Growing your eCommerce business takes more than just having a website. You’ve already inserted your products and set the payment gateway, what can go wrong, right?
The problem is, you don’t get enough product orders. With so much competition in eCommerce, it can be really hard to hit the ground running and boost your sales. It’s irrelevant whether you’ve just started or you want to grow your existing company.
When everything you do is wait as your sales numbers drop and your bounce rate grows, changes need to happen quickly! To reinvent your eCommerce website requires a serious investment in resources. It’s not a simple project. It involves a lot of analysis and strategizing, and before you start the process, you need the following six ways to ensure it’s a successful one.
1. Improve Your Branding Strategy
Your brand is more than just a logo and press releases. It’s a feeling, the excitement when users browse your store, and the smile when it arrives after a swift purchasing and delivery process. That’s what branding is all about, your business strategy combined with the emotions and expectations of the users. It combines your online presence with your product offering and the way you communicate with the customers.
People enjoy buying from brands. This is why an excellent branding strategy can be one of your greatest advantages in the marketplace. It’s something that when done right, can help you achieve every goal and predefined KPI. The following tips will help you improve your eCommerce branding strategy and stand out among your rivals.
Have an Impeccable Customer Service
You don’t own an eCommerce business for yourself, right? You want to serve your target customers, and their wants and needs need to dictate how you serve them.
Think about how each purchase is conducted. Look for trends and patterns that seem out of place or waste too much of yours and your customers’ time in the process. Also, look at your data and analyze how many of the users abandon your cart, and how many of them go all the way.
Find ways to improve your customer service. Some of the quickest methods to do so are:
- Personalize the Experience: If you want to stand out, you must reach your customers on a personal level. Allow your customers to create their account on your website, and get their consent to use the data for personalization purposes.
- Allow 24/7 Chat: A 24/7 live chat support means that you can help your customers anywhere, anytime. Put yourself in the customers’ place. Would you want to wait for an email reply or would you rather have a real-time conversation with the company’s representative?
- Have an Understandable Return Policy: Make sure that the customers are informed about each of your terms and conditions before and after the purchase. Don’t hide anything from them or trick them that you have a free return policy. Be transparent, and understandable.
- Have a FAQ Section: In lots of cases, people may look for the FAQ section on your eCommerce site before they decide whether to buy from you. Setting up a FAQ page will save yours and the customers time.
- Use Social Media: If you have profiles on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, you need to utilize them as a direct connection with your customers. Chatting on your site is great, but for lots of people, social media is more convenient for their inquiries.
Tell Your Story
People are wired to remember and emotionally connect with stories. This is why you must tell the story of your eCommerce brand and build trust with your customers. After all, there are thousands of online stores out there, why should they buy from you?
- Why you started the business?
- What is your mission?
- Who are you?
- What do you care about as a company?
- What is important for your brand?
The answers to the questions above will help you differentiate your branding strategy from the rest in your industry.
What do you stand for as a brand? You must have built your company based on some principles. Show them to your customers. Tell them that a cause is important for your brand. With that, you will build a devoted following around a cause, and people will join in your campaign with the hope that successful changes will happen. Advocate changes on your website, and every channel that is available to you.
Focus on Your Target Market
Even though you’re an eCommerce business, not everyone is going to be your customer. By tailoring your approaches on your target market, you will eradicate the nuisance of pleasing every buyer in the marketplace. That’s why you need to define your target market and focus on what resonates with it. Your brand persona should communicate with those customers.
2. Look for Redesign Opportunities
The most successful eCommerce stores evolve all the time. Changes are the essence of life, and business as well. Depending on how it’s executed, the changes in your eCommerce website design can bring chaos, or they can bring you more profits. You’d prefer the latter.
A complete redesign is quite the effort, and this is why you need to do it smartly, and only after you’ve uncovered the following issues.
Product Sales Going Downhill
When you the sales numbers are going down, you’re not attracting new prospects, and your website visits are low, it usually means that you have major UX issues on your eCommerce site.
Research the more successful eCommerce businesses in the industry. See how they use particular features on their websites. Check the latest trends, innovations, and try to implement fresh ideas into your store. Improve your UX, and ensure a flawless UI for greater success.
