In 2020, brands have had to do a great deal of transformation as the economic climate has become increasingly uncertain.

E-commerce is one area that has boomed in the current climate, as online shopping has become the new normal. The e-commerce industry’s sales are expected to reach $4.8-trillion by 2021, with 21% of the world’s population regularly shopping online

Consumers have taken to online shopping because it is a contact-free way to obtain goods, so it is viewed as a safer alternative to shopping in-store. 

If your brand has been around the e-commerce space for a while and still isn't generating a decent amount of sales, despite the boom in the industry, it may be time to reconsider your approach.

Here are five tips that can you should consider integrating into your e-commerce strategy:

1. Crackdown on-site security

Before you do anything else, your website needs to be safe for your consumers to shop on. If your site appears to be untrustworthy, you will not make any sales. 

Nowadays, consumers are more cautious about cybersecurity than ever before. This is because credit card fraud is rife, with there being a new identity theft victim every two seconds globally

You can improve site security by making your site secure with SSL. This changes your site URL to http:// to https://, which protects customer data

Other ways to improve site security are:
  • ensuring that you’re using the right platform
  • utilising security plug-ins
  • keeping your admin panel secure, and 
  • utilising a payment gateway service.
Ensuring that your site is safe for consumers to shop on will help to build trust between your business and customers, ultimately leading to a more prosperous and profitable relationship. 

2. Simplify the checkout process

Ensuring that the checkout process runs as smoothly as possible is yet another niggly detail that is key to boosting e-commerce sales.

As 69% of shoppers abandon their shopping carts before making a purchase, your checkout process must be as simple as possible. If not, consumers will easily leave your site and head to one of your competitors. 

A major reason why shoppers abandon their carts is because they are hit with high shipping costs. First and foremost, your brand can manage these abandonment figures by being transparent about shipping costs.

If shipping is free, that will greatly benefit your brand, but if shipping is only free after a certain amount, or not at all, you should disclose that to your customers. 

Another checkout requirement that pushes customers to abandon their carts is having to register for an account before they can make a purchase. You can fix this issue by giving consumers an option to register as a once-off guest on your site. 

3. Optimise your shipping process

While we’re on the topic of shipping, efficiency in this aspect of the online shopping process is a surefire way to impress consumers. 

One of the most prominent pressure points for e-commerce stores is dealing with customers who are dissatisfied with not receiving their package on time. This dissatisfaction may lead to them canceling their orders or going on a social media rampage, both of which can be extremely damaging for your brand. 

Putting care into the shipping process and ensuring that all orders go out as fast as possible will not only impress your clientele but it will also build up your positive reputation as a retailer.

A great way for a retailer to simplify the shipping process is by contracting third-party logistics to handle deliveries.  

Additionally, you can optimise the shipping process by offering an express shipping offer where, if the customer needs their package ASAP, they can pay extra to get it. If not, they can always choose the free shipping option.

4. Establish a unique selling proposition

If your e-commerce store offers consumers a unique product, service or customer experience, it is bound to attract new customers and build a loyal following. 

As e-commerce continues to grow, it is essential for your success that you stand out to differentiate yourself from your competitors. 

By highlighting what makes your brand unique, you can market it to expand your consumer base.  

When trying to establish your brand’s unique selling point, you should consider the following:
  • What differentiates your store from competitors?  
  • How much does your product / service cost?
  • Are there any gaps in the market in your industry?
  • What kind of customer service do you offer?
  • Are your products of exceptional quality?

5. Work on improving customer service

Outstanding customer service equates to a happy customer. By ensuring that your customer service is always on point, your customers will keep coming back and you will build a reputation as a business that cares about providing a quality service.

You can improve your e-commerce store’s customer service by being quick to tend to queries, regularly updating your social media platforms and ensuring shipping goes out on time.

You can even take things a step further by integrating chatbots onto your site. This lends a helping hand to consumers 24/7, as they are able to get answers to basic queries promptly. 

As a consumer, what attracts you to an online store? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Want more information on the transformation of the e-commerce industry? Then be sure to find out more about E-commerce and purchasing behaviour during trying times here.
*Image courtesy of Vecteezy