The eCommerce industry has constantly evolved with the growing technologies, and this has also added to customers’ expectations to a large extent. A significant shift in consumers’ buying habits has put extra pressure on eRetailers to revamp their marketing strategies and approach customers with added customizations. Whether you are in the middle of your eCommerce development project or are already running an online store, it’s time to devise a future-proof eCommerce strategy to lay down robust pillars for your eCommerce success. This post highlights some critical aspects to include in your strategy that can lead to enhanced profitability, strong brand value, and a much more enhanced user base of satisfied customers.
Devising the Perfect eCommerce Strategy
With the ever-changing shifts in technology and consumer preferences, you must keep adapting to these changes with a robust change management strategy. Furthermore, there are some critical areas that you must focus on to add value to your customers. Here’s how you can prepare a future-proof strategy for your online store.
Learn from Your Last Year’s Campaigns
First, you must begin by learning from your previous mistakes (if any) or the efficacies of the campaigns you launched. This will offer valuable insights to lay a robust foundation for your upcoming eCommerce strategy. Pay close attention to your previous data and try to figure out your best-selling items, peak times for sales, and what outcome your campaigns brought. This will help you in customer segmentation based on their persona and purchasing patterns and target them with more lucrative offers and customizations. Focus on the following metrics to ensure a winning eCommerce strategy:
- Customer Service
Prioritize Customized Shopping Experiences
This is the most critical aspect that you must consider before preparing a robust eCommerce strategy. Around 80% of online buyers prefer shopping from sites that offer personalized product recommendations. This can be easily done by combining customer data with marketing automation and keeping your content optimized according to user journeys. To get into the details, you must consider different stages of a customer’s shopping journey and then devise relevant CTAs on your site along with value-added product recommendations.
Proactive Customer Service
This is another major aspect that must be highly prioritized if you really want to make your eCommerce store sustainable for a long-term period. Offering proactive customer service is critical to enhancing your user base with the maximum number of loyal customers. This will certainly add to your brand’s value when you deliver active responses to customers’ queries and let them access your product and services without any glitches. Moreover, you can also consider including technologies like Artificial Intelligence to boost communication and develop better relationships with your loyal customers.
Include Upselling & Cross-selling
Most online store owners have started leveraging this feature in their eCommerce sites to enhance their sales and conversion rates unprecedently. Cross-selling generally refers to offering more relevant products except those that a customer is viewing, whereas Upselling refers to recommending a better version of products than what a visitor is viewing on your site. You can also include offers and discounts on these recommended products and lure users into spending more on your site. Automating this process will lead to getting high-value leads at the right time.
Switch to a Regular Maintenance & Support Service
There are almost 20 million eCommerce stores across the globe, but only 1 million perform optimally. One of the major reasons behind this is that they keep updating their site’s performance regularly. Online buyers are highly concerned about an eCommerce site’s speed and overall performance. Hence, you can’t afford to lose customers just because your site loads too slowly or has performance glitches. An active and trusted maintenance and support team will monitor your site’s performance and provide valuable updates as and when required. This also portrays a good impression among your customers, and they start becoming loyal to your brand.
Offer a Seamless Customer Experience
You must ensure that your customers enjoy shopping from your site and have a positive experience when they checkout. Allow them to shop from a variety of channels like your website, mobile app, and through your brick-and-mortar store (if any). Besides this, ensure free shipping and an easy return policy, as most online buyers consider both these aspects before being loyal to a brand. Ensure that the entire customer journey (from start to finish) is convenient and they can easily navigate through all the different sections of your website. From website designs to CTAs and content to customer service, everything must be well-thought to add to customers’ convenience and flexibility.
Allow Maximum Automation
We are living in a digital age, and you must spare maximum time and resources to utilize it to scale your online store. By automating processes like order fulfillment, customer service, and marketing, you can easily bring accuracy and efficiency to your operations. Some leading research sites like Mckinsey, Statista, and Forrester have also agreed that automation can add to 20 times better returns (not 20%). For instance, you can automate the process of tracking and rewarding your most engaged customers, employ A/B testing to determine price change consequences on different customer segments, and trigger emails for abandoned carts.
Ensure Mobile-first Design
The mobile retail eCommerce sales surpassed 430 US dollars in the US in 2022, and by the end of 2024, there will be more than 187 million active mobile shoppers in the US alone. In the coming time, the maximum eCommerce sales will come from mobile phones. Hence, you can’t ignore a mobile-first approach for your eCommerce site. The designs of your eCommerce website and the mobile app must be optimized for small screens to ensure targeting a huge user base along with enhancing conversions. Ensure a mobile-friendly checkout process along with offers and deals devised explicitly for mobile users. The best way is to launch a responsive mobile app for your online store with added customized features. This will add to the level of engagement and interactivity, and with push notifications, you can instantly inform your users about new product releases and the latest deals and discounts.
Keep Gathering Relevant Data
Data has become the most vital aspect of ensuring success in any business, and eCommerce is no exception. However, it’s not just about accumulating abundant data and then getting confused about the most relevant ones. You must consider examining data sets based on your promotional activities to gauge their effectiveness. Using tools like Google Analytics, Woopra, Hootsuite, Smartlook, and others, you can efficiently evaluate valuable data and view it in real time. This will offer you actionable insights that will be much helpful in making timely, accurate, and smart decisions.
This will also help you encounter changing buying behaviors of customers and offer them a customized experience through your eCommerce site. You just need to set relevant metrics for your eCommerce goals and objectives. You must have an enhanced focus on making sense of the data, or else even if you have all the data in the world, it will be worthless if you can’t leverage it optimally per your goals and objectives.
Be Ready for the Holiday Seasons
Your eCommerce strategy must also include preparing for the holiday/festive seasons when people are most likely to become extravagant. Online retail sales during the holiday season in the US alone accounted for 240 billion dollars in the year 2022. Hence, you can’t ignore this critical aspect of your eCommerce strategy. Think of ways to launch attractive campaigns on social media, or you can also consider creating virtual events for the festive season with the help of live streaming and video conferencing apps. Focus on native advertising and bring in some social media influencers to get the maximum attention of buyers to your online store. Consider offering deals and discounts, free shipping, easy checkouts, and tweaking your eCommerce site’s design elements.
Remember, eCommerce is an ever-changing industry, and you must proactively keep adapting to the changes to ensure the retention of your existing customers along with adding new ones. Automation and customization will be the two most critical aspects to ensure profitability in the coming time. Hence, it will be better to be mindful and implement a future-proof strategy to gain optimum results from your online store’s performance.