What Are the Main Obstacles E-Commerce Businesses Face?

Starting a new business can feel like an impossible mountain at times. If you’re a beginner in the e-commerce business, it is important to know the key obstacles you will be facing so that you can make a plan to overcome them. Scroll down to read a brief introduction of the main issues e-commerce businesses are facing.

Free Shipping

One of the biggest issues in the e-commerce business is that of pricing. Many big retailers are now offering free shipping, but smaller retailers often can’t offer free shipping without taking a loss. If a customer finds the shipping costs for a particular item to be too high, it is likely they will abandon their cart and try to find the item from another seller.

Free shipping does not always work for all business models. However, there are a number of creative options that you can try to offer shipping deals to increase your business, even if you can’t afford to offer completely free shipping.

Abandoned Carts

Abandoned carts are a hot topic for online businesses. Mobile shopping carts are abandoned at a rate of over 80%. There are many reasons as to why a customer might choose not to order from an online retailer. Some of these reasons include a need to see or touch an item before purchasing, shipping and/or delivery costs being too high, concerns regarding the quality of a product, and better price or quality being available from another local store or online retailer. Taking steps to mitigate some of these concerns can result in the increase of your e-commerce business’s sales and reduce the number of abandoned carts in your online store.

Customer Retention

E-commerce businesses cannot function without customers. One of the biggest challenges for e-commerce businesses is retaining existing customers, as well as converting shopping customers into paying customers. In an online market, it is crucial for e-commerce businesses to employ effective strategies that can help them optimize their efforts inconverting all their leads into customers which will provide them needed revenue.

Shipping and pricing concerns, abandoned carts, and customer retention are three of the main obstacles e-commerce businesses are currently facing. E-commerce businesses who take the necessary steps to understand the reasons behind these obstacles and brainstorm ways to overcome them will find increased success and longevity both now and in the future.

Ready to start growing your sales? Try pollcart today!

Should Your Business Be Using an SMS Payment System?

This has probably been a hot topic for a while—should you transition to an SMS payment system, or stick to old methods? While this may seem like an intimidating decision, it’s not so scary once you educate yourself about the positives and negatives associated with an SMS payment system.

The Benefits

Nearly everyone has a mobile device now, which means that there are a lot of positives to using an SMS payment system—for both you and your customers. First, SMS payment systems are usually much more convenient for customers, making it a lot easier for them to pay you—and what business doesn’t want more sales?

Second, SMS payments usually use a third-party system, which comes with potentially significant benefits for retailers who use this payment system. For example, using a SMS system decreases company expenses when you don’t have to spend hefty sums on sale equipment, paper, and ink. Furthermore, an SMS payment system improves company cash flow, speeding up payment transaction processes.

Common Concerns

While there are so many benefits to using an SMS payment system, it doesn’t come without its share of concerns. The biggest concern most merchants have with SMS is lack of security. When using online payment platforms, there is always a small risk of fraud and hacking.

However, there are also several ways to combat security concerns so that you can feel more confident using an SMS payment system. First, make sure that you and your customers implement some type of authentication verification. That way, it makes it much more difficult for hackers to steal credit card information. Second, make sure that you use a certified mobile payment platform with good security. Finally, educate customers on telling the difference between fraudulent information versus safe information, like fraudulent emails or apps.

Embrace the Change

As your company is considering moving your payment system to a SMS payment system, recognize that the business world is forecasted to shift from old-fashioned methods to doing everything online—including online payment methods. Rather than being forced into the transition later, you should consider making the decision now to transition from the past’s tried-and-true methods to the modern methods of the century. Don’t fall behind!

The world is changing. Technology is in the hands of nearly everybody. Incorporating an SMS payment system just might be the right option for you. Although you may have some concerns, the benefits will outweigh those thoughts as you embrace this change.

Here’s another article you might like: How to Boost the E-Commerce Side of Your Business When Your Stores Are Closed

How to Boost the E-Commerce Side of Your Business When Your Stores Are Closed

If you are among the number of businesses affected by the recent global Coronavirus pandemic, boosting your e-commerce sales can be a great way to recover lost financial profits. Learning how to improve your online sales can have many benefits in times of normalcy as well, and allow you greater flexibility and profit by generating an additional revenue stream. If you are interested in improving the e-commerce side of your business, continue reading!

