10 New Year’s resolutions for e-commerce businesses

Want to work smarter and make more online sales in 2015? Adrian Mullan from eCommerce Websites has 10 New Year’s resolutions that will help improve your e-commerce business.

The start of the year is the perfect time to commit to making changes and improvements to your website. Adrian Mullan from eCommerce Websites shares his top 10 ideas for you to implement on your e-commerce website in 2015.

1. Make sure you have a responsively designed website.

“A number of our clients have found that their mobile site skins only really work for specific screen sizes in specific orientations – they can’t adapt to the many different, and often slightly larger, screens now available. A responsively built website is a better solution.”

2. Introduce a mega-menu.

“If you have a large inventory of products, a mega-menu – similar to Amazon’s left-hand category menu – can help customers find what they want faster.”

3. Streamline your checkout.

“Every additional step in the checkout process is a potential barrier to a sale. Consider making your checkout a single page, or ask for the minimum amount of information you need to process the sale. You can ask for the ‘nice-to-have’ secondary information you’d like to have for your customer database after the order is processed. This includes getting customers to set up an account or password.”

4. Improve your integration.

“If you’re happy with your website, it’s time to consider how well it integrates with other systems – like accounts, CRM or legacy inventory systems – if you have a bricks-and-mortar presence, too. In terms of inventory, better integration will prevent you from selling a product in store and selling the same item online, then not being able to fulfil the online order for lack of stock.”

5. Make search functionality smarter.

“Have you ever searched for an iPad, only to have the first 15 search results come up as iPad covers? New, smarter search functionality allows you to prioritise the weight of certain search terms, so that you give customers better, more relevant search results.”

6. Add aggregated reviews.

“With smaller businesses, if you look at the product reviews on the website, the content is often a bit thin, because they don’t have as many customers and not every customer will leave a product review. Review aggregators such as Bazaarvoice collect product and brand reviews that you can incorporate into your own web content.”

7. Integrate with local shopping comparison sites.

“Pushing your products and prices out through shopping comparison sites such as Shopbot and Getprice can give a smaller business greater exposure and reach.”

8. Echo your in-store payment options online.

“Some of our larger clients offer interest-free finance in store, but hadn’t previously offered the same service online. Now, new checkout functionality will allow customers to select to pay by interest-free finance, their credit score will be checked online and their application can be accepted or declined. We’re doing similar work with businesses that have rewards programs, where customers might want to elect to pay with their points.”

9. Sell products overseas through an intermediary.

“Why not partner up with the big guys, like eBay, Amazon and Rakuten, to sell your products overseas? You can set up an export feed into their sites and have orders fulfilled over there.”

10. Get more efficient with cloud solutions.

“During the Boxing Day sales, Easter and other big sales periods, we often hear of big retailers going offline and missing out on sales. A cloud hosting solution gives you scalability – it can ramp up for a big sale or if a product is featured on A Current Affair, for instance. It can also allow you to reduce hosting infrastructure at non-peak times when your site doesn’t have many visitors – it scales itself down. (eCommerce Websites uses AWS Amazon.”

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