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The great thing about running an e-commerce business is the old adage of location, location, location is completely taken out of the equation - or is it? E-commerce is a beautiful thing because of how freeing it can be, but just like any other business you have to put yourself in a position to succeed. Humboldt Merchant Services has put together a list to help you get the most out e-commerce store.

  • Do it. But do it smart. Sure, you need to advertise, but you need to do it so it’s both cost effective and can be measured. You can blow your whole advertising budget in a matter of minutes if you don’t have a good plan. Y should test every campaign on the different social media platforms (Facebook, Google, etc.) and use analytics to see what is the effective. Once you do that you can decide if you want to modify your advertising campaign.
  • A “Sale of the Century” can only happen once. If you are always offering sales, one of three things could happen: 1) Everyone will wait for the next “big” sale from you, instead of taking advantage of current offers. 2) If you are always offering discounts on your products, consumers will start questioning the quality of those products and/or the credibility of your business. 3) Customers will begin to experience sale, or deal fatigue. It becomes white noise, and even the most loyal customer will tune them out. Be smart with discounts - they can certainly help business in the short run, but if you have more of a longer forecast for your business in mind, you should use sales and discounts sparingly.
  • Be there no matter what. Some people are leery of buying via e-commerce because they are afraid that they’ll be left high and dry if there is an issue with their purchase. Offer a level of customer service that will reassure them that your business should be their go-to shop on the internet for whatever you’re selling.
  • Be the bouncer. No we’re not telling you to start throwing out unruly partygoers, but much like the man on this side of the velvet rope you need to be selective on products you let in. You don’t want to offer the sun, stars and the moon when your customers don’t want that. Make sure you’re offering the highest quality product, or service, you can so that your return business won’t suffer.
  • List it. Inc.com recently reported that management consultancy McKinsey & Company suggests, "E-mail remains a significantly more effective way to acquire customers than social media - nearly 40 times that of Facebook and Twitter combined." Offer your customers an opt-in option to all of your communications, that way you know you have a person that is both familiar with your business, and also willing to interact when you communicate with them.
  • How responsive are you? Oddly, this has nothing to do with customer service, but more about your website. Recently Google changed their algorithm to rate businesses on how mobile friendly their websites are. If your site isn’t responsive to mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.) then your ranking in the search inquiry could be hurt…or non-existent. So, make sure that your site is performing up to snuff by using this free assessment tool from Google to see if there are any updates you may need to do to stay top of mind, and top of search, with your customers as they shop.
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