It’s go-time in the world of e-commerce. Don’t blink, you may miss a sale. Keep your eyes on the prize at all times – that’s the nature of today’s e-commerce arena. For businesses looking to ramp up their conversion rate of customers, several factors come into the reckoning. For one thing, the user experience must be phenomenal. Getting there takes some doing, and this guide is your ticket to the express lane!
The brains trust of the e-commerce realm routinely touts a series of features that are shared by the world’s most successful e-commerce websites. It’s no coincidence that these businesses do things a certain way. Believe it or not, it’s not just about the products and services on offer – it’s the overall shopping experience that people are interested in.
Visitors look for many different things when they shop online, including easy-to-use e-commerce functions, variety of payment processing options, info on deliveries and returns, and customer service excellence, to name but a few. Now let’s take a look at the most important e-commerce features:
- 100% safe and secure
- Quick CTA functionality
- Rapid loading and low latency
- User interface/user experience coherence
- Scaling options with e-commerce website
- Full range of analytics and reporting tools
- Max integration with mobile and social media
- Variety of convenient and cost-effective payment options
- Promotional offers, coupons, discounts, and other marketing benefits
- Integration with articles, guides, webinars, tutorials, and email marketing
Why Digital Is the New Arena for Retail Operations
Back in the ‘old days’, many of the retailers we are familiar with simply didn’t have a strong online presence. It’s not necessary, they said. Unfortunately, digital is the new playground for retail operations, and e-commerce websites are how to make it happen. Many companies we remember well are no longer with us, thanks to a myopic approach to the future of retail commercial activity. Companies like Blockbuster, Toys R Us, Macy’s, and others simply didn’t move with the times. They became too big, too costly to maintain, and too slow to adapt to change.
Digital is much more dynamic, and adaptive to change. Yet, despite the wealth of knowledge we have about the importance of digital operations in the retail sector, 8/10 e-commerce companies still fail. Most of the reasons for failure are listed above. As a potential customer, you want a website that does the following:
- Is easy to navigate
- Customized to your needs
- Offers rapid delivery and easy returns
- Provides clear product and/or service value
- Is attentive to your needs, questions, and complaints
- Makes you feel good about the shopping experience
As shoppers, we all know what we want. If an e-commerce website offers what we are looking for, and it checks the boxes listed above, it’s a winner. We understand that Amazon has a tiered system, vis-a-vis pricing. If you want your purchases sooner, you have to pay more for delivery. Of course, if you choose to be an Amazon Prime member, you will get rapid delivery. This comes at a premium though. Consumer research has found that shoppers like to be part of an ‘exclusive club’ that gets preferential treatment over other shoppers frequenting the same e-commerce website!
How Important is an e-Commerce Website Builder when Building a Successful Retail Operation?
Let’s rewind for a second, we’ve got some important ground to cover. We know that digital is the new arena for retail activity. That means that you need to select an e-commerce website builder that best meets your business’s needs. Picking the right e-commerce builder is the first step in the process – think of it as the foundation stone for your e-commerce website. SMEs can enlist the help of professional website builders or adopt the go it alone approach. From a commercial perspective, e-commerce websites must meet a certain standard.
Which Companies Have Created the Most Successful E-Commerce Websites and How Did They Do It?
Several big names come to mind in the world of e-commerce, including Amazon, Rakuten, B2W, eBay, Alibaba, Jingdong, Groupon, and others. These names are instantly recognizable to millions of people who use these e-commerce websites. Some cater to specific geographic markets like Europe and the West, while others are predominantly in Asia and the East.
Several other important features unique to these companies, and other equally successful e-commerce operations include the following:
- A mobile responsive site
- A fantastic business logo
- A converting call to action
- A domain name that sticks
- A clearly formulated vision
- A set of reviews and testimonials
- A dedicated customer support team
Content is King, or Queen, for any e-commerce website. There is simply no substitute for high-quality content. Plus, search engines like Google are forever changing the way they crawl through websites, seeking out meta content, keywords, descriptions, and the like. Beef up the professionalism, accuracy, and credibility of the content you create to ensure better search engine results pages. People are naturally drawn to high-quality content over grammatically incorrect missteps, slapdash content, or half-hearted attempts to create a professional-looking website.
Naturally, the list of features, functions, and options available at the world’s most successful e-commerce companies spans the full spectrum. The design, development, marketing, and sales teams are continually tweaking operations to get precisely the right mix. Market research provides valuable insights into how best to serve shoppers across the spectrum. It’s not as complicated as it sounds, but any new business needs nurturing through different stages of the business life cycle.