4 Ways To Ensure Your eCommerce Website Is Easy To Use

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development Article, 4 Ways To Ensure Your eCommerce Website Is Easy To Use

One of the best ways to improve your customer journey on your eCommerce site is to ensure your website is easy to use, but where do you start? With so many things to consider when it comes to creating an eCommerce website, you need to ensure you’re putting usability at the forefront of all of your decisions. Whether you’re improving your site navigation or using a trusted checkout provider, doing what is best for your customers is important. With that in mind, here are 4 ways to ensure your eCommerce website is easy to use:

Make The Navigation As Simple As You Can

One of the best ways to make your eCommerce site easy to use is to make your navigation as simple as you possibly can. Although you may want to add in multiple pages for SEO purposes, ultimate your sales will come down to how usable your site is. If your customers are having to click through hundreds of different pages to find what they want, chances are they’re going to look for another stockist before wasting any more of their time. Keep things as simple as you can and you will start to see immediate results when it comes to your bounce rate.

For a guide to reducing our bounce rate, you can visit this site here.

Don’t Use Too Many Pages To Click Through To Checkout

If you want people to have a quick and easy journey through your site, you need to ensure there are not too many pages to click through before they get to the checkout page. Although there may be a number of things you need to confirm, the more pages there are the less likely they are to pay.

Use A Trusted Checkout Provider And Make It Easy To Pay

If you want people to feel safe when they’re purchasing products from your site, you need to ensure you’re using a trusted checkout provider. Often, when it is a provider they don’t recognise or they haven’t used before, you will find they’re less likely to purchase from you due to fear of fraudulent activity. Whether you host your own checkout or you use a gateway service, you need to ensure your provider is as trusted as it can possibly be. For more information about API and gateway services, you can visit this site here.

– Make Returns As Easy As You Can

Finally, it’s important you’re making returns as easy as you possibly can. Although you want to aim for no returns, you need to be sure you’re making it as easy as possible for those that do need to send something back. Whether they find the item doesn’t fit or they ordered the wrong colour – if it’s too difficult to return you may find they’re less likely to purchase from you again.

For a guide to making returns on your site easy, you can visit this site here.

Is your eCommerce website easy to use? What can you do to ensure customers have a positive experience on your site? Let me know your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.

Simple Steps to Increase Online Sales

StrategyDriven Online Marketing and Website Development |Increase Online Sales|Simple Steps to Increase Online SalesIf you are a business owner with a business that is predominantly based-online, then no doubt, one of your main aims and goals is to increase the online sales. Whether you are a small business or a large business that is going to be the aim of the game. You might be a retail business that has recently moved online, and have a brick and mortar store, or perhaps you are a solely ecommerce business. But with companies like Amazon taking a huge share of the market, you need to think about using your site in the right way, to help you to get the sales that you need. It can be a bit of a struggle, but done in the right way, and with a little know-how, you can use the internet to help you to boost your sales. Here are some things that you need to consider.

Be Honest in Your Sales Content

This is something that might seem really obvious, but it is quite staggering just how many people with online businesses are essentially writing out checks that they can’t cash, because their products don’t step up to the mark. Honesty is so important to your business and the reputation of your business, as it will help consumers to gain trust in your brand. So check what claims you are making, and make sure that they are backed up. If not, it is best not to mention them at all. So the bottom line is to make sure that you are honest and transparent with your sales content and copy, right through from product descriptions on your website to email newsletters.

Get More Ad Clicks with Ad Extensions

If you want to sell more things online, then having something like and ed extension is really a no-brainer. This kind of feature will allow you to make an ad bigger, with more places for people to click on, meaning that there is more chance of website visits. The good news is that this kind of thing doesn’t cost any extra, but the increase in click-through rates can be amazing.

Search Engine Optimization

If you want to get more people to your site, then you need to make sure that you are doing all you can to SEO your website. This could be done through keywords and ads, as mentioned, as well as using a blog and create links back online, using other blogs too. If you’re not too sure what you are doing with this, then you could always look for an SEO marketing agency to do the job for you. After all, if your business is all online, then you need to be doing all you can to people to visit.

A Bulletproof Money-Back Guarantee

There are many people that will be wary of using a website, let alone buy from it, if they don’t know your brand name; to them there is a lot of risk involved. So you need to let them know that there is no risk involved, and in most cases, the perceived risk is a financial one. So let them know what you offer for refunds or a money-back guarantee.

