5 ways to grow your online business.

Oct 09 2018 | PayPal editorial staff

You’ve successfully launched your e-commerce business, and now it’s time to bring customers to your virtual door. How do you do that? Following the five tips we've outlined below can help you raise awareness of your online business and build a loyal customer base.

1. Build trust in your online business.

Even though you’ve taken steps to make your online business secure, wary shoppers need clear signs that they can trust you before they load up their carts. Try to alleviate anxiety throughout the buying cycle, from browsing through checkout. You can help do this by:
  • Giving your site a tune-up. A solid e-commerce site gives shoppers confidence that the entire experience, including privacy and security, will go smoothly. Test your infrastructure, clean up broken links and images and fix misspelled words or poor grammar.
  • Posting trust seals. Trust and security seals can help reassure customers that their personal and financial information is secure throughout the checkout process. Just be sure to do research and only display trust seals from reputable sources.
  • Telling your story. Shoppers feel comfortable buying online when they know that real people run a company. Create an “About Us” or “Company History” section, and include pictures of employees, offices, and warehouses if you have them.

2. Study up on search engine optimization (SEO).

Help to ensure your products show up on the first few pages of search results, otherwise known as search engine optimization or SEO. While you can’t maintain complete control over where your company and products appear in search results, you can control elements of your website that can move you up or down in search results.
  • Create concise title tags. It’s worth your time to craft clear descriptions of each page, including keywords that tell search engines and users what the page is about.
  • Write powerful meta-descriptions. Similarly, meta-descriptions text appears just underneath the title tag in search results. Here, too, clear and accurate text helps users understand what you’re offering, and whether they want to click–or move on.
  • Make sure you’re mobile-friendly. Search engines prioritize mobile-optimized sites in their rankings. Ensure that yours passes common tests for mobile usability.

3. Optimize your checkout.

If shoppers get stuck in checkout trying to finish a purchase, they’ll move on to another online storefront. Fortunately, there are easy ways to make your checkout process more customer friendly, helping to convert more shoppers into buyers.
  • Conduct some user testing. You don’t need to commission an expensive study—ask friends and family to try to buy some products. Watch as they shop, noting where they get frustrated. Just five or six “testers” can point out checkout issues.
  • Reduce unnecessary steps. The more steps in your checkout, the more likely it is that customers will abandon their carts. Weigh your desire for data against the need to encourage completed purchases.
  • Consider allowing guest checkout. Many shoppers want instant gratification. Allowing them to check out as guests can help build loyalty—and return shoppers should be more likely to create accounts.

4. Attract customers with remarketing.

Remarketing (also called retargeting) is a way to recapture the attention of shoppers who’ve shown interest in your business, but who have left your website. Ads for your business “follow” them to other sites, reminding them that they can come back and buy.

5. Go global.

To create an online presence and test a few target markets, do some homework on how shoppers in other countries purchase online and what their preferred payment methods are. Visit the PayPal PassPort site, which has valuable stats, such as seasonal sales peaks around holidays and events worldwide; cultural customs, taboos, and trends that can affect e-commerce; shipping and distribution logistics; taxes and duties; and more.
The contents of this site are provided for informational purposes only. You should always obtain independent, professional accounting, financial, and legal advice before making any business decision.