Towards the beginning of 2017, the National Retail Federation speculated that online retail would grow 3x faster than the rest of the retail industry, with mobile e-commerce sales fast on the horizon (N.A., 2020). In order to be included in the masses, there is a good bit of strategy that must be put in place. E-commerce has been overshadowing the traditional retail industry for years now. As such, the ecommerce market is becoming more competitive than ever. Although there is an increasing number of new entrants, it isn’t always easy to hit it big online. Having a great strategy, identifying common struggle points, and being familiar with the key factors to success within the industry are helpful if one wants to make it to the top. There are several important factors to success:Branding, SEO Traffic, Customer UX , Transparency, Site Engagement and Advertisng. All of these factors will be considered in this report.

Often times experience is the greatest teacher. Even if this experience is at the expense of another’s failure. Almost 80% of all e-commerce businesses fail (N.A., 2020), all of which have three common elements. Three common reasons in which customers lose interest in an e-commerce venture causing it to fail are as follows: customers don’t know how to use the site, product value isn’t clear, or navigation is difficult. Many consumers view price and speed as highly influential in their shopping experience. Due to the nature of e-commerce being solely online, consumers feel more confident making purchases for items they can’t touch if they don’t have to pay for the shipping and can return the purchase if they aren’t satisfied. Strategically finding ways to combat these problems can lead to higher chances of success within the industry.

Branding with a Purpose:

In addition to avoiding the pitfalls that many other e-commerce industries have fallen into, branding with a purpose can help ensure success within the industry. Branding helps reflect the mission, identity and core values of a business. It helps convey what a business does and why they do. As with many things, time brings about change. Should a business have the luxury of existing for a lengthy amount of time, the approach they used to appeal to an audience twenty years ago may not work today. Especially when considering that the potential consumers of today will likely be the ones to dictate the future of the business as they will be around longer. Regardless of the approach, the vision and message being conveyed by the brand should not change or weaken. This hurts the overall message to the consumers who are often times keen on first impressions. One bad impression can cause a customer to question their next purchase and lead to them sharing their bad experiences with others. This newly created whole enables new entrants or competitors to pick up the customers and business. As such, brands should do everything in their power to avoid this occurrence. Often times, differentiation or USP’s (unique selling propositions) can help with this avoidance. This tool helps brands expand their core identity outward which enables them to reach their target audience. In addition to this marketing tool, SEO is often used as another tool.

Service Engine Optimization (SEO):

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to a website through search engine results. SEO is used to give searchers the most qualified results for their queries. Pages that use lazy tactics get penalized by Google and do not garner the best results.Google serves almost as a judge, deciding which sites get to go to the top of the search engine results. However, the constant algorithm updates make it difficult to keep up.As such, landing pages with relevant keywords are more likely to receive a higher Google ranking and show up during relevant searches.Entrepreneurs can perform their own keyword research to see how best to position their page content. It is helpful to always keep in mind that ones brand is also a keyword. There are resources such as Google Adwords Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest available to get the process started. Ads can be helpful in directing foot traffic to the site as well, so there should be great effort and attention to details place on this tool as well. As such, regardless of the SEO form being utilized there is no doubt that this particular key to success is worth the additional money, and time placed on strategizing. After the SEO ahs been properly handled, attention can be shifted over to user experience (UX).

Customer User Experience (UX)                           

In order for sites to funnel more traffic and increase customer actions, such as making a purchase, UX must be optimized. In order for this to be done, a website should clearly convey what their business does. It is helpful to reinforce what the brand does on the site. Additionally, it is helpful to make sure the shopping cart is easy for customers to view and access. As such, the checkout process needs to be straightforward. In a society where customers are accustomed to having things at the touch of a button, they are not keen on delays of any sort. Customer do not want to deal with a checkout process that makes purchasing their product harder than it needs to be. Having straightforward processes and even including interactive content has proven to be beneficial. Using videos, animated images, or even games can help draw customer attention and even get them engaged. The same strategies should be included when optimizing UX for mobile shopping as well. For this particular format large print is helpful, and the load times should ideally be three seconds or less. The mobile site should be easy to navigate via touch and should virtually mirror the regular website.


Having a website that’s easy to navigate through should also have content that is just as transparent. There are various items that can help build site transparency. For starters, the contact information should be easy to find on the site. Site visitors should always be able to find the email address and even the phone number at the bottom or top of each site page. Customers should be able to find information regarding charges, shipping, and return policies very easily as well. There should never be a concern about hidden fees or any confusion that may hinder a purchase. If there is additional or varying cost for shipping and handling, this should always be communicated to customers before they reach the checkout page. Similar to fees, there should be clear and concise details regarding product information as well. Whether it’s percentage of fabric blends, wash and care instructions, or even manufacturing information the customers should know the specifics of their purchase. Considering the fact that customers aren’t shopping in a physical store where they can touch and feel the product they rely heavily on the detailed information. Including close-up images that highlighted key benefits are equally as helpful. In the same manner of thinking, product pricing should be competitive and directly correlate with the quality outlined in the details. It is not wise to over-price products or charge customers more than one would be willing to pay themselves. Often times seeing is believing, so including testimonials and reviews from customers who have purchased products on the site is beneficial. 

Site Engagement 

Another key to success within the e-commerce industry is increasing site engagement. One of the easiest ways to boost engagement is using social media outlets to promote the brand in real time.Consumers frequent Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest for product reviews or the latest scoop. As such, content marketing used across mediums should convey the same message. Additionally, creating a blog can be beneficial as it can provide a space for brands to discuss new products launces as well as development updates. This keeps customers engaged and could generated new interest in upcoming products before its launched.


Once a strong brand has been established, great user experience has been created, relevant content is on the site, and transparency has been provided, attention and money can go towards advertising. The advertising budgeting should include direct mail ads and social media ads. After consumers are engaged, it could be useful to build a community centered around the brand. Often times customers will bond with others that share similar interests as them. Another great way to build engagement is to events centered around relative causes or new product launches, as seen with Apple. During this event customers could try new products and even show their participation by sharing photos that include the brand hashtag for social media. These events also allow brand members to talk with customers about what they enjoy about the products and how they can be improved. Networking can also take places in which business cards can be exchanged, brand ambassadors can be discovered, and potential partnerships could even be made. An e-commerce brand does not have to be limited to the confines of the internet and should consider boosting their overall brand engagement by meeting customers in person.

All of the previously discussed components ensure that an e-commerce brand will not fail like many others have within the industry. As time and technology changes, there are more recourses available to help a brand become successful. All of theses key factors to success can be measured and adjusted  as needed.


Cruz, N. (2017, August 08). 6 Success Factors of Ecommerce Business Strategy. Retrieved October 17, 2020, from

N.A., 5 Most Important Factors for Success in E-commerce (Make Sure You Hit These). (2020, September 02). Retrieved October 17, 2020, from

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