The Strategy Behind Complementing Your Online Store With A Physical Space

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Online Store| The Strategy Behind Complementing Your Online Store With A Physical SpaceOnce, online business existed to complement physical stores. A company who went online had the best chance of standing out on the high street. That’s because most customers started heading online to get some idea of what they wanted before heading out.

Unsurprisingly, this trend has seen a real rise in e-commerce only stores in recent years. Many new business owners now choose to scrap physical business altogether. And, it’s easy to see why given how steep rental prices are now. By relying on nothing more than a website, it’s possible to start a business for half the price you’d pay otherwise.

But, we’re seeing something of a shift in the business world right now. Rather than physical stores heading online, we’re seeing e-commerce companies opting for physical spaces. The benefit here, of course, is that they already have an established reputation to go off. In most cases, they also have existing profits to cover those costs.

But, how exactly can a physical store compliment your online efforts, and is it worth your while?

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Online Store| The Strategy Behind Complementing Your Online Store With A Physical SpaceKeeping up with the competition

Remember that physical businesses originally moved online to impress customers over their competitors. Now, though, opting for physical space is the best chance you have of doing that. After all, the online world is saturated with endless stores to choose from. Hence why companies like Amazon are heading to our high streets. This is your best chance to stand out from the online crowd and keep up with what the rest of your industry are doing. And, that’s the only real chance you have at making this last long-term.

Appealing to the masses

We’re told time and again that the majority of customers now come from online sources. And, there’s no denying that most do check out a website before anything else. But, consider that 60% of people who look online still prefer to buy in-store. A lot of the time, they simply check out their options on the computer. If you don’t have a physical store, then, you could lose a load of business this way. But, if you can direct online browsers to your retail space, you could see real success. This is especially the case if you blow them away with features like epoxy flooring and stand out displays for the products that they’ve already checked out. Just like that, you could increase your online conversion rates. All because you got physical.

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Online Store| The Strategy Behind Complementing Your Online Store With A Physical SpaceMaking online shopping easier

Returns are the worst part of online shopping. Long-winded methods may even stop customers from bothering. That leaves them unimpressed with your services and unlikely to shop with you again. Which leads us to one of the best ways a physical space could compliment your online efforts. By accepting online returns in your physical store, you can secure many more happy shoppers. That alone can turn an online disaster in a real-life success.

Get your head out of that screen, then, and think about making a REAL difference to your business efforts.

Important Changes That Improve The Efficiency Of Your Shipping Operation

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article | Shipping Operations | Important Changes That Improve The Efficiency Of Your Shipping OperationOnline shopping has completely changed the face of retail and customers are increasingly buying products online and having them shipped directly to them. That means that people’s expectations are incredibly high when it comes to shipping times. There are a lot of big companies like Amazon that can offer next day shipping and, in some areas, even same day shipping. As a smaller company, you’re not necessarily going to be able to match that speed and efficiency, but you do need to make sure that you’re getting products out to people in a timely manner.

As well as speed, you also need to consider the cost of your shipping operation. If you’re not very efficient, you could end up spending a lot of money shipping products out and that’s going to seriously affect your profits. That’s why you need to make an effort to improve the efficiency of your shipping operation. These are some of the best ways to do it.

Improve Inventory Management

This is a step that a lot of people forget but it’s so important. Before you can ship anything out, you need to find the products in the warehouse and package them up first. If you’re not managing your inventory properly, it’s going to take longer than it needs to organize and pack all of the products ready for shipping. In some cases, you might find that you don’t have enough inventory to fulfill the order at all and that means you’re going to have a huge delay and you’ll probably lose that customer. It’s absolutely essential that you’re using good inventory management software instead of trying to do it all manually because that’s when you’re going to start making mistakes. You also need to set minimum stock levels so you can be sure that you’ve always got enough stock to fulfill any orders that are coming in. When you’re managing your inventory properly, you’ll find it a lot easier to pack and ship orders fast.

Better Communication With The Warehouse

Communication is the key to a successful business and it’s especially important when it comes to shipping. Good communication with the warehouse will help you with inventory management because they can let you know if you’re running low on certain things. It’s also incredibly important that they have a good idea of how sales are going. If you see a sudden sales spike and they’re not prepared for it, things are going to slow down and your products won’t go out on time. But if everybody is on the same page, they’ll be prepared for a sudden increase in orders and they can hire a few temporary staff members to help cover the extra workload. You should also have regular meetings with your warehouse staff to ask about any issues that they’re having. If they can help you to identify areas that are slowing things down, you can come up with solutions and improve your shipping efficiency.

