As ecommerce sales reach another all-time high, you may be wondering if you’re getting your slice of the online retail sales pie. The new high, over $123 billion by the close of Q1 2018, is a clear call to action for ecommerce site owners to get more serious if they aren’t seeing the profits they envisioned in 2018.
Many ecommerce sites are doing the right thing. They have unique product pages and fulfilling orders without issue. However, there are deeper elements at play. When it comes to consumer behavior in the digital era, user experience is an important factor.
Issues with server uptime and site speed can quickly turn a profitable ecommerce site into a disaster. This is where a little computer tech, SEO, and general marketing know-how come into play. The following is how you can get your cut of the ecommerce billions.
Uptime Should Be Priority #1
If your website has uptime issues, you are essentially saying to your customers, “visit my competitors” because my website is broken. Not to mention that if a user lands on a 503-error message, they will probably never visit your ecommerce site again. Nor will they recommend it or share it via social media.
This is a huge issue! In fact, a mere hour of downtime can cost a business $100,000. That is an astonishing loss for any business. For an ecommerce site, it could be even more, since the whole foundation of your business is about online shopping.
To ensure you get the best uptime performance, work with your web hosting provider, or if you have your own server, ensure your IT team is keeping up with all tasks. If you’re experiencing downtime and using a shared server, it may be time for an upgrade.
Is Your Ecommerce Website Loading in Under Three Seconds?
Site speed, or page load time, can have a big impact on your ecommerce site’s user experience. A slow loading site can turn potential customers off fast, which can have negative consequences for netting more profits in 2018.
One of the reasons that site speed is so important is that many users quickly lose interest in a website that doesn’t load fast enough or correctly. In fact, research found that a second delay in load time could trigger a seven percent loss in conversions.
One major factor associated with poor site speed is the type of websites you’re sharing a server with. If a large website netting tons of traffic is sharing a server with your ecommerce site, your users may see a drop in page load time.
Another site speed factor is poor image compression. Ecommerce sites are loaded with product images. This is great for highlighting product features, design, and more. However, if you fail to compress your images, your site speed will definitely suffer.
Ensure your site speed is optimized to provide the best user experience possible. You can utilize Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to get a clear picture for your ecommerce site speed on mobile and desktop.
Have a Scalable Ecommerce Site
When you launched your ecommerce site, you probably weren’t too concerned with having a scalable hosting service. But maybe you’ve recently had an uptick in traffic and added a truckload more product pages. This means your site performance could be dragging due to the limited hosting service you initially purchased.
It may be time for an upgrade. Cloud website hosting services could be worth looking into, since the whole premise behind this relatively new type of hosting service is scalability.
For example, private cloud hosting allows you to scale as needed. This is ideal for short-term needs, as well as long-term needs as your ecommerce website continues to grow. Private cloud hosting also serves up enhanced security, something that is valuable when dealing with customer accounts and payment details.
Virtual Private servers and dedicated servers are also options. Think scalability and examine your growth thus far to predict growth in the next couple of years. This can give you insight into the hosting you’ll need to capitalize on the billions in ecommerce sales to come in 2018.
Wrapping Up . . .
Numbers don’t lie, and with ecommerce billions on the table, you can’t afford to ignore the performance of your website. Think about what issue you can tweak, such as scalable hardware, bandwidth, and private hosting services, to increase user experience, thus boosting your bottom line. How will you leverage these techniques to make your 2018 ecommerce sales better than any previous year?