The e-commerce industry, although it may seem simple, is a rather complicated way to earn money. There are many things to consider when running a business in this industry. Assortment management, shipping costs, dealing with fraud, sales tax, customer acquisition and retention - the list goes on.
Bad e-commerce practices, such as complex payments or poor fraud management that blocks real customers, can easily sneak into processes and ruin a long and arduously earned reputation. Therefore, it is important to perform regular diagnostics to detect these errors. Without preventive measures, they can be harmful to business and image. We will present tips that can help you keep profit in your company and eliminate the factors that kill e-commerce sales.
Find areas that slow down shopping
Buyers want to shop online seamlessly, especially when using mobile devices. Over 60% of all e-commerce store visitors come from mobile devices, but mobile phones are still responsible for only 28% of finalized sales. This vulnerability persists because of imperfections in the use of mobile sites. What areas can be the most problematic and how can you improve them?
Keep up to date with the diagnostics of your website or application. Constantly test your e-commerce site to keep up with consumer tastes. Measure key performance indicators, including Revenue Per User (RPV), Product Detail Page Display Index (PDP), and Cart Abandonment Rate. Do not forget that the behavior of buyers varies depending on the type of device. So split the tests into separate ones for mobile devices and for stationary devices.
First of all, pay attention to the transaction finalization process. If the transaction is complicated, it will delay the buyer. Small changes, such as simplifying the basket header, automatically filling in the zip code field or collapsing the coupon field can have a big impact on conversion rates and revenue per user.
Consider, do you offer enough payment alternatives to satisfy every customer? For example, establishing a cooperation with a payment intermediary, which includes options such as Blik, PayPal or instant transfers. This will ensure higher conversion rates and build customer loyalty.
Flexibility in e-commerce
Look at the availability of your site for mobile devices. Make sure your website is responsive and can be adapted to a wide range of screen sizes, but above all to mobile device screens. Create a more compact graphic design to reduce the need for scrolling and provide better customer service.
Start thinking openly and create shopping opportunities without logging in. Remove unnecessary entry barriers, such as login walls. The cash register for guests eliminates customer distances and does not force them to waste time creating unnecessary accounts. It may not be a customer who will immediately become loyal, but this possibility may encourage them to finalize shopping with you instead of the competition.
Automate billing management
Incompatibility of sales settlements can really hit the profits. Sellers are required to carry out an inventory every year and a summary of earnings. There are a few things you should check to discover signs of bad tax management in your business.
Do you sell products or services that vary from country to country by tax law? To achieve full compliance with sales taxes, sellers should determine whether their products or services are subject to sales tax. They should also register activities with the appropriate PKD in order to legalize their activities. You can later configure sales tax calculations in baskets and online stores, and then create automatic reports. This will make it easier to submit tax returns on time.
Save time by automation
Pay attention to how much time you devote to dealing with everything, not selling. Tax preparation is a huge time burden for many enterprises, especially for enterprises with limited resources at an early stage of development. Automated tax settlements can simplify the reporting and archiving process.
Many salespeople use external accounting services to settle taxes. While these experts can help ensure merchant compliance and timely filing, they also cost companies a lot of salary or additional fees. Automated tax solutions can do the work of these experts without the need for additional help.
Fighting the cheater
There is an area that no seller takes into account and postpones refining it for later. This is a threat from fraudsters. However, long manual reviews are very time consuming and traditional technology solutions are a problem because they often block legitimate customers. This way e-commerce stores lose over 330 billion dollars a year (Merchant Fraud Journal, False declines may be costing your business more than you realize). What to do to minimize the risk?
You need to focus primarily on the current order approval rate and how quickly orders are approved. E-commerce sellers should have an order approval rate of at least 90%, and approval, I don't need to add, should be as fast as possible.
Another problem is the number of transactions lost due to false rejections for honest customer purchases. False rejections represent the lion's share of the total lost earnings for online sellers, and two-thirds of buyers would stop buying from a buyer if they were falsely denied an order.
Simplification of the payment process
Complicated transaction processes account for almost 39% of cart abandonments in the United States. The basis for handling transactions is the payment provider. However, what should you pay attention to to check if the payment is inefficient and requires refinement?
You don't have to worry about the payment being finalized. There are third parties that offer sellers comfort through a guaranteed payment without having to constantly monitor payments. That's not all - they also automate the whole process. The customer should not perform many activities during the implementation of the basket. Automated payment processing simplifies the entire process and helps reduce cart abandonment, enabling buyers to quickly buy regardless of the device they use.