Barcode Scanners

StrategyDriven Tactical Execution Article | Shipping Operations | Important Changes That Improve The Efficiency Of Your Shipping OperationIf you’re running a large warehouse with a lot of products, finding the right products to ship is often the most difficult part of the process if you haven’t got a good solution. If you’re just handing somebody a list of products and asking them to find them, they’re going to be walking up and down for ages and that’s not efficient at all. The easiest way around that problem is to use barcode scanners. If you catalogue all of your products and assign them a barcode, it’s easy for people to scan lists of products and find what they need right away.

Consider Your Vehicles

The vehicles that you use for shipping make such a big difference so you need to consider them carefully. If you’re using delivery trucks that don’t get very good mileage, you’re just wasting a lot of money for no good reason. It’s worth looking into hybrids or electric vehicles that are a lot more cost effective to run. It also reduces your impact on the environment which is incredibly important to a lot of customers these days. If you can cut down on the amount of fuel you’re using, you’ll make some serious savings.

As well as finding more cost effective vehicles, you need to make sure that they’re well maintained. Take your vehicles to the mechanic and find an off-highway drivetrain service center to make sure that your delivery trucks are always in good working order. If your vehicles break down halfway through a route and your customers are left waiting for their delivery, they’re not going to be happy. They won’t be interested in your excuses and you’ll probably lose those customers for good. So, always keep on top of maintenance and make sure that you’ve got backup vehicles on hand to take over so you’re not missing any deliveries.

Use Route Planning Software

Route planning software is absolutely essential if you want to increase efficiency in your shipping operation. People don’t realize just how much difference it makes if you’re not planning routes well, but it can really slow things down. Trying to plan the most efficient route is a big job and you’ll struggle to do it manually. That’s why you should always invest in route planning software to help you out.

Use Standard Box Sizes

If you’ve got a lot of different box sizes, your employees will have to spend time finding the right box for each product when they’re packing them. It doesn’t seem like a big issue but if you add up those extra few seconds over the course of a day, it does actually waste quite a lot of time. You’re far better off using a few different standard box sizes so it’s quicker to pack products. It’s also cheaper to buy simple, standard box sizes rather than a lot of different custom made ones. Most large companies do this, that’s why you always receive things in oversized boxes when you order something from Amazon. The only downside is that some people might worry about you wasting resources but as long as you’re using recycled materials, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Decentralize Shipping

If you just have one large warehouse that handles all of your shipping, you might be making things harder than they need to be. When you’re in the early stages of your business and you don’t have that much money, having more than one shipping location probably isn’t viable. However, if you’re doing well and you’re looking at expanding the business and reinvesting some of those profits, you should consider decentralizing your shipping operation. If you’ve got multiple shipping locations that each serve a different region, you make things so much more efficient.

It cuts down on any long journeys which means you can get products out quicker and you won’t be spending as much money on fuel costs. Serving one local area rather than the entire country also means that your drivers will know the area better and they’ll be able to plan more efficient routes.

Manage Expectations

This is so important because customers are not going to be forgiving if their products are late. People won’t mind waiting a few days if that’s what they’re expecting, so you need to manage people’s expectations properly. It might be tempting to try to get more customers by offering unrealistic shipping times but it’s not going to work. You might get a few sales but you’re never going to keep those customers long term because you’ll let them down. You’re actually a lot better off over estimating how long your deliveries are going to take. That way, people are going to get a nice surprise when things arrive a day early and if there are any issues, you can still get things there on time.

Consider Outsourcing

Making all of these changes and improving efficiency in your shipping operation can be difficult. If you’re struggling, you should consider outsourcing to a professional courier instead. They’ll have all of the infrastructure in place already and they’ll have more experience in shipping so they can often do it better than you can. Outsourcing is a good solution for smaller businesses or new start ups that can’t afford to implement an efficient shipping operation.

However, there are some downsides to outsourcing. You’re not the only company that they’re dealing with so you aren’t going to be their priority. They may also not be equipped to deal with your products if they’re particularly fragile. In most cases, they’ll have experience but if you have any specific shipping needs, they might not be able to match them. That does mean there are more likely to be breakages and issues with products and you’ll be covering the cost of that. But outsourcing is still a way more cost effective way of handling your shipping operation.

