There is a lot of competition in the eCommerce space, and your early customers will ultimately serve as the foundation for your future growth, making the launch period extremely important for any new brand.

However, your efforts shouldn’t just be focused on the here and now. By keeping your future goals in mind during the early stages of your eCommerce business, you can ensure that your site is positioned for lasting success.

1. Optimize Your Site UX

From beginning to end, you need to make your entire on-site experience as easy as possible for your customers. Things like fast loading times and optimization for mobile users are must-haves if you want people to stick around long enough to make a purchase.

Case in point: studies have found that even a single-second delay in loading a page can reduce conversions by 7 percent, and reduce your customer satisfaction by 16 percent. That may not sound like much, but it can add up to significant lost revenue over time.

For eCommerce sites, the checkout process should receive extra emphasis during any website audit. Customers should be able to complete a secure checkout in as few steps as possible. Fast, easy checkout will result in fewer abandoned carts, and more of the initial purchases that are so important for future growth.

2. Tap into the Power of Social Proof

As valuable as advertising is, it pales in comparison to the power of social proof. Your eCommerce store’s first customers can easily become its biggest advocates. Their testimonials and reviews can make or break your business.

For an eCommerce site, getting customers to leave reviews for individual products after they make a purchase is key — and the more reviews, the better. The more reviews a product has (and the more detailed the review), the more comfortable future customers will be with buying the product.

You’ll need to collect emails during the checkout process anyway, so why not use those customer emails to ask for reviews? Research from BrightLocal indicates that roughly 50 percent of customers will leave a review if you simply ask.

3. Create a Recognizable Brand

To build a lasting eCommerce website, you need to have a strong brand to back it up. Your brand is much more than your products. It is your identity. It’s what sets you apart from others that sell similar products, and allows you to develop meaningful relationships with your customers.

When building a brand identity, consider your core values, as well as the interests of your target audience. Make sure your brand “voice” is relevant and matches your target demographic.

This brand identity should infuse your website, as well as your social media posts and any other marketing materials. Consistent branding will make your eCommerce store distinct and memorable, and help foster the brand loyalty that keeps customers coming back again and again.

Laying a Firm Foundation

By making these areas a point of emphasis for your eCommerce site, you will be better able to make a positive, memorable impact on your early adopters. When paired with a solid marketing strategy, these efforts will help your eCommerce brand achieve steady growth and be well positioned to weather whatever future challenges come your way.