The value of contactless sales more than trebled in 2014, and this underlines the significant evolution that is taking hold in the world of commerce.
While this is helping bricks and mortar retailers to maintain their relevance across multiple markets, however, it is doing little to halt the rise to prominence of e-commerce. An estimated 40% of the world’s Internet users have brought products online, for example, and this amounts to more than one billion virtual shoppers across the globe. This figure will rise exponentially in the future too, as generational shifts serve to further popularise the e-commerce model.
3 Tips for e-commerce start-ups
With this in mind, now may be the ideal time to launch an e-commerce venture and capitalise on this growing trend. Here are three steps to follow when building the foundations for your venture from the ground up: –
Make Mobile your Priority
When we talk about e-commerce, we are increasingly focused on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. This makes perfect sense, particularly with mobile transactions already accounting for 30% of e-commerce activity in the U.S and this trend increasingly commonplace. This market is also set to grow 300% faster than similar entities, so this is certainly something to prioritise as an e-commerce entrepreneur.
With Google also improving the ranking of websites that are easy to access and navigate, you must ensure that you invest in a responsive design that includes intuitive navigation sidebars and fast-loading landing pages. These steps will ensure that customers enjoy a seamless experience when shopping with their mobile device, while it will also minimise your bounce rate on specific product pages.
Ultimately, you should aim for a loading time of two seconds for every page, as anything over this will translate into a decline in bottom line conversions.
Optimise Performance ahead of design
It is a widely accepted fact that customers cannot touch your products when shopping online, and many e-commerce entrepreneurs try to compensate for this by bringing products to life through animation and high resolution graphics.
These elements can slow down your website, however, causing a downturn in performance and ultimately costing you money. This highlights how design can often come at the expense of performance, but this is a false economy that must be avoided by start-up e-commerce ventures.
Instead, focus on creating a simplified check-out process that customers can complete in as few steps as possible, while also integrating live chat and social media feeds for customers to make contact in real-time. This will contribute to a high performance and accessible website which delivers a better value proposition for consumers.
Create a cost-effective and reliable distribution network
Whether you sell products domestically or to the international market, it is imperative that you lay the foundations for a cost-effective and reliable distribution network. This type of infrastructure is fundamental to all e-commerce ventures, regardless of their scale, scope or the market in which they operate.
The first step is to determine the cheapest service providers, comparing the market to create a short-list of options that can meet your specific needs. Parcel2Go can help you to achieve this, as this type of market comparison site offers you access to a host of service providers who process both domestic and international shipments.
Once you have a select few options that are within your price range and budget, conduct further research to check the viability of each in terms of reputation, experience and the value that they offer for your money.
This should help you to identify a viable service that can help you to optimise your efficiency and bottom line over time.