3 Steps For Boosting Your eCommerce
The eCommerce pie is continuing to grow. According to data from the U.S. Commerce Department, the past 6 years have seen a consistent average of 15% year-over-year growth.
Even at that rate, eCommerce still only accounts for about 10% of all U.S. retail sales. The opportunity is evident — but competition is fierce. The rise of new software tools means starting an eCommerce brand is simpler than ever, and customers expect deeper experiences.
So here is a step-by-step procedure that will enhance your eCommerce:
Step 0: Develop a customer-centric mindset
Standing out from the pack requires constant testing, evaluation, and improvement.
We’re going to walk you through three tips for taking your eCommerce brand to the next level. All our recommendations share a common theme — we want you to put yourself in your customer’s’ shoes and make them the center of your decisions.
Before you start, having a clear picture of who your customer is, what they’re motivated by, and how they make buying decisions is crucial.
Step 1: Optimize Your Product Pages
Your product pages serve a dual purpose: they tell customers about your product, and the unique names and descriptions you write help potential customers discover your product via search.
The more specific and distinct you can be when writing your product names and descriptions, the better. Think of how you can help a customer looking for something specific they really want (like vintage-style commuter bicycle) find your site. You’re better off optimizing for highly targeted searches from the type of customer you want than higher volume, more generic searches.
Don’t settle for copying the manufacturer’s description of your product. Instead of jumping straight into the features of the product, start with the benefits it’s going to offer to the customer who buys it — how it’s going to make them feel. As you write, remember that you should be providing a consistent brand feel and tone across your site — and that tone should be mapped to what you think your target customer is interested in.
High quality photos are crucial on product pages.
Remember, you’re asking for customers to buy something without seeing it in person. Beautiful, high resolution photography that shows both high-level and detail views of key parts of your product will inspire customers. Photography should also match the detail benefits you discuss in your copy. If you’re selling a commuter bicycle, include pictures of people riding the bike — not just the bicycle itself.
User-generated content is an excellent way to both build trust and give customers insight into how people like them actually use your product. According to an Ipsos study, user-generated content is trusted 50% more than other media, so it’s invaluable from a conversion perspective.
Step 2: Improve Your User Flows
This step is crucial because you need to optimize the way your cite flows before you start putting money on it.
Customers might go straight to a product page, but it’s very likely they’ll move around on different pages on your site before finding what they’re looking for. The overall design of your site is crucial in ensuring they get the right impression of your brand and find a compelling product.
You may think it’s table stakes that potential customers trust your brand — but there are a lot of details that can contribute. Across your site, you should have:
Simple, transparent pricing and returns policies
3rd-party accreditation from organisations like TrustE, VeriSign, and the Better Business Bureau
An about page that explains who you are
Testimonials focused around customer support (user-generated content again!)
It’s important that the users learn about you — and learn to trust you — through your site. You also want your site to be easy to navigate, so your users don’t struggle with attempting to purchase a product.
An example of an easy to navigate site is one that has a sitemap, with categories and subcategories. Most sites have this, so if yours doesn’t users will notice-–and may even become frustrated while visiting your site.
The content on your site should reflect the company and products. This means your language, visuals and overall tone all have the same motif, and trace back to your products mission.
Step 3: Create Customer Engagement
When your users visit your site, it’s as if they are visiting your physical store. What kind of customer service are you providing? More importantly; does it make your users want to come back?
Unique and attentive customer service will certainly help you stand out. Customer service is synonymous with friendliness and ease, it’s also correlated to providing information for you customers. When you provide good information you empower your customers. This is a good thing and will leave you with satisfied customers.
Listening to your customers is just as important as speaking to them. What are your customers saying about you online? It’s important to do your research and know what they are saying about your products.
According to Accenture, 95% of millennials want brands to speak to them through social media platforms. So if that’s your audience, it’s worth investing in Facebook and Instagram ads.
As the use of eCommerce grows, the arena become a little more saturated. Which means you have to work harder to stand out. Catering to your customers, optimizing your product pages, improving your user flow, and focusing on customer engagement will aid you setting yourself apart from the other companies in your space.