Demand for e-commerce has surged as a result of COVID-19, with global sales in the second quarter of 2020 skyrocketing 71 percent year-over-year . According to a report by Accenture , the pandemic is also expected to have a lasting impact on how people shop with consumers indicating they will increase how often they buy online post-pandemic by 32 to 37 percent.
Because of this shift, more and more traditional bricks-and-mortar retailers are heading online to find customers for survival and growth. This means, along with increased demand, competition continues to multiply. To help you stay ahead, here are some steps you can take to elevate your e-commerce store and attract more clicks and sales.
1. Set Up a Full-Funnel Strategy
Many e-commerce brands have a bottom of the funnel strategy – one that focuses on sales. However, the reality is people need to pass through each stage of the buyer funnel, including awareness and consideration, before they’re ready to convert.
To get more people to convert, you need to nurture shoppers along the purchase journey using a full-funnel strategy . This involves tailoring your marketing messages to the specific stage of the funnel they are at through appropriate channels.
Try using video ads for awareness, useful content for consideration, and personalized product recommendations and promotions to drive conversions.
2. Increase On-Site Brand Trust
Trust is crucial in any customer relationship; people simply won’t buy from you without it. However, it’s something that can be difficult to build online. In fact, a survey by buySAFE found that 81 percent of shoppers are concerned about purchasing from a site they’re unfamiliar with.
To increase trust, make sure your site looks safe and credible by adding an SSL certificate and use high-quality images and product descriptions. In addition, add social proof to your site and channels, such as reviews and ratings, plus a good return and exchange policy.
3. Attract the Right People
Imagine your SEO and content strategy has brought 125,000 visitors to your site, but then you find out only 500 are actually interested in your products or services. That’s a lot of wasted time and money attracting the wrong people.
To avoid this type of scenario, use your customer data and deep learning tools to analyze shopper behavior and intent to determine which people are your ideal audience. Deep learning can also help you segment and rank these ideal buyer segments to identify your most valuable customers. By focusing your efforts on these people, you can boost engagement, conversions, and ROI.
4. Personalize Site Content for First-Time Visitors
Customers today love the personal touch. When it comes to online stores, homepage personalization can encourage 85 percent of customers to buy.
Traditionally, this has been something hard to achieve online and at scale. However, thanks to advances in marketing technology, personalized on-site experiences are easier than ever to create – even for new site visitors.
You can use AI tools to analyze legally-compliant third-party data on online shoppers’ interests, behaviors and purchase patterns on external websites. Using this information, you can then serve new visitors to your site with dynamic web content, showcasing products they are most likely to engage with and buy.
5. Build Engagement Through Multiple Channels
How active are your customers in engaging with your brand? If customer engagement is low, it’s time to step up your efforts. That’s because high engagement translates as happy customers who are more likely to convert and stay loyal.
An effective way to increase engagement is with a multichannel marketing strategy . This involves marketing to customers through two or more channels simultaneously. Firstly, use AI and machine learning to create a single customer view and segment your audience based on interests and behaviors. Secondly, use marketing automation tools to continually target shoppers with relevant, consistent messages on the channels they are most active.
6. Tackle Customer Cart Abandonment
According to recent figures by Statista, 88.05 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned before checkout. There are many reasons why people abandon carts, including product indecision, high prices, shipping and delivery costs, and a slow site. What can you do to prevent it from happening?
As well as optimizing your prices and site, use AI-driven retargeting tools to crunch your customer data to deliver dynamic, personalized ads, which pop up at the right time on individuals’ preferred channels. These can prompt them to return to cart and purchase – or not abandon the cart in the first place.
7. Turn One-time Purchases Into Subscriptions
Any purchase is a good purchase, but to get the most out of your marketing dollars, look for ways to turn those single conversions into subscriptions. A proven way to do this is by offering shoppers an enticing upgrade – one that demonstrates immediate value.
One example of this might be showing the regular price and a more prominent, cheaper member’s price on the product page. Another could be offering free shipping if they place a three-month order. The result? Less work for you as your customers upsell themselves.
8. Convert Hesitant Customers With Custom Offers
Some people will buy with little effort; others are window shoppers who are just browsing. Then there are the people in the middle. These are your hesitant customers who are keen to buy but are still on the lookout for a better deal. By focusing your efforts on these people, you can speed up sales and boost your conversions.
To figure out who your hesitant buyers are, use advanced machine learning to analyze how customers interact with your site, how they scroll down web pages and how much time they spend on certain sections to identify who are most likely to check out with a deal. You can then target these hesitant shoppers with relevant offers and coupons, encouraging them to complete the purchase.
9. Make Personalized Product Recommendations
Personalized product recommendations vastly outperform generic ones. In fact, according to Invesp , 49 percent of online shoppers would buy a product they didn’t intend to after seeing a personalized recommendation.
To get the best results, use AI to better understand customer behavior and interests on both your channels and external websites, and to predict which products are most likely to drive conversions. You can then deliver personalized product recommendations through the most relevant channels.
10. Offer Fast, Exceptional Customer Service
Delivering exceptional customer experiences is crucial to survival in today’s competitive e-commerce market. Not only are shoppers happy to say goodbye to a company that gives them a bad experience, but 86 percent would actually pay more for great customer service.
One of the critical things to focus on is timeliness; people expect instant responses to their queries or questions. Live chat on your e-commerce site is a great way to enable this at scale.
Other ways to improve your customer service include making your customer service options clear on your website, using social media as a customer service channel, being proactive in your approach, and offering self-help options, such as forums.
11. Make It Easy for Customers to Check Out
Even if shoppers are ready to buy, if your checkout process is too complex, many will abandon the purchase. The experience may even put them off buying from you in the future.
To avoid this happening, ensure that your checkout process is as simple as possible. Some effective ways to do this include avoiding mandatory sign-ups, keeping your online forms short, offering multiple payment options, and displaying a progress indicator.
Increasing engagement and sales on your e-commerce store won’t happen overnight. However, with the right actions and consistent effort, you can go from being an average online store to the envy of your competitors.
* Contact our team today to find out more about how you can leverage data and AI to generate sustainable growth for your e-commerce business.