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15 E-Commerce Tips for Small Business Success

6 Mins read

To help small businesses thrive in the e-commerce landscape, we asked CEOs, Founders, and other industry leaders for their top tips. From prioritizing exceptional customer service to simplifying the checkout process, here are the fifteen invaluable insights they shared.

Prioritize Exceptional Customer Service

In today’s digital age, where competition is fierce and customers have numerous options at their fingertips, providing a top-notch customer experience is crucial. By focusing on delivering exceptional service, promptly addressing customer inquiries and concerns, and going the extra mile to exceed expectations, my business has been able to build a loyal customer base and foster positive word-of-mouth recommendations. 

Additionally, personalized communication, quick response times, and a user-friendly website interface have played vital roles in enhancing the overall customer experience. Investing in customer service not only cultivates customer loyalty but also leads to increased customer satisfaction, repeat business, and ultimately, sustainable growth for the small business.

Sanket Shah, CEO, InVideo

Leverage Calls to Action

The strategy is called “All Roads Lead to Conversions.” CTAs—loud, orange buttons mostly—are utilized to encourage potential clients to connect. These are friendly, “Work with us,” but noticeable, engaging, and noninvasive.

CTAs are kept in the banner, header, and in multiple spots along the landing pages. A complete contact form is also maintained at the bottom of the landing page, which might still be seen by leads scrolling without clicking anything at all.

The presence of these various channels leading back to the contact form is crucial. The aim is to build an email list, to attract new clients with case studies and track records, so finding that balance of accessibility without being too intrusive is the real challenge.

Kevin Miller, Founder, kevinmiller.com

Offer Free Shipping, Gradually Raise Prices

The most effective method we found to increase sales on our e-commerce store was to gradually raise our prices and provide free shipping. Additionally, including a handling fee to balance packaging costs can also contribute to business success. There are many ways we’ve succeeded in business, but these two tactics have proven successful for us.

Tammy Sons, CEO, TN Nursery

Optimize Website for Mobile Usage

One critical e-commerce tip that has helped our small business thrive in the digital marketplace is optimizing our website for mobile usage. With the rise of smartphone shopping, we recognized early on that a significant portion of our potential customers would be accessing our site through their mobile devices. We understood that a seamless, user-friendly mobile interface wasn’t just a luxury, but an essential part of our e-commerce strategy.

We invested in creating a mobile-responsive website that maintained all the functionality of our desktop site but was designed to provide a superior experience on a smaller screen. This involved easy navigation, faster loading times, and simple, secure checkout processes. Our commitment to mobile optimization has led to a notable increase in our conversion rates and customer satisfaction, and we consider it a key factor in our e-commerce success.

Curran Van Waarde, Founder, CallScaler

Implement the Shipping Ninja Technique

Introducing the “Shipping Ninja Technique”—your secret weapon to conquer the online marketplace. 

Listen to this: a whopping 79% of customers prioritize fast shipping. So, we tapped into our inner ninja and sliced through delivery times like a samurai through watermelons. By partnering with a lightning-fast shipping service, we slashed delivery times by an astonishing 50%. 

But hold on, there’s more! We took the customer experience to the next level by adding personalized thank-you notes and surprise goodies with every order. It’s like sprinkling confetti on a birthday cake! 

Fellow e-commerce warriors, it’s time to embrace the Shipping Ninja Technique. With swift shipping and delightful surprises, you’ll gain loyal customers quicker than a hummingbird’s wing flap. Prepare to conquer the online realm, one package at a time.

Himanshu Sharma, CEO and Founder, Academy of Digital Marketing

Enhance Product Descriptions and Visuals

Having long, detailed, and unique product descriptions with exceptional images and at least one video is the key to steady sales and constant growth.

Firstly, they contribute to higher search engine rankings, increasing visibility and attracting organic traffic. Detailed descriptions lead to high conversion rates. Comprehensive information enhances the user experience, reduces buyer risk, and builds trust. Clear, exceptional images and videos minimize the chances of product returns due to mismatched expectations. 

Lastly, visually appealing content encourages social sharing and engagement, amplifying brand reach and generating organic marketing.

Irina Poddubnaia, CEO, Founder, TrackMage

Create a Virtual Sample Room

A “virtual sample room” for vendors has been integral to the success of my small e-commerce business. This online repository allows manufacturers to upload detailed images and product information, enabling customers to view quick demos of products before ordering. 

The virtual display instills confidence in potential buyers about their purchasing decisions, leading to increased sales. It also reduces the cost of leading live demonstrations, making it an uncommon but effective way to find success through e-commerce.

