Almost 80% of the U.S. population shops online, and more than 50% prefer to buy online than in person (source).
Because of these consumer preferences, ecommerce has become an increasingly popular strategy for modern businesses to generate more sales.
Many companies have shifted some or all of their sales to online instead of in-person. In fact, some businesses are solely online and have no physical presence. This helps the business reduce costs and reach a larger audience.
With such a significant shift to ecommerce, there are a many new challenges presented to companies. Businesses are dealing with the challenge of developing new processes for running their online storefront, managing their inventory, and hiring people with the expert skills to make it all happen.
Although ecommerce can offer a great boost in sales, it won’t be effective if it’s not managed effectively.
What Is Ecommerce Website Management?
Ecommerce website management is the practice of adding your latest products to your site, verifying accuracy of online product stock levels and information, managing online orders, and other activities involved in running your online store.
There are a plethora of activities involved in managing an ecommerce website, so this is just a brief overview. Since many businesses don’t have the experience to know what it takes to manage their ecommerce store effectively, they often seek out a website management company for assistance.
The Tangible (Sales) Benefits of Ecommerce Website Management
Managing your ecommerce website effectively can provide some great benefits to your business. It can directly lead to more sales and interest in your brand when done correctly.
Below, we’ll discuss a few of the benefits of managing your ecommerce website properly.
When your ecommerce store is properly managed, you are maximizing your conversions.
If you have products or information that is not accurately represented on your site, it could lead to a decrease in sales as your users. For example, if products are incorrectly marked as “out of stock”, you’ll decreasing your opportunity for new orders.
There are so many factors that impact conversion rate on an ecommerce site, so managing them effectively will have a significant impact on your sales.
Reduce Downtime and Errors
If your ecommerce site is not maintained properly, you can expect a greater frequency and severity of downtime and website errors.
When your website is offline or broken, your users may not be able to make purchases. You’ll find yourself scrambling to organize the resources and expertise necessary to repair your site. This means you’re losing sales while your site is down and need to pay expensive repair bills to get it all fixed.
Your ecommerce website should be proactively maintained to minimize downtime and errors. You should also have the resources ready to respond to critical issues when they occur.
Reach a Larger Audience
Managing your ecommerce website effectively will help you reach a larger audience who may be interested in your products.
You’ll be able to attract buyers who normally would not get exposure to your products, such as those who exclusively shop online or are in a different geographical location.
Take Full Advantage of Marketing Channels
Another great benefit of a well-managed ecommerce website is the ability to maximize your use of digital marketing channels.
Social media and SEO can be a great way to drive business to your local shop, but ecommerce opens a greater possibility.
Since ecommerce allows you sell your products without a location restriction, you’ll gain access to a larger pool of potential customers on all of your digital marketing channels, rather than being restricted to your local demographic.
24 Ecommerce Website Management Tips and Best Practices
When it comes to managing your ecommerce website effectively, there are many different activities involved.
To help you get started, we’ve detailed some of the most important tips and best practices for managing your ecommerce site.
1. Review Stock Levels for Accuracy
Don’t lose sales because products are incorrectly marked as out-of-stock.
Review your product stock levels regularly to make sure they are accurately reflected.
2. Review Product Information
Inaccurate product information can frustrate users and disappoint them if they have false expectations of your product.
You should review your listings quarterly to ensure they are accurately reflecting the product.
3. Review and Improve Product Images
Product images are very important for driving sales, so make sure you are prioritizing their appearance on your site.
Check your current images, as well as when you add new products. Review their appearance on different devices (desktop, tablet, and mobile).
- Are the images high quality?
- Can users click to enlarge the images?
- Am I using multiple images to showcase all the details of my product?
- Do the images work well with the surrounding design of my site?
4. Add New Products
Make sure your customers aren’t missing out on your new releases.
Be sure to keep your website updated with your latest products, especially if you’re offering both in-person and online sales.
Sometimes consumers may see a product in-store but try to purchase it online later. You’ll want to make sure your in-store inventory is accurately represented online as well.
5. Remove Old Products
Your customers will get frustrated if they want to buy a product on your website that you’re no longer selling. Perhaps this product has been marked as “out of stock” for months and customers are waiting for it to come back.
When you’re no longer offering it for sale, be sure to remove it completely from your website, otherwise your customers may be waiting for it to return.
6. Review Analytics and Traffic Statistics
Understanding where your users are coming from, what pages they land on, and how they interact with your site can make a big impact on your sales.
You can make some great discoveries by digging through your website analytics each week, such as which marketing channels are driving the most sales.
7. Analyze User Behavior
Did you know you can visually monitor how users are behaving on your website?
