5 crucial points to get your online store ready for 2014

With 2013 coming to an end, it is best to see how you can better your online store in 2014

With 2013 coming to an end, it is best to see how you can better your online store in 2014 by looking at the past years growing Ecommerce trends.

Here are some suggestions on how you can improve your store’s shopping experience and generate more sales in the coming year.

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Adapt to mobile
Mobile sales saw an all-time high this year. This last Cyber-Monday saw sales generated from smartphones and tablets reach 17.2%. Beyond sales figures, phone and tablets were heavily used for product research and all traffic generated from mobile devices reached 31.2%.

If your store does not offer any mobile solution, 2014 should be the year you make it happen. Creating a mobile version of your site, or adapting your site for mobile use with a responsive webpage can help with converting more mobile window shoppers into buyers.

Needless to say, your available payment methods should definitely reflect the change and mobile designed payment methods should be offered.

Increasing site performance
Having a faster site can contribute to more sales in a number of ways.
First off, it can help with SEO. Google’s Hummingbird algorithm for example also looks at site performance when generating its results. Higher conversion rates are also a great attribute of a faster site. Amazon reported that an additional 100 milliseconds on page load times can result in decreased conversion rates of up to 1%.

Check with your hosting service or IT department on how you can better your store’s web performance in 2014.

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Improve your shipping options
Shipping timeframes are becoming more and more important to shoppers. Bigger firms like Amazon and eBay are offering same or next day shipping, and the ability to keep up with them can help with shopping cart abandonment due to inadequate shipping options. Free or 2 day shipping is suggested to increase conversion.

In a survey on shopping cart abandonment held by comScore, the leading reason for shoppers to abandon their carts was shipping. Here are what customers want when it comes to shipping options:
– 73% of shoppers want options for free shipping.
– 60% of shoppers want to see the estimated dates of arrival.
– 38% would like the option to order via expedited shipping.

Login and accounts
In the comScore survey mentioned above, 50% of shoppers stated they would like the option of an account to save shipping and payment details and be able to view a purchase history.

If your site does not already have a member login, you should implement it. Social login options, Like “Sign in with Facebook” are simple to integrate and allow for a faster signup process. It also helps with promotions by having users who signed up through a social network follow your social page.

Offer more Customer support channels
Even though Ecommerce sales are growing, customers still have a need to converse with the merchant swiftly and directly. Trends like showrooming and local pickup show how some customers still ache for human contact before making a decision on a purchase.

Integrating real time communication tools like live-chat can help with answering your customer’s concerns and questions in a timely manner and have them complete the purchase as fast as possible. Being able to assist customers over the phone is also a great support channel, and gives the customer a sense of security to complete the purchase.


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