Ecommerce is growing wildly, first surpassing $300 billion in annual sales for 2014, and then surging past the $340 billion marks for 2015. Yet, though the e-commerce economy is expected to continue its rapid growth in the coming years, it is not always the easiest market to break into.
To be really successful, you need to approach e-commerce in the right way. For example, it’s particularly important to reach out to your online visitors—and invest in them. In other words, you will sell more on your site if you personalize your offering to meet the specific needs and interests of your specific target audience. Here are just a few tips that can make your e-commerce business more effective and friendly, so that you can maximize conversions and increase your bottom line.
Customize Your Offering
Over 45% of online shoppers say they are more likely to make a purchase on a site that provides customized recommendations. This means you can increase your sales by adopting any of the following tactics:
- Create Dynamic Product Pages: Think Amazon; when you view a selected item, the page displays similar products, offering additional recommendations that encourage you to add even more items to your shopping basket.
- Provide Personalized Recommendations: Here, the additional offerings are based on information about your geographical location, or reflect your individual buying and browsing history.
- Develop Loyalty Programs: Loyalty programs means that, as a shopper, you receive discounts, incentives or vouchers. When you sign up for a loyalty program, you’re asked to provide personal details, and this helps the business gain insights and understand who they’re reaching out to (and how best to encourage you to buy).
It’s Still True: Content is King
The staggering growth of content marketing is impossible to ignore, with some of the largest advertising agencies reporting that they’ve as much as quadrupled ROI through content marketing alone. What this means is that you will want to create valuable content in order to grow your e-commerce business. But—where to start?
Start by blogging. It’s is an investment in your consumers; and they know it, they feel it, and they love it. Create informative and interesting posts on topics that speak to your audience, and then incorporate calls-to-action that can drive traffic and increase sales. You can use a range of formats for your posts, including how-to videos, interviews with brand ambassadors, FAQs, or even customer reviews.
As a second step, once you develop content on a blog, you can then consider displaying some of your content throughout your website. This gives you the added bonus of extending the length of time that shoppers spend on your site, contributing to increased sales.
Make Yourself Available!
Excellent customer service sets you apart and encourages brand loyalty, and promotes you using the best form of advertising: word-of-mouth. It’s best to adopt a social media approach to customer service.
The first step to providing the type of customer services that differentiates you from the pack is to create an online community, using multiple social media channels. Reach out online, and respond to customers’ questions and requests as soon as humanly possible. With service, speed is the name of the game.
Once you have built your community, you can focus more on social listening, using tools such as BuzzSumo and Sprout Social that give you insight into your customers’ likes and dislikes, needs, and pain points. With this increased information about your target audience, you can provide more compelling offers and post content that is more likely to attract their attention.
The Big “M”
Mobile-friendly means increased sales. Recent studies show that mCommerce now accounts for a third of all global e-commerce, and that number is going to skyrocket. To tap into this growth, you need to be mobile-friendly. That means excelling at a number of different metrics:
- Usability: Make sure your site is responsive to mobile visitors. It’s easiest if you use big images and typography from the outset, which will allow you to adapt desktop-oriented designs more easily to mobile viewing.
- Quick Checkout: For mobile users, this is critical. Make sure your checkout process is intuitive and does not lose people along the way. Make it maximally streamlined and as mobile-friendly as the rest of your site.
With mobile, you need to meet your shoppers on their own terms, because—let’s face it: The more you can understand your audience and improve their user experience, the greater the chance that you’ll create a loyalty.