3 Ways to Improve Your E-Commerce Platform
As more and more consumers opt to go online to shop for products and services, several large companies are releasing new features to make the experience more convenient than ever.
Amazon.com recently announced members of its Prime Program in select cities will receive access to free, same-day delivery on certain items. Meanwhile, Google introduced Android Play, a program that enables consumers to pay for items by waving their smartphone in front of scanners at cash registers. Google will also add a "Buy" button to web pages to make it easier to buy products featured in advertisements that appear alongside search results. Along with Amazon and Google, Apple announced it's partnering with logistics company Postmates to offer same-day delivery for online orders. Apple currently offers Apple Pay to iPhone 6 and Apple Watch users, which offers a simpler way to pay in stores or within apps.
With these new offerings from Amazon, Google and Apple, it's evident that online shopping is bigger than ever and the competition is fierce. It's important for businesses to follow in the footsteps of these tech giants and find ways to make their online shopping platform easier and more convenient to attract more consumers and stand up to the competition. At the same time, brands should also be using these new platforms.
Here are three ways brands can improve their online shopping platforms:
1. Mobile-friendly design: Many consumers today use their mobile devices to search online. On April 21, Google launched its mobile-friendly algorithm update, which is intended to improve search results on mobile devices. To cater to those shopping from mobile devices, all e-commerce sites need to use responsive web design. Responsive web design is not only preferred by major search engines like Google, it's also linked to increased conversions. Responsive websites adjust to fit to the screen of any electronic device, so consumers can easily view the page content and images without the need to zoom or shrink the page. Mobile-friendly sites are likely to experience lower bounce rates, while seeing more page visits and increased sales.
2. Social media engagement: Along with mobile devices, many consumers spend a lot of time on social media, which is why it's an important marketing channel for businesses of all sizes and industries. Social media sites are effective platforms for connecting with your audience. By posting regularly to social media, you can engage your target audience and attract them to your website. Having a strong social media presence is also key in establishing a strong brand following.
3. Free shipping and time-sensitive deals: Free shipping and time-sensitive deals are great ways to entice consumers to shop at your store. If you don't want to offer free shipping on all purchases, it's smart to offer it on purchases over a certain amount. Consumers who have $35 worth of clothing in their shopping cart will be encouraged to spend an extra $15 to get free shipping at $50. Time-sensitive deals are also helpful because they can help your brand generate return customers. Social networking sites are a great place for spreading the word about deals, promotions and freebies.
Hugh Sinclair is the vice president of logistics at Shopping Blitz, an online marketplace offering over 400 of the world's best brands of clothes, shoes, accessories and lifestyle products.