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How to Make the Most of eCommerce in 2016

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In 2013, a study conducted by UPS found that 70% of Americans preferred shopping with their favorite retailers online. In the years since, online sales have continued to increase. After hitting $307 billion in 2014, ecommerce sales rose to $350 billion last year. And according to analysts, this year’s sales will fall just $2 billion short of $400 billion.

Why is ecommerce still growing at such a rapid rate? There are actually a few reasons for this behavior. The most obvious is comfort and convenience. Now that more consumers are comfortable with the idea of submitting their payment information online, they’re able to shop whenever they want. That’s especially true as more people compare or even place orders from mobile devices like phones and tablets. People are also drawn to the savings commonly associated with buying online. And because of pressure from major ecommerce titans like Amazon, faster shipping that’s free is becoming the standard.

Given all this information, it may sound like everything is rosy for businesses with a website. However, that’s actually not the case. While many companies are thriving in the online world, plenty of others are struggling in one or more ways. Regardless of where your business is at in its ecommerce journey, we want to share a few tips for how you can make 2016 a very successful year with ecommerce:

Start with a Reliable and Secure Processor

Successful ecommerce starts with having a reliable and secure way to process payments online. So if you don’t have a merchant provider that currently offers that functionality, it’s time to research and make the switch to a credit card processing company that will support your online efforts.

Make Your Website Accessible

Most sites now receive around half of their traffic from mobile devices. That means you need to look at your business website on devices like phones and tablets. If the site doesn’t look good or has functionality problems, fixing them should be a priority.

Streamline and Integrate

For businesses that plan to have an offline and online presence, making this transition is going to add some operational complexity. Fortunately, there are lots of tools that make it possible to integrate different operational features. From inventory to accounting, taking advantage of all available integrations will allow you to streamline operations as much as possible, which can be vital as a business scales up via online growth.

Look at Different Advertising and Marketing Channels

While the tips above can help you optimize your website, the average conversion rate for ecommerce is typically around 2-3%. So if you want to increase sales, driving more traffic to your website is just as important as optimizing it. Although bringing in more traffic can be a challenge and even cost-prohibitive with some channels, the key is to experiment with all available advertising and marketing channels. It only takes getting traction with one channel to help move the needle for your business.