eCommerce has become bigger than ever, as customers continue to see more accessible and convenient ways of acquiring the things they need and want at just the click of a button. Thanks to recent and more innovative advancements in technology, consumers are finding it easier to come across excellent online deals, while companies discover new opportunities to market their products.
Running an eCommerce business, however, is by no means an easy feat. With large corporations and startups alike bringing their brands to the online marketplace, the competition is extremely tough. Still, it’s not impossible to find success in eCommerce – many small and medium-sized companies have proved over the years.
These tips will drive more traffic for your website and help you revolutionize your ecommerce strategy.
Focus on creating a personalized, user-oriented experience.
One of the trickiest things about ecommerce is that your customers can’t personally see or touch the products that you’re selling. That being said, the goal and the challenge is to convince them that your items are worth their time and money. People want to feel good about the decisions they make, no matter how small – and in this case, it’s buying from your shop.
A personalized shopping experience will create more value for both your brand and the users that visit your ecommerce site. Building your site and your ecommerce marketing strategies with a user-oriented approach will help you truly engage with your target market and drive loyalty among your customers.
According to this survey, “marketers continue to see positive business results from personalization. In 2020, the overwhelming majority (97%) report a measurable lift from their personalization efforts.”
The first step to creating a personalized shopping experience is designing with a purpose. Here, you use aesthetics and a well-designed UI – a beautiful and easy-to-use ecommerce website or application – to make the shopping experience better and more enjoyable.
Other personalization tactics that you can use include personalized emails, promotions, and publishing content that allows you to interact and strengthen your bond with consumers.
Listen to what your customers say.
As a brand owner and entrepreneur, you understand better than anyone else that ideas and products are often hit or miss. Ideas and products that seem really cool and attractive to you may not receive the same response from your target audiences. Conversely, some features that you think aren’t necessary may appeal to consumers and provide more value to your brand.
Consumers have a pretty good idea of what they need and want. Listening to what they have to say and making adjustments accordingly will help your business evolve and improve gradually. Acknowledging the “voice of your customer” will also make them feel that they actually matter, which helps foster brand loyalty.
Publishing user-generated content (UCG) is another way to leverage your brand through customer feedback. You can do this by encouraging consumers to post public reviews on your social media accounts or use specific hashtags when sharing your products and talking about your brand.
Reviews can end up being positive or negative, but they benefit the business either way. UCG helps strengthen brand-consumer relationships while making you aware of areas/details/functionalities that you need to work on. More importantly, they can serve as the unbiased and unsolicited source of information that many potential customers look for before making a purchase.
Use social media wisely.
The past couple of years have seen a rapid increase in social media shoppers, especially after social media giants Facebook and Instagram have introduced the buy/checkout buttons on their platforms. The rise of social media made a very strong impact on today’s society, and now it’s also revolutionizing the way we buy stuff.
People from all demographics spend a lot of time on social media, which makes it a highly efficient platform for starting a word-of-mouth momentum and getting your brand discovered on both local and international levels. Because it’s a breeze to link social media with ecommerce websites and business platforms like Shopify, you can easily link your online store with your social media page or any social media ads that you’re currently running.
A well-designed social media marketing and content strategy will allow you to effectively market products and drive traffic to your site. Partnering with social media influencers also ups your chances of reaching out and appealing to your target audiences.
Social media has become interwoven to the very fabric of modern day life, and its influence on e commerce continues to increase. Any brand seeking to achieve ecommerce success should work on improving their position on various social media platforms and finding the right social media marketing strategy.
Customers nowadays are doing most of their online shopping on mobile phones and tablets because it’s more convenient, especially for people who are always on-the-go. In fact, 75% of millennials and Gen Zs use their smartphones to shop online.
Mobile phones have made it possible to engage users anytime and anywhere. Whether they’re taking a coffee break at work or in the middle of their daily commute, they can go online, browse the Internet, see something they like, and make the purchase right there and then.
With mobile ecommerce sales expected to account for 54% of total ecommerce sales by 2021, companies cannot afford to disregard mobile users anymore. On top of improving the aesthetics and user-experience of their websites, they should also adopt a responsive and mobile-optimized design to ensure a smooth journey on different devices.
Here are a few ways to enhance mobile experience for consumers:
- Provide option to save their purchase information details
- Offer convenient re-ordering option for previous purchases
- Save shopping carts
- Enable one-click checkout
Making your ecommerce store more accessible for a larger audience will help drive traffic and encourage better conversion rates.
Incentivize your customers.
Ecommerce markets nowadays have become oversaturated, with many brands offering almost similar goods. No matter how great your products are, getting them noticed amid the din of noisy competition can be a huge challenge. You need something that will make you stand out. And offering incentives to customers may be the key to tipping the scales in your favor.
There are several ways to incentivize customers.
1. By rewarding customer referrals.
Referral loops are an effective method of spreading the word from one customer to potentially new ones. Offering discounts, freebies, and other incentives for every new customer referral will encourage buyers to recommend your brand to other people.
2. By giving surprise discounts.
Surprising new site visitors with savings offers or freebies during their initial visit helps establish brand loyalty from the get-go. Discount vouchers and other promotions can make the difference between a one-time customer and a brand advocate.
3. By bundling your products.
Bundling several products together allows you to sell them as a larger package while incentivizing customers for the bulk purchase. Bundle incentives can be in the form of a price discount or free shipping on orders that reach a certain amount/quantity limit.
4. By offering a loyalty program.
Loyalty programs often offer incentives in the form of exclusive discounts and freebies, but you can get more creative if you want to. Whether in the ecommerce space or beyond, a good loyalty program makes for an effective retention tool that encourages customers to engage with your brand and shop more often.
Ensure a speedy checkout process.
Cart abandonment can be very frustrating, especially for start-ups and small-scale ecommerce stores, because they signify how users once considered purchasing your products but changed their mind at the last minute for some reason.
In most cases, though, the reason why users abandon their carts is the checkout process itself. Inefficient check out can make customers drop everything and leave. It could be that your shop’s checkout procedure takes too long or you’re offering very limited payment solutions.
Consumers nowadays want variety when it comes to their online payment options. Some want to pay via credit or debit cards, while others prefer using electronic purses such as Google wallet, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Android Pay. Not having any one of these could jeopardize a sale on your end.
Another important thing to consider is the speed of your actual check out process. If possible, limit to one-page checkouts with a “save payment details” option to streamline future purchases.
Efficient and advanced checkout solutions have a direct impact to how well consumers receive your brand. Providing customers with multiple quick payment gateways and a hassle-free experience will increase engagements and boost conversion rates.
Move with the times.
The online marketplace is ever-evolving. That said, any entrepreneurial pursuit that wishes to succeed and keep up with the competition must evolve with it.
Trends come and go as consumers look for better and more convenient options to satisfy needs and wants. The challenge for ecommerce businesses is to be able to predict upcoming trends and stay up-to-date with emerging technologies. This will allow you to seek out or create products that will capture the interest of buyers and develop an effective digital marketing strategy to go with it.
About the Author
Shawn Byrne is the founder and CEO of SEOPhoenix.net. Shawn started his career in I.T. troubleshooting workstations, servers and networks, then went on to doing SEO as a side project and quickly found success in ranking websites. It was easy for him to grasp not only the algorithms but also the technical side which most SEO strategists miss and neglect because of its complexities. SEO Phoenix then grew based on its own rankings and referrals.