As we continue to work with eCommerce clients, we are learning that they often express the same concerns when it comes to their business and their marketing approaches. In order to help answer these common concerns, we have created a handy blog that answers the most common eCommerce Q&A that you are asking when it comes to implementing a marketing strategy for your business.
A number of Q&A that we face could have made this blog go on for weeks and you would probably not find the solution you were looking for, therefore we have answered the most common questions we are faced with.
However, if there are any questions that you as an eCommerce store owner have then do not hesitate to drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on this blog and we will get back to you and you never know in future we could create a blog that answers that exact question.
1. What eCommerce Websites Can I Choose From?
Each individual may like to do their own due diligence, therefore we are going to give you a link to the most popular eCommerce platforms that you can choose from. In the next question, we will give you the ones that we recommend
- Shopify – https://www.shopify.co.uk
- Wix – https://www.wix.com
- Big Commerce – https://www.bigcommerce.com
- Woo Commerce – https://ecommerceguide.com/ecommerce-platforms/woocommerce-review/
- Open Cart 2 – https://www.opencart.com/index.php?route=cms/blog/info&blog_id=75
- Magento – https://magento.com/
2. Which eCommerce Site Is Best?
The answer to this question, which we get asked a lot, is dependent on three things:
- Your budget
- Your in-house developer knowledge
- Your marketing requirements
To simplify the decision-making process for you, if you have a smaller budget we recommend that you consider Woo Commerce or Shopify.
Although both these platforms are good, they do require a more manual process when it comes to stock control. From an SEO expert, we prefer WordPress with WooCommerce activated as you are able to handle most of the SEO with their tools. Shopify works to a similar format, however, because you do not have FTP access there are limitations to the functionality that is available.
When it comes to using them as “plug & play” they both offer a great selection of themes, optimisation capabilities and reasonable stock control. They can handle form fills, newsletter follow-ups, site speed issues and provide both quirky and useful plugins. We recommend these as a good place to start for new eCommerce stores.
If you do not have any available budget to spend on a new website then, and only then, consider Wix. It has come on a long way since it was initially launched but it is not for small-medium sized businesses. It doesn’t have email functionality and the templates are not as varied but it will get you on the web. At the end of the day, any website (with good SEO) is better than no website at all!
Then we have the more professional platforms. Magento is the most scalable and offers the best functionality and that comes with a cost. It is the perfect eCommerce solution offering multichannel integration and a plethora of available extensions. Open Cart 2 provides a stepping stone from WordPress, or Shopify to Magento. It is less expensive and still capable of handling larger inventories, integrating the multi-channel functionality and bolting on many stylish extensions. They both require some development so you are moving away from a managed CMS to coding. At this point though you should be getting enough return to justify spending more budget on web development.
3. Which eCommerce Platform Is Best For SEO?
This all depends on whether you have your own web developer and in-house capabilities or if you are completely dependent on the platform you choose. In terms of on-page SEO, the best platforms for plug and play are Woo Commerce and Magento. Open Cart 2 and Shopify also have plugins/extensions for meta, site speed etc but we do not personally find them quite as effective as those on offer from Magento and Woo Commerce.
Both Shopify and Wix do not give you any access to FTP, therefore, controlling and monitoring things like your site speed and technical SEO is out of your control. Magento and Woo Commerce come with an impressive array of plugins and can give you full control of your platform right down to the server you host it on.
We would recommend Magento as the best platform for SEO as a result of its capability to handle eCommerce sites without compromising speed. Open Cart 2 falls would come after Magento and Woo Commerce simply because its array of extensions is smaller.
4. What eCommerce Platform Does Amazon Use?
5. Why Do eCommerce Sites Fail?
We recently wrote a blog that includes 6 common reasons eCommerce businesses fail, you can find that here. However, we deal with this question almost daily so will create a short summary here of the reasons that we have experienced.
The biggest reasons eCommerce sites fail is a lack of research by the business owner into what makes a site successful. There is often too little budget and too little time put into the creation of the website in the first place. The structure is badly thought out and a somewhat lacklustre website is produced that satisfies the owner but hasn’t given enough thought to the customer.
Here are common areas where a site can fail:
- Lack of a cohesive structure that customers can and want to follow
- Lack of calls to action making that journey nice and clear and enticing
- Proper on-page SEO so the site ranks and is visible in Google
- Making sure the website has been indexed by Google so is actually visible to customers
- Helping customers come to you by going after them. They will not just find your site – it may take months for it to be visible to your audience
- Look and feel is based on the owners’ preferences rather than real market research into what works and what customers respond to
- Poor product photography
- Thin content across the site and particularly on product pages
- A major technical issue that causes;
- Very poor site speed,
- Doesn’t apply canonicals properly to multiple products,
- Leaves Orphan pages attached to the site
- Leaves multiple versions of the site live competing against each other (https, http, www and non-www)
- Lack of time managing and maintaining the site to stay fresh, relevant and attractive
6. Why Is eCommerce Necessary?
The word here is convenience. Customers want instant gratification, everything needs to be quicker and better than ever before.
“67% of Millennials and 56% of Gen Xers prefer to shop on online rather than in-store.” (source)
With traffic now moving to smartphones and tablets, those statistics are likely to keep growing. Having a store online is now a way to find your customers without them having to visit a physical store.
7. How Is eCommerce Changing?
eCommerce is growing, it is now a more involved process. It is no longer enough to reach out to customers at just one point. You must engage with them at multiple points with reviews, case studies, PLAs, Text Ads, Social Media, large form content pieces like videos, pdfs, how to guides, and of course, in search. They research their purchases so eCommerce is no longer just about a digital representation of your bricks and mortar store, it is a digital representation of conversations with friends, viewing eye-catching billboards, researching products, and trusting the word of other shoppers. The social aspect of the shopping experience has now been transported onto the internet. So you need to satisfy all of those touchpoints if you want the customer to buy from you.
8. What Conversion Rates Should You Expect?
eCommerce conversion rates are varied as a result of so many aspects, including device and geographic location. Here are some benchmark stats that you should be aiming to reach for your eCommerce store.
Desktop – 5.96%
Smartphone – 3.31%
Tablet – 4.52%
Considering that mobile traffic has overtaken desktop when it comes to searches, it helps cement the fact that your website must be responsive on mobile in order to stand the chance of converting more visitors.
These are just a selection of the most common eCommerce Q&A, that we get asked in regards to what to expect for eCommerce businesses and how to make the most of your eCommerce store. We run through a few more of these in a separate blog post on 6 Common Reasons eCommerce Businesses Fail. If you have any questions that we have not answered that you want to know as an eCommerce store, feel free to drop us an email on email@example.com or comment in the box below and we will get back to you.
We also go into more detail some of the elements of these questions in a few 20-ish minute video in which we discuss Selling More On Your eCommerce Store. Head here to watch the video for yourself or even to share with someone who you think could benefit from our expertise.
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