2013 the year of E-commerce: Will your company capture the growth or be left on the sidelines?

Today’s blog post is brought to you by our newest member of the Customer Support Hero Squad, Blake Harris!

2012 was certainly a remarkable year. Facebook got its one billionth user, a relatively unknown band from South Korea took YouTube’s crown for the most watched video ever, and all of us (aside from Mr. Twinkie) survived the Mayan apocalypse.

What 2013 holds remains to be seen, but one trend you can bet on is the continued growth in e-commerce. From 2004 to 2011, e-commerce sales doubled and yet still only represents a meager 8.6% of all retail commerce, leaving seemingly endless growth potential ahead.

ascent-of-ecommerce

However, the growth we have seen and will see is far from evenly distributed. The players in the e-commerce world can be summed up into two groups – the contenders and the pretenders. The question you need to ask yourself is; will my company ride to the top of the e-commerce wave or will we be left on the sidelines as others are showered with prosperity?

To better your chances of riding to the top of the e-commerce wave just follow the 6 steps outlined below…
1. Be unique.
The world wide web is big and growing fast. You need to STAND out. Really STAND OUT.

PSY-gangnam-style

The South Korean Gangman Style video did not become the king of YouTube because it had the best lyrics. After all the video, which has been viewed over a billion times, is in a language that less than 0.01% of the world speaks! Yet the combination of scenery, costumes, characters, music and dance all came together to create quite a hit. Be the best you can be, then once you have done that be the most unique you can be!
– Try something funny.
– Keep it clean but fully professional may not be needed.
– Add content that your visitors will want to share.

2. Focus on usability.
The amount of time and number of clicks a website visitor is willing to expend before they move on to the next site is lower than ever before and this trend is expected to continue. Make sure your website is first-time-visitor-friendly.
– Limit the number of options a visitor has.
– Keep important content on the left.
– Have a clear call to action.

Also consider checking out this great article on website usability
Or consider reading Steve Krug’s book on usability “Don’t Make Me Think,”

4. Add live chat to your website today!
Generation Y and Z consider email passe. This is an enormous market that is casting their vote with credit cards 24/7 as to which companies will dominate e-commerce and which companies will get left behind. If you are planning to stick to just an email address and phone number as means for your website visitors to connect with you, then take some time to tidy up your resume because your customers will start moving to competitors that can help them in real time. Don’t miss out on this $340 billion dollar market, add live chat to your website. Sign up for your Free Trial today!

5. Build with the BRICS.
No, not the bricks used to build your parents’ fireplace. The BRICS that are already responsible for most of the world’s economic growth. Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa have already begun to dominate many industries and we can certainly expect that as internet access proliferates in these countries, e-commerce will explode there as well. Have various forms of your website designed to meet the needs of individuals in all of these countries. Give serious weight to multi-lingual job applicants when hiring and become familiar with the business customs of the country where your customers are located. (Oh and on that note, if you speak Portuguese and want an awesome job in an incredible city, come apply to work with us at SnapEngage. See more information at www.SnapEngage.com/jobs.)

6. Make 2013 the year you become an SEO superstar!
Make a habit to blog weekly, join google+, create a google place for your business, and keep up with the latest trends in social media. Start now by commenting below on how you are going to make your company a true contender in the e-commerce market in 2013!