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How to Build an E-Commerce Website that Actually Drives Sales

Think about it — you’re scrolling through your feed and stumble upon the perfect leather jacket for your new fall look. All you have to do is tap on the coat and you’re immediately taken to the online shop. In a matter of seconds, the jacket is yours. (And you’ve never looked better!)

That’s how e-commerce is changing the way we shop. It’s not enough anymore to just have an attractive website. You need to build a website that really engages with your target audience and keeps them coming back for more. That’s the key to building an e-commerce website that actually drives sales. 

With more than half the country preferring to shop online, it’s up to you and your brand to start the conversation and stand out from the competition. You can do that by building an e-commerce store that attracts customers, drives sales, and encourages shoppers to return. It sounds like a mouthful, but it’s a lot easier than you’d think. 

Creative Propulsions Labs is here to help you build the e-commerce website for your business needs. We’ve put together a list of our 8 best e-commerce solutions to help you build an online store that drives sales:

Step One: Use the right platform

To start building a website that drives sales, you need to use the right kind of platform for your brand, one that is both mobile-friendly and able to connect with social media. Customers want an easy shopping experience, and you want a way to stay connected with your shoppers. Shopify is probably the first to come to mind. They are fast, efficient, and connect seamlessly with Instagram. If you want a more customized experience, Drupal is flexible when it comes to content types, supporting videos, polls, and podcasts.

Step Two: Make sure it’s mobile-friendly

Online shoppers want an easy, breezy shopping experience they can do from the comfort of their phone. According to Statista, by 2021 more than half of the online shopping is going to be done from a smartphone. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, you’re going to cut your customer pool in half.  Luckily, platforms like Shopify and Drupal are already mobile-friendly. Our work with Diamond CBD and Best Beauty Finds shows how we used Drupal and Shopify respectively to give shoppers the ability to navigate these sites across any mobile device with ease. Take a look at the work we have done for some of our clients. 

Step Three: Sell your products on Google

You can sell your products directly on Google when you set up Google Shopping. It’s Google’s program for creating simple ads based on the products available on your e-commerce site. Your customizable ads can include product descriptions, customer reviews, and even photos so your shoppers can actually imagine themselves with your product. The ads will then direct shoppers back to your e-commerce website, where you can further engage with them and upsell. Google Shopping be integrated easily with Shopify, Drupal, and other platforms, too.

Step Four: Use customer testimonials and user-generated content

Take advantage of sharing customers’ reviews on Google Shopping, as well as other social media platforms, by using user-generated content and reviews to attract new customers and drive sales. Influencer marketing is bigger than ever, and now you have the chance to interact with shoppers on social media. Ask your customers to share their reviews with unique hashtags, then use these reviews in your Google Ads. You can also use user-generated content throughout your e-commerce marketing campaign, even on your website, to build your brand and reputation.

Step Five: Really engage shoppers with Facebook Catalog and Instagram Product Tags

As you generate more influencer content, you’ll realize that we all check into Facebook and Instagram for different reasons. Not all of them are to shop, but you can make it easier for users to shop with you. By posting regularly and enticing customers to your website with product tags and engaging posts, you can get users to shop even when they aren’t particularly thinking about it. Product Tags on Instagram will take your followers to your online store when they click on the products in your photos, while Facebook Catalog allows you to create different ad campaigns with different conversion goals using a variety of posting styles. 

Step Six: Personalize your outreach with an email campaign

Building an e-commerce website that drives sales really boils down to having real conversations with your customers. You can start that conversation with social media, but if you want to stay in touch with your customers, think about starting some new email marketing campaigns. You can create different email campaigns for different shoppers. Reach out to your regular crowd with a monthly newsletter highlighting new products, or reach out to new shoppers with a friendly abandoned cart reminder. It’s more personal than a post on Instagram, and abandoned cart emails achieve a 4.64% conversion rate. This shows that you’re really paying attention to what your customers are doing and saying while demonstrating the kind of service they can expect from you throughout their shopping experience. We will work with you to create a targeted email flow that helps you convert potential buyers into loyal customers resulting in an increase in revenue.

Step Seven: Upsell to repeat customers

Some e-commerce stores invest too much in lead generation and don’t pay attention to the loyal customers they already have. Keeping the customers you have is always easier than finding a new one, so appreciate your long-time shoppers with rewards programs, unique coupon codes, and limited-time offers that apply only to them. When new shoppers see the way you treat your existing customers, they’ll sign up for the newsletter, follow you on Insta, and shop enough to be considered one of your repeat customers.

Step Eight: Create a referral program with meaningful awards

Make it easier on yourself to find new customers by creating a referral program that encourages your existing customers to bring their own friends and following to your site. Just as you asked for product reviews with hashtags and promos, you can do the same with a referral program. Encourage your customers to share their favorite products with their favorite people and reward them with special perks, like free shipping on their next purchase. The most trusted form of advertising is word-of-mouth, so when your customers talk about your products with their friends, you’re basically getting free advertising. Pay your customers back with a reward that shows your appreciation but also keeps driving sales back to your e-commerce website.

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