The business of e-commerce is booming. And considering how easy it is to build a website, starting an online business has become very competitive. Right from identifying a product with the right target audience, then analyzing its potential, and making a strategic business plan, it involves making many decisions.
A recent report on e-commerce trends revealed more about the growth of e-commerce sales, and insights into the behavior of online shoppers, including:
- E-commerce is growing at a rate of 23 percent every year. Still, 46 percent of small businesses in America do not have a website
51 percent of Americans shop online, while 49 percent prefer to shop at physical stores
Online orders increased 8.9 percent in the third quarter of 2016, while the average order value increased only 0.2 percent.
Of all online shoppers, only 23 percent are swayed by social media references.
Do you notice anything here? Although online sales are increasing, there are many people who still rely on offline shopping. And of those who do shop online, very few are influenced by social media.
So what does it take to convert your website into a highly profitable e-commerce business?
There is no denying the fact that starting an e-commerce business is easy. But scaling up, and making it more profitable than your competitors can be difficult. Here's a multiple choice question: What do you think is needed to set up a highly profitable e-commerce store?
Directing more traffic to your site,
Improving your conversion rate,
Increasing customer loyalty.
An effective growth strategy actually includes all three of these. And so, that one thing you need to build a more profitable e-commerce business is an effective growth strategy. Let's take a closer look.
Increase traffic to your website to get noticed.
In the ever-growing space of e-commerce, it can be difficult to get noticed. But there are a number of ways organic traffic techniques that can help drive traffic to your website, including:
Search engine optimization (SEO) - increase your ranking in search engines like Google for more visibility.
Social media marketing - post on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and create YouTube tutorials to reach a wider audience.
Email marketing - drive traffic to your website with email newsletters to keep your subscribers informed about new products and promotions.
Another option is paid ads, which may include:
- Buying ads on Facebook
- Marketing with influencers
- Advertising on Instagram
Improve the conversion rate of your website to increase sales.
If you've used the above two techniques effectively, your conversion rate will automatically improve. However, there are some other easy things that you need to take care of in order to increase your e-commerce conversion rate, like:
Make your website mobile friendly and ensuring minimal loading time.
Stop making assumptions about your customer's needs. Instead use A/B testing to know what they actually need.
Use high quality product images to attract more and more customers to convert them.
Build a user-friendly interface which should include an easy checkout and navigation system.
Use customer retention tools to boost your customer loyalty.
Building a positive user experience isn't enough. You also need to retain your customers. Acquiring new customers is always a priority for brands. And yes, it is important. But can you afford to lose your existing customer base? No, right?
So once you have customers who have shopped on your website, concentrate on retaining them. No matter how awesome your product or service is, it is your job to make sure your customers are happy and satisfied so that they continue to choose you over your competitors.
A few customer retention strategies that can work for your e-commerce business include:
Introduce loyalty programs and give reward points for repeated sales.
Offer support systems to resolve customer issues and handle their grievances.
Use a customer relationship management (CRM) tool to keep a track of the entire journey of your customers.
An effective growth strategy is key to building a more profitable e-commerce business. In addition to the three main components above, you should keep a track of your performance data to help you make improvements when needed.