eCommerce Tips & Tricks


More and more I’m seeing eCommerce businesses starting up and taking off. In my job as a digital marketing specialist, I deal with eCommerce platforms every day. But not all platforms are created equally – so let’s look into a few tips which may help any eCommerce site convert the extra few sales that could be the difference each month that will allow your business to grow!

1) Know your market

It sounds simple, but it’s amazing how many people treat an online store like a "get rich quick scheme." It’s not. It’s a business. If someone is selling something online there are a lot of factors that need to be considered. Some key questions that need to be addressed are:

- Who is your customer
Who are you trying to sell to, what do they look for, how do they shop? Is your market price sensitive, brand aware, time poor… what do they look for and how will you provide it? In essence, you need to sell the products your customers want to buy.

- Who is your competition

It’s important to keep an eye on your competition, because your customers will. It won’t be uncommon that your customers will have four or five tabs open when shopping online, your price, product and promotion will be under scrutiny and if you’re mix doesn’t add up to what your competition is offering, your tab will be closed and the sale will go elsewhere. It’s incredibly important to know what your competition offers -- is it a cheaper product, is it an easier checkout process, is it free shipping? Be aware of your external environment and understand how it can influence that which you can control.

2) Give your customers the best experience possible

Your customers are your lifeblood. As such, you need to treat them with the respect they deserve. It’s not enough anymore to have your products up on a website. You need to keep the site up to date and in line with what your customers would expect. If your site hasn’t been updated in the last couple of years, chances are you’re letting yourself down. When people browse online for the products they’re looking for, they need to be able to quickly navigate to the items they’ve identified a need for, and purchase it in the easiest way possible.

Take a look at how your products are presented and how your site works to sell for you. Then run a test sale. Go through the checkout process yourself. Is there any stage within that process you feel is annoying, difficult to understand or unnecessary? If so, work with a web developer to refine it.

People have a certain tolerance when it comes to online transactions. Let’s say your customers’ tolerance level is six website interactions before making a purchase. If you have a five step checkout process you’re relying on them making a purchase with their first interaction. Let’s be honest, this is unrealistic. If you’re able to simplify your checkout, do it.

Examples of this could be adding a ‘checkout with PayPal’ button to each product. That way if anyone sees a single product they want to buy, they’re able to checkout with a single click. A simple change such as this allows for impulse buys and can capture sales quickly and easily!

3) Awareness

Keeping people aware of your store is also a key to success. Funneling people into remarketing lists and building audiences based on very targeted lists can bring back the residual sales that might otherwise have been lost.

For instance, you can build a list of people who have reached the checkout but abandoned their cart. You’ll be able to follow these people around with a limited offer of 10% their current cart. This could be the difference between them making a purchase or not.

Another example could be making a list of people who engage with a particular product category. With this you could remarket to this audience with a similar or complimentary product which may be enough to bring them back to purchase something they may not have otherwise considered. At the end of the day, each of these actions works to drive sales, but also works to keep your website top of the mind for the future. Win, win!

There are so many more elements that need to be looked at and if you can’t already tell, it’s certainly something I’m passionate about, but for the most part, these are fairly simple things that can be easily addressed in order to keep your online business heading in the right direction!

Comments (1)
Jef Lippiatt

Jef Lippiatt, Owner at Startup Chucktown

David, I think you've raised some really solid points. I think knowing customer preferences is definitely important. Payment choice (other options) is definitely something to keep in mind. I think another important point is to entice the customers that are buying into coming back. This could be a future discount or a referral bonus. The key is constantly reevaluating your offering and adjusting it to your customers.