Editor's Note: This post was originally published in March 2016 and has been updated with additional content on May 2021.
What was initially a secondary option for businesses to push extra product, eCommerce has disrupted traditional retail and taken over as the primary option for many shoppers. And as consumers continue to show brands love by buying their products online, the percentage of total retail dollars spent will continue to slide toward eCommerce.
The realities of eCommerce and the new direction they have paved for the shopping industry mean businesses need to at least start thinking about how they're going to sell their products and services in the future. In fact, we believe this so strongly that we recently published a 3-part blog series all about getting your eCommerce website up and running (catch up on part one, two, and three here). Plus, a recent webinar on Expert Tips to Improve Your Ecommerce Website Experience is also chock-full of tips to take your eCommerce website to the next level.
For most brands, eCommerce is a necessity. So with this in mind, we focused our latest digital marketing video on Achieving Excellence in eCommerce:
1. Put the Right Platform in Place
As eCommerce has grown, so too have the platforms on which brands can build and launch their online shops. On one hand, eCommerce platforms have made incredible advancements in an extremely short period of time, which bodes well for companies looking to get started. The flip side is it can be a lot of information to process, and thus a difficult decision for companies to actually choose the eCommerce technology that best suits their needs.
When it comes down to it, nobody can help you pick the correct eCommerce platform because you know your business best. But some things to consider are responsiveness, scalability, usability and, most importantly, how much you'll be able to customize and mold the technology to do what you need it to.
2. Know Your Audience
It's difficult to build anything without knowing who it's for, so rule #1 for eCommerce is don't build an online store if you don't know your audience. Look into your buyer's personas. Dive into your website analytics. Once you've figured out your audience, now you need to put in more work to understand them; their likes, dislikes, and tendencies are just as important as who they are. Once you've defined your audience and spent time getting to know them, the rest of the eCommerce process will become much easier, and you'll be on path destined for success. You can dive deeper into the science of buyer persona development by checking out our infographic on the topic.
3. Optimize for Conversion
The great thing about eCommerce platforms and the speed at which they've grown and improved is that they're conversion oriented out-of-the-box. Most eCommerce platforms were built by super smart teams, many of them with marketing backgrounds, so they're already optimized to sell, sell, and sell some more - you just have to tweak the settings.
4. Offer An Outstanding Customer Experience
The customer experience you deliver is a vital component of your businesses success, and that's the case whether your interactions are in-person or online. It's 2021 and consumers are not only smarter, they're more adept at sniffing out brands that don't exactly follow through on the promise of their marketing. The good news is there are many ways to ensure your online store offers an outstanding customer experience, it's just a question of implementing standards and sticking to them. If you're not sure where to start, make sure to contact our team for help to get started.
5. Listen, Learn and Improve
One of the biggest opportunities for businesses to differentiate themselves from the eCommerce competition is to constantly analyze and review their shop. You don't have to make huge changes either, it's about making small, incremental improvements that have meaningful impact. Something as simple as adding search functionality to your website can have a huge impact on your conversions and sales.
The average rate of shopping cart abandonment is nearly a whopping 70% in 2019 - and that's across multiple industries and sectors. What's the average abandonment rate in your industry? As our partners at SiteTuners explain, if you can hone in on why customers might be abandoning their carts and decrease the rate by just a few percent, you'll not only deliver a better experience to your customers, you'll also increase your bottom line.
If you would like more information on eCommerce or professional help setting up a store, get in touch with your local WSI Digital Marketing Consultant today.