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Sales online are up 18% year on year – are you capitalising? Check out our top ten tips.

In our busy lives more and more people find it hard to find the time to go shopping and so they go online. Online sales are up 18% against last year and for once the UK is leading the way. Our online sales amount for nearly double that of our nearest rival Germany*. So how can you make sure you are getting the most out of your ecommerce site? Take a look at our top ten tips to find out how.

  1. Be helpful. Purchase time is really quick now even for larger items. Across 11 retail categories the average purchase time is less than 2.25 days**. So, does your site contain helpful user guides or reviews to help the customer make a quick decision? Think about how you can help that customer choose between you and your competitor.
  2. Don’t assume. Don’t think its just young people who buy online. The silver surfing boom means most 50-65’s are now buying online. In fact research by the Kalixa Group found 58% of 66-88 year olds now shop online***.
  3. Be mobile savvy. Make sure your site works on mobiles and tablets. 4 out of 5 18-48 year olds now own smartphones** and more than a third of all online sales are made on mobiles or tablets****.
  4. Promote your deals. 88% of people look for deals before purchasing**. If you’re running any offers make sure they feature on your homepage, include them in your blog, share pictures and reviews on facebook, twitter or google plus.
  5. Make it easy. Is your site easy to navigate? Are products in easy to find categories? Are those categories your sections or how a customer would categorise them? Do you have a search function?
  6. Add pictures. Make sure you have good pictures of your products. If people can see what they are getting it helps and no matter how good the product if the photo looks unprofessional people will go elsewhere.
  7. Check the small print. Is it clear that delivery is included? This could be an advantage over competitors so make sure you explain delivery terms and don’t hide it in the small print.
  8. Describe your products. Use search terms that people use in your descriptions and titles. Don’t lift content from suppliers. It doesn’t reflect your brand and it duplicates content in the eyes of Google which is bad for SEO.
  9. Don’t slow down. Work with your web designers to assess how fast your site loads and ways that can be improved. If you snooze, you loose. People won’t wait for slow sites. We check all sites as part of our initial proposal as it’s such a key factor.
  10. Get your SEO right. If noone can find your website in the first place they won’t see your products. Most people now won’t search past page one, so it’s important to make sure your website is getting the exposure it should. And track your results. You should know where your sales are coming from.

If you need any help with your e-commerce site or you are thinking about starting an online store, just give us a buzz. We specialise in building online shops and can help you get more from your business.

*E-Retail Sales Index, Feb 18 2014 Interactive Media in Retail Group and Capgemini, www.capgemini.com via e-marketer http://www.emarketer.com/Article/UK-Ecommerce-Springs-2014/1010637, 28/2/14.
** Need for speed – Disrupting the omni-channel. Parago 2014
*** Silver surfers show their online confidence: research, http://internetretailing.net/2013/12/silver-surfers-show-their-online-confidence-research/ 17/12/13
**** Quarterly benchmarking, Interactive Media in Retail Group and Capgemini, http://www.uk.capgemini.com/news/uk-news/a-third-of-online-sales-now-made-via-mobile-devices, 27/2/14.