Slow Loading Time
A slow-loading website can be extremely annoying to your customers. It might be the biggest reasons why users don’t browse your products. Even if everything looks great, a loading time over 3 seconds means that it’s time for a revamp.
Your aim should be to make your website much faster so people don’t wait for the product pages to load. There are a couple of useful tools to test out the performance of your eCommerce website.
Pingdom Tools is a tool that enables you to assess your website’s performance using different server locations:
When you enter your site’s URL, by clicking on the ‘Start Test’ button, you’ll get immediate results according to the server that you’ve chosen to test for:
Run various tests, and gauge the average loading time for each server.
Google’s PageSpeed Insights works similarly to Pingdom. Just enter the URL of your choice, and click ‘Analyze. PageSpeed Insights can provide you with detailed information about your site speed, and how you can improve it.
The tool also provides you with speed analysis for both the desktop and mobile versions of your site.
Low Social Media Interaction
Social media is one of the biggest channels for attracting people’s attention. Be mindful of how you share your content and your product there, namely:
- Ensure that you have a nice thumbnail/image which is appealing and prominent.
- Make sure that your posts are relevant to your industry and the interests of your target consumers.
- The product descriptions in social media posts should be eye-catching and relevant to your business.
If you can’t fulfil the qualities mentioned above, you need to think about redesigning your product pages.
Poor Product Displays
In some cases, as a result of bad optimization and non-updated CMS, the content on your eCommerce website might not be shown properly. That’s a big turnoff for potential buyers because won’t be able to see the product images and the description.
Therefore, constant page design audits are a must, as well as ensuring that everything is perfectly visible both on desktop and mobile devices.
High Bounce Rate
There are lots of reasons why people bounce from your online store:
- Your products might not be good enough.
- You haven’t made any design changes.
- You didn’t add new features.
- You didn’t provide a special discount.
- The UX is not good enough.
Each of those factors can make a visitor leave your site, which is a big loss for your eCommerce business. Why should people waste time on your terrible UX when they can enjoy the shopping experience at one of your competitors?
Sometimes, the reason for redesigning your eCommerce website is that your competitors have already revamped theirs. People want to see something fresh and exciting. This is why a redesigned website could be much more attractive to them. When rivals are stepping up their game, you need to follow in their steps and even do what they did, but better.
3. Simplify the Sales Process
It’s not just about offering products. There’s also something in the entire shopping experience and its convenience. The following questions will help you simplify the process for your eCommerce customers.
How Intuitive Is The Navigation?
Is your eCommerce website easy to navigate in? Can the visitors find what they need immediately?
Your website needs to anticipate what the users would do next, and influence them to do that. An intuitive website design should help users make better decisions on your site, which is similar to having a salesperson convincing people towards the products.
Do You Provide Convenient Payment Options?
Allowing your customers to pay with their credit or debit cards is the industry standard. Options such as PayPal ease the process for people worried about their data.
You need to implement a payment system that detects the type of credit card as soon as they enter a few numbers. There might be people that haven’t bought a product online before, so you need to ensure that you’ll protect their information.
How Communicative Is the Checkout Process?
Do you use some sort of indicators that let people know where they are in the checkout process?
If you don’t want abandoned shopping carts, implement a layout that shows when a product is in the cart and if an order is being placed.
Have a transparent checkout process that keeps customers engaged. Make sure that every step is informative, allowing people to complete the purchase with confidence.
4. Personalize the Shopping Experience
There’s not a better tactic to reinvent your entire eCommerce business than personalizing the shopping experience. It’s the present and the future of online shopping. According to Gartner, businesses that successfully implement personalization into their strategies will increase their profits by 15% in 2020 alone.
The following tactics can help you personalize the experience on your eCommerce website.
Shoppable Social Media
Social media is the most favorite activity of people when they’re on their smartphones. Moreover, 76% of consumers have purchased a product that they saw on a social media post. That means that social media might be the most convenient channels for people to browse and buy your products.
Shoppable social media posts can feature images or videos of your products coupled with links of your product pages.
People that shop on a laptop have a different way of thinking than people that shop on their smartphones. The mobile user is on the move, and there is a greater chance that he/she is looking for a store nearby. On the other hand, a laptop or a desktop user almost certainly wants to buy the product online from the convenience of their home.
