Under the current situation, online shopping is more popular than ever, with US markets showing a whopping 44% increase in online sales in 2020 compared to 2019. Ecommerce has emerged as a saviour for many market segments, who are either unable or unwilling to visit physical shopping locations, helping people stay safe and well prepared for any emergency. This makes it a great time to help out the community by ensuring your ecommerce offerings are made known and made available to the public. But what can you do differently to bring more attention to your store?
1) Get to know your customer
The primary focus of any online store should be the customer. This does not just mean knowing the names and email addresses of your customers, but identifying different demographics such as age, location, interests, profession etc. Surveys and user profile building are some ways of obtaining this data about your clients. Allowing customers to use third party credentials to access your store may also provide some valuable information about your customers. Always be wary of the information you gather, remember your customers privacy is of utmost importance, and any information you gather should be known to your customer and kept securely.
2) Build brand awareness
Brand awareness is a two-pronged attack. Firstly, you need to get your name known. You can consider an advertising campaign on social media, partnering with other known brands, or partnering with well-known influencers within your demographic in order to increase brand awareness. This is just the first part of the battle though. Once you build awareness and people initially start visiting your store and making purchases, what will continue to build your brand is the quality of the products you offer. Creating or selling high quality products at a fair price will increase trust in your brand, build brand loyalty, and keep customers returning to your store and sharing their views with others either through online reviews, social media, or face to face. This in turn builds great organic brand awareness.
3) Stay engaged with your customers
Do not become complacent with your sales numbers. Remember that your competitors are constantly moving to capture more and more of the market share. Even after you have built your brand awareness you have to stay engaged with your customers in order to stay relevant to them and ensure you remain their go to for your product. A good way of doing this is through an email list. If you are able to gather a good emailing list from your customer base, it provides a great way to stay in their radar while also offering them relevant deals and informing them about any new additions to your product line that may be of relevance to them. It is important to not become one of those companies that spam customers though, as this habit is one that will soon end any positive relationship your customer has with you and also stop them from ever reading an email that you send.
4) Focus on UX
Once you have built awareness and attracted customers, you have to make sure that they are able to easily navigate and purchase products from your store. A long, complicated onboarding and signup process, confusing navigation, bad product sorting and grouping are great ways to make sure that customers will never visit your store again. The flow of purchase must be simple, and the interfaces should be uncluttered and inviting, in order to give customers the best possible experience when shopping at your ecommerce store.
5) Improve your conversion rate
Build analytics into your store. Use these to find out how many customers visiting your store actually make a final purchase. Use your analytics to find out if there is a particular place in the flow that customers tend to give up. If you can find such blockages analyse what in that particular step is demotivating customers from continuing their purchase, continuously optimise your customer experience in order to keep the flow of the sale smooth and pain free. You can also introduce offers at the point of check out. This works especially well if you see people are closing out their carts at checkout without following through with the purchase, having a popup at the point of closing the cart gives them another opportunity to rethink the purchase, and also make use of an excellent offer.
6) Provide excellent customer service
Building brand loyalty is a great way of keeping your customer base and ensuring return customers. While it is important to make new customers, it is more efficient and profitable to retain your existing customer base. Many times, we see existing customers taken for granted while businesses are busy looking to expand their customer base. Focus on providing excellent customer service for your existing customers and they will have no reason to leave your brand. There are many ways to provide customer service:
Ensure that customers always have the ability to get help when needed, this can initially be an automated service, but customers should be able to talk to a human representative if needed.
Customers should be able to air their grievances to your team. In case of any disruption the customers must always be able to get in touch with your team. Your team must be trained to be courteous and well able to help customers. In case of an issue caused by a customer it may be advisable to even allow the customer to retain their dignity and find a solution that works without causing embarrassment. This does not mean that your team has to deal with any kind of abuse, as that kind of customer will result in your team abandoning the business.
7) Upsell and cross-sell to your customer
Many ecommerce giants are familiar with the concepts of upselling and cross-selling. Online stores that offer upsells and cross-selling are able to get an additional revenue by offering customers complementary products to what they are already buying or by offering a similar product at higher quality and price. In fact, utilising one of these methods is one of the simplest methods of making the most of your online store. It might take some time initially to identify and categorise which products are bought together or what can be replaced, but once it is done it is a simple matter of offering these products at the checkout.
8) Optimise for mobile purchases
Ensuring that your store is available to customers on the go is a great way to expand your customer base and give better access to existing customers. Your store must not only be accessible but provide a seamless experience to customers who may be looking to make purchases during their commute to work, on the couch, or even on their bed.
Making purchases online has become more popular than ever before. This is a great time to expand your customer base and to prove to your existing customer base that you remain as relevant as ever. There are great and ethical ways to increase your ecommerce sales, as discussed above. We can help you find the best ways to delight your customers and attract new customers to your ecommerce store, making your business more profitable and helping you provide a better service to all your customers.