How to streamline your online shop
Having an online shop might seem like an easy option for a lot of people on the outside, but with it, there are so many considerations to make. It is far from being a simple way of making money, but your business probably can be streamlined. Whether you are a small business or a much larger retailer, there are always things you can do to make life easier for yourself and the process a better experience for your customers. Continue reading for our five easy steps showing you how you can streamline your online shop.
1. Account Registration
When customers come to use your online shop for the very first time, they likely want to get the actual transaction over and done with without even considering opening an account first. For them, the purchasing of goods is the most important part. Therefore, if you can sort it so that the account registration occurs after purchase, this will be most pleasing for your future customers. Furthermore, doing it this way means that there are fewer clicks needed to complete the transaction and this makes for a much lower bounce rate from your page. For some people, a lengthy purchase process means they would prefer to shop elsewhere, even if your product is superior or the same but lower priced.
2. Increase Payment Options
Increasing the number of payment options that someone can use means that you are open to a much wider range of customers. It may initially seem more sensible to offer just the traditional methods, but for many customers, particularly those in a hurry, paying via a PayPal account, for example, is a much simpler thing to do than scrambling around the house looking for their purse or wallet. The longer a customer takes to make a payment, the more time they have to decide whether they truly need the item. This is one reason why One Click with Amazon works so well. Before a customer has had the time to think about if this purchase is the best for them, they have already paid for it.
3. Outsource the Website
Keeping on top of running a website can be a major undertaking. Where your focus may be better placed elsewhere, having someone manage your website ought to ease the pressure. Furthermore, unless you are a website expert, the person you outsource to will likely take a lot less time to do the job than you would. Regular updates of your website, for example about items you have in stock, new items, sales and much more, are imperative.
You would likely have to prioritise this over other things that you could be doing to ensure your online shopping business is marketed better and your brand name improved with your target market. Of course, you will still have control over the content and the way it looks, but being able to outsource the actual website wizardry can be a huge help and ensure that it functions exactly as your customers hope it will.
4. Effective Delivery Management
Selling goods is one thing, but delivering them is another thing entirely. An effective delivery management system for your business, whatever its size, is a must. This ensures that costs are kept to a minimum whilst providing your customers with a service with which they are pleased. It is tempting to enforce a route with a very high number of drop-offs per hour on drivers.
However, if this means the quality of your service deteriorates as a result thus losing your existing and potential customers, the savings may not be all they seem. Likewise, as has been in the press frequently, a delivery service where the driver leaves the package in an unsafe location and is sometimes subsequently stolen is far from ideal. There are many considerations to make.
5. Stock Systems
When visiting a shop for a certain item and seeing it is unavailable, either at all or perhaps in your size, it can be incredibly disappointing. The same thing goes for customers shopping online. It is important to implement a stock system whereby you know well in advance when stock is running low of a certain item or even a certain type of items. Furthermore, your website must be kept up to date to prevent customers from being allowed to order an item which is no longer in stock. This gives an unprofessional feel to a business.