Here you are; a brand-new website, ready to reap the rewards of eCommerce. Well, almost.
In order to help you bring in the big bucks there are a number of technical tweaks you can make to your store. This will ensure that your customers are getting the most out of you, and that you are getting the most out of them.
But it doesn’t stop at your store — the more people you get onto your site, the more chances you have to make a sale. Don’t be afraid to mix up traffic-generation campaigns; a varied marketing mix is more likely to be effective. Here are some options to keep in mind as you design your eCommerce strategy.
Video engagement strategy
Seasoned MarTecheads will be well-acquainted with the power of video to engage an audience – 85% of marketers say video is an important part of their marketing strategy, while 72% of consumers would rather use video than text to learn about a product or service.
You don’t need to spend the earth to develop a video strategy that will engage your store visitors. What’s important is that you select the right video platform to integrate the data that’s behind your videos, and that you keep them short and snappy so that they can be shared across social media and email as well as displayed on your store.
Be careful of vanity metrics. Knowing who has watched your video, where they have watched your video, and what they have watched it on, is more important than just knowing how many people have watched your video.
Automated product recommendations
There are a number of ways you can use data to boost conversions. The oldest and easiest way comes in the form of product recommendations. Start by suggesting items that compliment the contents of their cart, or use predictive analytics to pre-empt purchasing habits.
You can also alter the items that show up on your front page depending on which ad the user clicked, where they came from, or which device they’re using.
Your application of analytics to product recommendations can be as deep or as superficial as you want — but depth will allow for a more personalized, immersive customer experience.
Even a sold-out product page or product category doesn’t mean you should give up: provide a great on-page experience and signal the user on to any relevant products or pages.
Referral & loyalty programs
Using a referral model is a valuable way of increasing the value of your existing customers — get them to refer your brand and business on to their friends and family. Use incentives and vouchers to help them feel special. Alongside a store affiliate program, all of this can be easily automated by using referral software or customer loyalty software — a great way to maximize customer acquisition ROI and lifetime value.
Start with a simple system of loyalty. Have your customer build up points as they shop, and remind them that they have points available in your follow up emails. Perhaps offer them bonus points in some emails to encourage them to come back, and give them the feeling that they’re getting something tangible by receiving your emails.
Mobile SEO & voice search
Google’s mobile-first index is set to complete some time in 2018, and sites found to be incompatible with mobile could see their rankings plummet as a result. Mobile users can also impact your SEO via voice search.
The number of people actively using their voice to make Google searches is on the rise, and it has a real impact on the keywords you should be targeting in your marketing. People don’t type their searches in the same way they speak them.
Natural Language Processing (NLP) is the technological leap that your online store needs in order to be able to walk tall among the Gen Z of present day searching. Read more here.
Sponsoring social media influencers to promote your brand or product is a cost-effective way to add a personal touch to your marketing. For eCommerce newbies, it’s a no-brainer.
While you can have all the fancy gadgets possible to add to your online store, sometimes it’s the human touch of a charismatic individual that you need to get people enthused about your brand.
Thankfully there’s a fancy gadget that allows you to get access to any number of charismatics and influential humans! Test out an influencer marketing platform like FameBit, Hypr, or InstaBrand to make bringing together influencers and your eCommerce businesses as simple as possible. More options here.
Your customers prize the thoughts of their fellow customers highly – 88% of shoppers value online reviews as much as a personal recommendation.
Amazon has long been the master of using customer reviews to drive sales. Their reviews are some of the most popular pieces of content on the entire Amazon — and some have even reached cult status.
Take this example: Super Mario Odyssey has a perfect rating from over a thousand customer reviews – already it’s whetting your appetite as an “Amazon’s Choice”…
If that wasn’t enough, you are then hit with a series of individual reviews that hammer home the quality of the product:
Services like Yotpo, Rate Me, and Rich Reviews are great ways of adding customer reviews to your online store and letting your shoppers do the hard work of marketing your brand for you. Automate your review acquisition as much as you can to scale your social proof strategy quickly, and allow customers to engage with each other’s reviews if you can.
Here are how some eCommerce fashion brands use reviews to grow their sales.
Test, test, and test some more
The first law of eCommerce. Everything comes back to testing. You might like a certain change, but if the stats say it hurts conversions, then that’s all there is to it.
But you have to be smart with how you test. Sales are inconsistent, so when you’re monitoring a change you need a large sample size and you need to limit the number of variables. Otherwise you might end up wrongly attributing a massive upswing in sales to the color of the checkout button.
All of these steps are important but you can never truly ‘complete’ them. There are always new ways to keep improving your online store’s sales strategy. Explore new tech and tools as they launch, and look beyond the horizon to things like VR, AR, and chatbots to help give your store ‘the edge’.
Victoria Greene is an eCommerce branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she loves to share her experiences from the digital trenches. She’s a woman with big ideas and a tiny dog living out of downtown Chicago.