Is there a better way to sell online? Source: Shutterstock

Is there a better way to sell online? Source: Shutterstock

Smart ideas to help e-commerce players earn more

E-COMMERCE is big in Asia. Retail e-commerce sales in Asia-Pacific grew 31.1 percent in 2017 to US$1.349 trillion and top experts believe that the region will be the biggest online spender in the coming years.

Statista‘s figures suggest that users, on average, spent US$471.16 per person this year and forecast the figure will grow to US$563.03 by 2020 and US$646.53 by 2023.

It’s clear that there are plenty of opportunities in the e-commerce market in Asia, and that companies that sell to customers in this region must focus a significant chunk of their energy and resources on developing a better e-commerce strategy.

Obviously, the great opportunity also means that there will be stiff competition and grabbing the customer’s eyeball and attention will be that much harder in the months and years to come.

To learn how businesses can do better with e-commerce, Tech Wire Asia spoke to GoDaddy Senior VP of Asia Roger Chen. Here are some tips he offers to his customers looking to make a mark in this space:

# 1 | Make your site mobile-friendly

“It is becoming more common for people to turn to their mobile phones for their every need. In Singapore, especially, where one is constantly on the move, people are spending less time being desk-bound. From paying bills, transferring money and of course shopping, the mobile phone has become the preferred choice,” said Chen.

Sixty percent of Singaporeans prefer to shop on mobile. It is also worth noting that Singapore has the world’s highest mobile penetration rate at 149.8 percent.

When designing an e-commerce website, making it mobile-friendly must be a priority. It should not only look fantastic on the latest smartphone, but also function well with a host of mobile devices. Being mobile-friendly can also help improve the website’s search engine results.

# 2 | Help customers feel safer

As a starting point, most merchant service providers will require that the e-commerce website utilizes a Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate.

Further, having trust seals on the checkout page can be a good way to help earn the customers’ confidence while shopping on the site.

“A great way to help keep your website protected is to use an automatic security monitoring service,” said Chen.

Be it GoDaddy Website Security, Sitelock, CloudPassage, Okta, Proofpoint, Sucuri, or any other service out there — an extra layer of security is always a good thing.

# 3 | Keep checkouts to a single page

Having a never-ending checkout page can likely annoy customers and offer them the opportunity to drop off with each additional page.

“The goal of your eCommerce website should be to provide a single-page check out. If your website has the option to skip viewing the cart to head straight to checkout, do remember to include a ‘Continue Shopping’ option for shoppers who may decide to add some items at the last minute,” explained Chen.

If a longer check out page is inevitable, it is advisable to add a progress bar to show clearly how many steps are left.

Another quick tip is to allow the guest check-out option as many people may avoid shopping on the website altogether if they just wanted to do a one-off purchase.

# 4 | Retarget shopping cart and offer special discounts

For shoppers who may have browsed the website and perhaps added an item to cart but for some reason left the website without purchasing, it is a good idea to retarget them.

“Offering a special discount offer may help lure them back to make the purchase,” said Chen.

Retargeting campaigns ‘follow’ the user as they browse online, showing them an advertisement of the product to tempt and remind them to purchase.

# 5 | Add a live chat / support function

E-commerce sites are always on. Unlike regular stores, they never shut down. As a result, customers expect to be able to make inquiries and get responses round the clock.

“Adding live chat support can be a simple way to provide a more personalized customer experience for your customers. An instant response to a customer’s inquiry can help a customer make a real-time purchase decision,” explained Chen.