Advertising
Advertising

Top Ways You Can Make Your E-Commerce Store Competitive

Top Ways You Can Make Your E-Commerce Store Competitive

With the barriers to entry getting ever lower in the world of e-commerce, it seems like every business under the sun has started a website business in the last couple of years. This, in conjunction with the ever competitive “big boys” in the market (such as Amazon and eBay), always finding new ways to satisfy customers, it can be tough knowing how to stand out in a crowded e-commerce market.

As Amazon held its second annual Prime Day this month (billing the event as its biggest global one ever), other online sellers need to make sure that their website is as up to date, streamlined, and effective as possible.

If you’re keen to make sure your e-commerce business doesn’t lag behind, read on for some ways you can make it more competitive today.

Advertising

1. Provide Multiple Payment Options

These days, it’s important to keep in mind that customers want flexibility when it comes to how they pay for goods and services online. They also want security, especially considering the number of fraudulent transactions that occur every year.

While many retailers understand that consumers do want a wide variety of payment tools to be made available to them, according to the 2015 Global Payments Insight Survey (conducted by payments software and hosting company ACI Worldwide, and market research firm Ovum), 54 percent of retailers are actually holding back on their investment in new payment-related technology.

If you want to make your e-commerce store more competitive, you can quickly jump ahead of many retailers by giving consumers what they want. When it comes to payments, think about providing avenues such as credit and debit cards (including cards such as Diners Club and American Express), PayPal, direct deposit, and new mobile-based apps. Apple’s latest innovation with Apple Pay, for example, means that the tool can now be integrated into online shopping carts. Many consumers will no doubt be expecting to have this payment method made available to them over the coming months.

Advertising

2. Use Good Design

On a website, design matters just as much (if not even more) than it does in a physical store. You want all browsers to think “wow,” in a positive way, when they visit your e-commerce site, and to see from its design that the business is trustworthy, solid, and selling quality products.

Pic 4

    As a result, you should definitely never cut corners on design, because every single part of it matters, from the layout and navigation, to content and graphics. It pays to hire a qualified designer who has experience creating websites for your industry, and who has developed the type of sites that you like the look of yourself.

    Advertising

    When considering the design of your store, make sure that:

    • There is plenty of white space on each page (that is, areas not filled with text or pictures)
    • Your branding is consistent throughout
    • It’s easy for visitors to find what they’re looking for and to move from one page to another
    • The text is broken up into short paragraphs, with plenty of subheadings used
    • There aren’t clashing colors or hard-to-read fonts to be found anywhere

    3. Be Mobile-Friendly

    With huge numbers of shoppers using their cellphones and tablets to browse and buy online now, any e-commerce store is unable to compete if it doesn’t have a mobile-friendly site and a mobile strategy in place.

    Customers not only use their devices at home or at work when searching for products and services, but also when they’re in physical stores, to compare prices. Mobile gadgets are also used to share buying experiences and to read customer reviews.

    Advertising

    To be competitive then, you must ensure that your e-commerce site is compatible with different types of device interfaces, and that you are providing a seamless user experience for all browsers. In addition, make it easy for shoppers to find you on social media platforms such as Instagram, SnapChat, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and the like. You should also cater to the growing number of people who want to use mobile applications to pay for their purchases.

    Pic 5

      4. Have a Fast-Loading Website

      Lastly, always keep in mind that a fast-loading website is imperative. Shoppers are impatient, and won’t wait around for a slow site to load. Even a second difference in load time can make a difference, as it allows information to be delivered to viewers sooner, and stops them from clicking away to another site.

      Speedy websites tend to feel better to navigate, come across as more trustworthy, and all in all can have a huge impact on sales revenue over the years. Indeed, some companies have found that improving the speed of their site can increase conversation rates by a whopping 78 percent.

      Featured photo credit: shutterstock via shutterstock.com

      More by this author

      Who’s at the Wheel? Technology Causing Distracted Driving and Other Stories of Multi-Tasking Is Your Website Costing You Sales? Staying Afloat: Why Kids Should Learn to Swim If You’re a Burned Out Entrepreneur There’s a Solution Common Signs and Symptoms of Depression in Parents

      Trending in Work

      1 7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics 2 10 Signs of a Bad Boss and How to Deal with Them 3 10 Great Skills to Include in Your Resume When You Change Careers 4 How to Become Smarter: 21 Things You Can Do Every Day 5 7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success

      Read Next

      Advertising
      Advertising
      Advertising

      Last Updated on July 16, 2019

      7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

      7 Powerful Habits To Win In Office Politics

      Office politics – a taboo word for some people. It’s a pervasive thing at the workplace.

      In its simplest form, workplace politics is simply about the differences between people at work; differences in opinions, conflicts of interests are often manifested as office politics. It all goes down to human communications and relationships.

      There is no need to be afraid of office politics. Top performers are those who have mastered the art of winning in office politics. Below are 7 good habits to help you win at the workplace:

      1. Be Aware You Have a Choice

      The most common reactions to politics at work are either fight or flight. It’s normal human reaction for survival in the wild, back in the prehistoric days when we were still hunter-gatherers.