Your shipping operation is one of the most important parts of your business. Customers have high expectations when it comes to product shipping and there are plenty of big companies that can get parcels out in a day or two. If you can’t compete with that, you’re really going to struggle to keep your customers.

Setting Up a Brick and Mortar Business from Scratch

StrategyDriven Entrepreneurship Article | Entrepreneurship | Setting Up a Brick and Mortar Business from Scratch

The majority of us become employees when we head into the world of work. This makes sense. From a young age, we are asked what we want to be when we grow up and are given ideas of different employed positions, no matter how outrageous or unlikely they might be – footballer, ballet dancer, fire fighter. When we head to school we are encouraged to get qualifications to show off on our CVs rather than the focus being placed primarily on the actual skills that we pick up along the way. This makes sense. Being employed makes for a relatively comfortable lifestyle. You have contracted hours, guaranteed pay, annual leave, and other privileges. However, it’s not necessarily the best option for all of us. There are alternative career paths out there and one of the best tends to be setting up your own business. Setting up your own business means becoming your own boss and determining exactly what direction your company will take. You can specialise in the area that you like and keep the majority of your profits for yourself – nobody else will be getting rich from your hard work. But where can you start on this journey? Well, one of the most lucrative areas to get involved in is retail. So, let’s start there!

Creating an Appealing Product

When you get involved in retail, you are going to have to provide the market with an appealing product. You need to come up with something that people are willing to part with their hard earned cash for! This is going to be a long and arduous process, but once you have a final product, all of the effort will be worth it. Identify a gap in the market, think up something that can fill it, and conduct a little market research to determine whether consumers would be interested in what you’ve come up with. If you get the go ahead, you can manufacture the product and bring it to reality!

Ecommerce vs. Brick and Mortar

The next decision that you need to make is how you are going to sell your products – you need a base where customers can find you and process sales. The main decision is ecommerce vs. brick and mortar. Now, Ecommerce is appealing for various reasons:

Cheaper to Setup – to set up an ecommerce store you only really need the help of a web designer and a product photographer. You could also call in a writer to come up with your captions, blog posts, and other written material. This is consequently extremely low cost.

Cheaper Operation – once you’ve setup, operating online is cheaper to run in general. You don’t have to fork out for commercial property, you don’t have to fork out for commercial overheads, and you don’t require as many staff.

Round the Clock Operation – the web doesn’t have opening and closing areas, meaning that consumers can browse your products and make purchases at all hours of the day and night!

Brick and mortar stores, however, have their own individual set of benefits and you can run an online store at the same time as running them!

Better Customer Service – you can interact with your customers and potential buyers on a face to face basis, answering questions more easily.

Fewer Returns and Exchanges – when customers can see and try out what they’re buying before handing over cash, you are less likely to receive return requests and exchange requests. This saves you money!

Setting Up

Furnishing Your Store

You will need furnishings to display your stock effectively. These can include shelves, rails, and other display units. Employ a merchandiser who will be able to give you advice on what types of display equipment will make your store look the most aesthetically pleasing and navigable.

Limiting Movement to Restricted Areas

If there are areas of your commercial property where you don’t want members of the public roaming, you are going to have to take steps to ensure that nobody trespasses. There are different methods that you can use to achieve this. If there are doors that lead to areas with confidential information, staff belongings, or stock, you can place signs on the doors that read “staff only”. If you are worried that people will ignore these warnings, you can add coded locks – permitted individuals can key in the code or scan a registered card to pass through. If there are outdoor areas that need to have limited access, you could make use of used sucker rods to create barriers and fences.

Using Signage Appropriately

Health and safety needs to reign supreme in your commercial property. If there are aspects of the space that pose a risk to people, but cannot be changed, you need to use signage appropriately. If there’s an unexpected step, you will need to make sure that it is highlighted and that there’s a sign warning people of its presence. If there are low ceilings, you need to do the same. You should also use signage to indicate fire exits and fire safety protocol. Then you should invest in temporary signs, such as signs for wet floors.

While Ecommerce may be appealing, remember that you can engage with this alongside your brick and mortar company. Hopefully, the above information will help you to set up a brick and mortar business effectively.