You all know eCommerce is doing really big these days, but have you ever wondered how big actually? To be honest, this is a really complex question to be answered precisely, considering all the variables and volatility involved.
However, according to a study published on internet Retailer, there are 12-24 million eCommerce sites inhabiting the virtual world now, whereas another study published by RJMetrics revealed that the eCommerce sites constitute around 11% of the top 1 million websites according to Alexa ranking of websites.
Now, what might the significance of this information be to you as an eCommerce site owner? Well, this clearly tells you that eCommerce industry carries a lot of potential for serious candidates.
Want to know how to exploit this immense potential that eCommerce industry offers? Just go through the 8 cool strategies I have listed below to feel the difference for yourself.
In my humble opinion, contemporary eCommerce pertains to identifying and establishing your ‘online territory’. You better have your business website designed specifically to reach out to a segment of online shoppers having a common interest or characteristic.
In other words, micro-target your online audience based on the niche of your product/service, so that you can penetrate through them with specialized offerings.
Present-day web audiences are looking to find highly personalized experiences catering particularly to their needs and interest. Luckily, modern technological advancements make it easy for even small players to offer their visitors the customized shopping experiences focused on addressing their individual needs and wants.
So, if you want to win over the hearts and souls of your target audience, you better offer them exactly what they want and how they want.
Valuable and meaningful content is what you would need to get sticky, bringing in more and more customers ……… not just any ordinary content, but crowd-sourced content that can turn your site into a sticky web of fondness for your customers, just like Amazon.
One of the reasons that turned Amazon into a bustling hub of eCommerce activities is how they encouraged their consumers to share their experiences with the products they bought.
This enables your potential customers get insights on what they want, giving them confidence to buy from you, thus increasing your customer base and revenue stream.
Get out of the notion that brand image and website design are two distinct aspects of running a business, they go hand-in-hand now.
Not only will you need a site design complementing your brand, but you will also need a well-structured and seamless navigation to make sure your site survives and thrives through the immense competition that’s become an intrinsic feature of contemporary eCommerce industry.
You must be able to devise multi-channel offerings for your consumers, enabling them to experience consistency in your brand irrespective of their preferred method of shopping. But make sure the products you offer them via multiple channels differ adequately to justify any price differences. Otherwise, they have plenty of alternates more than ready to accommodate them in any way possible.
Technological advancement of recent times has served well for one thing surely, bridging the gaps. And this is what modern audiences want the most out of a contemporary eCommerce platform, i.e. to access it through their preferred channel without any glitches.
According to a report published on statista, mobile retail revenue in U.S is projected to scale up to $150 billion by 2020. HubSpot also share some interesting statistics on trends of mobile users in eCommerce realm.
In short, not having a robust mobile commerce platform means losing a significant stream of revenue. So, it’s about time you make your ecommerce totally mobile ready to keep pace with changing trends of the industry.
Another area that you need to improve in to get up to par with evolving eCommerce scenario is the logistics. One of the best ways to spruce up your logistics is to resort to 3PLs (or third party logistic providers), especially if you want to succeed in managing complex orders in bulk. This also includes Reverse logistics, enhancing your eCommerce outlet’s potential of handling returns and exchanges economically as well as quickly.
Consistency is what will help you establish your mark as a distinct brand, offering your consumers a seamless brand experience in everything from product availability to promotional strategies across all channels.
Enhancing revenues for your eCommerce venture cannot be confined to these few strategies, of course. There can be endless of them. However, these are the few tried and tested ones that have not only benefited me, but my clients as well.
I really appreciate you sharing your personal opinions, experiences as well as observations in the comment section below; what’s worked well for you and what’s not.
Khawar Zaman, a seasoned ecommerce consultant, has a flair for developing ecommerce solutions, internet marketing and sales strategies. He is also the cofounder of Technorian.com, a Magento and WooCommerce support company. It also specializes in providing dedicated developers to startups.
The Internet is full of tips and advice on how to optimize your conversion rate and get more customers. Much of those tips are on the same note – reduce clutter, write benefits-focused copy, create more attractive CTA buttons and so on. There is no denying that some of them are real good advice, but most people miss the real hack.
Your conversion rate optimization largely depends on the flow of your online traffic. Your goal therefore should be to increase your organic traffic, especially from high-converting sources. But before discussing more on that you need to understand one thing.
Not all online traffic is equal. You are probably getting traffic from multiple sources, including social media sites and other marketing platforms. But the real hack is: Are these visitors really converting? Is the traffic source really worth your time and effort?