Carly Hill, Operations Manager, Virtual Holiday Party

Invest in High-Quality Product Images

In an online retail store, customers cannot physically touch or try on products. Therefore, it is essential to display products using engaging visuals that capture customers’ imaginations. High-quality product images enhance our website’s overall appearance and feel, and give potential buyers an accurate representation of what to expect when placing orders with us.

Nikhil Jogia, Managing Director, Jogia Diamonds

Filter Your Email Subscriber List

Many e-commerce businesses try to build their email subscriber list, but we found that to truly make them a powerful tool to help us succeed, we needed to filter them. It may seem counterintuitive, but simply having as many people on your email list as possible can actually hurt your marketing efforts. Instead of being able to focus your messaging, it needs to be watered down to accommodate inactive or miscategorized customers.

By segmenting your email subscriber list through the removal of inactive subscribers and categorizing others by interest or purchasing behaviors, you can better tailor your messaging to have its greatest impact. In filtering your email subscriber list, you can help your small e-commerce business succeed by putting your marketing efforts into hyperdrive rather than sending out watered-down promotions that will fall flat with most of your customer base.

Cody Candee, CEO, Bounce

Call Abandoned-Cart Customers

I’ve noticed that when I abandon my cart, most stores will just send a generic email that goes straight to my spam folder. 

This is why I recommend calling abandoned-cart buyers. It’s more personal than an email and allows you to build trust. This tactic works better the more expensive and niche your product is. 

A few days ago, I was buying earphones online. However, the WiFi cut out, and I forgot about it. A couple of minutes later, a friendly agent called me, offering me a discount code, and she was willing to answer all my questions about the earphones. 

This is what will make your brand stand out to customers.

Scott Lieberman, Owner, Touchdown Money

Target Products in Older Niches

Before joining SmashBrand, I operated and then sold a fitness e-commerce website. By targeting products in older niches, I identified opportunities to outrank many of the top e-commerce sites for these products. 

While they may not be as popular as the latest and greatest gadgets, many of these products had a search volume of 500-1000 per month. After just six months, we were holding the top spot for multiple products that drove a significant amount of leads to the business.

Jason Vaught, Director of Content, SmashBrand

Engage Customers with Storytelling

In the vast realm of digital commerce, storytelling serves as a powerful tool to captivate and engage customers. By crafting a compelling brand narrative and incorporating it into your product descriptions, blog posts, and social media content, you can establish a genuine connection with your target audience. Painting a vivid picture of your brand’s values, mission, and vision helps customers not only understand what you offer but also why they should choose your products or services.

The beauty of storytelling lies in its ability to foster an emotional bond with potential buyers. Instead of bombarding them with mundane product features, concentrate on the emotional benefits and transformations your offerings can bring about. This resonates deeply with consumers, as it taps into their desires, aspirations, and pain points. 

My small e-commerce venture experienced a substantial upswing. Customers became more than just buyers; they transformed into brand advocates.

Tristan Harris, Demand Generation Senior Marketing Manager, Thrive Digital Marketing Agency

Produce Unique, Engaging Content

The concept of creating unique content has been one of the most valuable e-commerce tips that have undeniably made my small business successful. By consistently churning out engaging and unparalleled content, we have solidified our position in the market and captivated potential customers’ attention with an irresistible allure. 

This approach, undoubtedly tried and tested, has yielded remarkable results, catapulting our business to new heights and setting a shining example for others. Through an unwavering commitment to crafting content that leaves a lasting impression, we continue to unlock doors to greater growth and prosperity.

Saneem Ahearn, VP of Marketing, Colorescience

Utilize Pinterest’s Rich Pins Feature

Rich Pins allow entrepreneurs to attach more information to their pins, like product prices and availability. This visually appealing feature adds credibility to a pin and makes it easier for potential customers to purchase the product displayed in the pin. It helps increase conversions by providing users with all relevant details without leaving the platform. 

The result is enhanced visibility of products, increased website traffic, and ultimately higher conversion rates.

Amy Ling Lin, CEO, nailsalon.nyc

Simplify Your Checkout Process

A lengthy or perplexing checkout procedure might result in cart abandonment and missed sales. In my opinion, the checkout process should be as simple as possible, with fewer stages and form fields. Provide guest checkout options to reduce friction for first-time clients. 

Additionally, implement alternative payment choices to accommodate different tastes and create a unified experience.

Edward Mellett, Co-Founder, TestHQ

Brett Farmiloe is the founder of Featured, a Q&A platform that connects brands with expert insights.

E-commerce stock image by RossiAgung/Shutterstock

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