Back In The Day
I can easily think back to my first experience buying online. It was the early 2000s, and Amazon.com was brand new. I vividly remember placing the order and waiting for the shipment to arrive. It seemed so novel and even unnecessary at the time, given the fact that I could just go to the store to get what I needed. To me, although it was fun, ordering online was the inconvenient choice. I didn’t foresee how it would change how we buy in general. Or the abundance of eCommerce solutions that would eventually be available to me for anything I might be looking for.
Since then, as with many others, buying online has become part of my regular life. As new parents, we get big shipments of baby supplies from Target.com as it truly is more convenient now. Amazon now has the same day delivery feature allowing millions of products to arrive at your door just hours after placing the order. The gap between in store retail and online shopping is rapidly closing. But should every business develop eCommerce into their strategy? Is eCommerce website design important? Do the benefits of having an online store reach beyond a simple “one and done” buying experience?
There are major benefits to providing your customers with eCommerce solutions, as well as putting time and attention into eCommerce website development. Some are more obvious than others. First and foremost, having an eCommerce presence increases your reach and multiplies your selling potential. You aren’t constrained by distance or business hours. As long as your site it up and running, you have the ability to sell.
Prioritizing eCommerce solutions for your business also benefits your company in more subtle ways. For example, your social media presence actually has a lot to do with the success of your eCommerce. This year, Big Commerce reported that 23% of online shoppers are influenced by social media recommendations/reviews. Having a strong presence on social media makes you available to questions or concerns at any time. If a disgruntled customer writes a bad review for your company or product, you can more easily and quickly respond and resolve the situation. Companies like Nike and Samsung have gone above and beyond in their customer service efforts on social media. Good customer service is marketing.
The Numbers Don’t Lie
Take a look at these predictions for growth in eCommerce spending from ReadyCloud:
600 billion will be spent via online shopping by 2018! In late 2016, Smart Insights reported that 53% of global internet users have made an online purchase in 2016-which is approximately 1 billion. Another statistic from the same article stated 40% of US males aged 18-34 say they would ideally buy everything online, compared to 33% of females in the same age bracket.
What is eCommerce Website Development?
Simply put, eCommerce website development means that your site is specifically optimized to sell your product or service effectively. Another goal is to create as easy of a purchasing experience as possible for the customer. Is there enough information about your product or service on your website? How about an faq for your estore? People are more likely to commit to a purchase if there are detailed descriptions, pictures, and reviews of your product. Online shoppers want products to be brought to life with images (78%) and product reviews (69%) (source: Big Commerce)
You want to make sure that every part of your site helps your eCommerce solutions thrive. It is easy to post a product with a big “buy now” button next to it, but have you thought of all of the customer’s potential questions? For example, do you have a return policy? How about a short video detailing the features of the product or service? Anything that helps the customer get a clearer idea of the product they’ll actually be receiving if they decide to purchase is a step in the right direction. It’s important to make up for the fact that you are selling something the buyer cannot pick up and touch, as if they were in a physical store. Accommodate this by providing as much information as possible. Doing this will likely make the customer more comfortable, and window shopping can turn into a sale quickly.
30% of Americans shop online on a weekly basis (Big Commerce). If you are in need of eCommerce solutions or eCommerce website development, give Slice Works a call today! Also, be sure to check out our blog eCommerce Social Media: 4 Trends for 2017. We speak to 4 pros about their top predictions for eCommerce trends this year.