6 Things All New eCommerce Store Owners Should Know

This column is authored by Marty Day, Marketing Manager at Ninja Commerce

ecommerce1. You’re likely in Google Sandbox

Google’s Sandbox is an interesting beast, it’s a testing phase that Google puts your eCommerce site through in the search results. The more popular your targeted search terms, the longer you will be in the Sandbox. Essentially, Google takes a little time to suss your site out, trial you in different positions. See how you stack up against the competition and how customers react to your site. In other words, your content needs to be top notch from the very get go, ensure that no matter what your customer may require, they have everything on your site and readily accessible.

2. 2 out of every 3 baskets are abandoned

When a customer abandons their basket, they leave the site and rarely look back. Sometimes they hit an issue and couldn’t figure out how to solve it, other times they simply allow their mind to wander and forget to come back to you. Most sites get around this in one of two ways. The first is Email marketing, send the potential customer an email a day or so later, offer them a little something extra to get them back and offer them the help that they may require. However, this method does require them to have entered their email address on your site which isn’t guaranteed. Another option is remarketing, set up through AdWords and/or Bing, this will cause adverts to follow the user around the internet, giving them that little nudge to remind them of your existence.

3. Google Analytics is free, powerful and you should install it from the start

You will never fully use Google Analytics, it’s huge and the depths of the system are so unbelievably deep that your imagination is the only thing that will hold you back. But, at its most basic, you’ll be able to quickly discover what type of people are visiting you, how they found you and discern any issues that they may have run into. Using this information, you can simply tweak your eCommerce site to suit your users and get the most value from them.

4. Your goals are how you will define your success

Yes, your bottom line is ultimately what this whole game is about. But getting there is what matters in the first instance, and that picture can change. You may begin this journey thinking that most of your sales will come via your storefront, however you may discover that your sales are actually a result of customers calling. Or perhaps you receive far more sales from customers that sign up to your newsletter. As your picture of your customers develops, you will begin to create goals for yourself and do everything that you can to meet them. So, start by setting a series of Goals in Google Analytics, it can be something as simple as signing up to a newsletter or spending a set period of time on your eCommerce website.

5. Social Media is great, but don’t get side-tracked

Some sites get most of their traffic from social media, building a dedicated following and making their sales from that fan base. While I would suggest that every site should set up and tick over some basic social media, don’t believe that it will lead to your fortune. The fact is that social media doesn’t work for every site and you should not half-ass it. If you believe that Social will work for you then put every ounce of energy into it, it is like any other source of revenue and requires dedication for you to get anywhere with it. It’s not some golden goose, and it certainly doesn’t produce results for every business.

6. Test Everything

Your time is valuable, I understand that. But the fact is that your time is wasted if you don’t take the time to carefully test any and every change that you make. One easy way to do this is by using Google Optimise. This allows you to create an A/B test of your webpages with very little effort. So create the pages, analyse how they perform, and make informed changes. See your conversion rates rocket. Lastly, don’t be afraid to try our 5 Second Test, a site that asks real people what they think of your site as a first impression. It’ll be frank, honest and pull no punches, but sometimes that’s what you need to move forwards.

It’s No Secret

eCommerce is a difficult job. There’s no two ways about it. Managing the tech, your customer service, the social, marketing and sometimes even production. It’s not easy but by gosh is it rewarding.

Let us know how you get on!

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