Five things you didn?t know about e-commerce

The UK is the number one country for online shopping in the world. Brits are spending more online than any other population in the world ? so there are plenty of opportunities for you to make that next step forward. In this article Garden Connect shows you five things you may not have known but could be very valuable:

Plants are sold online to your older customers
Surprisingly, the age group of 55 to 65 spends more money buying plants online than age group 45 to 55. On average, 10% of the money spent on plants is spent online. Age group 45 to 55 is at 8% while 65 and older is at 6%. If you?re not offering plants online you can only fulfill 90% of the potential in this important category. Figures are based on a survey by the HTA.

Making money is very hard
Even nowadays some garden centres feel their webshop should be their second, virtual garden centre and should generate a profit. It?s pretty hard to make that happen: Amazon is not making a profit on its webshop, and nor is big fashion retailer Zalando. Looking at your webshop as an online extension of your garden centre and serving your own area will make your life easier and customers happier ? and it will generate a profit in the long term since online orientation and offline sales are strongly related to each other.

Paypal is not a perfect payment method
Paypal is good, but it shouldn?t be the only option. The disadvantage of Paypal is clearly shown if people do not have an account. Yes, it?s possible to order using a credit or debit card without a Paypal account, but the number of people cancelling the order at Paypal?s payment page is far higher than average (to say it better: it?s what we figured out at Garden Connect after analyzing multiple sites and shopping carts). Yours is a serious business so spend some money to get an online payment account at Sage or Barclaycard.

Selling Weber barbecues is not the way to go
Not exactly if you?re inexperienced. Weber and other major brands are covered by a wide range of webshops, so you will face tough competition in this product category and online. This means it will be hard to rank on the top three on Google results and you will have to spend a small fortune on Google Adwords to generate traffic. If you?re just starting, stay away from the big brands and find yourself something unique. It saves you time and disappointment.

The small screen matters a lot!
It differs from site to site, but on average about 30-40% of the visitors to your webshop is coming via a tablet or smartphone. If you?re working on your new site be sure it fits on a small screen. Smartphone and tablet optimisation matters, whether your customers are looking to buy a gift on the go or they?re looking for new garden furniture on a sun lounger in the garden.

There might be 100 more things you have yet to learn about e-commerce. In that case you?re free to join our e-commerce webinar, in association with the HTA, on 22 November at 9am. Just send an email to edwin@gardenconnect.com to join this free webinar if you want to learn more about e-commerce.

Edwin Meijer is marketing director at Garden Connect.

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