We're coming to the end of a year like no other. COVID-19 has been a catalyst for moving our lives online: from our social lives to health care, even our children's education became virtual. Of course, the huge step change has been the mass adoption of digital technology. We haven't had a choice thanks to nationwide and localised lockdowns as the government tried to limit the spread of the disease. We have had to move online to participate, to purchase, to make ourselves seen and heard.
For small businesses, this has been a year of pivoting and learning at speed. The message has been: get online if you want to survive and grow. But how do you do this in practice? Let's assume you have some ideas, or a plan. Then what? Talent. You need access to the very best talent and you're going to need it on-demand. So, when it comes to your online ambition, how can on-demand talent help accelerate your growth?
See our top tips below on how to build your ecommerce presence:
1. Build your website
Start by choosing a platform. Hosted third-party platforms (Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce) operate as a shopping cart. You can use one of these tools to sign up for an account and build your own site within its infrastructure. If you're not sure which platform is the best fit for your needs, you can always check out this guide.
You may also decide to add your items to an existing marketplace, (eBay, Etsy, Amazon) and create listings for your products. If you already have a marketplace store, ecommerce programming experts can help you link to it. Regardless of what type of marketplace business you're trying to create, there will be a service out their to meet your needs.
In general, an ecommerce site demands more attention and expertise than other websites. You will need to consider security controls, an SSL certificate, the site's design, technology that works seamlessly with your 'back-office systems', scalable solutions to meet increasing demand, advanced layout options and more.
2. Create great website content
This next step can actually take part in parallel to building your website. Your website's content and design are critical aspects of building your ecommerce business. When done successfully, they ensure your audience understands your value proposition and leads to a conversion to sales.
By utilising the skills of professional ecommerce copywriters who can help with website content and talented graphic designers who can assist with web and mobile design, you will see a marked improvement in your conversion rate. Good copywriting can evoke a strong emotional response while communicating your brand's values along with a product's benefits.
Selecting the right keywords for your ecommerce site can determine how it stands out in search results. Your content must match the keywords you want to rank for.
3. Highlight your product
In addition to creating great website content, it's essential to promote relevant products on your ecommerce site.
To ensure you select sellable products, it's a good idea to conduct product research. Each item you add to your site should have a high-quality product description. To guarantee your products stand out, enlist the services of a professional to produce stunning product photography. Photoshop editing is a great way to further enhance your product images and make sure they look their best.
4. Optimise your site for performance and SEO
As advancements in technology and innovation continue to develop, online shoppers expect more from the sites they visit – more options, more products and greater speed. When websites don't respond accordingly, (think page freezes, product image glitches, checkout annoyances) buyers grow frustrated and lose confidence in the brand behind it. This inevitably leads to a loss in sales. That's why optimising your site for speed and performance is another crucial aspect you need to take care of when building an ecommerce business.
While the general speed and performance of your site are key, technical page elements hold additional power when configured to improve your rankings in search results. In order to optimise your site's performance, you should consider enlisting the help of SEO experts.
5. Promote your ecommerce business
Congratulations! Your website is nearly finished, but there's one more question you should ask yourself: How do I bring customers to my new ecommerce store?
The online marketplace is saturated with tons of businesses and finding a way to make yours stand out is crucial to its success. Now that you've invested so much in creating the perfect site, it's time to put your attention towards making sure people see it. Promoting your store through social media marketing, ads and other channels is the perfect way to get your store in front of your potential customers.
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