Improve Your Checkout Experience

The importance of a good checkout experience cannot be overstated. It might surprise you to learn that the checkout experience can make or break a customer’s business transaction. If a customer encounters difficulty checking out online, it is highly likely that they will give up and take their business elsewhere. Some simple ways to improve the checkout experience for your business include offering multiple payment methods, offering a guest checkout option, being clear about shipping and delivery, and providing an intuitive checkout form.

Social Media Marketing

Improving your social media presence is a highly effective way to market your products. There are many reasons why social media is a great way to sell your products. First, around 70% of Instagram users are 35 or under, so this platform can be ideal for targeting younger consumers. Social media can also improve your brand awareness, and help you reach your specific target market. It is also a very cost-effective marketing strategy that is relatively simple to use.

Build Trust

One of the most important ways you can improve your e-commerce is through striving to build more trust with your potential customers. You should try to cultivate the same elements of personality, friendliness, customer service, and trust in your online business that you normally use when operating your physical brick-and-mortar. You can build trust by utilizing technology effectively. For example, you could host a live-stream to interact directly with customers, or provide an available chat service to answer customer questions. Building trust will make your customers and clients more at ease throughout their online shopping experience.

Although there are many other ways to boost the e-commerce side of your business, improving your checkout experience, utilizing social media, and building trust are three of the important business strategies that can help you gain and retain customers, even when you are able to operate your physical store. These three tools are even more essential when your stores are closed. Utilizing them will boost the e-commerce side of your business during times of difficulty as well as times of business prosperity.

To make your customers’ shopping experience better, try Pollcart today!

How to Convince Customers to Pay More for Your Products

Believe it or not, customers are pretty good at correctly guessing the actual price of a commodity. That being said, what customers pay largely depends on how you convince them. Many profitable companies utilize this gap to create a foundation for profit. After all, commodity pricing is the major equation for any industry to succeed.

Being able to raise your commodity price and convincing your customers to pay for it without losing them to the competitor is an indication you have better price communication. What happens when customers start balking on your product pricing? Putting all fears and doubts aside, know that there are ways to convince your customers to pay more for your products.

Emphasize Quality

A fundamental aspect of successful price increase starts long before the dreaded conversation with your customers. Make every communication you have with prospective customers emphasize the quality of the product you are offering as well as how the customer will directly benefit from the product. During price communication, avoid mentioning the price of materials. Instead, emphasize product features and how product offering has evolved to help them further. Premium pricing can actually have advantages for your sales. When you invest in quality products, your customers will be more than ready to pay that premium price you set.

Emphasize Value

Every aspect of conversation with your customers should stress on the value of your products. Customers tend to side where they can see visible results. If you increase the number of available products to exceed that of your competitors, customers are more likely to buy yours over others. Even though all value is subjective, try to persuade your customers by showing them how they will get more quantity if they agree to pay high.

Give Installment Plans

An installment plan is a valid payment option that many customers prefer when available. They find it appealing to acquire the desired product at a small price with the flexibility of completing the payment. You can use the installment plan to make your products appear even more affordable.

For many customers, paying installments of a particular amount of money in a specified duration is more agreeable than paying the full amount upfront. So, if you can, offer the installment option.

By taking into consideration the need to emphasize quality and value, and opening up your mind to the possibility of installment plans, you can feel confident in setting a price that you feel is worth your products and that your customers will pay for without hesitation.

Here’s another article you might like: 4 Best Ways to Boost Ecommerce Sales Fast

How Your Point of Sale System Impacts the Rate of Cart Abandonment

Point-of-sale (POS) systems have changed the ways that businesses take their payments and, in some instances, make sales. However, this incredible technology that has saved countless companies also comes with its risks. This is most commonly seen within the e-commerce industry, where making the sale depends on a smooth checkout process. If you have been noticing an increase in cart abandonment, the following information is for you.

User Experience

Having your own e-commerce business is one of the best routes to take when capital is an issue. It doesn’t take much to start one up and keep it running. However, you also take on the challenge of having customers who can leave for the competition in an instant. This is why it is so important to always make sure that the user experience in regards to your point of sale is a good one. According to Bold Commerce running into a confusing screen or one that makes them sign in within multiple windows can become a little frustrating for the customer, and when then happens you risk losing the sale. Always make sure that your checkout process is not only visually pleasing but also causes as little frustration as possible for customers.

