Editor’s Note: Here at Dispatches, we are always looking for ways to help our readers do things. For some of our readers, that means helping navigate the working world, for others, it means assisting in the ever challenging question, “what’s for dinner?” For still others, it means figuring out how to balance family life with everything else. In an effort to aid in all of these endeavors, we have collaborated on this article written specifically for our readers.
Anyone can start selling products and services online within minutes. It’s easy to build an e-commerce website these days that even those with no technical knowledge can get started with ease! Building a site alone isn’t going to help you increase your sales, however, you still need to work on promotion and brand awareness.
Make it easy for people to pay
Entrepreneurs new to e-commerce will likely set up PayPal as their preferred merchant service. While many people use the platform to send and receive money, there are reasons why some prospective shoppers don’t want to use it. For example, they might prefer to not have a digital wallet. Others may have negative views of PayPal and refuse to use it on principle.
Those are just two of many reasons why it makes sense to offer your customers an array of payment options. Aside from PayPal, if possible you should accept payments from debit and credit cards. The good news is that you can get up and running with that straight away using a service such as Stripe. Now there is no reason to wait days or even weeks for a merchant account and payment gateway!
Some customers may wish to mail their payment to you in the form of a check, while others might want to do an electronic bank transfer. Offering these extra payment options can increase your sales
Beef up your hosting
As the popularity of your website grows, so twill the number of simultaneous visitors. The host you use for your site can mean the performance difference between a loading error and access to the website. There are several reasons why it is crucial to ensure your website hosting is adequate to handle the traffic and delivers content to your visitors as quickly as possible.
First of all, many people will be accessing your site from a mobile device. This may mean more people are using their cell carrier’s data networks to go online.
Second, search engines like Google place great emphasis on site performance as part of their ranking algorithms. In other words, if you’ve got a fast host, they will prioritize your site over others when displaying SERPs (search engine result pages) to users.
If you sell to an international audience, it might be worth looking into a cloud content delivery network or CDN for short. In a nutshell, a CDN can serve your site’s content from physical servers located near the user. So, if you’re a U.S. seller and have a website visitor from Australia, they don’t need to wait several seconds for your page content to load.
The good news about CDNs is that they can be relatively inexpensive to implement. Some are a few cents for every thousand visitors rather than several hundred dollars.
Make your content mobile-friendly
If you’re unsure whether your site works well on a mobile device or not, try it yourself! These days, many e-commerce systems come with “responsive” templates that adapt to different screen sizes and device types.
Aside from that, ensure that your website is tap-friendly. That includes things like form fields and call to action buttons and links.
Make link building a priority
It’s one thing adding your website to Google and other search engines for submission. But, it’s another to get regular traffic from relevant sources. You need to make sure that you’ve got plenty of links to your e-commerce site and its product pages from external websites.
The key is to develop a link building strategy where you only have relevant and quality websites linking to you. Otherwise, anything “spammy” could end up blacklisting your site. And that could result in a massive drop in online revenue.
Providers like Gotch SEO link building services can help you devise a strategy that helps to drive targeted traffic to your online home. Of course, if you’d rather do it yourself, there are a plethora of guides to help you get started.
Create flash sales on your website
Nothing makes people reach for their credit cards quicker than the notification that they could take advantage of a promotional discount on most or all products for a limited time, such as 24 hours.
Offer free shipping
Last, but not least, you might wish to consider offering free shipping to your online customers. This should be implemented in a way that prevents this perk from costing you money. One option might be to increase the price of your products and services by a small fraction to account for shipping costs. Another could be to offer customers a “shipping pass” (similar to Amazon Prime) where they pay an amount to get free delivery on items for a limited period, such as six months or a year.