So let's say you have a store. It's nothing fancy, just a small little corner store where you sell this and that. Things have been going well ever since you first opened shop about 20 years ago, but you've starting to notice something. All of your competitors (the other this and that stores) have great web sites, and they're seeing a lot of sales coming through there.
You have a web site, but there's not a whole lot to it. You're starting to think that you'd like to build on it and start really branching out.
Welcome to e-commerce. We've been expecting you.
To put it simply, e-commerce sites are websites where transactions take place. Vendors want to have their e-commerce sites be heavily trafficked sites so that more customers are buying their products online. However, getting customers to the e-commerce site requires careful internet marketing techniques. Here are a few ways to increase internet traffic toward an e-commerce site.
1. Focus On the Product
Say a consumer is on a vendor’s site and they want to buy a computer at a sale price. Instead of searching through the entire vendor website, the consumer should see graphic-rich page designs that highlight the on-sale products. Upon clicking the item, the link should bring the customer right to the e-commerce site (where they can make the purchase). Having the products displayed will attract a consumer to the item and the easy link to the purchase point will remove any frustration that could result in a lost sale.
2. Display All Customer Service Contacts
Although the internet has revolutionized commerce, many consumers may want to speak to a human being when trying to purchase something. In addition, many consumers may feel uncomfortable purchasing the product direct from the site. However, if the e-commerce site has the customer service numbers and contact, the consumer will know that there is a real person to help them who is just a phone call or e-mail away. The trick is to have this information right on the e-commerce site. That way, if your customer needs your help, they won't have to leave the page to find your contact information.
3. Increase Content
When it comes to driving traffic to your site, content is kind. Conveniently, content is also king when it comes to keeping your consumers informed, even on your e-commerce site. Content can include detailed product info, pictures, and video demonstrations of the product. It needs have a human-side to it; don't just list product descriptions, instead describe the product in a well-written description. In addition, having product reviews from other customers adds more content to the site and reliability related to the legitimacy of the vendor. Other added attributes can include recommended products and blogs.
4. Absorb the Shipping Cost
In today’s economy, vendors need to do what they can to make customers confirm their purchase on e-commerce sites. Free shipping has been a cornerstone to many vendor’s e-commerce policies for awhile now, and for good reason. If a shipping rate is added, many customers will cancel the transaction and go elsewhere (read: somewhere with free shipping). Explicitly showing that there is no shipping and handling costs will help convince the customer that your site is where they should be.
5. Display Trustmarks Prominently
E-commerce sites need to be trusted (obviously), especially by people not used to buying products online. Trustmarks are internet marketing signals that highlight brand legitimacy and authority. For example, adding a Better Business Bureau to the e-commerce site shows the BBB certified the site. Showing all payment options, like credit and debit card companies, or PayPal, shows that those banking or credit companies lent their brand image to certify that a customer can buy a product from the e-commerce site with trust. Earning and adding these trustmarks will ease many consumers worries and make them finalize their transaction.
Moving into e-commerce for the first time can be a challenging experience, but the benefits easily outweigh the risks. As long as you take all of the necessary steps to ensure that your customer base will have a smooth and simple shopping experience, you'll be reaping the rewards of e-commerce in no time!
Jason Kane is a blogger at LeraBlog and Webgistix, a leader in E-Commerce Fulfillment. When he’s not sharing his vast knowledge of the E-Commerce world, he enjoys baseball, good movies, and fine cigars.