How to Improve Your Online Business
Slowly but surely, e-commerce is matching brick and mortar stores as the preferred shopping platform. Especially in the times of Covid-19 and multiple lockdowns, physical shopping has become close to impossible to do, and online stores have seen a huge upsurge in activity.
Most traditional physical businesses have also begun embracing online platforms (e.g. Mr. D.I.Y), competing with independent online retailers. Since competition is at an all time high, what can you do to make sure your business shines and stays afloat in the backdrop of the world wide web?
Here are some ways you can optimise your strategy for your online business.
Increase Diversity of Products
One reason people might still prefer physical shopping is the security of being able to see and touch the items they need. While it is not possible at the moment to offer online customers this experience, you can make up for it by providing a wider range of available products.
One way to do so is to conduct research on what products are on the market. Alternatively, you can utilise AI-powered e-commerce platforms to learn the top products for each customer segment, and personalise each shopper’s shopping experience.
Study the Performance of Products in Physical Stores
If your business has a physical store, take note of what products do well. You can use the data to promote these items online.
In addition, learn about how customs, festivals and traditions dictate shopping behaviour. Do certain products see huge increases in demand during the holiday season or any festive periods? You must be vigilant to be prepared for consumer demand.
Provide More Payment Options
Believe it or not, payment methods play a huge role in whether a customer decides to go through with the transaction or not. Besides the regular credit/debit cards, many people are going with e-wallets today, so it’s important you incorporate them into your payment methods.
For more expensive purchases, some people might be more inclined to buy if you have a buy now pay later option allowing customers to pay in instalments. With more payment options available, the more customers you can serve online, especially with so many different e-wallets out there.
Enhance Customer Experience
You should make sure your customers have a good experience in your online store rather than thinking they’d rather visit the physical store themselves. Make sure you provide as much description and information for your products as possible; any uncertainty will cause your customers to turn to another seller.
One other thing that turns customers away from online shopping is uncertain delivery times or long waits for shipping, but there are ways to alleviate that fear. Allow your customers to track their deliveries in real-time through a designated shipping service so they get the ease of mind to know where their purchases are. To ensure smooth shipping, centralise your inventory!
Communication is very important in online sales, make sure your business is easily reachable via phone, online support, social media, or WhatsApp.
Ensure Shopping Security
First time customers will feel better purchasing from you if they feel that you are a legit and safe seller. Make sure you are as transparent as possible regarding how your business is run, your products, prices, and any additional charges.
In fact, there is a list of information you are legally required to display online to your customers. Failure to do so could technically result in a hefty fine. Be sure to read up on any policies stated for product listing if you are utilising any e-commerce platforms.
Find out more about that here, as well as what customers want to feel safe when shopping online.
Online Shopping is Now More Important than Ever
While our e-commerce market is still in its infancy when compared to much more advanced Asian nations like Japan and China, we have one of the highest percentages of internet users in South East Asia. With the pandemic sticking around, building an online presence for your business is essential.