How to Stand Out from the Competition
Every day, more and more e-commerce businesses are born as online shopping trends continue to rise. As a result of COVID-19, many brick and mortar stores have been forced into expanding their online presence with some offering e-commerce solutions to their customers too. With competition so rife, it’s important to take steps to make sure you stand out. Follow these steps to make you have the edge over your competitors.
Invest in a fast-loading website
Did you know that 40% of people will abandon a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load? A speedy website is key to a good user experience and keeping your customers on your website until checkout is complete. There are a number of things you can do to ensure a fast-loading site, which include having a bespoke design and smaller images. See our full guide to improving your website speed here.
Offer multiple payment options
Imagine a customer that swears by PayPal and is considering a purchase from your website or a competitor. By offering their preferred (and trusted!) payment method, you’re very likely to gain points in your favour. The more payment options you offer, the more accommodating you are to your customers, which can never be used against you.
Secure your website
In the e-commerce industry, this should go without saying, but you may be surprised how many other websites still don’t have a https secure connection. Build trust by getting a secure connection and SSL certificate – you won’t get orders without it.
Optimise for mobile
According to one study, in 2019, 53% of e-commerce sales took place on a mobile. It should go without saying now, that your e-commerce site should be focused on a mobile user experience, with consideration for how visitors will use their screens. Our guide on creating a seamless mobile experience has more detailed information on how to optimise for mobile.
Offer related products
Including a list of related products at the bottom of your product pages will help to increase sales and average order value. With this additional sales opportunity in place, people may see something they’re more compelled to buy or add it to the basket to complete a set. Amazon, one of the world’s most successful e-commerce sites, has invested in an accurate recommendation system that includes marketing emails with products related to recent website activity.
Present clear & transparent pricing
State the full price you expect the customer to pay. No one likes hidden surprises later in the checkout process. Shipping costs are the most likely culprit of abandoned carts.
If you sell a product that is modular or has multiple versions, make sure you include these or let the customer know where the prices start from.
Perfect your about page
To stand out from your competition with maximum impact, you need to work on your About page. This is where you explicitly state what your business stands for and what makes it different from everyone else. Here, you can literally tell people why you stand out. Tell your story in a unique or creative way and you’ll be surprised how well it works for you! We’ve written a full guide to writing an about page here.
Be present on social media
Your customers aren’t always going to come to you. Sometimes you need to go to them. And chances are the majority of them are on social media already! Social media is another opportunity to show people who you are and why you stand out on a regular basis. Make sure you pick the right platform for your customers. Facebook is popular with older generations, whilst the young prefer newer channels such as Snapchat and Tik Tok.
Recover abandoned shopping carts
It’s the brick and mortar version of running after your customer down the street, but in e-commerce, it’s a perfectly acceptable practice to try and win back customers. However, not all e-commerce businesses have a solid cart abandonment strategy. For further reading, see our blog on how to win back abandoned shopping carts.
Add product reviews
Nothing sells your products better than your own customers. If you give customers the space on your page to review the product, people will read them and trust what they say. See here for more information on how product reviews can impact your business.
Consistent and interesting branding
Your branding is the persona of your business that you present to people – it’s how people see you. By creating something interesting, funny, quirky or professional, you’re more likely to attract customers. We’re not just talking about a snazzy logo, we mean the voice of your brand, the fonts and colours it uses – the full package. See here on how to create your own brand guidelines and stand out from the competition.
Research your competitors
Actioning all of the points on this list doesn’t mean you’re done. You should always be researching what your competitors are doing and what other e-commerce businesses are doing. Understand what they’re doing badly and what they’re doing well, then use it to inform your future strategy to make sure you’re always one step ahead.