people use social media regularly, but they rely on it to connect with businesses. Consumers are bombarded with thousands of traditional advertisements each day. But, it’s the businesses that give themselves a more “humanistic” quality that can really impact their audiences.
If you’ve already got an online business, take it one step further and connect with your audience on social media. Don’t just post items you have for sale or constantly link back to your website. Instead, trigger conversations. Ask questions and answer them. Post behind-the-scenes photos and videos. Host livestream events where your audience can ask questions and get them answered right away. Respond to reviews.
Social media is all about connection and conversation. As a business, it can be a lot of fun if you do it the right way. So, don’t be afraid to “let loose” a bit on whatever platform you choose. The more you’re in touch with your target audience and loyal customers, the more likely it is that they’ll keep coming back for more. Once you’ve developed those digital relationships, you can start encouraging people to check out your site and your products more often.
Digital accessibility has been a hot-button issue for quite some time now. Most business owners recognize the importance of accessibility when it comes to brick-and-mortar establishments. But, it’s just as important for an online store.
Your goal should be to have thousands of people visiting your e-commerce site each day. If it is, then you have to recognize that no two visits will be alike. Some visitors may have disabilities or specific needs that make it difficult to navigate most traditional websites. You can make their user experience a positive one by ensuring your site is as accessible as possible. A few easy ways to do that include:
- Adding images with Alt text
- Allowing users to enlarge the font
- Using colours that make text easy to read
- Having a readable site map
- Allowing keyboard navigation
- Using multiple forms of media
If you’re not sure how to make your website more accessible, you could benefit from taking a web accessibility course. Not only will it help you to learn more about creating, but it can make it easier to develop an accessible strategy that will reach a larger audience and make all users feel comfortable when they visit your site.
The average person will decide in 15 seconds whether to stay on your website or leave. If your online store is overly complicated, difficult to see, or hard to navigate, chances are they aren’t going to stick around. They may even end up visiting your competition.
To truly stand out in the e-commerce world and to give your target audience the best user experience possible, consider putting these enhancements in place. Doing so will create a better e-commerce site for your business and help you to build longevity and success.