I consider myself to be a digital diva. Spending more than 50% of my personal time online, I’ve built up expectations around how I would like the online world to be presented to me. I am quickly frustrated by a time-consuming loading page and more so when i cant find my way around a website QUICKLY. 

But, I’m not alone.

In this Millennial age, the largest chunk of the consumer population are spending a great deal of their time online. Just like me, all these consumers have come to expect certain things from online services. E-commerce stores, especially in South Africa have been a real hit and miss. Just like our economy, there is a huge gap between the successful and unsuccessful. Coming from a web developing background I can say that a Brands digital footprint is just as important (maybe even more important) than it’s physical one.

E-commerce has become a fundamental part of a Brands marketing strategy. In addition, how Brands are presented and favored online can make or break their reputations. By creating an e-commerce platform the correct way, Brands can significantly improve their marketing strategy and gain recognition.  A e-commerce store must obey the rules of e-commerce marketing in order to become successful.

There are FIVE simple rules:

 

SIMPLICITY

A sleek and simple user interface is one of the most important features of a successful e-commerce store. Simplicity = less time spent completing a process online. The digital sphere is fast paced and complicated websites make for frustrated and impatient customers.

USER EXPERIENCE

I cannot stress this rule enough. A successful e-commerce store is one that generates REPEAT engagement. With a comfortable and satisfying user experience system, consumers will feel happy to come back and repeat the process over and over again. Even sharing and telling others about it.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR ENGAGEMENT

Online consumers enjoy sharing their experiences online. Links to Social Media platforms and spaces for sharing and commenting form an essential part of consumer engagement.

VISUAL REPRESENTATION

Online products don’t give consumers the opportunity to get a physical look and feel of the product. It is therefore essential to include good quality visuals of your products from all angles. When it comes to clothing items it is important to incorporate visuals of people wearing the items so consumers can see the product in use without having to try it on. In the digital world, visuals sell the products.

CUSTOMER CARE

Unlike brick and mortar stores, consumers do not have the opportunity to physically go up to a store assistant and query a product. For an e-commerce store to be completely successful it is important to fill this consumer need by incorporating a user friendly and responsive customer care system.

It’s easy

Following these 5 rules will really make the difference between success and failure. There are a few South African e-commerce stores that have really met the brief and should stand as a reference for anyone thinking about starting an e-commerce platform for their business. All South African e-commerce stores have the opportunity to flourish within the local and global market. Doing things the correct  way will make a real difference in your business today.