We do not need to be reminded that we are living in the digital era and that there is no going back, even if we wanted to! Truth be told, you’ll perhaps be considered to be living in dark ages if your business does not have a strong online presence, especially if it’s a retail brand.
Not to mention a handful of large-scale companies have been dominating the landscape of online business for quite some time now.
Of course, anyone and everyone can sell products online. But companies like Zappos, Amazon, Walmart and eBay have been ruling the roost for longer than most of us can remember.
That being said, growing your company to join the big boys with their elite ecommerce businesses might seem like an intimidating challenge. But, that does not mean you cannot pick up a few clues from the way they function and act on them. There is a reason why they are considered the best, right?
Here we will take a look at the leading ecommerce sites to find out what it is that they do so well that pushes their business into the league of their own and glean lessons that are sure to help you nurture your ecommerce business.
Utilising ecommerce tailored services such as helpdesk support and live chat will ensure a more streamlined customer service for your business.
Zappos: Love Your Shoppers
When you think of customer service, the first name that would pop up in your head is Zappos. Their commitment towards delivering “wow” through their service is what makes them stand out in the ecommerce world.
There have also been several stories about their employees going the extra mile to develop an emotional connection with its customer base. They made headlines when one of their customer representatives made a new record after taking a 10 hour long call with a consumer.
Its website motivates people to contact the support team if they need. On the top of the homepage, it keeps on flashing a Live Chat icon and the customer service number. Additionally, it also has a drop down ‘help’ menu enlisting various ways to get in touch with the support staff.
Moreover, they have a ‘no-frills attached’ return policy, meaning they don’t make any fuss about any returns. In fact, they make an effort to spoil their shoppers by motivating them to buy more products in just one go, try them and return some later on.
Lesson Learnt: Well, you can’t necessarily apply all of their practices to your business because they come at a certain cost. Nonetheless, you can certainly invest money in getting a fantastic customer service platform.
Amazon: Create A Product Driven Ecommerce Website
To tell you the truth, Amazon does not have the most appealing website design when compared to others on the internet. Now you might ask, “If such is the case, then how come it is at the top of the list?”
Well, hear us out!
Yes, their homepage is fairly basic; their product pages are weighed down with heaps of ads (along with video and grocery options) and on the whole their website can potentially distract shoppers who visit with a specific product purchase in mind.
Nevertheless, Amazon offers alluring deals, excellent checkout and delivery, and has products available right at your fingertips, which makes it almost irreplaceable. As research has suggested, this approach is imperative for having a successful ecommerce website.
Besides, Amazon’s in-depth review, comprehensive product description and widespread confirmation emails tells us that in the end, shoppers want an online store that offers exactly what they need.
Lesson Learnt: No matter how fancy your website is, it’s the products and customer experience that will get people landing – and staying on your pages.
Walmart: Emphasise On New Offers Or Deals
Putting the spotlight on new deals or offers every day can help you add that zing to your website’s homepage. Not only does it provoke the shoppers to buy, it also feeds their inquisitive nature. Once your shoppers are hooked, eventually it becomes a routine for them to come and check out the latest offers. So many of us love to procrastinate, after all!
Speaking of this approach, “Value of the day’ is Walmart’s first option on the left-hand side navigation bar.
Lesson Learnt: It’s all about simple coding. You don’t need any additional resources just yet and it’s better to take it slow, instead of jumping in way too deep. The real commitment is to offer a new deal every day so that potential customers know that you mean business.
Apple: Create A Brand Oriented Ecommerce Website
Attention to detail and extraordinary design is what Apple so in demand across the glove. And Apple customers are indeed very lucky as this care is not restricted to just Apple Watches and iPhones, either.
A sleek aesthetic and streamlined design is what is showcased throughout Apple’s minimalistic website, which ultimately drives home its comprehensive brand ethics, which then results in increased customer loyalty. It’s what they do best and guess what? It works!
Need more evidence that they truly invest in every single detail of their user’s experience? Go check out their ‘human interface guidelines’. Although the guidelines might be dealing with designing their products, it ultimately echoes the qualities shown on their online store, too.
As it is you cannot sell products online without having a digital platform, so you might as well ensure they match.
The user interface design by Apple highlights its constant look and feel brand-wide, giving users entire control over their shopping experience; all of which is displayed on its website. Not only do the products appear in grids, but they also have interactive infographics and demo videos allowing customers to contrast, evaluate and of course, control their overall experience.
Apart from that, Apple’s brand consistency, from their products to ecommerce website, has helped them skyrocket their sales!
Lesson Learnt: Put your brand book to use. Apply the same design strategies for your website as you do for every product in order to drive more user experience and boost brand loyalty.
eBay: Deliver The Right Message Using Geo-Targeting
Geo-targeting basically means to deliver a message to a specific user on the basis of their IP address.
Say for instance, you’re looking for specific pair of headphone on eBay and it tells you that the product might not be shipped to your country. Now, that is what we call ‘smart use of geo-targeting’.
Lesson Learnt: There are countless Geo IP databases available out there, which you can incorporate in a web application with complete ease. These databases come with free versions, as well as paid ones.
It’s worth remembering though that the free ones might vary in accuracy. However, if you’re using visual website optimiser, you need not purchase a database, as you have the freedom to divide the visitors based on their location.
To sum it up, a handful of large-scale businesses are sitting on top of the ecommerce tree. When you put in your time and effort to explore the way they operate, you understand that all of it has not happened just by chance.
The secret to their success is rooted in a systematic approach to doing the simplest things brilliantly. They always place their customers at the heart of their business plan and make use of technologies that deliver an experience worth remembering.
Of course, these top-notch companies have an insane amount of resources, which are beyond the reach of many businesses.
But what puts them in the position they are right now is within reach, which basically includes a patient attitude, smart decision making skills and sincere dedication to deliver an incredible ecommerce user experience.