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The competition for online sales continues to grow as more and more businesses take to the Internet. Although developing an eCommerce site does have potential to be a success, it does require effort to surpass the competition. There are key elements that need to be utilized to keep the online business relevant in today’s market.

1. A Marketing Budget

One of the reasons why many companies fail within the first four years is because of poor marketing. No one can buy from your online store if they don’t know it exists. Even if the marketing budget starts off small and grows with the company, anything is better than relying purely on search engine traffic. The competition is simply too great to not focus on marketing of some kind.

2. Mobile Readiness

In 2015, approximately 40 percent of sales during Black Friday were made on mobile devices. Each year, the amount of eCommerce performed on smartphones and tablets increases. Those who do not have a mobile-ready platform are reducing how much money they can make from consumers.

However, it takes more than just having a responsive site to prompt people to open their wallets. Speed and ease of use also needs to be considered. The majority of people will abandon a shopping cart if it takes too long to load on a mobile device.

3. Visual Appeal

According to studies, nearly 40 percent of people will leave a website if they find it unattractive. For a business that relies on Internet purchases, this is a lot of potential sales that will lost simply because visitors don’t like the appearance of the site. Your website shopping cart needs to be impressive to keep from losing those consumers. This visual appeal can be everything from the color scheme you choose to the overall layout.

4. Social Media Marketing

Social media plays an integral role in the lives of millions of potential shoppers. However, it takes more than just simply uploading a post about a company to drive fans and followers. It takes elements such as engagement, images and video clips to really sink a topic into the minds of those on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Even producing short YouTube video clips about how to use a product you sell can be cross-promotional while engaging a larger audience.

5. Superior Customer Service

Having superior customer service is how even the smallest of online stores compete with larger corporations. People are more likely to spend additional money by using a business that is approachable and reliable as opposed to one that isn’t. This includes things like having contact information clearly visible on the website, contact forms, good shipping practices and clear communication.

These are only a handful of the things any site owner needs to focus on to boost success of an eCommerce site. While there is still much that needs to be done, these elements have potential to vastly improve how the online store functions. Don’t assume that just because you have popular products for sale the money will simply start rolling in. It will be effort that governs over how your site stacks up against the competition.