E-Commerce accounted for some 15% of retail sales worldwide up until March 1, 2020. It is understood to have grown a further 15% between March 01, 2020, and April 30, 2020. What is more, forecasters believe this recent growth will be sustained and built on over the next 12 to 24 months – with total sales rising to 50% of all retail by 2030.
It is relatively easy and reasonably cheap to set up an e-commerce website, or online shop. It is quite another thing to make such a site profitable. That is why up to 90% of e-commerce start-ups fail in the first 12 months, it is also why 36% of those that remain to fail in the second 12 months and 44% fail in the third 12 months. The bottom line is – not many succeed. But why not?
35% of shopping starts with a search on Google, so if you don’t rank your website through SEO – you don’t get the sales.
It takes time to establish a successful e-commerce site. Indeed, Amazon lost money for 12 years.
23% of customers now expect free delivery and that expectation will only grow. Only 70% of customers are prepared to pay $5.00 for delivery.
84% of consumers will not make a purchase if they feel the site is not secure – even if it is secure. Perception is everything.
38% of consumers will leave a site that they find unattractive or hard to use. Online shopping is all about convenience.
39% of consumers stop engaging with a website if it takes more than 2 seconds to load – and will also stop engaging if images take time to load.
Some 60% of people now research on a mobile device and more than 35% of purchases are now made using a mobile device – and again this is growing.
An inconvenient returns policy will deter up to 80% of shoppers. Once again, online shopping is all about convenience.
Products must be presented well and video is increasingly an expectation of online shoppers – increasing conversion rates by as much as 144%.
The reality is 95% of consumers share a bad experience with an e-commerce platform with at least one person and 54% share with 5 people. Bad news travels fast.
The issues listed above represent common failings for new players and no such issues will be found in a highly successful site.
Critical metrics include visitor traffic, visitor conversion rates, subscriber engagement rates, cart abandonment rates and the average value of a transaction.
Some 75% of customers highlight ease of use as a critical issue in their choice of which website to use repeatedly to shop. The customer determines how easy a site is to use.
Not only is it important to use images, video, and animation, but it is important that they are of a high quality – increasing visibility and credibility.
We live in the age of social media95% of consumers read reviews before making a significant purchase and 57% of consumers now expect a 4-star rating or better.
Savage discounting is not as important as many retailers think. That said competitive pricing and added value are very powerful tools.
In addition to being able to make a purchase, it is important that consumers can place products on a wish list for a later purchase. It brings them back to the site.
The faster the delivery the better. Same-day deliveries are becoming more common, especially in big cities. More than 5 days – or unspecified delivery times are not on.
The range is a key driver of online purchasing. If the product sort is not on the site or not available – consumers will go to a site where it is available or buy something else.
Promoting related products in the lead up to or after a sale, if done well not only increases the average sale but is viewed by the customer as a service.
These are just some of the documented features of a successful e-commerce site.
To finish I thought I might list the features of an e-commerce site that ensure I will never buy from it or the brand. They include:
I will not use or go back to any e-commerce or indeed, a website that is not customer-focused – and not should I or indeed anyone else.
It is not enough to be online. Your e-commerce presence has to be first-class if it is to work well in a highly competitive market.
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