Marketing Advice eCommerce Tips

Take Your Online Store to the Next Level

By Lauren Tesar on October, 7 2015

 

When an online business begins to ramp up they often run into limitations with their current online store. Although this is typical, it's not something that has to be accepted. In fact, simply moving to an eCommerce platform that supports your growth is a competitive edge in itself. Here are just a few features and capabilities that key decision-makers should look for in an eCommerce platform in order to take their online store to the next level.

 

1. Scalability

Your eCommerce solution should conform to your business needs, not the other way around.

For any online store to reach its full potential, it's foundation needs to be scalable. One of the most serious issues that a business may run into as it succeeds and grows is that its existing operations are simply not capable of accommodating a broader customer base without compromising quality or performance. The online store is no exception to this rule.

Companies need to ensure that every aspect of their online store - from the website itself to product tools to inventory tracking to payments systems to shipping capabilities - is made for growth. A standard, base-level online store won't be able to offer this level of performance, but by upgrading to a platform that is specifically designed to be scalable, businesses can focus on growth.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Is my current solution made for businesses like mine?
  • Am I spending more time setting up and managing my online store than growing my business?
  • Are my products set up the way I want or the way my platform enables?

 

2. Design Customization

To stand out from the crowd, your online store needs to look different.

For a small business that is first starting out in the realm of online retail, a standard theme is sufficient. To go further, though, companies need to embrace online stores that are more customized and unique. The look and feel of an online store - and the website as a whole - can make the difference between a forgetable online store and a memorable, credible brand that not only sells products, but has their customers coming back for more.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Does my online store look different from others?
  • Are my design tools intuitive and powerful enough to deliver the change I desire?
  • Can I easily add more engagement elements like live chat (check out Olark)?

 

3. SEO

Look for ways to make your online store more SEO-friendly, it's easier than you think.

Search engine optimization is a critical factor for any company's website today. Without a high-level focus on SEO, it's unlikely for a business to appear near the top of Web searches, and such prominence is essential for gaining new potential customers. 

Questions to ask yourself:

  • Does your platform have a reputation of having solid SEO tools?
  • Is your checkout hosted under your domain or your eCommerce providers?
  • Is your website mobile friendly? This has a major impact on SEO.

 

4. Mobile

More and more customers shop on mobile devices, don't miss out on reaching them. 

A final straightforward, but exceedingly important, aspect of an upgraded online store is the ability to cater to mobile shoppers. Mobile is quickly becoming the preferred method of online shopping for many consumers, and yet numerous companies' online stores are not optimized for the mobile experience. As a result, tablet and smartphone users may run into awkward and confusing layouts that compromise their ability to explore the companies' offerings and make purchases.

By upgrading to a mobile-friendly online store, businesses can not only prepare for the increasingly mobile-heavy future, but also gain a significant advantage over their less flexible competitors today. 

Want to learn more about mobile trends? Check out this article from CMO.com.

 

 

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