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The current retail climate has never been more uncertain. With closures and lockdowns happening on a global scale, many businesses have had no choice but to put their ecommerce efforts into overdrive and shore up their online operations. While many merchants have risen to the challenge, there are some who are settling for just “good enough” when it comes to their online stores. The result? Ecommerce websites in desperate need of investment before the currently fluctuating and volatile commercial climate drives them into irrelevance.
In this article, we discuss why now is the time for you to prioritize your ecommerce site and what it takes to achieve business transformation through ecommerce.
The disruption caused by efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 has rapidly accelerated ecommerce’s growth and escalated the shift to online selling. To thrive during these times, sellers must keep up with the changing habits of shoppers and develop their digital capabilities to address market needs.
A new wave of shoppers are taking their purchases online for the first time, experiencing convenient and accessible shopping experiences from popular marketplaces and prominent brands. This audience will expect these experiences across the board. To stay relevant and competitive during this “new normal”, your business will need to build a modern website to connect to customers and ensure a sustainable future.
This is a pivotal moment for online sellers. For some, it could be the last chance to improve their website to appeal to the modern shopper. Going forward, strong and weak businesses will be defined by their digital capabilities. Failure to innovate may push your brand into oblivion for good as the rest of the world moves ahead without you.
In a world dominated by slick websites and innovative shopping experiences, your online presence is just as important as your physical products. A robust and sophisticated ecommerce site helps you increase sales, lower your costs, build your brand image, and showcase your competitive edge—things that will propel your business forward even during times of disruption.
Here are three reasons why you need to invest in your website and what an improved website can do to support your business.
A strong website is crucial to not only getting your company found online, but also giving customers a reason to do business with you. Considering that 75 percent of shoppers assess a company’s credibility on the website design alone, you would be wise to invest in your website and make sure it provides an attractive and accessible shopping experience. Remember: your competition is just a new tab away.
A sophisticated website allows you to provide features that boost conversions and drive long-term revenue. You can capture user reviews, offer personalized recommendations, and analyze website data to give customers what they’re looking for and generate more sales down the line.
The world of ecommerce moves lightning fast and waits for no seller. A strong website keeps your business in shape and ensures that it stays competitive and relevant. As you prepare for the present situation with COVID-19 and beyond, your website will serve as a profitable tool that can grow alongside you and fill many roles for your business.
If you delay improvements to your website while making efforts to grow, advance, and provide more value to shoppers, you run the risk of getting left behind by your competitors. Doing nothing with your website creates a domino effect of costs that could damage the long-term viability of your business. Here are some of the most detrimental costs.
Customer acquisition is a costly process. If a customer lands on a forgettable or weak website that isn’t up to par with modern expectations, they will most likely leave your site for your competitor. This puts your acquisition efforts to waste and hurts your ability to generate long-term revenue—something your business cannot afford to lose during these uncertain times.
Lost revenue means lost opportunities for customer reviews. Customer reviews play a critical role in lifting conversions and increasing sales on your website. A less-than-stellar shopping experience can produce lackluster or outright negative reviews, which can hurt your business by driving cautious shoppers away.
Repeat customers are key to sustaining your business—they buy more, spend more, and are more loyal to your brand. Losing a customer due to a clunky shopping experience isn’t just a one-time loss—each customer could have returned to your site and purchased your products, leading to a loss of consistent revenue. Your best customers could have also become brand promoters, offering valuable referrals that could have expanded your customer base.
The lasting impact of “doing nothing” with your website is that your business loses any momentum in site traffic. When your ecommerce website lacks the things mentioned above, your competitors can easily unseat your business’ organic position and direct all customer traffic away from you.
While the accelerated shift to ecommerce has proven that a good website is key to keeping your business relevant and profitable through times of disruption, a few common myths about selling online continue sabotaging sellers everywhere:
The reality: Do you have time to deal with the fallout of the inevitable downtime, breakages, and hacks that will threaten your site if you don’t invest in its integrity and maintenance? Building a solid website takes time, sure, but it’s always time well spent.
The reality: Ecommerce changes quickly and failure to innovate can turn even the most successful, popular products into relics of a bygone era. Neglecting to anticipate and adapt to shopper trends with a proper website is the best way to condemn your online business to irrelevance.
The reality: Investing in a website isn’t necessarily about paying for custom features or making things unique. A modern website should be equipped with features designed to drive sales, increase average order value, and engage your customers. It’s an investment into the success, growth, and future of your business that will yield a spectacular ROI.
As shoppers get access to a growing number of options when shopping online, a modern and sophisticated website demonstrates why you’re worth doing business with. As uncertain as the future can be, strong companies who use this time as an opportunity to build a sustainable ecommerce presence are more likely to develop strong, lasting, and profitable relationships with their customers.
If you’re ready to take your business to the next level, take our 3-minute website evaluation to see how well your site is currently performing.
Miva offers a flexible and adaptable ecommerce platform that evolves with businesses and allows them to drive sales, maximize average order value, cut overhead costs, and increase revenue. Miva has been helping businesses realize their ecommerce potential for over 20 years and empowering retail, wholesale, and direct-to-consumer sellers across all industries to transform their business through ecommerce.