5 easy e-commerce tips for small businesses
Here are five simple e-commerce tips which smaller businesses can use to provide real differentiation over bigger competitors.
Practical e-commerce tips you can implement today
- Make the telephone ring. Not everyone feels totally comfortable placing orders online so give customers the opportunity to call instead. Let them talk to you about placing an order, enquire about a product … or even be upsold to additional/higher-priced products.
TIP: Add a clear phone number to your web site header. Make sure you provide a truly personal service when answering the call (not “press 1 for sales, 2 for queries …” etc). Welcome those calls – they’re your potential customers after all!
- Show that you’re local. In this global world of commerce, consumers are never really sure where a business might be based and registered offices are not necessarily where a business trades from. If we have a problem with an item bought from Next, we know where we can return it to but with smaller e-commerce businesses that might not be so clear and could present a barrier to sale.
TIP: Register (for free) with Google My Business which connects your web site across Google search, Maps and Google+ and provides relevant information about your business such as local address, phone number and customer ratings.
- ‘Expert’ content. You may not always be able to compete on price with the bigger players but adding value with helpful content gives your visitors another reason to stay on your site – and purchase.
TIP: Demonstrate that you’re an expert in your field by publishing a regular series of interesting blogs. “Things to look out for when buying your next hockey stick” would be a good example of the sort of content that an online sports equipment retailer might produce.
- Show some personality. Big e-commerce companies often fall into the trap of communicating through impersonal corporate styles (signed off by a team of lawyers). Smaller e-commerce businesses have an opportunity to show some personality behind the brand.
TIP: Make sure your About Us page tells customers about what’s important to you eg how the business was set up, your knowledge and experience etc. Show a picture of yourself to highlight that you’re a real human, not a big corporation. As the saying goes, people buy off people (even in this digital world) so make sure to convey you’re a person that customers want to buy from.
- Keep up-to-date. It’s rather difficult to sell Valentines gifts in March or Halloween outfits in December. These may be obvious but it’s surprising how many smaller e-commerce companies don’t update their key offers on a regular basis or don’t react to current events.
TIP: Keep your content plan up-to-date and don’t be afraid to react to new events. Get those scarves and gloves back on the home page if there’s a sudden cold snap. Be aware of major news stories and if appropriate, tailor your offer to take advantage.
Remember, just because you’re a smaller e-commerce business doesn’t mean you can’t be smarter than your competitors. Use these e-commerce tips to deliver what the bigger firms find difficult and you’ll give customers more reasons to purchase from you.
Right Direction Marketing: e-commerce tips from the experts
Right Direction Marketing works with a wide range of smaller online businesses in Lancashire and the North West in order to get the best returns from their digital activities.TEST