Addressing Problems

Most issues regarding a company’s point of sale can be easily fixed. Therefore, often, the issue is not the system itself, but the talent you have looking over it. When business leaders begin to realize that their POS is the cause of most of their cart abandonment issues, the only logical step is to run through the process yourself to identify pain points. Celerant explains that POS software training and analysis can be used to identify user experience issues and how to fix them. Sometimes, they are as easy as simply downloading updates to your POS, or it could be something more serious. Nevertheless, training is crucial for finding the exact problem as fast as possible.

Feedback

Among the steps you can take to identify issues regarding your POS, only the customer can give you an exact and unbiased answer as to their experience. Therefore, business leaders should always seek feedback from their customers at the end of a transaction. This will provide you with valuable data regarding aspects of your POS system that are working or could be improved upon.

Point-of-sale systems are great tools for any retailer to have. This type of technology is often the most important part of a sale, and it must be understood and maintained continuously.

Would-be customers often rely on the feedback and reviews you get from already existing customers. Watch these videos to see how our app can also help you rescue carts before they are abandoned for good!

Get More Sales and Fewer Abandoned Carts by Optimizing Your Purchase Funnel

More than half of online shopping carts are abandoned before the completion of the purchase cycle of an e-commerce business. This translates to lost sales and uncommitted shoppers who were convinced not to go ahead with the purchase. It is essential that e-commerce businesses identify these leaks in the purchase funnel before they make a devastating impact on the business.

Identify the Leaks in Your Current Funnel

Leaks in your purchase funnel can be costly. Not only do they drain your sales and compromise your user experience, but they can also drastically slow your growth. Leaks in your current funnel need to be fixed right away. Some methods to identify them include flowcharts of both the shopping process and the company response procedure. Analytics can also be used to see where you are losing your leads at each shopping stage. It is important to determine the cause of these leaks and learn how to stop them from occurring.

Optimize Your Purchase Funnel

Once you identify the leaks in your current funnel, you can take steps to optimize your purchase funnel and improve your overall sales. These steps usually include optimizing your shopping cart, developing a mobile app, and making the shopping experience more interactive. Pay extra attention when designing your store and streamlining your online checkout process. Customers are highly likely to abandon their carts if completing the transaction lags, takes too many steps, or is confusing in any way. 

Apply the 5 S’s of Efficiency and Profitability

While you evaluate your site’s organization, you may find additional ways to improve its efficiency and profitability. The 5S methodology is a workplace tool to implement improvements and help you optimize your purchase funnel so that you can get more sales. This methodology originated from five Japanese words: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shisuke. Translated, the 5 S’s of efficiency and profitability are: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.

If you are trying to streamline your website’s customer experience or improve its performance, the 5S methodology is an efficient solution. By seiri (sort), you are getting rid of anything on your website that is not necessary. By seiton (set in order), you are organizing a place for everything. By seiso (shine), you are cleaning everything up. By seiketsu (standardize), you are incorporating your new improvements into your regular process. By shisuke (sustain), you are setting procedures to ensure your new changes are being implemented.

Abandoned shopping carts can keep you from optimizing your sales, and they can indicate gaps where your purchase funnel needs some work. By identifying the current leaks in your funnel, taking steps to optimize your process and then making sure that your new improvements are implemented, you can make continuous advances toward your long-term business goals.
PollCart gives undecided shoppers another chance to complete a sale before leaving, which encourages social commerce and drives sales. Start using Pollcart today to optimize your purchase funnel!

5 Tips for Improving Your Business’s Online Reputation

Protecting and improving the online reputation of your business is vital to your success. Buyers are deterred by negative reviews from past customers, and there is no way to truly measure the number of sales lost due to a negative review. Fortunately, there are a number of tips that will help build and protect your online reputation. 

Create and Maintain Social Media Accounts

A coordinated social media strategy is an important piece to the puzzle in regard to managing the online reputation of your company. According to Capterra, the first step in the process is to start with the social media platform that is best suited to your particular business. Once you have gained traction on this platform, you can expand to others. 

Once your platform is chosen, you will be able to engage in conversation and build a relationship with your target audience. The best way to take advantage of this opportunity is to engage the audience with interesting and useful content. You should not constantly blast your audience with promotional messages. 

Respond to Reviews

You will need to use a bit of strategy to effectively respond to reviews that you receive on Google and social media. Positive reviews should be acknowledged promptly, and a sincere thank you should be delivered. If you are familiar with the transaction, mention a detail that will be remembered by the customer. The personal touch will be appreciated. 

