The saying, "Build it and they will come," does not apply to the world of e-commerce. You can build a site, but if you don't utilize proper e-commerce development practices, the masses will not automatically come to your online business. This is because there are literally millions of sites on the Web. The moment you create an e-commerce business, you are pitting yourself against numerous competitors. The best way to ensure that you achieve e-commerce success is to ensure that you are doing everything in your power to make your online business successful. As an online business owner, you have to ask yourself the following questions to ensure that you are doing everything in your power to make your business endeavor a successful one.
Is Your Site Utilizing SEO?
The majority of online sales begin as a search engine search. If your site is not utilizing search engine optimization practices, then you aren't going to show up in the online search engine results. For example, if you sell gourmet dog treats, you should have your site optimized for keywords that are associated with your product. This way, when someone searches the Web for "gourmet dog treats," your site is one of the sites that appear on the search results page. If your competitors are showing up in the online search results and you aren't, chances are that you aren't going to achieve the e-commerce success that you had desired.
Is Your Site's Performance Acceptable?
Not only do you need to make sure that people can find your site, you have to make sure that your site performs up to their expectations once they do. Your site's pages need to be designed and optimized to load properly. This is a very important part of e-commerce development. A study performed by Akamai shows that 40 percent of consumers abandon a web page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. If it's taking longer than that for your site to load, you need to look at ways you can speed up your site's performance, such as compressing images and scripts.
Are You Utilizing Affiliates?
If you have an e-commerce store, you may want to consider using affiliate marketers to promote it. While you will need to pay these marketers a percentage of the sales that they make, what you lose in profits per sale you will make up for in the volume of sales that you make. Having affiliates promote your site is like having a sales team working for your company. The difference is that you don't have to pay this sales team a salary. You pay them based on their performance and your affiliates are only paid if sales are made. Utilizing affiliates is an effective way to increase your sales volume with minimal effort.
Are You Utilizing Social Media?
Top e-commerce entrepreneurs know the value of social media marketing. Creating a blog that positions you as an expert in your market not only provides your business with exposure, but it also builds credibility with your target market. While you don't necessarily have to monetize your blog, you do need to use it to promote your online business. Just make sure that your blog posts aren't all focused on marketing your products or services. To truly position yourself as an expert and get your site the exposure you want, you need your blog posts to provide value to your blog's readers.
Are You Using Website Monitoring Services?
Website performance and uptime are crucial to the success of your online business. For every minute of downtime your site experiences, you suffer lost profits and customer frustration. While you can't completely avoid downtime, you can minimize the amount of downtime your site experiences by utilizing a website monitoring services. This type of service will alert you the moment your site goes down or starts experiencing performance issues. This means you won't be the last to know when your site is encountering a bump in the road and you can address any issues in a timely manner.
There are some keys to e-commerce success that every online entrepreneur needs to become familiar with. If you haven't put the above practices into place, it's time to start reevaluating your business strategies. When it comes to online success, you need to do everything in your power to put yourself ahead of the competition. That means knowing how to make your site more appealing to your target market and, therefore, more profitable.