The retail sector has been undergoing major changes for several years now, with digitisation becoming the key issue of the future. Stationary retail in particular will have to reinvent itself due to this rapid development. The challenge now for retailers and manufacturers is to maintain the balance between the online and offline. On the one hand, consumers want to shop from the comfort of their own home – at the click of a mouse – but at the same time, the shopping experience and competent advice still remain important to them. The biggest task for suppliers now is to enable their discerning customers to shop across all channels. This primarily involves the intensive and intelligent use of digital channels, as well as the offering of new and innovative services, but also in the optimisation of their own internal processes.
Accordingly, the realisation of an online shop has become unavoidable. We summarise the most important elements for a successful webshop for you in today’s article.
Which factors are profitable to your online shop?
Retailers expect many hurdles on the path towards a profitable online shop. One of these is the so-called bounce rate – the departure rate of potential customers, even before any purchase is concluded. The reasons – why a customer visits a certain shop, but then interrupts their shopping – can be varied. But one thing is sure: There may be certain shortcomings in the webshop that the interested customer is not prepared to accept.
Consumers rely on a trustworthy online shop and, according to the digital association Bitkom e.V., judge the seriousness of online merchants according to various criteria. Accordingly, a broad selection of payment options (71%), shipping and returns policies (67%) and plentiful online evaluations from other buyers (63%) are first and foremost important to consumers. They also attach importance to the retailer’s reputation (63%) and their seal of approval (58%). The quality of the product presentation (42%) and the existence of a data protection declaration (37%), however, are comparatively less decisive.
Read below about the key success factors for an online shop and gain inspiration from them for your eCommerce business.
#1 Usability: Create a user-friendly webshop
The user-friendliness of your online shop is essential to successful sales. In eCommerce, the customer path to the next shop is not far at all. If customers are offered an unattractive design or poor navigation, they instead opt for another retailer who actually meets these expectations. With this in mind, you should consider a meaningful navigation structure and work together with experts on an appealing design of your shop, as well as an attractive display of your product presentation.
Particularly user-friendly webshops offer, for example…
- …a good search function, which guides the customer to certain categories or articles in a flash.
- …guest ordering to avoid frightening interested consumers away with a registration procedure.
- …extensive payment options for an ideally tailored handling of the payment process.
- …low shipping costs and a choice of shipping partner to increase customer satisfaction.
When designing your online shop, also observe current data protection regulations according to the GDPR, since a violation of these regulations can have considerable consequences for your business activities.
#2 Think “mobile first”: Stay technically up-to-date
German individuals spend an average of 1,280 euros per annum in eCommerce. Online shopping via mobile devices, such as smartphones or tablets, is becoming increasingly popular. Using apps, consumers can access the retailer’s online shop in just a few clicks – where everything should be optimised for mobile and thoroughly uncomplicated. Because of this simplicity, the number of smartphone shoppers has almost doubled within two years, whereas shopping via laptop or desktop PC is now on the decline. Such shopping apps have now become part of the basic toolkit of a successful webshop. It is essential that you take a close look at user- and usage-friendly apps, which are adapted to the respective end devices.
Another important aspect of webshop design is search engine optimization (SEO), which improves the visibility of your shop in Google rankings. Look into the SEO basics in order to appear at the top of the search engine list. Before launching your online shop, be sure to test the landing page, product detail pages and all of the individual functions.
#3 Customer service: Stand out with an unforgettable service
Accessibility and transparency are in eCommerce the be-all and end-all for customers. Accordingly, outstanding customer service is of enormous importance in terms of promoting customer loyalty. In plain language, this means clear contact information, short reaction times – be it by e-mail or telephone – as well as solution-oriented personal customer approaches. During business hours, in particular, online retailers should make sure that they are able to answer e-mails at short notice and can also be reached by telephone. In addition, the offer of so-called FAQ’s – the most frequently asked questions with the associated answers – creates corresponding trust and is therefore a basic prerequisite for a customer-oriented online shop.
#4 Product line: Score points with an optimal product range
Product range design and product presentation are just as important in an online shop as they are in stationary retail. First and foremost, the question arises as to how an online retailer would like to appear: either as a premium supplier or a low-cost one, or even as a provider of niche products. This decision is often already made at the start of business activity and forms the basis for the forthcoming assortment design. When making such adjustments, online retailers should, on the one hand, be guided by company goals and strategies, but also by the necessary resources. On the other hand, it is essential to consider customer needs and your numerous competitors in eCommerce. These factors are also subject to constant change and should always be kept in mind to ensure an optimal assortment design.
The use of innovative technologies such as blackbee, with which retailers can always keep an eye on their market segment, on the basis of highly valid and precise data, will be profitable here. Thanks to blackbee’s efficient market analysis, retailers are optimally informed about product features and the full product ranges of their competitors. They can also recognise the introduction of new product features, as well as the price and product policies of new competitors. Thanks to this ample and reliable information, online retailers can react to changes in the market at lightning speed and thus secure their own advantage in eCommerce.
Would you like to know who your competitors are and how your market will continue to develop? We can help you to correctly assess your market position – talk to our experts now and let them advise you more comprehensively.