In a world where everyone is too busy, anything and everything eCommerce is still one of the largest growth sectors and everyone seems to be trying it.
Almost anyone can give it a go. All you need is a computer and an internet connection. You don’t even need to lay a finger on the goods themselves. It’s fast and easy. The question is how can you be better than everyone else? Fortunately, it’s actually fairly straightforward, as long as you have an open mindset that is!
5 tips for easy revenue growth
Hopefully, you’re using one of the mainstream eCommerce CMS that are available such as Shopify, WooCommerce (WordPress) or Magento. These platforms are some of the best in the industry and are continuously moving forward in line with industry trends helping you to grow and focus on your business. If you are, great, take a look at my quick tips below to find out how to improve your chances of increased revenue generation.
1) Assess the competition
Take a look at your competition. Is there anything they are doing better than you? Why not place an order with them and examine their customer experience? There could be special offers they only send to the customer on the delivery note. This will also give you the opportunity to see how they are packaging their products. Are they marketing on their packaging? Or perhaps they’ve included a discount code on your next order? This is a great customer retention technique and this is what you need to be thinking about if you want to get ahead of the competition or at the very least compete with them. Find out what they are doing and do it better!
One of the key drivers in eCommerce is revenue generation and because of this, it is also a very fast-moving industry, so, if you want to get ahead or even keep up with the competition you must also move quickly in all areas including administration, shipping, new products and of course new technologies and marketing techniques.
One of the most important areas you need to be speedy in is almost anything to do with the customer. If your customer wants to ask a question and you only have a telephone number or a contact form, that might be enough to put them off asking the question. If they know that your competitor has live chat on their website they will simply go and ask them instead. Then all your competition needs to do is send them a simple link to the product they were looking for and boom! You just lost a sale and, perhaps more importantly, all the word of mouth recommendations that might come from just that one customer.
2) Channel Networking
If you’re not selling on eBay or Amazon you are missing out! Find out if your CMS can connect directly to an Amazon or eBay account. With Shopify, you can easily install an app that will export all your products to the platform for you. Not only that but you will also be able to manage customer messages and any product modifications you’ll want to carry out for SEO to ensure your products show up well in searches.
Connect up your Social channels like Facebook and you’ve got a marketer’s dream. You’ll be able to tag your products in posts and ads, giving your customers an easy and direct way to go straight to the product they are interested in.
3) Email: eCommerce’ best friend?
Email is the cheapest and arguably one of the most effective marketing tools in the eCommerce toolbox. Don’t be perturbed by the GDPR hype. As long as you give the customer the option to opt-in to and give them a clear explanation of the usage of their email address and do not automatically add their email address to your list then you are pretty much good to go.
What about order confirmation emails or invoices?
Promotional emails are different from transactional emails. Transactional emails are those that are required to run an eCommerce business and include, but are not limited to:
- Order confirmation
- Purchase receipts or invoices
- Account confirmation
- Password recovery
- Shipping notifications
- Return or exchange confirmation
- Service cancellations and product refunds
Transactional emails also require permission, however, they are essential to you running your business so the customer will have to either opt-in to your terms and conditions or simply not purchase from your company.
Help your emails help you!
Build your promotional email subscriber lists, segment and tell your customers where they can find the best deals for the product they are interested in on your site.
When you send your emails make sure you time them right. Let’s face it, emailing your customers to tell them you’ve got a “limited time offer for tonight only” at 10 am when most people are at work will give them plenty of time to forget your message and dismiss your email.
Instead, try sending when people are most likely to be in the mood for making a purchase, perhaps 7:38 pm is an effective time? Think about the barrage of the emails they’ve just received from other retailers and after everyone has had their dinner and are likely to be letting their guard down would be far more effective at grabbing some impulse orders.
Let’s hope your checkout process is easy, super-fast, seamless and takes advantage of all today’s payment technologies such as Apple Pay, Google Pay or even Shopify Pay.
4) Quick and smooth checkout
A super-efficient checkout flow will help reduce the volume of customers that abandon the checkout process at this crucial point in the customer purchase journey. The goal is to remove as many sticking points from the process as possible. Forcing the user to create an account could put new users off at which point they might just go elsewhere. Give the user a choice to either create an account or checkout as a guest.
Eliminate anything that is not essential to continue with the customer’s sale, giving you a better chance of converting the user to a customer. Once you have the customers essential information, you could always go back to them with a post-purchase follow-up email asking for a review of the product.
This not only gives the opportunity to capture some valuable user-generated content but it also gives the opportunity for the customer (who, after receiving the product now trusts your company a little more than they did before they placed the order) to give you more information about them.
5) Customer Loyalty
Loyal customers are the best, they are the ones that will tell their friends about you and what you do. They are the ones that keep you going during the quiet periods. They are your bread and butter – look after them like gold dust and beware, they will leave you as soon as they find something better unless you give them a reason to stay.
Get to know them personally. Try calling a selection of them every month just to check in and see if you’re still cutting it for them. Use this as an opportunity to find where you can improve.
Don’t just leave it there. Ask them for feedback on the website too. Create a pop-up form and ask simple, quick open questions: “What do you think about the website”, “How could we make things better for you?” etc. Customer feedback is invaluable, and you can get it for next to nothing.
Website Pop-ups? Really?
The more pessimistic amongst us will be saying something along the lines of:
- “Pop-ups are spammy”
- “They’re annoying”
- “Pop-ups are tacky”
- “They are too aggressive”
Something along those lines? Well, you’re right on all those points, however, they are renowned for amazing conversion! Ultimately, every website and it’s users are different and you should ideally run experiments with an optimisation tool such as Optimizly or Google Optimise to really find out what works best for your customers.
Website optimisation tools are one of the best ways to truly find out what works on your website for your customers. Make sure you always have at least one experiment running. Sometimes it can take time to get a definitive answer to your experiment. The more traffic you have coming to your website, the faster you’ll get the results.
Don’t give your customers any reason to leave you, be quick at everything from shipping to answering their enquiries and never take them for granted.