As Podium explains, customer reviews allow businesses to both get a feel for how their customers think they’re performing and ideas for how to improve. Resist the urge to become reactionary if a bad review of your company’s product or services is received. Be honest with disgruntled customers and offer to do what is needed to reconcile the bad experience for them. 

Include Employees

It is not uncommon for customers to google salespeople. When salesmen and saleswomen working for your company are mentioned in reviews, it increases their value to future customers. Data from ReferralRock shows that when your employees are considered more trustworthy by customers, this sentiment carries over to your company. 

When the name of an employee is mentioned in a review, it is a great opportunity to get that employee engaged in the process. Encourage your employee to respond personally to the customer who appreciated the efforts enough to leave a positive review. 

Treat Online Reviews Like an Asset

It is a valuable advantage to you when happy customers leave reviews about their experiences with your company. These reviews improve your ranking in search engines and elevate your company to authority status when potential customers perform local searches. 

Positive online reviews and word-of-mouth promotion are powerful revenue generators that have earned a place on your company balance sheet. The time and effort it takes to build and maintain your online reputation make online reviews a valuable commodity. You should remember this fact if you ever look to sell your company. 

Be Consistent

One important point brought up by i5 Web Design is that building your online relationship is similar to other aspects of building human relationships in that consistency and delivering on promises are essential. If you have offered discounts to customers to make up for a bad experience or if you have promised to address an issue that was not to a customer’s satisfaction, you should make sure you not only follow up on the promises but that you also make necessary changes so that the original problem will not happen again. 

Remember that the interaction you have with a customer online is viewable by all potential customers. It is a simple process for others to follow the story as it develops. 

Online reputation management is becoming more and more important in today’s high-tech world. In moments, consumers can perform all the research needed about any company to decide whether or not they will choose to do business with the company. You should be proactive in your goals to present your company in as positive a manner online as possible.
Want to learn more about your target audience and your customers? PollCart allows online shoppers to poll family and friends about purchases processed after approval. Try PollCart today!

How to Make a Business Network That Will Increase Sales

In order to run a profitable business, you definitely need to have a strong marketing strategy. Is networking part of yours? There are many strategies to employ, some of which are effective and some that are not so great. If you tend to approach marketing with hesitation, there are luckily some techniques you can utilize that will make your networking much easier and help you to increase sales.

Start Early

Although it can be difficult to determine what type of business you might want to have several years down the road, you should start building your network early. Even if these individuals are not largely related to your chosen industry, they still might know someone you could use as a referral. Ideally, you have your network and connections started before you even start your business, according to Daymond John. This will help ensure business success. Don’t rule out building a network on social media either. This digital word of mouth could definitely pay off for you in the future.  

Connect Often

Creating and maintaining relationships is a great way to ensure continued sales, and it is even one of the main concepts taught in business school. Basically, as long as you do not overdo it, contacting former clients and potential customers can lead to higher financial returns. Moreover, according to Talent Culture, working on your “Return on Relationships” can also often lead to increased sales because a satisfied customer will often tell others about his or her remarkable experience with your business.

Are you wondering how you can connect with people? There are actually many ways to do it. Newsletters, emails, mailings, cards sent on special occasions, and even texts can all be ways to stay in touch. Doing these things will put your name in front of customers again, and they may consider a repeat purchase for your goods or services.

Keep Your Blog Updated

There are many situations in which new customers have become regular clients just from looking at a company’s blog, according to Lyfe Marketing. Be sure to keep your blog updated with new content published regularly. Maintaining a personal company blog is also a great way to disseminate your business philosophy.

There are definitely many out-of-the-box ways for you to network your business. Follow the strategies outlined above and seek out more experienced business leaders who can give you invaluable advice and insight, and your sales are sure to increase.

Building your business network will help you to increase sales, but PollCart can help you with that too. Check out how PollCart can help!

4 Best Ways to Boost Ecommerce Sales Fast

Have you been disappointed with the slow growth of your ecommerce site? There are four key things you might be missing that can make a difference in your results. Even if you already have a lot of sales, you can boost ecommerce sales fast by following the four methods below.

Email Marketing

Businesses that use email marketing earn $38 for every $1 spent. This can lead to an impressive ROI of 300% and above. Email marketing was found effective for both small and large businesses, so no matter what size your online store is, you should use email marketing. Ask customers if it’s okay to send them emails when they buy something from your store. You can include this as a checkable box in your form. Another way to get people on your list is to offer a free ebook or other relevant digital content in exchange for their email addresses. If your ecommerce store has products from many different niches, you could encourage people to sign up for your newsletter to receive exclusive offers. Just make sure you are professional in your commmunication. Things like a professional email address can improve your credibility with your customers.

