Sponsored Content | Brand Spotlight Partner What's This?
Brand Spotlight Partner
Spotlight is brought to you by the Entrepreneur Partner Studio, which creates dynamic and compelling content for our partners. Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur Spotlight partners are their own.
E-Commerce Growth Strategies: 5 Small Changes for Big Impact
Here are five things that virtually any online merchant can do to help streamline operations and generate extra revenue.
Navigating today's uncertain economic conditions, entrepreneurs are exploring all options for growing their e-commerce businesses. Any way they can expand and streamline sales, the faster they can generate much-needed revenue.
But with a small staff and little time, many owners can't commit to a major overhaul of their site or their marketing and sales strategies. The good news is, there are several smaller steps e-commerce merchants can take that can have a big impact on their revenue.
"Streamlining your e-commerce business is the way merchants are going to find places where they can have efficiencies, find shortcuts, and leverage integrations through third parties to do things like handle inventory management," says Airon White, Manager of Product Marketing at BigCommerce, the Texas-based e-commerce powerhouse that helps businesses customize and grow their online stores.
We sat down with White to gain some insight into what small changes online merchants can make to maximize their growth.
1. Offer customers another payment option.
From PayPal to Apple Pay to Amazon Pay and more, different customers utilize different digital payment methods. So, offering more payment options on your e-commerce site can make it easier and faster for customers to complete their purchases.
"Payment is one of the biggest ways that you can reach and convert more customers, and that is because so much of what we do is tied to our digital wallets," White explains. "When you use payment methods that your customers actually use, you're giving them an easier, more frictionless way to pay."
In a study performed by BigCommerce and PayPal, data showed that 70% of consumers were more likely to make a purchase from a retailer that offered their preferred payment method.
Like many e-commerce platforms, BigCommerce allows merchants to easily add popular, third-party digital wallets. It also enables cryptocurrency payments. "This allows you to give your customers another and even more innovative way to pay, especially if you're trying to sell globally where perhaps local currencies are volatile," White says.
2. Switch to a single-page checkout to minimize friction.
When a customer has decided to make a purchase, the last thing they want is to encounter a multi-page checkout process that takes time and many clicks to navigate. As it turns out, online shopping carts are abandoned 70% of the time, and 17% of U.S. shoppers abandon their cart because the checkout process was too long or complicated.
That's why White suggests streamlining checkout to a single page. "Studies have shown that when you have all checkout steps on a single page, customers are more likely to convert because they don't have to click through several steps to give you their money and purchase their product," she explains. Overall, the page should have a responsive, minimal design that lets customers check out from any device.
3. Give customers the option to chat with you.
Do you ship to me? Is this shirt going to fit me? Where's my order?
Whether before, during, or after a purchase, customers will inevitably have questions. For 46% of online shoppers, live chat is their preferred digital contact method, compared to just 29% for email and 16% for social media.
"Implementing a live chat tool can be a really great way to try to bring a human element to your storefront," White says. Having a knowledgeable employee or team answering questions can be just the thing your site needs to help build strong customer relationships.
If you can't afford to pay someone to manage live chat, you may consider opting for an automated, 24/7 chatbot that's powered by artificial intelligence. "Either way, you're creating more touch points with customers," White says. "More touch points mean that they're engaged with your site longer."
4. Increase SEO performance.
Optimizing content across your site for search engine optimization (SEO) might seem like a difficult, time-consuming endeavor. But leveraging the right e-commerce tools can make this turnkey, increasing your site's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs).
These optimizations also can improve sales and conversion rates. BigCommerce merchant Woodland Hills Wine Company experienced a 387% increase in organic search conversion rate after optimizing the keywords on their site.
This process involves optimizing landing and product pages, blog posts, your About Us page, etc., using search terms and phrases that your customers are searching for online. BigCommerce merchants can even seek advice from an SEO coach to help make your content pop.
Another important aspect of SEO to consider is speed. If your site is bogged down with third-party apps and complicated design elements, it can reduce the speed with which your site loads for customers, White says. Search engines like Google weigh this factor for your site's placement in SERPs.
5. Sell beyond your digital store.
Are customers searching for the types of products you sell on TikTok? Instagram? Amazon? Wayfair? The most successful online merchants have a digital platform/channel strategy to help expand their presence on various marketplaces and social platforms.
"In today's world, it's not just about having a single storefront," White explains. "You have to meet shoppers where they are."
E-commerce platforms like BigCommerce offer merchants the tools they need to seamlessly sell across multiple channels. You can sell products directly on Amazon, tag products on Instagram, or create listings on eBay while receiving sales data and managing inventory from a single dashboard.
"In some cases, you can start selling on those channels within minutes," White says. "While it may take a little longer for others, ultimately, if you're selling more then it's absolutely worth that extra effort."
Sure, it might be a challenge to see big gains on your e-commerce site, but by sitting down and taking the time to make a few small-scale tweaks, you could see big results.
Start with checkout. By optimizing your experience to a single page, you can cut down on friction and make a better experience for the customer. You could also offer more payment options, making it easier for customers to pay on their terms.
Then, add a chat function. Whether customers are connecting to a real person or an AI, having the option to get their questions answered in real-time can be a game changer for sales.
Next, turn to SEO. Optimizing your site for industry-specific keywords can make a huge difference when it comes to organic search.
Lastly, start selling more across channels. By expanding your reach to channels like Amazon, Walmart, or TikTok, you're giving potential and current customers more ways to interact with and buy from your brand.
Click here to learn more about how BigCommerce can help grow your e-commerce business with quick, simple solutions.