What makes a great eCommerce website? Leaders in online selling generate impressive revenues every year - What is the secret to their success? Is it pricing? Ease of use? Cross selling? No, these are all merely effects of an underlying cause. Companies that drive new revenue streams and develop new customer relationships with their websites are successful because they commit to a comprehensive strategy. They understand that, out of the many factors, most important is the core function of eCommerce: Facilitating online sales.
In other words, successful companies make every element of their website and every step of the online selling process as easy and optimized as possible. The visual design is clean, professional, and straightforward. Customers know how to find the products they are looking for, gain the information they need to place an order, and easily understand the order process. A great eCommerce website meets its customer's needs, but there's a lot more to consider behind the scenes.
It is easy to ignore the administrative side, which is equally important. All too often, companies put a lot of effort into the customer experience without thinking about how to efficiently administer their eCommerce website. An effective website will organize orders, making it easy to handle purchases and notify customers about order status. Business is constantly changing, and it must be efficient to update inventory information, upload data sheets and images for your products, and change the featured products and information on your homepage.
The final, crucial element in the equation was the focus of last month's newsletter: Getting customers to your website in the first place. Since a great design is meaningless if there are no customers coming to use it, a solid search engine strategy is critical for success in online selling. There are a lot of marketing strategies available to begin funneling in prospective customers from search engines and listing sites, but a search engine-friendly website design is your foundation.
A company profits from its eCommerce website is because it commits to a comprehensive strategy. It understands that, like many things in business, success in online selling depends on a balance of many factors. Building the online branch of your business is becoming more and more important. Whether your company is venturing into online sales for the first time, or thinking about ways to enhance an existing sales website, think about these principles and whether the customer experience, administrative backend, and basic foundation of your website is doing its part to facilitate online sales.
Go type one of your part numbers or manufacturers into Google. Take a look at the search results. Is your company there? If it is not, it could be. Based on the way the market is heading, it should be. So how does your company get to be among Google's 'chosen few'?
When you transition to online sales, you should think about how customers are going to find your website. On the web in particular, your competitive pricing, service, and inventory are meaningless if nobody knows you exist.
Many electronics distributors use listing sites like EEM or netCOMPONENTS . These are powerful resources, and are even more effective when you have a website allowing customers to "Buy Now". There are other marketing strategies, but today I would like to focus on how the very foundation of your website can impact your customer traffic.
Let's take a moment to talk about the importance of your website's structure and contents. Search engine companies like Google and Yahoo! use automated computers to analyze millions and millions of websites every day. These crawling computers collect information and, over time, this information is used when creating and ranking search results.
The more information available on your website, and organized in a way for crawling computers to find it, the better the opportunity for your company to appear in a wider range of search results and with a better ranking. Appearing in more search results means more web traffic, which means more prospective customers.
For many of you, information that would help market your website is already available in your inventory management software, such as part numbers, manufacturers, categories, etc. That said, to manually transfer that data onto your website (and in a way that is search engine-friendly) can be impractical for upwards of a thousand parts.
At DistiSuite, we provide eCommerce solutions specifically for electronics distributors. One of the features we have developed is a way to automatically integrate and update such information on your website with a single spreadsheet file upload. I hope you found this newsletter helpful, and please do not hesitate to contact us to learn more about this topic and the services we provide.
We are pleased to announce a sales partnership with SourceESB to provide comprehensive eCommerce packages for electronics distributors. The packages, starting at $9,000, will include our distribution eCommerce system and SourceESB's online sales lead generation program.
For more information, please contact us or your SourceESB representative. Here is our recent press release in its entirety:
Welcome to our shiny, new 'Newsletter'. Each month I will post our newsletter about eCommerce for the Electronics Distribution Industry.
To receive our newsletter each month via email, please drop me a line: cheyner (at) distisuite (dot) com.
Also feel free to contact me directly with questions, or if you simply would like to talk about eCommerce in general. I hope you find my newsletters helpful!
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