Are you ready for the e-commerce tidal wave? Forrester research predicts that Canadians will spend $39 billion online by 2019, representing 9.5 per cent of all retail purchases in Canada. And while 62% of those consumers prefer shopping at Canadian businesses, over 40 per cent of small businesses still don’t have websites — keeping them off the radar of savvy shoppers.
Sixty-three per cent of Canadians think that websites make a business look more credible and 26 per cent don’t trust a business that doesn’t have one. Are you still in that category? Now’s the time to create an e-commerce site to capture this audience and give your business a boost.
Create your e-commerce site.
Creating an online store used to be a task for highly technical web developers. Now, thanks to apps such as Weebly, Woo Commerce, Wix, Big Commerce and Ecwid, you can quickly build an online store that can be easily integrated with Square.
Customize your experience.
You can also customize your e-commerce site to work for your business, using Square application programming interfaces (APIs). Square payment APIs offer sellers and developers a simple and elegant way to integrate Square’s payment system into their websites and point-of-sale apps. Check out this guide for more information about using APIs.
Optimize an existing website.
If you already have a website you can optimize it to make more online sales. A U.S. study found that around 68 per cent of online shopping carts are abandoned before users place an order. Here are a few ways you can close the deal on those sales:
- Make sure your website is mobile optimized so you’re not losing out. Given that instant gratification is now the norm, it’s not surprising that online consumers are often impatient. That’s why it’s important to invest in a speedy e-commerce platform that you can trust not to have outages.
- In addition to being fast and reliable, your e-commerce site needs to be easy for your customers to navigate. If it’s confusing or clunky, people bounce. Go through the process of making a purchase as if you were a customer, noting any sticky spots that may cause frustration.
- You can also look at Google Analytics to determine where customers are dropping off the most. This helps you figure out what changes you need to make to increase your conversions (i.e., make more sales).
Be transparent and trustworthy.
People aren’t going to complete their purchase if they have even the slightest suspicion that the payment process isn’t 100 per cent secure. Make sure you display trusted credit card logos during checkout — the U.S. study above reports that 80 per cent of customers report feeling safer when sites do this. The ability to accept a variety of payment methods is also key here. Forty-two per cent of shoppers will actually spend more on your site if they have a variety of payment options.
It also pays to be completely upfront with your shipping costs and delivery times before customers start to check out. A Baynard Institute study claims that 61 per cent of customers drop off after seeing prices, including shipping, that are higher than they expected. An easy way to solve for this is to include a shipping calculator on the product page or early on in the checkout process to provide full transparency.
* Sell More with These Easy E-Commerce Integrations
* Seven Ways Technology Can Help Your Business Grow This Year
* What is Two-Factor Authentication? And How Does It Help Secure Your Business?