- The right eCommerce strategy increases revenue and enhances your marketing approach.
- Tracking online sales helps you understand customer behavior.
- Microtargeting helps you appeal to the buying habits of specific audiences.
U.S. eCommerce sales are expected to increase over 12 percent to over $666 billion in 2020. As a small business owner, you need to continue to ride the eCommerce wave with effective online services and selling strategies, particularly as the coronavirus pandemic continues to change the global economy.
Worldwide retail eCommerce sales should reach 4.8 trillion by 2021. To capture your share of this rising eCommerce market, here are some strategies to help you stay ahead of your competition.
Partner with Professionals
Like other aspects of owning and operating your own business, incorporating eCommerce into your online presence may seem daunting at first but it’s easy to implement once you have the right tools. The return on your efforts goes beyond the obvious revenue stream of profits from sales — capturing customer information from eCommerce creates a source of sales retention and lead generation that allows you to market your business more effectively in the future.
While being a small business owner means learning new skills, turning to a reliable online resource can help you prioritize your time. Web.com’s eCommerce Website Builder for Small Business quickly and easily guides you through the process of building your eCommerce web page. It walks you through important details like ensuring your online store is properly optimized.
For example, you’ll want to make sure your store product images load quickly and file sizes are optimized to 72 dots per inch (dpi) and under 25 megabits (mbs). You should also do things like save and upload photographs as JPG files and graphics as PNG files to help your site run smoothly and efficiently.
Implement an eCommerce site that microtargets customers with similar interests and characteristics – this is where you can put your specific market knowledge to work. Understanding your company’s niche markets helps you break through to them with specialized product offerings and services.
For example, if you are a financial advisor, your niche may be offering financial services to physicians and lawyers. You might have an expert understanding of the common goals of these demographics and microtargeting allows you to better reach these markets.
Organizing your target market into smaller segments gives you the advantage of implementing targeted email campaigns and social media strategies. This allows for a more meaningful connection with prospects and customers (think higher open and click-through rates and more touchpoints) and increases your success rate with online sales. You are the expert on the competitive advantage you offer to a given demographic and using that knowledge to determine your niche translates into a successful microtargeting plan.
Once you have established a clear set of customer profiles, you’ll be well on your way towards customizing a unique and exceptional buyer experience tailored to your customers’ tastes, needs and interests – a key to cultivating relationship-based sales. Need help making educated assumptions about the habits and interests of your target demographic? Online marketing data sites like Hubspot are great resources for learning more about your target market’s eCommerce purchase behaviors. You can use this customer data to enhance your online marketing plans and make smarter inventory and operational decisions as well.
Consider A/B Testing
Take your eCommerce strategy to the next level and capture customer preference data with A/B testing (also called split testing). A/B tests allow you to experiment with two versions of your eCommerce web page to determine which performs better. For example, publish a page with detailed product or service photos for two weeks, then change it to a text-only page for an additional two weeks. Comparing the sales performance of each page will help you determine customer preferences and shape your eCommerce marketing strategy moving forward.
Testing is crucial because it can identify issues or problems plaguing customers when they find it hard to complete a transaction. A/B testing can ensure they stay “in the cart.” Online resources like AB Tasty and VWO Testing can help you quickly and easily set up an A/B test for your website.
Invest in New Tools
Today’s buyers are inundated with choices and want to visualize and interact with a product as much as possible before committing. Giving online shoppers the ability to do things like zoom in and see details of the product builds their trust and leads to more sales conversions. Online resources like Create can help you add an image zoom option to your website photos in just a few clicks.
In addition, product filtering modules give your prospects and customers the ability to narrow their product search to quickly and easily find what they need. This translates into a more satisfying experience for your customers – and a competitive advantage for your business. When a potential buyer or customer has a question about a product or your company, nearly half of all customers prefer interacting with a business via a live chat than any other means of contact. Consider adding this communications tool to your site to improve buyer engagement and customer service.
Grow Your Sales – and Business – With eCommerce
The eCommerce space continues to evolve. By implementing smart eCommerce strategies, you will provide exceptional service and value to your customers, which will help your sales and business grow.
Products mentioned in this blog post include: