On this blog, one of our goal is to help you crack the code of building a profitable eCommerce website.
Which is why we love when experts like Catalin Zorzini, or entrepreneurs trying to make a dent online like Steve Finder take the time to bring some eCommerce insights for you.
A couple of years ago, Catalin was struggling to find which is the best eCommerce platform for one of his project. So he launched a blog where he reviews eCommerce software and website builders on a daily basis.
It's called eCommerce Platforms.
His latest project is eComm.design and it features a curated list of the most beautiful eCommerce websites and the tools they are using to grow.
In this post, Catalin shares with us:
- One eCommerce strategy you should focus on
- One book you should read
- One tool or app you should try
- One eCommerce trend to watch out
- One eCommerce mistake to avoid
- One eCommerce expert to follow
You can follow Catalin on Twitter here.
One eCommerce Strategy To Focus On
The one strategy to focus on is to optimize your sales funnels before launch and throughout the lifespan of your ecommerce site.
The whole point of running an online store is to make money (right?!), and the smartest eCommerce professionals make sure they know exactly how much money is coming in and how it’s happening.
It’s essential to track and measure every transaction, otherwise you’ll end up sitting around wondering why you did or didn’t make any money six months from now.
When I say working on your funnels I mean spending time honing the effectiveness of each step in the buying process.
For example, most beginners are all about getting new customers or email signups. Customer acquisition is obviously important, but that’s not where your optimization ends.
Increasing shop conversion rates often gets neglected, and once you get customers they are always going to be far more important than the new or potential ones. Therefore, you should spend a bit more time making your existing customers feel good about your company.
One Book to Read
There are so many to choose from, but I’d have to land on the book called:
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World.
Why would I select a social media book over all of those wonderful ecommerce options?
Mainly because social media could boost your sales so much, yet very few online shopping sites do very well with it.
Most webmasters don’t realize that regular marketing doesn’t work on social media, but the ability to brand your shop and tell a beautiful story isn’t far out of reach.
Therefore, Gary Vaynerchuk suggests that about 90% of the time you turn your social platforms into fun interactions with your fans. Then you’ll have a few chances after that to throw your sales pitches around - but only after you’ve built trust with customers.
I also enjoy the book because it covers all of the primary social networks with pictures and real world examples that you could easily screenshot or make copies of and implement them for your own brand.
One Tool or App I can’t live without
I’m not a professional graphic designer, yet ecommerce and blogging requires lots of attention to design and media. Therefore Canva serves me rather well.
You can find some of my other favorite ecommerce tools and resources here, but Canva is one of those incredible solutions that can make you look far more professional than you actually are.
The platform provides templates for things like blog post featured images, product imagery, presentations, ads and social media photos.
Many of the icons, fonts, stock images and designs are completely free, and the results look like you cooked up something in Photoshop when you actually spent just a few minutes with a simple template.
I also can’t express the importance of AWeber or MailChimp when getting started with an online store. No one wants to spend much time on email newsletters, but it’s a task that’s going to take up a significant amount of your time.
Even if you hire someone to build the emails for you, it’s important to understand the basic layouts and how to collect more emails on your website. Both these tools can turn you into a professional designer without any training.
They have beautiful templates that you can merge with your own branding strategy, and their stats are pretty remarkable.
One eCommerce Prediction or Trend
One trend I wholeheartedly believe in is the fact that multichannel shopping may make or break your business.
Selling on places like Amazon, Etsy, eBay and ThemeForest may have seemed like a way to diminish your brand in the past, but that’s not exactly the case anymore.
These are established marketplaces that aren't going anywhere, and eCommerce stores are making tons of money by building up their own customer bases in the marketplaces.
You still have the ability to provide customer service, sneak in some branding and generate beautiful online stores.
In addition, most ecommerce platforms like Shopify and Bigcommerce offer integration with marketplaces to push your product lines to these big communities.
Think about it this way: Most customers aren’t going to spend most of their time on your website. In fact, they only go over there if they see a promotion or a link from another site like Facebook or Etsy.
However, users spend tons of time on Amazon and eBay, so there’s no reason not to expand to these outlets to bring in more money for your company.
One eCommerce Mistake to Avoid
Ecommerce mistakes like complex checkouts and forcing users to register may be considered no-brainers nowadays, so I’d go with sub-par product descriptions.
The best ecommerce stores get really creative with their product descriptions, to the point where they are telling full-fledged stories that are so intriguing the customers almost feel like they have to buy.
Quality product pages are turning into individual landing pages, where you can find tutorial videos, incredible picture galleries, fun descriptions, sizing charts, technical details and much more.
If you stick with a simple paragraph from the manufacturer or a bland description written by a freelance writer, you’re not going to make people feel inspired.
One eCommerce Expert / Entrepreneur to Follow
Over To You
Who should we interview next? Head over to our Twitter and let us know #eComExpert 👊
Thanks Catalin for your precious insights, and thanks for reading.