Online enterprises are ten a penny; after all, what attracted you to selling products or services online will also appeal to your competitors for the very same reasons. While advances in technology has made it possible to pursue your entrepreneurial dreams, they have also opened the market place to the world – increasing the numbers of potential customers you can target but also the number of competitors.
So How Do You Give Your Business The Competitive Edge?
Whether you are a new business starting out or reviewing your current online presence, one thing that you have in common is the need to make your wares as accessible as possible to your customers. Customers are a fickle bunch and need as much guidance to your checkout as possible.
“Innovation is the new competitive advantage”
Julie Sweet, Chief Executive Officer of Accenture in North America
You have access to the innovative tried and tested templates developed by Shopify designers, so you already have options for a site that is optimized to navigate the visitor from your home page through to the checkout. However, you also need to be able to offer your visitors other choices to heighten your e-commerce success.
1. Make Your Content Active
Everything that you display on your website should add value to your business, and the content that you have on your site should be geared towards helping you achieve your business goals. Shopify SEO (search engine optimization) gives a comprehensive guide as to how to make every word actively work to make your site more visible to potential consumers, your content should:
BE UNIQUE, FOCUSED, ACTIONABLE, ACCURATE, ENGAGING, CONCISE, AND RESOLVE A PROBLEM
SEO is NOT limited to just the visible text either; your Image Gallery, Shopify product tags and meta descriptions can also be enhanced to help your site rank higher in the search engine results pages.
You will be familiar with online shopping for your personal use and will already know what makes certain sites appeal to you, and what makes you avoid others. Think about what influences your own shopping decisions. Chances are high that you frequently choose sites that have the following attributes, and you should include them in your own site:
All consumers want is value for money, and if you can offer a discount to your customers, you will not only be making them feel that they have had a bargain, but you will be building on their loyalty to your brand. You can apply discounts to individual products, to checkouts with a Shopify discount code or even tailor them to be accessed by customers who have been directed to your site from social media platforms such as Facebook via a shareable link.
You can control discounts to apply whenever you choose to; perhaps in response to seasonal lulls in trade or to move excess stock by implementing Shopify Wholesale options.
• Abandoned Shopping Cart
When you have spent time selecting products to buy, you want the payment process to be simple, effective and quick. A high rate of abandoned shopping carts can be a sure sign that you need to review your e-commerce site. Reasons for abandoned shopping carts include:
a) Unexpected delivery costs – they make a customer feel that they are not getting value for money for the products.
b) Having to create a new account – speed is of the essence, customers are using an online store for convenience and if the process is labored and lacks efficiency it will outweigh the benefits of buying your product.
c) Concerns about payment security – customers need to have trust that the transaction is secure and reputable while also being swift. the Shopify PayPal collaboration allows transactions to be completed with confidence and speed.
3. Competitor Reviews
You need to understand who your competitors are, otherwise, you have lost the battle before it has even started. Analyzing competitors is a great way to gain insight into the success and failures. There are several ways that you can investigate your competitors, but the first port of call should be to their reviews.
In years gone by you would have had to instruct friends and family to surreptitiously pretend to be a legitimate customer; now though all it takes is a short amount of time and a keyboard to uncover the successes and failures of your competitors.
• Positive reviews – the positives need to become the benchmark so that your customers’ experiences can expect outstanding every time.
• Negative reviews – you will be able to evaluate the issues that your competition regularly fails to meet the expected standard, and this is where you can take advantage
If you spend time reviewing your competition, you can see where they have gaps in their business model and the best way that you can fill them.
“If you’re competitor-focused, you have to wait until there is a competitor doing something. Being customer-focused allows you to be more pioneering” Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon
Standing out from the crowd is essential for your e-commerce business’s success. You need to regularly review your website to make sure that it is working hard for you to achieve its full potential. The SEO innovations and changes in Google’s algorithms, changes in consumer habits and changes in your competitors’ tactics need to be identified and addressed to keep you ahead of the field.
Thank you for keeping up to date with our Shopify Insider Blog @ Blackbelt Commerce. We invite you to check out our portfolio and other terrific blog articles on Social Media, Learn about SEO, and utilities such as how to Improve Customer Experience or Backup your store — We are Blackbelt Commerce, a TOP Shopify & BigCommerce developer.
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