It's estimated that 40% of the world's Internet users have purchased a product online. As more and more people become connected to the Internet, it's safe to assume this number will grow in the years to come. E-commerce business owners should capitalize on this trend by optimizing their sites for higher conversions, which we're going to explain how to accomplish in this blog post.
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E-commerce is not necessarily the most personalized experience in the world a lot of the time. The primary problem is the fact that the online experience is one that caters to the whole world. It is easy for any individual to feel as though he or she is not significant. There are some ways to reverse the tide of this feeling using Google Maps however.
"...you should never fear competition. Competitors can't hurt you. You can only hurt yourself. If you offer better products and better service than anyone else, you will attract plenty of customers. I think you need competitors, and it doesn't bother me to have strong ones. They expand the market, and they keep me on my toes." Norm Brodsky, From the November 2011 issue of Inc. Magazine.
One thing is for sure, there are literally millions of e-commerce businesses in cyberspace. In addition, for many years now, it has been easy to pay a monthly fee and open up a little template shop, selling someone else's goods or even your own. Luckily, not everyone that opens an online store is going to be your competition. However, because of how easily a person can set up shop, getting into online sales as a business can be a scary idea. That said though, there are things you should realize when it comes other online businesses; and also, there are ways to overtake your competition.
What You Might Not Know
1. Few people that start online stores are serious. Many of them are tire kickers, trying out multiple online business ideas in order to find the right fit. Others that are more serious, might not have the money or the know how to market their business effectively, giving you a distinct advantage.
2. Hundreds of thousands, (maybe millions) of people are in the wrong industries, selling what is cool or interesting to them. Certain products do better online than others. If you sell these products, you will naturally have a better chance at success.
How to Overtake Your Competition
1. Sell What People Want - According to current StatisticBrain.Com figures, the top items people purchase online (26% of the time), include, music, software, books and flowers. Coming in second at 16% are consumer electronics, office supplies and computer hardware. Have you considered selling any of these products?
2. Know Why Customers are Buying - According to current StatisticBrain.Com figures, 73% of online shoppers buy because it saves them time and 67% are shopping because there is more variety online. You can look into the other reasons, but how well does your website cater to these first two reasons?
3. Provide Value and Make Sure You Effectively Communicate it to Your Customers - Like Brodsky said, if you're the best, or if you strive to provide exceptional value, people will buy from you.
In order to make sure that your customers know that you are providing this value, you must communicate this to them with the use of well-written blogs, well-maintained social media communications and selectively chosen advertising strategies like Message on Hold, Virtual Tours and Local SEO. All of these things come together to effectively promote your business model. Contact us to determine the best marketing strategies for your business.
So you've got a great idea for an online business and you're ready to get started with e-Commerce? Not so fast. In addition to finding a high-quality e-Commerce application, you're also going to want to put in place some SEO techniques for your website that will make the difference between success and failure.
Does SEO really matter when it comes to e-Commerce? Sure it does. It can make the difference between a lot of sales or just a few. Here are 3 things you must do to your e-Commerce site for search engines.
1. Keywords in the URL. What are you selling online? How is it categorized? If possible, make sure that whatever you are selling is included in the URL itself. Believe it or not, this is something that the search engines will notice. For example, if you are selling paintings, your URL should look something like: http://yourwebsite.com/catalog/paintings.
2. Brand name in the URL. Following on the back of the previous point, be sure that your URL reflects your brand. For example, if your business is called "John's Paintings", pick a domain name that reflects that name, such as johnspaintings.com. Google is intelligent enough to parse actual domain names into words. As proof, go Google "conservative videos" right now and see what comes up first.
3. Sitemap still matters. Even if you're running an e-Commerce site, and not a content or information sharing site, the sitemap still matters. Using a sitemap, you make your content more accessible to the search engines. This is called "crawlability" by the SEO gurus, and it's extremely important to SEO. Talk to your webmaster and ensure that sitemap.xml is publicly accessible.
If you'd like to learn more SEO tips for your e-Commerce site, feel free to contact us. We're here to help.