There are a few things 2020 is going to be remembered for – coronavirus, social distancing, curbside pickup, and for eCommerce store owners – growth.
With nearly everyone in the United States under stay-at-home orders for much of the first half of the year, eCommerce sales boomed with many shoppers, believe it or not, making their very first online purchase.
The ease of online shopping and the closure of many bricks-and-mortar stores fueled growth in almost every vertical. While many eCommerce store owners continue to embrace the lift in sales, some wonder how long the boost will last.
Well, we have a bit of good news! Goldman Sachs is predicting that online sales will grow by 19 percent for each of the next three years – a boost from their past forecast of 16 percent – in a report released on July 20, 2020. The events of 2020, coupled with rapid growth in the United States, Brazil, Western Europe contribute to the 3 point increase.
As we get closer to the busy holiday shopping season, online store owners should begin to pay closer attention to their website and the customer experience in order to capture as many sales as possible.
Some things that should be looked at, include:
Site Search – a robust on-site search engine allows shoppers to easily find what they’re looking for in a quick and efficient way. Standard out-of-the-box site search doesn’t offer many of the necessary features 3rd party advanced search apps do that allow for filtering, recommendations, auto-fill, and more. Check out this article for three things your search should be doing to boost sales.
Store Policies – many first-time shoppers are expecting to have the same type of hassle-free return policy they get from their local bricks-and-mortar retailer. If your store makes customers jump through hoops to return items, you’re not doing them or yourself any favors. While none of us like to deal with returns, it’s a part of doing business. Make your policies customer friendly to build long lasting relationships.
Customer Service – you may not feel that it’s necessary to offer customers an easy way to get in touch with you should they have a question before or after or placing an order, but it is. Customer service is still king, so don’t forget that! Give you customers several options for how to get in touch with you such as a phone number, email address, contact form, etc. By burying that information, or simply not displaying it at all, the shopper may question your credibility and may take their business elsewhere.
Mobile Friendly – believe it or not, there are still plenty of eCommerce stores out there who have not adopted a mobile-first attitude for site design. Your shoppers are searching for you, and more than likely buying from you, on their mobile device or tablet. If your site is not mobile friendly as of today, it’s time to bite the bullet and make sure it is by the third-quarter. There are affordable ways to make your site perform well on mobile devices without breaking the bank, and we can certainly help make that happen.
Finally, when was the last time you actually shopped your own site? Take off your store owner hat for a brief moment and put yourself in a first-time shopper’s shoes. Go through your site with a different outlook and don’t be afraid to say, “Wow, I didn’t realize how hard it was to find the add to cart button on this page.”
By taking a fresh look at your store, you can identify areas that you can improve such as navigation, moving key elements higher up on the page, providing shoppers with more than one product image, writing better product descriptions for hot items, etc.
This may sound like a lot to do with just a few months left before the holiday, but taking the time to do it now can reap rewards later on. We’re also here to help by giving your eCommerce store an extensive review that will look at dozens of key areas and provide valuable information on how to improve.
We want 2020 to be remembered not only as the year of COVID-19, but the year your eCommerce store broke sales records. To schedule a time to discuss how we can help get you ready for the holiday season, simply fill out the form below and we’ll be in touch!
Scott Sanfilippo began his eCommerce journey in 1994 by co-founding one of the Internet’s first online retailers, TheFerretStore.com, which was acquired by PetCo in 2006. In 2001, he co-founded the eCommerce design and marketing firm Solid Cactus, which was acquired by web.com in 2009. Today, Scott is the General Manager of Your Store Wizards and lives in Delray Beach, FL. Scott can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.