Tips on How to Accelerate Your eCommerce Business in 2017
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How do you maximise growth and profit opportunities after getting your eCommerce website up and running? You may set a few professional goals to help improve your business at the start of each year, but if only one in every five visitors to your site makes a purchase, then clearly last year's eCommerce trends may not work anymore. Or, it could just be that your business is not yet aligned with tried and tested industry practices.

Now that we’ve settled into the new year, it may be a good time to grease the wheels and speed up your eCommerce store toward success in 2017. Here are four tips toward a more effective eCommerce strategy that can help you boost conversions and user-experience.

Multi-channel shopping

Cross-channel selling is the ability to offer your customers a variety of platforms from which they can buy your products. Nowadays, more consumers want a seamless brand experience, meaning they expect to be able to easily switch between desktop and mobile as well as between a range of online shopping platforms. When expanding your online presence, it's important that the products you currently have in your inventory, your marketing strategies and all brand-related documents, reflect consistency across all platforms. Whether it's social selling, online marketplaces, paid search ads or comparison shopping engines an omni-channel presence will make your brand more accessible to customers while increasing opportunities to generate more sales leads.

Give your customers more than one way to pay

How many times have customers filled up their shopping carts only to arrive at the payment area with no EFT payment option? All too often. This is one of the major reasons eCommerce websites lose out on sales. In many instances, a failure to integrate multiple payment methods extends beyond that one lost sale as these customers will likely not recommend your site to their friends.

With the right payment gateway installed, you can enable your customers to conveniently complete online transactions through whichever online payment method they feel comfortable with. Offering a range of payment options will not only give your eCommerce site a professional edge but will also make you appear trustworthy to consumers. If you're currently subscribed for only one or two payment methods, you can check with your payment gateway provider how you can integrate additional options.

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Optimise each page with additional offers

When a customer enters a brick-and-mortar store, it's likely that they won't leave with just the product they came for in the first place. Traditional stores are aware of this and that is why they strategically place items to ensure shoppers exit with more than they had planned on. You can also use this consumer behaviour to launch a cross-selling strategy on every page of your eCommerce website, which has the potential to grow a transaction size. From the home page to product categories to checkout – every page your visitor lands on should have alluring additional features. They could include things such as extra offers, product suggestions, call-to-action buttons or a "continue shopping" link from your cart page.  This tactic will add greater visibility to your inventory and help customers find an alternative, should they no longer want to buy the original product.

Enable product reviews

Product reviews have been found to be really effective in improving your customer reach, and by extension, eCommerce revenue. Now that studies show nine out of ten customers read reviews first before buying a product, including a product review function on your website should be a key element of your marketing strategy. When customers share a review, they help others make informed decisions about your product or service, which, if positive, can encourage trust and loyalty in your brand in the long run. If your website receives good quality ratings from customers, it will also stand out on local SEO rankings as Google uses online reviews as a key ranking parameter.

You may be afraid that user-generated content on your webpage could instigate negative publicity around your brand, but including customer reviews on your site actually indicates that you appreciate your customers opinions, one way or the other.

Final thoughts

Having a well-designed website and unique products are not enough to remain relevant and ahead of competition in the eCommerce revolution. The ability to frequently adjust your business model will help you encourage sales any time of the year. This is why eCommerce bigwigs always have a competitive advantage because they know the value that implementing new priorities and new activities has on the growth of their organizations.