In just the past few years, the eCommerce space has developed by such leaps and bounds that online retailers now have countless tools at their disposal to streamline the process for consumers, allowing them to remain competitive in the face of a wildly growing industry. Among the most popular resources for eCommerce sites is Shopify.
Since its founding in 2004, the company has created increasingly sophisticated software designed specifically with online retailers in mind. It’s a tremendous tool that more eCommerce businesses should be utilizing to strengthen their products’ reach.
Here are a few tips to help you boost your success with Shopify.
Before you launch your eCommerce site or take it to the next level, you might want to take action to prepare for maximum impact.
Secure your audience: Don’t assume your target audience has been anxiously awaiting your site’s launch as much as you have. In fact, there’s a good chance that — without the appropriate precautions — they may not know about it at all. Be sure to know where to find them and how to get them talking about your business.
Jumpstart your outreach: Long before your site’s launch is imminent, start collecting email addresses and building your media list. Marketing is key to the long-term success of any site, and it’s never too early to start laying the groundwork. You might want to consider a referral marketing program to build buzz or more traditional forms of advertising. At the very least, install a “coming soon” banner on your site.
Perform tons of research: Rather than rushing into a site launch, take the time you need to gather preliminary information that will help you in the long run. For instance, split testing with various advertisements and site designs can help fine-tune your approach. Also, don’t discount the value of in-depth discussions with friends and business associates about your business, as this will help get the conversation around your site started early.
The Value of Optimization
It may be true that “practice makes perfect,” but you still want to aim for your site to be as pristine as possible before you launch. Once optimization is in place, visitors to your site will have a better understanding of what your business is about and why they should buy from you.
Support multi-platform usability: With so many consumers turning to mobile devices for their internet usage, it’s imperative that your eCommerce site be optimized for multiple mobile platforms. Smartphones and tablets are the way of the future, and your site should feature streamlined layouts tailored to each of these formats.
Ensure effective security: If consumers can’t trust that their payment information is safe on your site, you can bet that they will simply move on to one of your competitors. So display your site’s SSL certificate as well as the logo for any third-party security companies you may be working with to keep your customers secure.
Create mindful navigation: Security and performance are essential elements of your site’s optimization, but users also need to be able to easily navigate through your inventory. A clear menu system is a must-have, as is a search box. However, don’t neglect each individual product you offer. Include detailed product descriptions and original photos to help users get a better sense of what you have to offer.
Support your customers: No matter how well-crafted your site is, customer service issues are bound to come up. Be sure to have scalable processes — and enough team members — in place to handle any problems that might arise. In addition, allow your customers to be heard by including the ability for them to write reviews and testimonials on your site.
Once you’re up and running, the work doesn’t stop there. To keep your site in top shape, you’ll want to have a clear structure to measure performance.
Keep it simple upfront: Regardless of what kind of analytics you use, don’t overcomplicate things right out the gate. Starting up a new site (or giving an existing one such a deep overhaul) is bound to be fraught with complexities. Early on, begin with a straightforward service like Google Analytics and gradually build out from there.
Be comprehensive: Performance testing is designed to ensure a consistent experience for users through all facets of your business. For that reason, it’s essential that your analytics deliver in-depth figures with the insight you need on every aspect of your site’s performance, from page loading to the checkout process and everything in between.
Even with all of the other marketing and advertising efforts you’re liable to engage in to promote your business, content marketing is still one of the strongest ways to promote your business and keep it running strong long after it has launched. Studies continue to indicate that it’s a surefire way to keep existing customers coming back for more as well as an effective SEO driven way to drive prospects to your site and your products.
Here are a few content marketing efforts you may want to try:
Blogging: While content marketing has continued to evolve, blogs remain among the most popular forms of content out there. Articles on topics related to your business help demonstrate your knowledge and authority, and the inclusion of outbound links only perpetuates the goals of awareness and respectability.
Interviews: Creating original content that will rein in prospects and existing customers is a smart way to keep your site’s performance up. However, bringing in exclusive interviews with people within your business, customers or other professionals, can make your business more personal and help spread the word about your company, since interviewees will naturally help promote it.
Infographics: The business world is ruled more and more by visual information, and this is rarely encapsulated as well as it is by the rising popularity of infographics. Because it is so digestible, this form of content is more likely to be shared on social media, driving traffic back to your site as a result.
Born to Shopify
With Shopify at your disposal, your eCommerce site will be working with one of the most respected and extensive resources out there. From customization to easy management of your products, Shopify is certainly one of the best ways to super-charge your eCommerce site, expand your reach, and boost your potential profits.
The tips mentioned above are only a few of the ways in which you can help prepare your business to get the most out of working with Shopify. At this stage, the site has so many benefits to offer that there’s no reason why you should not be working with Shopify (if you aren’t already, that is).