Using a tool like HotJar, you can create heatmaps, view recordings, and collect feedback of users interacting with your site. It’s a great way to optimize conversions and discover website problems.
8. Add Your Latest Customer Reviews
Do new shoppers trust your brand?
Consumers often look for reviews from your existing customers to aid in their buying decision. Therefore, you should display your latest customer reviews on your website and product pages.
Add your reviews from other selling platforms such as Amazon or Etsy, or collect reviews directly on your site.
9. Respond to Customers Efficiently
A big challenge for ecommerce businesses is customer support.
Customers expect you to respond quickly to their questions and provide resolutions if they have an issue with your product.
Your website can be used as a tool for managing customer communication with a chat box or contact page.
10. Answer Frequently Asked Questions
Are you overwhelmed with customers asking miscellaneous questions about your products?
Creating a page with frequently asked questions can help you reduce your workload by publicly answering the questions that are asked repeatedly.
11. Add Relevant Resources About Your Products
If you want to build loyalty to your brand and its products, you can provide helpful resources to your customers that will supplement their purchase.
This can be done in various ways, such as a blog or a series of emails after they purchase your product.
Not only can this serve your existing customers, but it helps new shoppers understand your product and how it can benefit them.
12. Keep Your Design Relevant With the Latest Trends
Ever feel like your website design isn’t up to par with your competition?
Today’s trends are always changing at a rapid pace. Keeping up with new web design trends can be a huge challenge if you’re not deeply involved in the web industry. For the most effective website possibly, you should assess your design annually and look to improve it in accordance with the latest trends.
13. Check Your Competitor Websites
Wondering why your competitors are surpassing you? Perhaps they are using clever tactics or better site design to attract more customers.
We recommend reviewing your competitors’ websites each quarter so you can assess how your website is keeping up.
14. Keep Plugins and Other Software Up to Date
Is your site a ticking time bomb?
If you’re not keeping your plugins (and other website software) up to date, there could be a huge problem in your future!
Outdated software increases the likelihood of a critical website failure and reveals vulnerabilities for hackers to exploit.
15. Take Website Backups
What happened if your website disappeared RIGHT NOW?
If you’re managing your ecommerce website using best practices, it’s no sweat! Just restore a backup of your site with the click of a button.
16. Prioritize Website Security
Ecommerce sites are a target for hackers and malware that want to exploit your customer information.
Unfortunately, many website owners don’t worry about website security until it’s too late. To protect your customers and brand reputation, you should implement website security measures today.
17. Test Your Site on Different Devices
It’s possible that your users aren’t seeing your website how you intended.
Since so many different screen sizes exist, it’s important to test your website across all types of devices such as desktop, tablet, and mobile. Be sure to test this regularly, especially when launching a new page.
18. Test Your Site on Different Browsers
Just like how your visitors use different devices, they also use different web browsers.
Each browser interprets your website a bit differently which can lead to issues such as images not loading, elements not displaying properly, or contact forms not working.
Be sure to test your site on different web browsers on a regular basis, especially when releasing new functionality.
19. Improve Page Loading Speed
According to Unbounce, nearly 70% of consumers admit that page speed impacts their willingness to buy from an online retailer.
That means that loading speed can have a serious impact on your sales and user retention.
20. Monitor Downtime
When your site goes down, how long does it take for you to find out? Detecting a problem is the first step in resolving it.
That’s why it’s important to use an automated monitoring system that checks your website status every few minutes. When your site goes down, you and your team can be notified immediately.
21. Optimize for Search Engines
Almost everyone knows how important search engine optimization (SEO) is for attracting new business, but have you taken the proper steps to get your ecommerce site optimized?
Here is an ecommerce SEO checklist that can help you get started.
22. Review and Update Contact Information
User support is an important aspect of your ecommerce website that provides your customers with a great experience.
For this reason, you should check to make sure your contact information is up to date and accurate on an annual basis.
23. Ask Your Customers How Your Site Can Be Improved
If you’re not sure what can be improved with your website, your users can be a great source of information!
Simply add a poll or survey to your site so your visitors can give feedback on your site. We recommend using HotJar to do this.
24. Get Help From a Reputable Website Management Company
If you’re one of the many ecommerce businesses that is overwhelmed with website management, consider getting assistance from a reputable website management company.
A professional management agency can help you reduce your workload and keep your maximize the effectiveness of your online store.
FAQs About Ecommerce Website Management
Moving Forward With Managing Your Ecommerce Website
Running a successful ecommerce store would not be possible without effective website management.
Since ecommerce is becoming so popular and in high demand from consumers, businesses must adapt to the challenge of launching and maintaining their online store.
To help with these challenges, review the ecommerce website management services provided by our U.S.-based team of professionals at Buckley Web Services.