1. Reduced Cost Of Website Development
Perhaps the best advantage of using an eCommerce website builder to build your eCommerce store lies in the amount of cash you free up to spend on SEO & internet marketing.
If you use Magento (as an example) as the platform to build your site, you are going to pay around 4k-5k in website development costs. That's a massive investment right up front and a significant risk if you are going into a new market with no track record behind you.
Paying £29.99 per month with no upfront fees is the smartest move you can make. You'll free up all that website development cash to spend on marketing your site rather than pouring it into a black hole of minor website interface improvements that will have little or no impact on the bottom line. Add a range of free awe-inspiring responsive templates into the mix, and you will get a great looking site for a fraction of the traditional development cost.
Do not underestimate how powerful this technique is. Sites built using Magento and other open source software are continually haemorrhaging cash via site updates and patches, sometimes as often as every month, as they discover new security alerts, and fixes become available.
When you use the EKM website builder as your eCommerce platform, the software is updated automatically behind the scenes, and continual improvements become available through cloud distribution in the background. In this way, you can build a fantastic looking site without having to learn a line of code. If you can find your way around a keyboard and use a word processor, you'll be able to build a great eCommerce store using EKM.
2. Concentrate On Your USP
Your USP (Unique Selling Proposition) needs to be up front and easily discernible. You won't get anywhere by merely trying to compete on price.
You need better products, better service and a better marketing plan to rise above your competition.
Competing on price is a rapid descent into non-profitability. The harder you work at supplying products at the lowest price, the quicker will be your demise. Moving onto Amazon and eBay listings that try to win business on price alone is not the way to build a sustainable business. There is so much competition, and there will always be someone cheaper than you.
The answer is to improve your products and personalise packaging while at the same time refining your sales funnel so that you convert more customers for the same amount of visitors. This part isn't done so quickly, but it is what makes the difference between success and failure in crowded marketplaces.
3. Trust Signals
Trust is the invisible bond between your website and your customer. It's the X-factor that makes the difference between a potential customer placing an order on your website or clicking straight back to the search results.
Trust cannot be bought or sold. It takes a long time to build it up, and it can be knocked down in seconds. Trust is indeed a magical ingredient within the marketing mix. If you don't have sound trust signals, then, unfortunately, conversion rates and sales revenue will remain low.
There are probably hundreds of different trust signals that you can implement but I'm going to concentrate on three of the best, and if you use these you will undoubtedly see a jump in your conversion rate:
A: Provide Customer Reviews
When you begin your search for a new product or service, do you take into account the reviews left by customers on sites like Amazon? Of course, you do! Adding reviews is why adding them to your products is such a powerful technique.
Concentrate on following up with customers and offer them incentives to leave reviews on your website. You can integrate scripts from sites like Trustpilot with your EKM website to make the whole process of adding reviews as simple as possible. Also, you can add the Google checkout script to your store, which lets users express their satisfaction with their shopping experience.
B: Include Social Proof
People like to feel confident that they are making the right purchasing decision, and when you offer them proof that others have gone before them and are satisfied, it smooths the path to a successful transaction.
C: Provide Payment Assurance
Adding third-party badges and certifications to your website can significantly enhance the trust factor. Consider adding VeriSign, payment gateway and secure hosting symbols to the footer of your website.
4. Use Facebook Messenger
Have real-time conversations with customers on your shop using the Facebook Messenger chat popup. Facebook Messenger also makes it easy to answer questions from customers about products, orders and services while you're on the go using their mobile and tablet apps. Just click the "install" button from the features panel to activate!
5. Provide Great Product Images
Those fuzzy images you have on your website with a different background? Get rid of them and replace them with high-quality replacements. Nothing screams “unprofessional” quite like shoddy images on your site.
If you are having trouble finding quality images to use on your site, then I have an excellent guide to finding professional images to use on your website.
6. Use The Test Shop Environment
EKM comes complete with a test shop environment so that you can test out scripts and make theme changes without modifying the “live” site. The test site is a fantastic feature for developers because altering the “live” shop has so many ramifications if you mess something up.
There are always scripts that don't play nicely and need adjusting after deploying them. For example “countdown timers” that countdown hours and minutes until a next day delivery cut off point can have a dramatic effect on sales, but integrating the script with the existing site colours and placing it can be a tricky job.
This is why working in a test environment has so much going for it, and it is not a feature offered by other cloud-based website builders. Most of them provide a general development store, but this isn't perfect because you need to know if the code you are working with will play nicely with already installed system.
7. Add Your Own Custom Code
Another great advanced feature! Use the "inject custom code" button to place buttons, scripts and much more precisely where you want them on the page.
8. Integrated Apps & API
One of the reasons EKM is better to use than Shopify is that all of the "add-ons" you need are already available in the "features" section and you can activate them at no further cost. This is in direct contrast to Shopify where you have to pay fees for add-ons on that you want to utilise.
As you gradually implement more and more add-ons to your Shopify store, so your monthly cost keeps creeping up, and the result can be a costly store to run!
In addition to the existing integrated Apps, there is also a new API (application programming interface) so that if you need to, your developer can integrate EKM with other software packages.
9. Take Advantage Of Evolution Mode
You can request Evolution Mode once every 12 months on the Startup plan, and this is enough to be able to make some dramatic increases in sales and revenue across the board. On the "Growing" plan, you can make a request every six months and on the "Established" plan once a month.
What does Evolution Mode do?
When you request Evolution Mode, a team of experienced eCommerce experts will take a look at your shop and suggest design amendments, tweaks and fixes to improve your shop. It's like having a whole website design team at your disposal. Once the team have taken a look at your store you'll be notified when your Evolution Mode suggested improvements are ready to see; you'll then be able to accept or decline these changes.
Approve the changes, and the Evolution Team will implement these for you to look at in your Test Shop, once you're happy EKM will put the differences live, and you can reap the benefits of an improved eCommerce store at no extra cost!
10. Utilise Your Account Manager
When you open an EKM eCommerce store, you'll be assigned an account manager who is there to look out for your best interests and help you to grow your store. When you are paying a monthly fee for your eCommerce store, it makes entirely no sense to leave you to your own devices and watch you flounder around in the deep end.
If your store is not a success then ultimately you'll close it down, and EKM will lose the monthly subscription fee. With that in mind, it makes complete sense to do as much as possible to help you succeed
If you need help or assistance don't be afraid to pick up the phone and speak to your account manager - that's what they are there for!. They can help you grow your store with the knowledge gained from over 50,000+ installations.