      Sure, the office is a modern jungle, but it takes more than just instinctive reactions to win in office politics. Instinctive fight reactions will only cause more resistance to whatever you are trying to achieve; while instinctive flight reactions only label you as a pushover that people can easily take for granted. Neither options are appealing for healthy career growth.

      Winning requires you to consciously choose your reactions to the situation. Recognize that no matter how bad the circumstances, you have a choice in choosing how you feel and react. So how do you choose? This bring us to the next point…

      Advertising

      2. Know What You Are Trying to Achieve

      When conflicts happen, it’s very easy to be sucked into tunnel-vision and focus on immediate differences. That’s a self-defeating approach. Chances are, you’ll only invite more resistance by focusing on differences in people’s positions or opinions.

      The way to mitigate this without looking like you’re fighting to emerge as a winner in this conflict is to focus on the business objectives. In the light of what’s best for the business, discuss the pros and cons of each option. Eventually, everyone wants the business to be successful; if the business don’t win, then nobody in the organization wins.

      It’s much easier for one to eat the humble pie and back off when they realize the chosen approach is best for the business.

      By learning to steer the discussion in this direction, you will learn to disengage from petty differences and position yourself as someone who is interested in getting things done. Your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is mature, strategic and can be entrusted with bigger responsibilities.

      3. Focus on Your Circle of Influence

      At work, there are often issues which we have very little control over. It’s not uncommon to find corporate policies, client demands or boss mandates which affects your personal interests.

      Gossiping and complaining are common responses to these events that we cannot control. But think about it, other than that short term emotional outlet, what tangible results do gossiping really accomplish? In most instances, none.

      Advertising

      Instead of feeling victimized and angry about the situation, focus on the things that you can do to influence the situation — your circle of influence. This is a very empowering technique to overcome the feeling of helplessness. It removes the victimized feeling and also allows others to see you as someone who knows how to operate within given constraints.

      You may not be able to change or decide on the eventual outcome but, you can walk away knowing that you have done the best within the given circumstances.

      Constraints are all around in the workplace; with this approach, your boss will also come to appreciate you as someone who is understanding and positive.

      4. Don’t Take Sides

      In office politics, it is possible to find yourself stuck in between two power figures who are at odds with each other. You find yourself being thrown around while they try to outwit each other and defend their own position; all at the expense of you getting the job done. You can’t get them to agree on a common decision for a project, and neither of them want to take ownership of issues; they’re too afraid they’ll get stabbed in the back for any mishaps.

      In cases like this, focus on the business objectives and don’t take side with either of them – even if you like one better than the other. Place them on a common communication platform and ensure open communications among all parties, so that no one can claim “I didn’t say that”.

      By not taking sides, you’ll help to direct conflict resolution in an objective manner. You’ll also build trust with both parties. That’ll help to keep the engagements constructive and focus on business objectives.

      Advertising

      5. Don’t Get Personal

      In office politics, you’ll get angry with people. It happens. There will be times when you feel the urge to give that person a piece of your mind and teach him a lesson. Don’t.

      People tend to remember moments when they were humiliated or insulted. Even if you win this argument and get to feel really good about it for now, you’ll pay the price later when you need help from this person. What goes around comes around, especially at the workplace.

      To win in the office, you’ll want to build a network of allies which you can tap into. The last thing you want during a crisis or an opportunity is to have someone screw you up because they harbor ill-intentions towards you – all because you’d enjoyed a brief moment of emotional outburst at their expense.

      Another reason to hold back your temper is your career advancement. Increasingly, organizations are using 360 degree reviews to promote someone. Even if you are a star performer, your boss will have to fight a political uphill battle if other managers or peers see you as someone who is difficult to work with. The last thing you’ll want is to make it difficult for your boss to champion you for a promotion.

      6. Seek to Understand, Before Being Understood

      The reason people feel unjustified is because they felt misunderstood. Instinctively, we are more interested in getting the others to understand us than to understand them first. Top people managers and business leaders have learned to suppress this urge.

      Surprisingly, seeking to understand is a very disarming technique. Once the other party feels that you understand where he/she is coming from, they will feel less defensive and be open to understand you in return. This sets the stage for open communications to arrive at a solution that both parties can accept.

      Advertising

      Trying to arrive at a solution without first having this understanding is very difficult – there’s little trust and too much second-guessing.

      7. Think Win-Win

      As mentioned upfront, political conflicts happen because of conflicting interests. Perhaps due to our schooling, we are taught that to win, someone else needs to lose. Conversely, we are afraid to let someone else win, because it implies losing for us.

      In business and work, that doesn’t have to be the case.

      Learn to think in terms of “how can we both win out of this situation?” This requires that you first understand the other party’s perspective and what’s in it for him.

      Next, understand what’s in it for you. Strive to seek out a resolution that is acceptable and beneficial to both parties. Doing this will ensure that everyone truly commit to the agreed resolution and will not pay only lip-service to it.

      People simply don’t like to lose. You may get away with win-lose tactics once or twice but very soon, you’ll find yourself without allies in the workplace.

      Thinking win-win is an enduring strategy that builds allies and help you win in the long term.

      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

      Read Next