11 Components Of The Best Ecommerce Strategies
by Andrew Reed, on May 11, 2021 9:00:00 AM
With ecommerce continuing to grow as the preferred shopping method for buyers worldwide, setting up an online store has become increasingly imperative for retailers that want to remain competitive.
But once you have your ecommerce store up and running, how do you keep customers happy and coming back?
Here are some helpful tips for constructing your ecommerce strategy and building relationships with your customers.
Know Your Market and Build a Brand with a Story, Don't Just Sell Products
The internet is a crowded place. If you don’t focus on a specific audience, your brand is likely to get buried by the endless amounts of content and products that make up the web.
Brand stories build trust. Giving your business a personality, goals, and a voice are amazingly effective ways of having customers relate and want to buy from you.
Think about what your business has set out to offer and why. Identify your buyer personas and nail down what their interests and goals are. What problems can you solve for them and how?
But most importantly, keep this story simple.
Establish the problem, offer a solution, explain your success. Then add some flavor depending on what kind of customer you are marketing towards.
Also, learn how people generally talk about your product or service, and focus on what your competitors are failing to provide customers with, and how you are able to fill that gap.
SEO and Content Marketing
Once you have the story you want to tell for your product, it's time to get yourself on the map. The best way to drive organic traffic to your website is to optimize it to appear in potential customers’ search engine results.
Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) is the process of knowing what words potential customers are searching with (keywords), and then building them into your site so you appear in their search results.
One of the most effective ways of filling your site with relevant keywords is through content marketing, or creating informative and engaging content to reach and maintain a target audience.
By writing things like blogs and products guides, not only are you building authority that will help your site rank with search engine algorithms, you are also establishing yourself as an expert in your industry and creating a space that a customer organically comes to when looking for solutions to their problems.
The result of this strategy is a trusting, communicative relationship between you and a potential customer that makes them more likely to convert on your website when the time comes.
The most successful content is usually the most in-depth, fleshed out, and digestible to customers looking for your help, so it's important to know your audience and to become an expert on their problems.
Knowing your pricing model is also a crucial part of your ecommerce strategy. Revenue is always the bottom line for any business, so understanding how much a customer will pay for your product or service against your overall cost will be something you're constantly managing.
This makes pricing strategies for ecommerce a balancing act that require an in-depth understanding of:
- Customer demographics
- Customer behavior patterns
- Market conditions
- Competitor pricing
- Market positioning
- Product line configuration
Of course you also need to know basic things like overhead, markup percentages and profit margin
Some companies turn to an ecommerce agency for help determining pricing. Agencies that specialize in ecommerce business may provide in-depth support and consulting for everything from finances and business development to marketing.
Shipping speeds play a major role in closing sales and boosting customer satisfaction. You need to make sure you have a healthy and reliable supply chain in order to get your products to your customers when they want them.
Most businesses will lose money on shipping, so trying to match the same-day standards Amazon has set is a difficult bar to reach for any online business. But quick order fulfillment should always be something you work towards.
It's also helpful to look at this as a marketing expense rather than a business one. Take advantage of the opportunity to close sales by offering free shipping as a promotion to customers who spend a certain amount.
Have a Good UX, Optimize for Mobile, and Ask for Feedback
The design and accessibility of your store will play a major role in driving sales. A frustrating user experience will have even the most resilient customers looking for the door.
Try and keep things as simple and clean as possible. Use high quality images, find a color scheme that shows your product off well without being too flashy, and make sure branding is a priority.
Next, you need to make sure the site runs well and looks nice on mobile devices. Almost half of online shopping is done over mobile now, and if your site isn't optimized, users will likely leave without a second thought.
Lastly, the best thing you can do for yourself is ask for customer feedback. Create a simple and quick form where customers can comment on your site performance. This way, you’ll quickly hear about issues you may not be aware of and can take steps to address them.
Test Your Website Yourself
This is something that most online retailers overlook. You spend so much time working on the backend of your website, that you neglect the user side.
Slow load times, broken links, and malicious ads are all reasons customers may leave your site before making a purchase. And once they associate your brand with frustrating experiences, it may be difficult to bring them back to your business.
Maintaining a safe and positive online experience for your customers is crucial to building your reputation and building customer loyalty. If you are starting to see a spike in bounce rates, site performance is definitely something you should take a look at.
Check our case study with factinate.com to hear how they brought down their bounce rates by blocking malicious ads.
Retargeting Campaigns and Loyalty Programs
Once a customer finds their way to your site, you're going to want to try and build a relationship with them, whether they make a purchase or not. And studies show that most of them won’t.
If you’re able to capture visitors’ information, go through your ad platform to create and run retargeting ads showcasing the products or services they were viewing in order to recapture their attention and remind them of their interest.
Use your CRM platform to set up automated email campaigns that target customers who abandoned their carts. Include images of their abandoned item along with similar products you offer. Make sure you offer them a coupon code to encourage them to return and make a purchase.
If a customer does make a purchase, set up an automated thank you email and welcome them to your brand. This is a great place offer discounted prices for repeat customers to make sure they keep returning to your business.
The checkout cart is another often overlooked aspect of your business that actually plays a huge role in winning over your customers.
Amazon’s “one-click” checkout process is one of the key factors that built them into the ecommerce behemoth they are today.
Dragging out the checkout process with multiple pages gives customers more opportunity to abandon their purchase, and may even frustrate them as they attempt to convert on your website.
Keep things as simple as you can, and try to offer multiple shipping options so that customers can play with their price. Many may be more willing to convert on something if you offer a cheaper option with a longer shipping period. Others may jump on the opportunity to convert if they know they could have it the next day.
It’s also important to offer a clear and simple return policy and money-back guarantee. If a customer knows that if they aren't thrilled with their purchase they can just send it back at no cost to them, they will be more likely to convert. It's also an excellent way to build trust with your customers.
Reliable Customer Service
Ever had one of those experiences where you walk into a retail store and the service is so lazy and awful that you walk right out?
Well, the same thing exists online.
Installing a live chat or chat bot app is a great way to greet and engage with your customers, while answering whatever questions they may have.
You want to make sure you answer your customer’s questions in a timely manner, and that you will bend over backwards to make sure they are 100% satisfied.
Utilize Social Media
This is one of the most important pieces of the puzzle when it comes to running a successful ecommerce business. Sites like Facebook and Instagram have quickly come to define the online marketplace and researchers say that roughly 4 billion internet users spend around two and a half hours a day on social media.
Each social media platform offers something different, and reaches a different demographic. It's important to experiment and track your internal data to see where your audience is engaging with your content the most, and on top of that, which kind of content is performing the best.
The best way to track this is to focus on your engagement KPIs (likes, shares, comments, reads) and see at what time your audience is most likely to to engage with your content.
Avoid posting the same content across multiple channels, and abstain from posting too frequently so you don't frustrate your audience by repeating the same content over and over again.
Starting an ecommerce store for your business can be tricky. But taking the time to focus on these areas will help you get started, and will help you stay competitive in the growing online marketplace.