Ten Advanced eCommerce Strategies That Scale Up Your Profitability
The scale at which eCommerce has impacted global business and industry is massive indeed. On the one hand, practical eCommerce can be as simple as a one page website connected to a plugin to sell a book or a digital product, which could take just a few minutes. On the other hand, an eCommerce website could get as complex as the gargantuan Amazon.com, which is currently rated as the 7th largest website in the world. With over 248 million pages indexed on Google, this website raked in $67.9 billion in 2013.
So, it could seem to you that your eCommerce website fails to make an impact while the larger enterprises make a killing right from day one. You might feel that your website could take years to make the same impact as the bigger websites out there. So, if you want to make a grand start right from the beginning without losing your way through the rapidly evolving eCommerce landscape, then let us study the tactics that can potentially turn your website into a grand performer and yield increased traffic, conversions as well as sales.
1. Provide a personal touch to your online customer
This is one aspect that brick and mortar stores regale in. Right from the butcher to the baker to the corner store, the customer is treated like a personal acquaintance and is provided that special personal touch. This what makes the customer feel special as well as understood. This is also what pulls the customer back to traditional retail for repeated purchases. Imitating this practice in the virtual environment requires a host of technology tools that turn your website visitors into advocates of your own products and return visitors too. In eCommerce parlance, this is called ‘behavioral merchandising’.
2. Make effective use of conversion optimization
This technique involves continual testing of each element of your website and involving trial and error techniques to ensure perfection in the long run. Conversion optimization continues for the entire life-cycle of the business and involves a bevy of tactics to achieve a relatively small improvement for each element, but when combined together, the optimization techniques collectively can improve conversion as well as sales manifold.
3. Incorporate advanced search for your website
While going strong on eCommerce aspects such as SEO and rankings, online merchants often relegate on-site search to the back of their minds. Once the customer lands on your website, you should make it simple for them to find products on your site, add them to the shopping cart, and proceed to the check out with simplicity and ease.
If this objective is not achieved, then the entire exercise, starting right from making your website rank higher on the SERPs, enticing the visitor to click on your website listing or land on your website, and encouraging them to make a purchase, is futile. Hence, include as part of your efforts, an easy way of searching products through the search bar on your website while the customer is still on-site.
Include options that help make the search experience as simple as possible yet incorporate powerful search features through sophisticated on-site search technology to avoid obscure and irrelevant search results.
4. Optimize for Mobile without delay
With the advent of smart phones and tablets, the web landscape is being transformed like never before. These devices have affected the eCommerce scenario like never before. Everywhere you look, you will find people hooked to their mobile devices engaged in surfing and searching the web.
Besides reading and scrolling, they are also buying. Hence, businesses who want to tap this opportunity to increase their sales volumes need to optimize for mobile. Major businesses have already noticed that mobile users tend to complete purchases more often than desktop users. Additionally, mobile users generally account for a younger demographic that is attracted to websites.
5. Advance your content marketing strategies
Content has become an online marketing strategy that has created far reaching effects for companies that have exploited its power for their success and profitability. Beyond the simple meanings that content conveys, it hugely impacts search engine results, drives online engagement, as well as creates brand awareness. The recent updates by Google have only served to increase the role of content in priority.
Google’s current policy is to reward sites with unique content that can deliver a quality user experience, with higher rankings. With the market pushing forward from simply advertising to publishing, which entails the use of technology and platforms such as blogs, videos, ebooks, photoshop, how-to’s, buying guides, and more. Premium content is now marketable and commands a huge significance in the online world. Ensure that your content is unique, up to the mark, and presentable in such a way that it commands significance in the present moment.
6. Push for integrated business systems
In the past, websites served as passive islands of information and data. Instead of sharing, there was data duplication between the online and offline platforms. This made it hard to make sense of data such as stock levels, sales figures, and other important information. This has changed now with eCommerce integration with your business systems.
Today’s eCommerce websites make tit possible for two-way communication of data between business software platforms, and even automating mundane tasks that free you up to focus better on your business. Hence, by integrating your business systems, you can achieve data collection without double entry, improvement of data accuracy, save time as well as money and even improve your customer service levels.
7. Make effective use of Big Data
The advent and rise of technology has given rise to massive amounts of data. Coupled with the additional data from social networks, marketing data, and other online information, there are mountains of data out there, which in modern parlance is called ‘big data’. With the help of analytics, which involves the use of sophisticated analytics tools such as Google Analytics, you can put all this data together for analysis and understand the challenges and opportunities this data represents.
By acting on this and improving your perceptiveness, you can gain a competitive advantage in your business. Hence this data can help you discover aspects such as buyer behavior, and measure the real impact of their buying decisions. You can also gain further insight into which strategies really work on which you can achieve success.
8. Expand your customer base to international markets
Many businesses begin locally and gradually expand to encompass international markets. If you plan to internationalize your business, you can take the advantage of modern technology and advanced logistics to achieve your goal.
Unlike the previous years which saw massive slowdown of business due to regional and international politics, red tape, bureaucracy, cultural differences, today’s businesses are capable of gaining easier access to marketplaces in various continents of the globe with the help of online technologies and tap into the buying potential of millions of customers worldwide.
9. Go omni-channel
Omni-channel is the adoption of an integrated approach to multi-channel marketing. It is a strategy that ensures consistent communication with your clients across all channels. Omni channel ensures congruency of communication across all channels and devices including mobile, desktop, and the brick and mortar store.
Most customers today utilize omni-channel with the same retailer while researching in-store and purchasing online. As retailers add more and more channels to market their products, it becomes crucial to adopt omni-channel to ensure communication congruency, which ultimately avoids communication distortion and reduces product abandonment.
10. Avoid neglecting fulfillment and logistics
Adopting advanced and trusted methodologies that fulfill the customer’s order via dependable logistics ensures the highest levels of customer satisfaction and a profitable bottomline.
However, if you get this aspect wrong, you only end up destroying your own business. Plus you reap the bonus of having an angry and annoyed client base, cost overruns, and an overwhelmed staff. Ecommerce is different from traditional businesses, hence does not work like traditional logistics works.
Since eCommerce is all about individual items shipping to residential addresses, this requires different resources and technology platforms unlike traditional logistics which usually involve moving bulk orders directly to a centralized business location and adding to the stock levels. Hence investing in the right fulfillment techniques and logistics specifically meant for the eCommerce industry helps you keep your business profitable and afloat in the long run.
Utilize these strategies to ensure a positive shift in the way your website works on the Internet, that will evidently result in better profitability and higher business success.