The ability to sell online combined with the increase in good quality self storage facilities means there are more people than ever setting up business from home. In fact online selling or eCommerce is growing so much that it is currently expanding at 7 times the rate of offline retail growth. Setting up online may be the quicker, more cost effective option with no premises to find or refit, but it does come with its own challenges. If you don’t have a plan or strategy, it can cost you dearly.
An effective eCommerce strategy will help you avoid the potential pitfalls, enable you to expand your marketing reach and grow your customer (and product) base effectively.
Here are five key areas of focus needed to achieve excellence in ecommerce.
1. Have the right ecommerce platform
Choosing the right eCommerce technology will set the foundation for your success. Take time to think about not only what you want your site to do but what your customers will want it to do. And don’t just consider today – think about how you see your business growing ion the future. Your selling platform will need to look good and be user friendly. But it will also need to be scalable, customisable and most importantly, be mobile friendly. Each year the number of people making purchases on their smart phones increases. In February last year visits to ecommerce sites via tablet and smartphone accounted for 45% of all ecommerce traffic in the UK.
2. Know Your Audience
To know what you need your website to do, you need to understand your audience. Knowing how, where and why your potential customers buy online will help you prepare your website design for maximum impact. It will also help guide your online marketing activities so your shop is accessible to the right people at the right time and from all the right places.
3. Optimise for Conversion
Your eCommerce platform should provide you with the data needed to help your marketing and increase sales conversions. Knowing what people are buying or looking at will help you in your marketing efforts. Loyalty programs, cross sales offers and discount coupons are all examples of how you can increase your sales. Easy to use marketing automation tools will allow you to personalise your messages and turn prospects into paying customers.
4. Offer an Outstanding Customer Experience
To build a loyal customer base, you need to provide excellent customer support before, during and after the sale. Your online reputation will depend on it. Offering telephone support or having online live chat support available lets your customers know you are there if they need you. Don’t forget the post- sale actions. Postage and packaging needs to be efficient. Use your marketing automation tools to send a post sale follow up.
5. Listen, Learn and Improve – then repeat!
The digital world is fast paced and there’s always something new. If your eCommerce website is not always improving, you will get left behind. That’s not to say you should adopt every new thing that comes along. Consider the impact and make an informed decision based on whether your site or service can be improved. Run pilots, split test and regularly examine your website analytics to identify and fix critical problems, such as addressing shopping cart abandonment.
The eCommerce digital landscape is quite complex and constantly evolving . In the same way as you would hire professionals when considering legal or accounting advice, your eCommerce website will benefit from the expertise of a digital marketing consultant.
Contact us today to discuss your requirements and set off on the road to excellence in ecommerce.