Selling online is getting more and more competitive every day as more and more businesses realise that if they have products, they need to sell them online, even if they already have a high street shop.

Online competition is fierce and the bottom line is often defined by the appearance, usability, and mobility of your website. Do you know how many people abandon their shopping baskets before they buy from you? If you don’t – you’ve got a problem. However you don’t know how big the problem is and you’ve therefore probably got no idea how to solve it.

Shopping basket abandonment is steadily increasing every year, and the loss to your business can be staggering, especially if you don’t know it happening.

So what can you do to your online shopping website to make sure that you don’t get customers leaving their shopping basket in your virtual aisle and convince them to come along to your checkout.

1. Give Your Regular Customers Love

According to experts, it can cost you financially anywhere from five to twenty-five percent more to acquire new customers than to keep your existing ones. So you must have a customer retention strategy. They will be far less likely to browse your competitors’ websites when they know they can buy from your online store, to get the quality products they’re used and the service you can give them.

2. Offer Customer Support

Nothing frustrates a customer more than poor customer service. If you make returning items difficult, customers are likely to buy from a competitor next time. Returns and sadly just a part of shopping and you need to make sure that your business handles them efficiently, without fuss and in a way that makes your customers still feel loved, even through they brought their products back to you.

3. Give Customers a Reason to Come Back

Speaking of keeping customers coming back, you need to keep them informed about what’s going on within your business. Send an engaging email marketing campaign that delivers a new promotion into their inbox on a regular basis. Your eCommerce store therefore stays in their thoughts and, if different promotions are segmented to the correct customer lists, you should start to see more repeat customers.

4. Use Amazing Images

It’s hardly a secret that successful eCommerce stores require excellent product photography. You simply cannot take some photos of your products using your iPhone and slap them online to get great sales.

You must hire a professional product photographer to take high quality photos of your products that go beyond the simple product shot and tell your story behind the product. Your store will rise above your competitors and customers will buy more if you have stunning products on show

5. Tell Stories

Rather than just writing plain product descriptions, create vibrant headlines that help your customers better imagine owning your products. For example, change “Jar of Venezuelan bees honey” to “This high sought after Venezuelan bees honey comes to you, hand picked from the South American rain forests and will invigorate you with every mouthful”

Get creative and start to sell dream items online, rather than just a boring product.

6. Be Easy to Find

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is another critical component of your eCommerce strategy. After all, if you don’t make it each to find your website, how do you expect to make online sales?

Work with an SEO consultant to make sure the textual content, product descriptions and other pages are optimised for every product that you sell.

7. Keep It Clean

It may go without saying, but keeping your eCommerce website clean is critical if you want visitors to continue browsing and checkout with a full basket. Your user interface has to be impeccable, as does making the overall user experience as simple and intuitive as possible.

With so much online competition, a customer who cannot find easily what they are looking for will very quickly become tired and leave for one of your competitors.

8. Be Mobile

You must have a mobile friendly and responsive website in this modern age. More than half of online customers are now shopping on mobile phones and tablets and your website must allow them to do so with ease.

If they cannot browse your website under their terms using a device of their choosing, then they will just walk away to a competitor.

9. Embody a Lifestyle

The importance of differentiation for any online store needs to be stated. With so much competition online, your need to focus on your niche and spend your time and effort on demonstrating your expertise in that niche.

Show off that you are different from other online stores in your sector by having something that few others do. Get the right products, develop that niche and you will be found for it.

10. Get Pricing Right

Price is always a tough subject and whilst customers will want to pay the right price, it’s not always the first thing that they think of. That said though, you at least have to be competitive and in the right range.

After you’ve done everything else to get potential customers to purchase a product, the last thing you want to do is lose them because a competitor has a slightly lower price or has a deal, coupon or lower delivery charges.

You must research pricing, to make sure that what you are offering is fair. Make sure that you also look at the price of your delivery. Is this free delivery and the price is adsorbed into the rest of your profit margins or do you promote a cheaper item price, but them add delivery on top. You need to know your industry for this one, but whatever you do make sure that it’s right for your customers.