Providing in-store discount for users that browse on their smartphones is an excellent way to bring them into your physical store if you have one.
It’s not a secret that product recommendations work. Amazon makes over 30% of its revenue as a result of product recommendations.
By using specific data such as the customer’s most viewed pages on your site, you can provide the most relevant product recommendations.
Emails can be extremely powerful for personalization purposes, providing recommendations in the following manner:
- Upselling products based on the buyer’s purchase history.
- Cross-selling products based on the buyer’s purchase history.
- Sales messages personalization based on location.
- Sales messages personalization based on time, month, holiday.
The more specific you’re with your email marketing approaches, the more likely your customers will respond positively to them.
User-generated content is content created by users of the products that you sell through your eCommerce website. You can post the content on your social media accounts or email newsletters, inviting others to join the fleet of satisfied customers.
5. Run a Successful Blog
When potential customers open your eCommerce website, you need to inform them why they should buy from you and not your competitors. A blog post can provide consumers with a broader scope of the products’ benefits. When it comes to your product offers, make sure that you blog about:
- Featured Products: Show the products that you’re offering. Focus on specific brands and niche. Compare different featured products.
- New Products: Get people excited about the new product lines. Highlight the latest products in your blog and ensure that they won’t be forgotten immediately after you place them on your site.
- Future Arrivals: Generate curiosity for future arrivals on your site. Let the customers know what you’ll offer them for the new season in advance. Prove the customer that you follow the latest trends and that you’ll offer them what they expect soon on your eCommerce website.
- Gift Ideas: Most of the times, people are not sure about a gift. This is where you need to step in with a blog post that includes a carefully-curated selection of gifts that can be purchased from your online store.
You should also talk about some of the amazing things that you do as a brand. Cover the company news on your blog, such as:
- Store Opening: If you’re opening a physical store, it’s a good idea to inform the locals with a blog post about it.
- Company Updates: Making product selection shifts? Rebranding? Bringing something new into your process that customers need to know about? Blog about that and inform your customer base.
- Event Marketing: Online and offline events are something that you should blog about. Inform the readers about what they should expect on the event, and where they can find the venue.
6. Build Your Loyal Customer Base
You can use email marketing to drive recurring traffic to your revamped eCommerce website by providing the customers a motive to return with discounts, useful content, brand new product offerings, etc.
To build your email list, first, you need to make the subscription process simple for the users. For the purpose, you’ll need a good opt-in form on your website. The best places to integrate opt-in forms on your e-commerce site are:
- Your sidebar
- Your About page
- Inside your blog posts
- Your website footer
- The Checkout page
You’ll need the right combination of opt-in forms and quality content, accompanied by the following traits:
- The Right Incentive: You’ll have to offer something that will motivate people to give you their email address. This can be an exclusive deal or discount, a contest, or a relevant content piece that users can benefit from.
- A Landing Page: A page that is entirely concentrated on getting people to leave their email address. The page should include a convincing headline, customer testimonials, content about your incentive, the benefits of joining your email list and the opt-in form.
- Traffic: To make people subscribe, you’ll have to bring them to your landing page. The most effective ways to bring traffic to your landing pages are social media engagement, email marketing, and CTAs in your blog posts.
Every subscriber from your email list will not purchase from your eCommerce site. If you’re selling various products, you will have different types of customers as a result. Therefore, you’ll have to segment your email list based on:
- Types of Customers: You can have different buyers for your online store, including potential buyers, new buyers, loyal customers and visitors that don’t buy often.
- Interests: By excluding people that are not interested in your product, you’ll improve your open & click-through rates and lower the unsubscribe rate too.
- Location and Behavior: You need to segment your list for customers that bought the product in-store and the ones that bought online. With this, you can inform the buyers that live near the store that a certain product is available only there, and avoid sending that note to people that can’t reach the store.
Building your email list will drive more sales and traffic to your eCommerce website. It can transform the shopping experience and convert more visitors into customers.
Reinventing your eCommerce website means uncovering what makes your brand, products, and shopping experience unique in the marketplace. Several tweaks and changes in your strategy can have a strong effect both for your ROI and your customers.
Your eCommerce website should never be a complete process. As the trends, technologies, and the shopping culture evolve, you need to make your adjustments and improve the experience of your website. Focus on your target customers, and enhance accordingly.