With e-commerce being a wildly popular sales channel, more people are looking for ways of selling their products online. Leveraging the internet has lots of potential but also many complications. For example, how do you set up your site to draw traffic? How will your backend processes support the frontend image of your business? How will you manage data security? All these questions could cause any first-time e-commerce manager to pull their hair out.
The good news is that by learning how to set up and operate your site properly, you’ll be able to enjoy continuous growth while developing your brand. Here’s what any e-commerce manager should learn within their first 90 days.
- Optimization for mobile devices
More users today rely on their mobile phones to browse and complete online transactions. The convenience of mobile platforms has made it possible for customers to find your business, purchase items, and recommend other users to your site. In fact, 57% of mobile traffic will leave your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
As an e-commerce manager, you should prioritize mobile compatibility. This can be done by keeping the layout simple and responsive. Each webpage should also be designed for optimal viewing on mobile devices- including the resizing of image and text, depending on a user’s device.
- Efficient payment processing
Processing payments and collecting revenue will be critical for your e-commerce business. You’d be surprised by just how many companies launch without figuring out how they’ll accept and process customer payments. When weighing your options, you should consider outsourcing to a reputable vendor or using third-party payment processors such as PayPal.
Outsourcing is a desirable option if you wish to give your customers a “homely feel” when they’re paying for products on your site. In other words, the nuts and bolts of each transaction are handled by the payment processing company while you get to provide a customized interface to your buyers. Because using services such as PayPal may cause you to incur a cost for each transaction, you should consider whether you’re getting a return on investment with this option.
- Web design
Your website will be the heart and soul of your e-commerce business. Many companies already recognize the importance of web design for boosting traffic and converting leads. However, each company will need to determine the best way of presenting their products, arranging web pages, and responding to customer preferences. As an e-commerce manager, you should begin by understanding customer pain points and current industry trends. E-commerce tools, social media integration, and website fluidity are hot in the e-commerce field.
Your website should incorporate some of these new features so you can gain brand recognition. For example, you should maintain a consistent design across your website and social media pages. This makes it easier for traffic to land in the right place and turn into leads for nurturing. Furthermore, e-commerce tools come equipped with powerful features such as Google Analytics, artificial intelligence (to create a personalized customer experience), and automated marketing kits. You should also be aware of basic web design techniques such as using high-quality images, keyword-rich text, and location-based information.
- SEO and other marketing techniques
Speaking of marketing, e-commerce managers should have a solid understanding of online marketing techniques such as SEO. Together with email, content marketing, and social media, SEO can propel your site to the first page of google searches.
SEO is a robust strategy that includes many different elements. You’ll need to consider the type of content used on your site, the links embedded in relevant text, and keyword research. Having an SEO strategy enables your new e-commerce site to drive traffic over time. In most cases, SEO is part of the web design process. This is because your web pages should be optimized with the right links, keywords, and structure to rank highly on web searches.
- Data security policies and procedures
Perhaps the most important thing you should know as a new e-commerce manager is that threats to data security are real. A hacking attempt is registered every 39 seconds, and the average cost of a data breach is $8 million. Even more, concerning is that hackers are increasingly targeting small businesses because they don’t have the infrastructure necessary to secure company data. You should be aware of essential business certifications such as PCI DSS, SOC2 reporting, and HIPAA (if you’ll be handling any health data).
Developing a framework for compliance is critical so you can avoid falling victim to hacking. This checklist is a useful guide for becoming PCI compliant. By protecting customer payment data, you can process such payments securely and efficiently.