No business begins its journey with the goal of ‘just doing ok.’ 99.9% of start-ups will have an initial business plan outlining the company’s objectives and how to fulfil them. Even the very best eCom businesses that expand to dizzy heights, will need a moment to pause and reflect on how they can boost sales and gain further traction.
1. Build Brand Awareness
What eCommerce businesses lack and physical sites don’t, is the ability to talk directly with your consumers and up-sell your products directly to prospective customers. So, what is, brand awareness and why is it so important? It represents how familiar your target audience is with your brand, how well they recognise it, and how relatable it is. For example, when you need a tissue, do you ask for a tissue, or a Kleenex when you need a new vacuum cleaner, you’re more likely to say you’re getting a new Hoover. These are known as proprietary eponyms that have reached the peak of brand awareness. It’s important to be consistently building that brand and strengthening its associations in the minds of your target audience. The more familiar people are with something, the more they trust it and gravitate to it. To conclude, successfully building brand awareness leads to capturing and securing a loyal audience, the opportunity to promote your business across multiple channels and introducing new products and expand your catalogue.
2. Social Content
The past five years has played witness to a surge in the popularity of social media businesses, influencers and brands creating original omnichannel experiences to drive sales. Sponsored posts on Instagram and YouTube videos litter our phones and screens, giving consumers access to discount codes and a realistic chance to buy the same item as someone they idolise. In the UK well over half of small businesses use social media for marketing purposes, so why does it work so well? Most commonly, brands are taking advantage of Instagram’s image friendly app and creating online sites for their e-business which appeal to the 70% of consumers that look to Instagram for product discovery. Whilst it costs nothing to download the app and make an account, it’s important to optimize your profile to greet consumers with a viable purchasing option. E-businesses should seek to harness data to personalise user’s experience, understanding your customer demographics can lead to smarter decisions when it comes to social media marketing.
3. Capture subscribers and Optimise Email Campaigns
According to a study conducted by Forrest Research, roughly 17% of digital marketing spend happens in email, despite it contributing 24%. Whilst capturing an audience is great, they’ve given their details, you have their email address, but now you have to send regular, valuable emails for the channel to be an effective eCommerce marketing activity. Understanding your audience and catering to them is vital in successfully optimising your email campaigns.
4. Slash Shipment Costs
Simply put, free shipping increases sales. Shipping options play a pivotal role in an online shopper’s decision to make a purchase. Free of charge shipping can be the make or break between a customer deciding to order their item from your business, over another, and the former is always preferred. Take ASOS for example, for an annual fee of just £9.95 shoppers can enjoy free next day delivery, with no spending cap. If you need some new socks, a few clicks later and your socks will be with you by the next day, without having to move (in fact, just a finger). A smooth returns process is also vital for boosting eCom sales. 90% of shoppers said that they would continue to purchase from a business if the returns process was a smooth one. And customers who had a bad experience during the returns process was three times less likely to return to that store.
5. Customer Service Always Wins
The support an eCommerce business gives to its online shoppers can make or break a business. As more shoppers move online, the importance of eCommerce customer support grows. If a shopper needs help with an item they bought online or need to ask a question before making a purchase, and there’s no one to turn to and no one to contact, they’ll likely look elsewhere. Most customers anticipate access to speedy, polite and helpful eCommerce customer service through a range of channels, from social media to email.
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