Over the last ten years, eCommerce has really skyrocketed and the Covid-19 outbreak propelled it further forward at a record rate. Last year, US consumers spent more than $860 billion online, which is a staggering 44% increase from 2019. This year, the eCommerce industry is expected to reach $4.9 trillion on a global level.
If you’re thinking about joining the bandwagon, now is the best time. However, the competition is fierce and in order to be successful, you’re going to need more than setting up an online store. You’ll need a strategy in order to attract, convert, and delight your customers.
This article covers 5 tips that will help you create a solid eCommerce strategy and grow your eCommerce business, regardless of the types of products you sell.
1. Start With a Strategic Plan
The key to a successful strategic plan is to include measures and implementation steps that enable you to engage your employees and track the results at regular intervals. A great resource to get started with is a good strategic plan template that can enable you to turn your ideas into reality.
Strategic planning helps create a sense of direction, increases operational efficiency, profitability, and market share of your business. In the long run, it can also help make your eCommerce business more sustainable as it has taken into consideration the potential threats, opportunities, and trends that may affect it.
Understanding who your customers are is crucial to the success of your eCommerce strategy. The best way to identify your audience is by developing buyer personas, i.e. representations of your ideal customer. These personas will serve as a base for your eCommerce marketing strategy and help you establish the tone and voice for your store.
Here are some questions that can help you develop your personas:
- How well does the buyer know your products?
- Do your products impact the buyer’s life?
- Are they using your product to solve certain problems?
- What types of media do they consume?
- Who or what has an influence on their shopping decisions?
Marketing to the wrong audience is a waste of time and money and can seriously affect your ability to generate sales, so be sure to take some time and develop your buyer personas.
A poorly implemented checkout process can result in a high cart abandonment rate, so do everything you can to make your checkout process as smooth as possible.
Start by making sure that your checkout page is easy to navigate. Offer an automatic sign-in and don’t force your shoppers to create an account (being forced to create an account is the no.2 reason people abandon their carts, right behind extra costs). Allow them to review their shopping cart and make it easy to make cart changes. In addition, you should implement a transparent return policy and offer multiple delivery options.
If you serve an international customer base, you need to make sure they can see how much your products would cost in their local currency, regardless of their location. Integrating a robust currency API on your eCommerce site is the best way to accomplish this.
A good currency conversion and Forex exchange rate API enables you to make the shopping experience smoother by helping your users shop in their local currency. It allows you to provide currency data to your customers quickly and easily, detect their location from their IP address, and boost your sales by focusing on your international shoppers.
The product descriptions should explain the features and highlight the benefits of your products. They should be informative, detailed, and easy to read.
Besides great descriptions, it’s also very important to include quality images. In the eCommerce world, visuals can make a big difference when it comes to conversions and sales. Have in mind that online shoppers don’t have the opportunity to touch or try on products so be sure to offer multiple images taken from different angles.
Finally, optimize your eCommerce website for SEO. Ensure that your headers, page titles, and image alt text focus on your target keywords so that Google shows your site for the right query.
5. Delight Your Buyers
Think of different ways you can delight your buyers and set yourself apart from the competition. Think of any features that could make the shopping experience as smooth and pleasant as possible.
For instance, you can offer 10% off of the first order, personalization on the packaging, or free shipping. Pricey shipping is one of the main reasons why buyers abandon their shopping carts, so offering free shipping on orders above a certain amount is a great way to encourage them to make more purchases.
Be sure to also pay attention to your customer service. Chatbots are an excellent feature that you can use to answer frequent questions and provide information quickly.
The five eCommerce strategy tips listed in this article are just a few of the opportunities your online business can use to reach more customers and keep growing. Analyze your website, experiment with some of the ideas we have outlined, and see what works best for your business.