The e-commerce sector of business has been growing at an incredible rate in the last decade. Consumers are more willing than ever to make purchases online, and billions of households now have fast and reliable internet access to enable this. In addition, most of the world’s population now owns a smartphone, enabling them to buy online from any location with a suitable mobile network. It is little surprise that the market for e-commerce products is enjoying such success.
However, if you are a small e-commerce company, you may find it difficult to gain a suitable market share in what is becoming an increasingly crowded global marketplace. Every year, thousands of firms set up business in the online space, and existing e-commerce firms may find that they are competing with rival companies from around the world, especially if they can deliver to acceptable timescales. This article focuses on what makes a successful e-commerce firm, exploring two key traits.
- Efficient cloud-based operations
As a first key point, all e-commerce firms need to have efficient online IT infrastructure. Websites rely on secure payment platforms to make sales and a wealth of other applications that ensure the site operates effectively while providing customers with a pleasurable surfing experience. As the number of cloud-based applications grows, they need to be managed with application programming interfaces (APIs) and API gateways. These digital assets ensure that applications and smaller pieces of code can communicate effectively with each other and that online performance remains optimal.
However, every e-commerce firm needs performance and security data from their cloud-based IT services. This is achieved by investing in an industry-leading API analytics platform. This allows e-commerce firms to quickly retrieve performance data on their key apps and software systems. Traffic through the APIs can be effectively monitored, and spikes in demand for access and error rates can be understood. Put simply, this vital tech allows e-commerce firms to have a clear picture of the performance of their online infrastructure, ensuring that critical systems function effectively and efficiently.
- A constantly updated, SEO-friendly website
Every e-commerce website needs to keep its company website up to date. This can be in terms of the overall styles and themes as well as the content. The website is one of the main consumer touchpoints in any e-commerce firm, and it needs to have a consistent brand image from page to page. It must obey the best search engine optimization (SEO) practices to ensure that the site gains the highest possible levels of organic web traffic. When customers search online, the company site needs to rank as highly as possible in the search results.
More than 90% of potential customers do not even look at page 2 of the search results so it is vital to aim for the highest possible rankings across all your webpages pages. Along with other effective SEO strategies, intelligent keyword research can be used to help create content that will stimulate demand and interest from your target market. Smaller e-commerce firms can target longer tail keywords to gain traffic from specific niche markets or consumers who are shopping for specific products. Often, these long-tail keywords are less heavily contested, making it easier to rank for them.