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Ways to improve your e-commerce catalog

June 1, 2015

If you maintain an online e-commerce catalog, there are several ways that you can improve performance and grow your business.

If you maintain an online e-commerce catalog, there are several ways that you can improve performance and grow your business.

Did you know that site visitors do not have a lot of patience? According to Internet Retailer, if a page takes more than three seconds to load, 40 percent of visitors will leave the site. That is not a lot of time to either capture or lose prospective business. To demonstrate the importance of page load speed, consider the example of Mozilla. The company increased their page load speed by 2.2 seconds and saw a 15.4 percent increase in downloads, which resulted in an additional 10.28 million downloads annually. Not bad! However, there are many other important considerations when trying to optimize your ecommerce catalog.

“Inspiring visual content helps keep visitors engaged and entertained.”

Make your site as pretty and functional as possible
Good page design and layout is essential if you are trying to captivate your visitors. It goes without saying that the site should be mobile friendly. In addition to being aesthetically pleasing, the pages should also draw attention to products and services. Fourth Source advised that in this regard, simplicity is key. A user-friendly layout wins out over jumping banners and a rainbow colored backdrop. Use white space to create a clean look and keep information neatly organized. Clutter is annoying in a home or office and it’s distracting online as well.

Fourth Source also recommended making your site easy to navigate and having a button for ‘Add to Basket’ always in sight. However, just because simplicity is emphasized in navigation and design, that does not mean you can’t use high-resolution pictures and original photography to keep things interesting. Inspiring visual content helps keep visitors engaged and entertained, which goes a long way. 

Perhaps most importantly, you need to have good product descriptions. Descriptive product titles, concise and persuasive copy and fundamentals such as price, availability, customer rating, size, color and delivery options make it easier for consumers to buy from you. Ratings and reviews can increase product conversion by 74 percent noted the news source. These are all things you should work to ensure that your e-commerce catalog is as effective as possible at luring customers to buy from you. 

Know your market, know your consumer
Maybe your are reading this article, but you have not yet launched your e-commerce catalog. Entrepreneur advised companies not to rush the launch. It is exciting to think about unveiling your creation to the public, but taking the time to study your market is a good idea. It is helpful to think about the customer experience. Customers like to learn and experience products before they decide to buy. If your site is not optimized to deliver this experience, you may lose out on some valuable business early on. What you do today, determines what tomorrow will look like. Plan intelligently now and reap the benefits later. 

Make sure you engage customers with pictures and informative product descriptions. When designing your site, keep it simple.

Before you launch, you should test everything out, including the back end of your sales and inventory platforms. Additionally, you should make sure you have proper analytics tools in place so you can hit the ground running. Many organizations use customer information and sales data to make important decisions going forward. Social media companies use data analysis to shape their targeted advertising campaigns. You can do that, and more! You can feature your business on sites like Facebook and Instagram to gain visibility with consumers. Social media can give you a direct view into the lives of potential customers and an understanding of their interests and leanings.

A modern company should keep current on technology, trends and changing consumer preferences. Knowing these things can also help you shape your SEO strategy as well. Fourth Source pointed out that you should always have cross-selling and upselling in mind.  Offering customers complementary products and the opportunity to purchase add-ons, extra features and upgrades will allow you to sell more. This is accomplished through smart and effective planning of your e-commerce catalog.

Ultimately, e-commerce continues to grow in popularity because it is efficient, reliable, convenient and has the power of reaching millions of people with a single point of sale. Make the most out of this medium and you will be impressed with the results.    

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