$1.4 Trillion in ECommerce by When?
E-commerce is projected to become a 1.4 trillion dollar industry by 2015, according to Daily Deal Media, with $144 billion of it going to websites that sell electronics. More and more shopkeepers are becoming frustrated to learn their brick-and-mortar stores are turning into showrooms for customers, who then run off and order the product from an e-retailer.
Let’s say you’re that frustrated store owner. What would you do? Instead of grumbling and watching your profits go down, why not jump into the ecommerce game yourself? Here are some web design tips to create a niche electronics site, which, by the way, can be applied to most any online shopping niche market.
Go for Repeat Sales and Hard-to-Find Items
You’re not going to turn into the next Newegg.com overnight. So instead of focusing on a broad range of electronics for your e-commerce store, try focusing on a specific category that you have extensive knowledge about. Do you have a knack for computer monitors, or are you more of an accessories kind of person? Determine the market that you’re most familiar with and use that as the basis for your product selection, your niche focus. Shopify recommends that you take the time to pick a market that generates repeat sales, such as consumable items, and go for products that are difficult, if not impossible, to find at your standard brick-and-mortar store.
Set Yourself Apart
Once you’ve determined your niche, get as much information on your products as possible. You don’t want only cut-and-dried technical descriptions. You also want to give your site a personality that sets it apart from the online megastores like Amazon or Newegg. Let the customers know exactly what type of solutions they get from a particular piece of equipment. This is where your specialized electronics knowledge comes in, as you can provide extensive information in the product details section of a listing. Not only does this increase confidence in your consumer, it also helps to answer basic questions to avoid a phone call or email from the customer.
Responsive Social Networking
After you’ve set up your e-commerce store, associate a few social network profiles with it. This is standard marketing operating procedure. Don’t set it and forget it, however. Engage with your customers to find out what they’re most looking forward to in the electronics world, what they think about your company, and to quickly address any issues that customers may bring up over social media channels. If you’re lucky enough to have one of your social media marketing efforst go viral you’ll want to be sure that your servers can handle it, as the traffic spike can cause some issues with lower-grade servers, according to WebHostingBlueBook.com.
There’s nothing more frustrating than searching for a great product and then not being able to navigate your way through a poorly designed site. Aim for simplicity when it comes to ecommerce design. Unlike a spy novel, mystery is not a plus when it comes to completing an ecommerce transaction, so make your shopping cart and check out processes simple and intuitive.
Another important design factor (especially in the electronics niche) is to make sure that you create a truly mobile-friendly website. Your tech-savvy customers are likely to use a smartphone to comparison shop or make a purchase, so you want to avoid any issues with a mobile site that would prevent them from doing so.
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We’d like to thank Albert Lester for contributing statistics for this post. Al teaches economics and business at his local high school. He blogs about business, finance, teaching and the economy in his spare time.