Eighty percent of buyers are motivated to shop in a company if it has an easy-to-use website and quick checkout process. Cash registers that seem uncertain or require a lot of manual work on the consumer's side usually result in a large abandonment of shopping carts in the e-commerce industry.
You should also consider how securely purchases on your site are. Most payment gateways authorize, capture and settle transactions. However, to help your business grow, you should consider additional options that will help you increase sales processing efficiency and create better and safer shopping for your customers.
Flexible or installment payment
Unfortunately, sometimes, despite all efforts and refinement of all other elements, there is still an aspect that will eventually scare the customer away for good. This is obviously too high a price. However, by offering a flexible payment solution over time, sellers can build consumer confidence, increase their satisfaction and improve their conversion rate.
To better understand your customers' needs, you need to check how often they ask about alternative payment methods. Millennium buyers and the Z generation want transparent payment solutions that give them full control over their expenses. Sellers who use financing as part of their retail strategy are seeing a 32% increase in sales and a 75% increase in average order value (Forbes.com: Should Your business offer point of sale financing).
This is not the only advantage of paying in installments. It may turn out that financing-oriented marketing in your industry is profitable. The use of alternative order processing methods in social media campaigns, email newsletters can increase the return on advertising (ROAS) by up to 70% (affirm.com).
Another element encouraging shopping will be the use of applications designed for mobile payments. Alternative payment methods, such as Google Pay, help ensure trouble-free shopping on your mobile phone, without redirections, account registration, interest and delays, and credit checks.
Appropriate international development strategy
A wrong approach to international expansion can limit your profits. High delivery costs are one problem, and abandoning your shopping cart due to unexpected shipping costs is another problem. Another problem is how international customers want to pay for goods or services. Specific countries have local nuances and preferences that require thoughtful planning to succeed in cross-border e-commerce.
If you plan to ship your products abroad, you'll need to expand your payment options accordingly. A study in 36 countries has shown that at least 140 online payment methods are currently used (Worldpay Global Payments Report). Adapting payment methods and currencies to consumer preferences in local markets can expand global reach, improve reputation and increase profits.
Sometimes, to convince a customer to your e-commerce site, all you have to do is provide him the payment options he knows. Then it will be easier for the customer to trust and decide to finalize the transaction. The easier and more familiar the payment method, the more likely a conversion will be. For example, Alipay and WeChat are a common payment method in Asia, while SEPA and Sofort are popular in Europe.
Transfer of business abroad
If your cooperation with a specific country is advanced, maybe you might want to consider moving some of your business there? Legal entity options, associated costs, restrictions and time to establishment will vary by country. Therefore, it is recommended to consult an expert familiar with the tax regulations of the destination country to determine the optimal type of entity for the given situation.
The last but equally important thing is compliance with foreign legal regulations. International rules on protecting consumers against fraud vary from country to country. The new European regulatory requirement called Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) protects sellers and their consumers from fraud by requiring additional authentication during the payment process for most online transactions.
Multi-channel sales development
Consumer expectations for smooth, personalized and multi-channel shopping are high. Despite this, however, the latest report found that only 27.5% of all US sellers offer online purchase and pickup options in the store. What can you do to improve omnichannel sales?
You should know your customers well, their behavior and needs. The customer profile should include the purchase history not only online but also in stationary stores. As a result, you will get a holistic picture of your buyers and create for them truly personalized omnichannel purchases.
You will not win the trust and loyalty of customers by promise alone. All channels should synchronize and co-exist in symbiosis. Inaccurate data, limited range and slow replenishment are the biggest challenges when it comes to omnichannel operations. A good management system is crucial for the effective handling of the assortment and preparation for online purchases and in stationary stores, especially in the season.
Another thing to consider is the consolidation of all payment service providers. When choosing the right services, think about how you run your business and what channels you have. Once all your channels are unified for payment and POS., You'll get a comprehensive and data-driven picture of how your customers are doing.
As you can see, most of the factors that have a negative impact on sales in your e-commerce business are related to payments. If you bring the payment process to a state that suits your customers primarily, you'll definitely increase your conversion rate. Here, however, you will also need knowledge about your buyers. Collecting data and compiling it into reports may seem an excessive effort, but it will certainly pay off after a few good decisions based on the collected information. Considering the above tips, the services of each e-commerce store will reach a higher level.