The e-commerce industry has flourished and thousands upon thousands of online stores are popping up on a daily basis. Some attain the peaks of success; others struggle through on a day-to-day basis while a few drop dead, devoid of breath after a short sprint. There is no magic formula for success in the online arena, neither is there a blueprint for setting up e-commerce stores. There are certain steps one can take though which help make an online store more effective and increase its chances of sustained success.
For The People
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and for once, they just might be right. E-commerce stores are built for people, yet businesses often forget to cater to customer’s tastes. The website design, as brilliant as it maybe, might not be effective at all because it appeals to you and not to your customers. It is not your job to make a customer think; they can and will do that for themselves. The website design and logo are part of the complete sales package and as such, must be tailored to ensure customer satisfaction.
There are certain brands, particular products which sell simply through the force of their reputation. But how many of them are there? And how much can you rely on them for the success of your e-commerce store? Not many and not much at all. It takes a lot of patience and hard work to gain customer loyalty, and even longer to earn their forgiveness if and when mistakes are made. An effective e-commerce store is one which provides its visitors with a complete, satisfactory and enjoyable user experience.
By The People
Market research and obtaining customer feedback has never been easier. E-commerce stores need only penetrate the social media networks and be inundated with information about customer preferences, likes and dislikes etc. Every piece of data a business has ever yearned for is now being provided by the people themselves through “likes” on Facebook, “tweets” on Twitter and thousands of comments and debates on social forums. The content on your e-commerce store’s website and your use of social media networks can be powerful tools indeed towards making your business more effective.
An e-commerce store won’t survive with a website that is usable but not user-friendly, and vice versa. Where the user experience is sometimes overlooked, paying too much attention to aesthetic details can harm your website’s usability too. A lot of sales can be lost during the check out process, which is a more critical part of user experience than most businesses realize. Another example includes adding a footnote to your website assuring customers that their transactions and privacy are secure, even if it doesn’t fit into the overall website design and functionality.
Of The People
Ultimately what makes an e-commerce store effective is the opinion of the people, the customers. Certain features and methods that prove effective for one store might turn out to be disastrous for the other. There are no guidelines, no foolproof methods. Customer experience on an e-commerce store can be like listening to a song and being unable to describe what makes it one of your favorites. It is the complete composition that is appealing, not a particular instrument or part of the lyrics.