3 Best Practice Tips for Small eCommerce Businesses

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With the exponentially growing eCommerce world, now is the time to gain recognition, trust, and credibility. Unfortunately, simply opening up and adding products to an online store alone won’t drive traffic to your site. But don’t be discouraged! There are many platforms, in addition to your online store, that will help you grow your small business in the eCommerce world.

Keeping up with changing trends and methods of customer engagement is essential for online retailers. As a small business, it may seem to be a daunting task to mimic strategies carried out by behemoth competitors, however, there are many simple and effective ways to build your consumer base and gain an edge in the eCommerce world.

Here are some tips on how to acquire and retain customers on your eCommerce site.

Social Networks

If you haven’t heard this before, get active on social media! Find out which platforms your customers are most active on and join the conversation! If you are just starting out, create social media accounts across many platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, LinkedIn), and adjust your activity based on your most responsive platforms. While this may take some trial and error, it is vital to maintaining your social media success. The vast majority of B2C companies are active across many social media platforms, which means you can’t afford not to be. Test various types of posts across your platforms to generate knowledge about your customer base.

Not only do consumers want to see you on social media, but they expect their concerns to be answered on social media as well. Customer service is transitioning from traditional call centres to social media. Track activity on your channels, as many consumers go to social media to vouch for, or vent frustrations. It is essential to respond to these mentions. This is a simple way to let consumers know that their voices are not being ignored or drowned out.


As a small business, making the best first impression is important not only to retain customers, but to attract them as well. Often, a consumer’s first interaction with an eCommerce store is on their mobile device while they are researching products. Customers are increasingly using their mobile devices to research and purchase items. This means it is even more important to invest in your website’s mobile layout and experience.

Optimizing your mobile site means going beyond mobile-friendly design. By ignoring the importance of optimizing your mobile experience, you are missing out on acquiring new customers. A survey found that 73% of consumers find mobile websites load too slow, and 74% say they will leave the site after waiting for more than 5 seconds. Ensure that your eCommerce site is optimized for mobile by modifying large media files, simplifying your website’s layout, and using made-for mobile navigation. mCommerce is only increasing in size; pay attention to it now before it’s too late. Don’t get left behind!

Site Search

Up to 30% of consumers use a search box on an eCommerce website. Within this group, the intention to purchase is nearly 2 times higher than those who do not use the search box. Take advantage of this rate by ensuring your search box is in a visible area, and is generating relevant results. Since this group has a much higher intention to purchase, it is important that they are able to find what they are looking for easily. If your search box is not returning relevant results, you may be unintentionally turning these customers to your competitors.

Engage and retain your customers through your analytics. Through Google analytics, you can see what your customers are searching for on your eCommerce site. The words that they are searching for are more than simple keywords. These search terms are what your customers think you should have. These words are the items that your customers associate with your store. Customers will be more likely to return to your store if you provide them with the products they go to your online store for.

Consumers have high expectations of eCommerce stores, and will abandon a site without blinking if it does not meet their expectations. Maintain your competitiveness by giving your consumers the experience they are looking for. Not only does site search make your consumers happy, but it also increases your conversions. With functional site search, consumers will be able to find what they are looking for, making them more likely to purchase and return to your eCommerce store.

Here at Nextopia, we are happy to help you with any questions you may have about how to grow your small business. Named a Top 3 site search solution by Internet Retailer, we are always eager to share our knowledge to help you sell smarter.

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