While Google Analytics counts all this traffic as “sessions,” having mere visitors was never your goal. You need traffic that converts. Your first task is therefore to identify the traffic sources that convert best. For this, you need to make a list of your traffic segments and analyze them, especially as they progress through the sales funnel.
You can use any funnel chart tools to create a funnel report to see where your traffic drop offs in the sales funnel. With certain tools such as KISSmetrics Funnel Report, you can even segment the traffic sources to understand which sources convert best.
Most eCommerce companies struggle to get people purchase their products; however, if you can get the right people to your website, the odds of increasing your conversions will also be higher. Here are 3 often overlooked ways that can dramatically increase traffic (or better the right kind of traffic) to your eCommerce site.
Video is such a powerful sales tool. Just have a look at this video and you will know what I am trying to say. With almost “ZERO” ad copy Nissan nails it with their video demonstration. You can apply the same trick for almost all your products, be it clothing, electronic gears, furniture, cars or anything under the sun. Have a custom-made video for your products showing off the real-life use of the item.
There are basically two ways to publish your product videos on your eCommerce website. First, you can self-host the video. If done correctly, your online store will start ranking for the videos in no time. However, self-hosting will slow down the loading speed of your website. The second option is to leverage a third-party platform such as YouTube and/or Vimeo to upload your videos. Since the video is hosted on the servers of these websites, it won’t affect the loading speed on your webpages.
Besides, YouTube is the second largest search engine after Google and has over 1 billion users. You can leverage its huge traffic with properly optimized videos of your products.
Content is king when it comes to search-engine marketing. Statistics indicate that more than 80 percent of companies are implementing content strategy to market their business. However, only 32 percent think they have an effective strategy.
Now that you have created an online store and a blog to go with it, what to do next?
It is no doubt tough to get your content strategy right. So if you think creating a blog post or two and posting a few images and memes is all you need to do, you are totally wrong. Content marketing fails due to many reasons; it’s not an easy task. Just creating blog posts is not enough, you need to have highly targeted, value-driven and quality content to lure your visitors.
Perhaps the best way to have an effective content marketing strategy is to make your customer “the hero.” You guessed it right; your existing customers’ story is your secret tool to reach out to other buyers out there. Ask for testimonials and customers’ stories. Why they choose your brand? How do they feel about your brand?
All these questions will help you to create meaningful and value-driven content for your target audiences while keeping your existing customer in the limelight.
Chances are, you are already doing some sort of social media campaigns. But what is their purpose? Why are you investing your time and effort on social media sites? What goal do you want to achieve? Do you really need them?
I am not against social media campaigns; in fact, quite the opposite. They are a no brainer. Unfortunately, social campaigns are often poorly executed. Where most eCommerce marketers go wrong with social media campaigns is that they use it to drive leads. Do this, and next time you will find yourself lamenting over how you wasted your budget and resources on a platform that has no or little value to add.
A better way to leverage social media campaigns is to use it for driving customer engagement and brand awareness. Social media sites provide a great opportunity to eCommerce brands for engaging with their existing customers and at the same time reach out to new ones. You can extend your content strategy to “make your customers the hero” to social media as well.
Ask questions and show genuine concern through your social channels. Show your customers how much you care about them. When someone post a question/comment/feedback or even a complaint or hashtag your brand, respond to them immediately. If they are praising you, show your gratitude; if they have something not very nice to say about you, look into the matter and make sure you resolve the concern as soon as possible.
When you start caring about your customers, they too will start caring about your brand. This is one of the best ways to turn your customers into your loyal followers and brand evangelists. Another added benefit of social media campaigns is that they can increase your traffic volume, if done correctly. The blogs and videos you post on the social media sites are of course one way to drive traffic, but there is another way social media sites are affecting your traffic volume.
Google takes social signals into consideration when determining the rank of a website/pages. The more your fans and followers engage with your content (product pages, videos and blog posts) through the social channels, the higher they are likely to rank. The result is more organic traffic to your eCommerce store.
Be it a small online shop or a major eCommerce site, you need traffic to drive sales. Although there are various ways to tap the wealth of organic traffic it is usually a time consuming affair, if not a challenging task. These tips mentioned in this post are proven ways that can significantly increase your eCommerce traffic, but there are more. You should thus audit your efforts on a regular basis and try other innovative ways to add value to your customer service.
Author Bio: Mansi Dhorda works at E2M – A Digital Marketing Agency. A social media enthusiast, she is well-versed in content marketing and other internet marketing niches. You can interact with her on Twitter. Her Twitter handle is @mansidhorda.