Optimize Your Funnels for Mobile Users

Almost three-quarters of website traffic is now mobile, so it’s important to keep your website mobile-friendly down to the funnels. Many people use their smartphones to research purchases and complete their transactions. You don’t need to scrap your current funnel, but you should analyze where your strengths are for both mobile and desktop users. In general, you’ll be taking a minimalist approach to optimizing your funnels. Ideas for improving funnels are to shorten forms, use a mobile-friendly, responsive website design, and double check that CTA buttons are easy to view and click on mobile devices.

Show Your Website Is Secure

If you don’t have an SSL certificate, you’re losing out on sales. Many consumers don’t purchase from sites without SSL certificates because they’re worried about their sensitive information being stolen. Make your website as secure as possible, and display any security badges to help establish trust with online consumers. Examples of security badges are the “Paypal Verified” and “ScanAlert Hacker Safe” badges.

PollCart

Shopify users have access to PollCart, which is an application that speeds up the buying process. It enables your customers to poll their social network, including friends, family, and industry experts, about an item they’re thinking of buying. People have twenty-four hours to share their opinions on the item. If all goes well, then the customer will buy the product. PollCart reduces instances of abandoned shopping carts and returns.

You can boost ecommerce sales fast by optimizing your funnel for mobile users, making it clear your website is secure, using Pollcart, and utilizing email marketing. These effective strategies will lead to increased sales in no time when implemented correctly.

Check out our videos for more information on how PollCart works!

PollCart simplifies e-commerce shopping polls, extending functionality to URL and referral links

LINKS keyboard

PollCart simplifies e-commerce shopping polls with the new feature of automatic poll creation from any referring URL or a URL added to link.pollcart.com. Here are some use cases.

The “referrer” link use case (easiest)

Your e-commerce website has a number of pages, probably at least one for each item. You use includes like headers and footers for the navigation, but each page also has unique content.

PollCart’s past versions would require custom javascript to create a unique poll for each page. Now you simply add a link to your page for “https://link.pollcart.com” that might say, “Use PollCart to ask others” or “Ask one friend now with PollCart.” Any page with a link to “link.pollcart.com” becomes the subject of a PollCart poll when the user clicks on your item’s page and follows the link to PollCart.

While our competitors are thinking of more complicated ways to confuse your developers, we’re giving you permission to fire them. Don’t though, we’re developers, too 🙂

The “URL” link use case (easy)

Here’s the second new piece, a little more complex, but equally cool. If you want to add a PollCart link pointing to a particular item page somewhere besides that item page, like on Twitter or Facebook, you can simply add the item URL to the end of the “https://link.pollcart.com” URL. Like this, if you’re selling CBD oil for dogs:

Source Organic CBD Oil – 200 MG

You might have a URL like “https://market.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/products/cbd-oil-200-mg” – and say, no idea how to JavaScript or TypeScript or generallyScript a PollCart poll, all you have to do is this:

Add “https://market.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/products/cbd-oil-200-mg”

to “https://link.pollcart.com”

like this:

“https://link.pollcart.com/https://market.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/products/cbd-oil-200-mg”

So the final link might look like this. Close your eyes if you can’t stand the site of late 90s HTML.

<a href=”https://link.pollcart.com/https://market.dogsnaturallymagazine.com/products/cbd-oil-200-mg”>Ask others about Source Organic CBD Oil, poll your friends now</a>

Okay, the code part is done for now. No WordPress plugin required. No anyScript of anyKind. (Capitalization humor)

And if that URL thing is too much (believe me I can relate) then just put a link to “https://link.pollcart.com” in an included part of your websites like the header or footer and it will turn every page into a poll conversion waiting to happen.

Some details about how it works

To use the new functionality, simply add a link to https://link.pollcart.com on any page and PollCart will detect the referrer, creating a poll for that page. To get more specific, you can add a slash and the URL address of the desired product to the URL of the current page:

E.g. “https://link.pollcart.com/https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FMLZCR5″

Pretty cool, huh? You just add the entire URL completely unedited after a slash.

Try both links to see how effective adding PollCart’s referrer link or PollCart’s URL link to your e-commerce page.