So you’ve successfully opened up a business online. Congrats, the online e-commerce space is thriving more than ever, thanks in no small part to the COVID-19 pandemic. Maybe you’re a veteran already, or perhaps one that’s newly transitioned and you’re already enjoying the perks of online commerce. Nonetheless, as the e-commerce industry continues to evolve, we’ve put together a list of best practices as a general guide so you’ll never fall behind the trend.
1. Utilise marketplace advertising tools
While marketplaces arguably provide one of the best experiences for businesses looking to reach a wider audience, it also means standing out is crucial in racking in visitors to your listing. Your listing stands among many others, so how do you gain edge over them?
Utilise their marketing and advertising tools. No matter which platform you’re selling on, advertising tools are a guaranteed way to get more exposure than you normally would organically. For new sellers, this might be your best option in building brand awareness within the marketplace. For veterans who already have a solid standing, these provide more value in seasonal marketing and when conducting special campaigns.
Carousell Ads like Bump, Spotlight and Profile Promotion are extremely easy and affordable investments with proven returns. Use Bump to launch your listing to the top instantly, great for sellers who want to deal fast. For added control and flexibility, use Spotlight to pin your listing at the top for a longer period of time, reach more with targeted keywords and best of all, you only pay when someone clicks. Spotlight is useful for listings with more than one product in stock or one that provides services. Lastly, if you want build presence in the marketplace by showcasing your profile’s positive reviews and the range of products you offer, choose Profile Promotion.
2. Optimise your product listing
When it comes to perfecting your listing, there are plenty of things to consider – product titles, images, videos, descriptions, keywords and categories. What’s the best way to reach your audience?
Product titles act as the main keywords. Often, the title of your product as a keyword takes precedence over keywords in the description. For e.g, if you want your listing to show up for keywords like “Shoulder Rig” and your listing has “Video Camera Shoulder Rig” as the title, it will have a bigger impact on search algorithms as compared to having the exact same words in the listing description with a less-relevant title. So be sure to keep that in mind!
Copy in descriptions make a huge difference to a buyer’s experience, detailed but concise hits the right spot. Don’t leave your buyer hanging by asking them to contact you as the main goal, but rather let it be an add-on – your descriptions should have all the information that should ever need to make a purchase without having to speak to someone. Why? Because it cuts down on lead time and on the other hand leaves them a fuss-free experience of which many online consumers value.
73% of consumers who watch product videos are likely to make a purchase. Videos are an excellent way to build trust in your product. Product videos provide buyers with quality information that static images cannot.
This goes without saying, but just to be sure (believe me, I’ve been there), double check that you’ve listed your product in the right category. This ensures you reach the correct audience.
3. Engage with customers
54% of consumers will stop doing business with a seller if they have a bad customer experience. Yikes. What are some of the factors to consider that greatly influence online customer experience?
Reviews and ratings
Good reviews greatly influence a buyer’s purchasing decision and has proven as one of the most effective ways to amplify buyer trust.
Response times are critical especially as many businesses have started to dedicate personnel just to respond to customer enquiries. Buyers are now so used to receiving fast responses that they just immediately drop off if they don’t get a response within their expected wait time. Take note that many marketplaces will display your responsiveness in both your listing as well as your profile, so if you’re known to not be responsive that instantly drives away many potential buyers.
Enhance your business credibility by carefully curating your products in the store and building up a neat and clean business profile – if you have social media handles be sure to include them.
Encourage buyers to leave you a review after a transaction is completed, turn on notifications so you are notified whenever a user chats in, and consider verifying your profile or having a premium business certification with CarouBiz as these instantly help to boost credibility.
4. Offer reliable delivery options
Finally, build trust by ensuring orders are shipped out on time and give the buyer an estimated time of arrival so they will always know when to expect their parcels.
Offer them a safe and secure way to receive their parcels or fulfill their purchases such as allowing them to pay via a credible payment portal or through the platform itself. Offering a delivery option through a credible third-party logistics provider also improves buyer’s trust.
Buyers generally dislike making direct money transfers due to potential fraud. Allowing buyers to make payments through Carousell Protection greatly increases conversion rates simply due to increased trust.
For our fellow Singaporean sellers, perhaps one of the most important best practices is to check if the income you’re getting from your online transactions is taxable under Singapore tax laws. Failing to comply with tax laws could lead to serious penalties, so we highly recommend avoiding this at all costs. Check to see if your income is taxable with this IRAS guide.