If you are selling something, anything, then you should be online. However, so many people live by the old adage of “if you build it, they will come”. Unfortunately, there are over one billion websites in the world, and at least 22 million of those are selling something.
So, if you are going to be found by potential customers in the online world you need to make sure that not only is your product excellent, but that your eCommerce experience is excellent. This not only means a shopping experience that is seamless and easy for customers, but marketing that is smooth and produces results.
Creating A Great Shopping Experience
You already know your product is amazing, but how is your shopping experience?
Do you have people find your site but abandon their shopping carts without purchasing, or are you simply not getting traffic?
Your first step is to look at how your website operates for end users, and you can either do this by doing a lot of testing yourself or you can engage in a good e-comm marketing agency who is familiar with what makes a good experience for end users and is able to work with you to reduce abandoned shopping carts.
Conversion Rate Optimization
What you are looking for here is going to be someone with great expertise in conversion rate optimization. This is just marketing speak for someone who can look at your site, work out what is stopping people from purchasing, and fix the problem. By talking to a marketing person or agency that specializes in e-commerce you will be able to get pinpoint accuracy on where the problems are rather than generalized suggestions for SEO changes and get a CRO strategy to action https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Conversion_rate_optimization.
You will need to look through your traffic and analyze which pages are the last visited, and at what stage potential clients are abandoning your site. It may be simply that you are getting a lot of customers from an area where you don’t ship to, which means that you need to either update your shipping policy or change where your marketing area. Or it may be that your customers are getting stuck in a sign up / sign in loop and are just getting frustrated with the actual purchasing process.
Although common issue is when your site is very image heavy but none of the images have been optimized for mobile, meaning that your site is slow to load and requires potential customers to move around the screen to get anywhere.
Is It An Acquisition Or A Retention Problem?
This can sometimes be tied in with your search engine optimization, but you need to work out if you are making sales because you aren’t acquiring enough customers, or if you are not retaining them.
Generally, businesses find that they will have a certain level of repeat customers, and these are the ones that you want to keep coming back over and over again. These are the customers who will tell their friends, but they are also the ones who are more likely to be interested enough in your business to actually send you an email if they notice something not working.
Before you can work on retaining customers you need to acquire them, but acquiring customers is easier once you have repeat business.
It does become a little bit of a catch-22, but a good agency can help you come up with a strong strategy that welcomes new customers to your online store while celebrating those that are already members. You do not want to waste a limited advertising budget on targeting everyone, you need to have the clickstream analyzed (for the research see here) in order to work out exactly who you should be targeting and creating advertising and promotions that will appeal to them directly.
Growing Your Business
This is generally what most business owners want, to grow their business, however sudden growth with nothing in place to ensure that you will be able to manage the increase in resources can mean that you go from a secure customer base to loosing customers in droves.
You need to develop a plan to grow your business, but also look forward to how you will maintain smooth transitions as you move to a larger server able to cope with the increased load. Forward planning doesn’t need to be 10 years into the future, as in the world of technology it is almost impossible to predict too far in advance what will be available or on trend, but you can make sure that you have a strong plan for what point you will be starting to adjust your online resources and strategy.