Some experts say the last few months have pushed the growth of eCommerce ahead by anywhere from four to six years. As brick-and-mortar shops closed their doors, many businesses shifted their operations online.
Many consumers have also moved online, resulting in a boom of orders for many business owners. You may be one of them. If this increased demand has been straining your operations, you’re not alone.
These six eCommerce practices can help ease the burden. With them, you can run your business more efficiently.
1. Integrate Shipping for Speed and Ease
First on the list of eCommerce best practices is to integrate your shipping with the rest of your system. This will save you and the consumer time, money, and headaches.
When you use an integrated shipping solution, customers will get shipping information immediately. They can choose the best option for them. That may be the cheapest option, or it may be the one that gets their parcel to them the fastest.
You, in turn, don’t need to spend time figuring out which courier to send the parcel through. Instead, the solution has already determined the costs and shipping times. You don’t need to spend time finding a quote to match or updating the customer’s order after the fact.
The solution also lets you print automatically and keep your labels in one place. You'll also get access to real-time shipping metrics.
Integration cuts down on the work at your end. It also improves transparency for your customer. By making it simpler to see what shipping is like, you’ll increase the chances they’ll shop with you again.
2. eCommerce Practices for Customer Service
Another tip for improving efficiency is to automate some of your customer service. Think about adding a chatbot that can answer some of the most frequently asked questions. A bot may be available 24/7 for your customers and could assist them with simple tasks, too.
You may also want to provide an FAQ page or a help line.
This automation helps both you and the customer. It provides timely answers for the customer even when your agents may not be available.
In turn, your team will spend less time answering the same repetitive questions. That frees up their time to deal with customers facing unique situations. The end result is better customer service for everyone.
3. Keep Your Website Simple
Next, you’ll want to think about some eCommerce UX best practices. UX may not seem like it will do much to make your business more efficient, but it can save you and the customer time.
Simple menus and navigation make it easier for the customer to find their way around your site. In turn, you’ll get fewer calls and chat messages about customers looking for something. A search bar can also help.
Clean design, beautiful images, and more also play into your marketing efforts. They’re part of your SEO, which play a key role in digital marketing.
In turn, you’ll spend less time on any one of these tasks. By thinking about delivering a better user experience, you’ll build efficiency right into the DNA of your eCommerce business.
4. Think about SEO
You know SEO is important to your marketing efforts. Now you want to know about some eCommerce SEO best practices.
You can think about website speed, which might be connected to your hosting. A private web host could improve your speed and give your SEO a little boost.
Going mobile is another major consideration. More people are shopping on their smartphones. Google has even switched to mobile-first indexing.
Customer reviews are another key component of local SEO in particular. Enable customer reviews on your website, and you’ll see both your SEO and your sales improve.
SEO can be a big job, but much of it intersects with other parts of creating a better user experience. Focus on that, and you’ll find you can be more efficient in both providing better UX and better SEO.
5. Make Checking Out Simple
You’re not the only one concerned about efficiency. Your customers are also busy people, especially those who are shopping on their mobile phones.
You should focus on making checkout as simple as possible. If you can, try to implement one-click purchasing. If that’s not possible, then try to get as close to one-click checkout as possible.
Your customers want the checkout process to be quick and easy. When it is, they’ll have fewer problems and fewer questions about it. In turn, more people will complete the checkout process.
The more complex your process, the more likely it is people will abandoned their carts. They may not have time to finish filling out forms, or they may be confused or frustrated by the process. A simplified checkout process is thus a win for everyone.
6. Reward Loyal Customers
Rounding out these practical eCommerce tips is the idea of a rewards program. You want your customers to come back to you again, so offer them a reward for doing so. You may want to create a points program or offer a discount for repeat customers.
You can also create a referral program, where people who refer friends and family receive a free gift or a discount.
How does this create efficiency for your business? It’s actually more efficient to keep your existing customers than to find new ones! As a bonus, the referral program can help you find better leads who are more likely to convert.
That, in turn, can help your sales team improve their efficiency. Your lead generation and ability to close deals will improve greatly.
Upgrade Your Business Now
For a growing business, these eCommerce practices are must-knows. By implementing any or all of them, you can increase efficiency around many of your activities. In turn, you can deliver a better experience for your loyal customers.
Ready to improve the way you handle shipping? Check out the best integrated shipping platform and discover just how much easier shipping can be with the right technology.