Mobile traffic to eCommerce sites is rising. Image Credit: Expert Beacon
Mobile traffic to eCommerce sites is rising. Image Credit: Expert Beacon

Launching a new e-commerce venture can feel like an impossible climb when stacked against Amazon or Wal Mart, but more and more small businesses are looking to sell goods online. Business Insider cites an uncertain tax climate as one reason. They say that businesses are concerned about the costs of imports, and e-commerce is a low overhead operation that would allow for competitive selling.

The key to success for these ventures involves the right tools. Improving the sales process, automating e-commerce product recommendations to upsell, efficient payment processing and logistics are all key in developing your e-commerce business into a lasting venture.

Generating Traffic and Leads
There are a variety of mechanism you can use to generate traffic, from major services like Google AdWords or Facebook and Twitter ads.These services charge per page view, or per click, so you’re paying only when someone sees your ad and acts on it. This can have value, with analytics to track customer behavior, as you can see whether your product page is attracting customers or turning people off.

Affiliate marketing is another method for gaining additional leads, but it involves some networking. A network like PeerFly would need to host your deal so others can market it for you. Using affiliates, you can save dramatically on advertising costs and improve branding. Set firm guidelines about how your ads can be used, and interact with affiliates frequently if you want to see long term success.

Improving Conversion Rates
Improving conversion rates involves many aspects. You want customers to find more engagement on the page, so they stay onsite longer, and you also want more clicks on relevant products. Keyword association in your ads can play a big role there. There’s a term for this, known as “search-to-ad”, which means that the user’s query corresponds with the text in the ad. If the user is searching for brown shoes, and the add has blue pants, that’s a disconnect that is unlikely to lead to conversions.

Another method to improve conversions is to do what Amazon and other retailers do: list related products users bought or searched for on the same page as the product the user wants to buy. If the product was a television, for instance, selling cables for that TV would be a great example of how to improve conversions through related products.

Excellent Payment Processing
The best payment processing lets the user pay anyway she wants, while providing efficient transaction processing. If you’re in the market for a payment processor, then it helps to look for interchange pricing models that charge based on the type of card the user is swiping. Vendors don’t pay a flat fee for each transaction they process, which can save thousands for even moderately sized retailers.

Don’t undercut the value of third parties like PayPal either. PayPal is one of the most trusted names in payment processing, and adding their button to your site can help provide clients with a bit of peace of mind that they’re placing an order with someone reputable. Also, some countries value digital wallets more than cash or the traditional bank. Offering some flexibility in payment processing opens your market globally.

Final Thoughts
If users can find the products they are searching for on your site, through your ads, then the only missing component is onsite content. Well-written product descriptions that point out benefits and use cases only enhance our buying habits.