It’s one thing to get people looking at your nice, shiny website, but the real challenge is how to turn page visitors into paying customers. With eCommerce now worth billions of pounds every month in the UK, it pays quite literally to have a real think about what you’re doing, and more importantly what you could be doing in order to maximise your slice of the pie.
Here we look at 5 areas to focus on if you’re serious about turning clicks into cash. Some of it might seem a little obvious, and each area probably deserves its own article, but there are many factors to consider in implementing any successful eCommerce strategy.
Shall we begin?
Every marketing textbook will tell you that having a strong brand is paramount, and eCommerce is no exception. In order to gain a customer’s trust, you first have to earn it. This means understanding your audience, knowing what you’re talking about and treating your customers right. It’s important to demonstrate knowledge, expertise and enthusiasm about what you’re selling at every opportunity; how can you expect your customers to be enthusiastic about your products if you yourself are not? A strong online brand can help grow your customer base and result in repeat business, so if you want to gain the loyalty of your customers, ask yourself what more you can offer them besides being a glorified online vending machine.
Another one straight out of the marketing textbook, but pricing in online business is a slightly different beast to traditional sales channels. With so much competition out there, it can be difficult to be as competitive as you’d perhaps like to be. This isn’t necessarily the end of the world; online shoppers are growing more and more savvy, and can recognise that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. There are other ways to compete on price though. For instance, many customers are put off by separate delivery charges that often don’t appear until the last stage of the ordering process. By offering free delivery, or even rolling delivery charges into your pricing structure and calling it free delivery, customers are less likely to get to within one click of confirmation before cancelling the whole thing. Daily deals are another way of competing that can give you an edge over high street retailers. They don’t even have to be loss-leading, just offering sufficient value to give customers a reason to check back regularly. And if they’re doing that, then there’s every chance they’ll be interested in finding out what else you have to offer.
Engaging with Your Customers
Nobody likes to be stuck on hold to a faceless company for hours, and operating online gives you a range of different opportunities to interact with customers and humanise the whole shopping process. Twitter and Facebook, as well as other social media platforms allow you to have conversations with your customers, providing customer service before, during and after a purchase is made. Operating a presence in these formats can even help you to grow an army of brand advocates who will wax lyrical to family and friends about your company and hopefully drive additional sales.
Effective Web Design
Your website is your storefront, and so it has to be appealing to customers, but it also has to have a clean, simple interface and be easy to use, especially at the checkout stage. Remember boo.com? They got this all sorts of wrong and look what happened to them. Security is also crucial, as customers won’t want to buy anything unless they trust your website to be safe. Customers are also put off by having to create an account or sign up to anything before buying, so this is to be avoided if at all possible. That’s not to say, however, that you can’t persuade them to create an identity on your site of their own accord, which can provide you with analytics as well as terrific direct marketing opportunities. At Kalexiko we know all about how to make eCommerce work for you, and offer a range of off-the-shelf and bespoke solutions to help you establish your online presence and drive sales.
Playing the Long Game
A customer who leaves your site without having bought anything is not necessarily a failure. They might come back, and there are plenty of ways to encourage them to do so. Signing up to a newsletter for special offers, running competitions or even just being friends on the various social networks are all ways to engage your customers and give them a reason to return. As well as that, all traffic to your website will tell you something if you know what you’re looking for, regardless of whether they’ve bought something or not. You can use analytics to discover where your customers are coming from, what they’re buying, how much they’re spending and much more in order to help you define your marketing strategy.
So there it is. We’ve barely scratched the surface as to what’s possible within the realms of eCommerce, but at Kalexiko we understand how important it is to consider every factor when helping you to plan and implement your online strategy.
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