It’s not especially difficult to launch an e-commerce website, so why buy an established operation?
Because starting a website is one thing; making money from it, quite another.
Buying an existing website bypasses all the hassle associated with a start-up. So long as you do your due diligence and pick a profitable site, you’ll inherit a business that is already trading and generating revenues.
The theory of marginal gains proposes that very minor improvements in a range of areas can have a profound effect on overall performance. Famously espoused by cycling supremo David Brailsford, it has been credited with transforming Great Britain into the dominant force in track cycling.
The theory works particularly well when applied to ecommerce. A minor tweak to a call to action, for instance, can dramatically improve conversions, while a few well judged changes to your SEO approach can elevate your site onto page one of a key Google search and send traffic soaring.
Here are eight ways in which you can quickly boost traffic and sales soon after acquiring a website:
Audit your product range
Can you streamline your product range by abandoning poorly selling items? Doing so might free you up to buy bestsellers in larger amounts and therefore get better bulk discounts from suppliers.
Can you find better suppliers?
Whoever sold you the website may have complacently stuck with the same supplier for many years without checking for a better deal elsewhere. Sound out some alternatives and you might be able to boost your margins.
Formulate a cost-effective SEO strategy
Can you generate a bigger reward for a smaller investment of time and money when it comes to SEO work? There’s no point trying to compete with Amazon on big terms like ‘books for sale’, for instance, but you might find a fruitful niche in long-tail terms like ‘antique books for sale’ and ‘buy antique books’. Pick your battles – you don’t have the resource to compete for every term going in your industry.
How can you enhance user experience? Page-load speeds, ease of navigation and visual appeal count for a lot (including towards SEO). It may be time to reconsider your website hosting service if you’re unhappy with the response to your attempted changes in this regard.
Can you simplify the payment process
More than two-thirds of shopping carts are abandoned before a purchase is made, according to an aggregate of studies examining the issue . The most cited reason was unexpected shipping, tax and other costs, with overcomplicated navigation, an over-lengthy process and concerns about payment security among many other reasons given. Can you identify and remedy such shortcomings in your own website?
Conduct A/B testing
Also known as split testing, A/B testing shows users two or more variants of a web page at random and compares conversion rates to determine the most effective variant. It’s easy to do and a very minor tweak – such as switching the position, colour or size of a particular call to action – can have a dramatic impact. In one case study, a website boosted conversions by 161% after replacing a stock image with a genuine photo of a customer on its homepage .
Are you making the most of social media?
Three in four consumers consult social media before making a purchase . But don’t use social platforms in a scattergun manner. Whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Instragram, Pinterest or a mixture of more than one medium, prioritise your platform depending on the habits of your target consumer.
Are you capturing enough customer data?
If the previous owner neglected data capture then this is a great way to boost repeat business and therefore recurring revenues. Is there a newsletter sign-up call-to-action on your homepage and is it prominent enough? Do you offer customers the chance to sign up to a newsletter during the payment process?