If there is an industry that’s getting more competitive with each passing year, then it’s got to be Ecommerce. After all, an industry that’s going to be worth more than 4.88 trillion US dollars by the year 2021 is only going to get exponentially more competitive as the years go by due to the sheer lucrative appeal of the market. And you can bet that every aspiring and established Ecommerce leader in the business will want to snag a sizable piece of that financial cake.
With so much to gain yet so much to lose at the hands of your competitors, developing a strong sales strategy for your business becomes an imperative. This will require you to employ several marketing and optimization strategies to retain existing business and attract new shoppers to your website. Let’s break down the key elements of a winning Ecommerce sales plan.
Emphasize long-term customer retention
Without a doubt, you should never pause your efforts to acquire new customers, however, customer acquisition is not the main driving force of long-term Ecommerce success – customer retention is. Customer retention is so powerful that if you manage to transform just a fraction of your new customers into loyal brand advocates, you can easily run a solvent business for years to come. In fact, repeat customers are responsible for as much as 40% of a store’s total revenue volume, which is a lot.
This means that you need to emphasize customer experience above all else this year in order to boost satisfaction among your existing and incoming shoppers. You can achieve this by creating a comprehensive loyalty program that will entice people to keep coming back:
Offer small discounts to first-time shoppers and website visitors in order to influence their decision to buy.
Give your recurring customers sizable discounts or personalized deals that fit their shopping preferences and habits. This will deepen your relationship and make them feel like you know and understand their wishes and goals.
Add occasional freebies into your loyalty program. People love free stuff, and they love the feeling of anticipation every time they come back, the feeling that a gift is waiting for them. Use this to sell more products in the long run.
Optimize the checkout process
Of all the things you can do to boost your sales in 2019, optimizing and simplifying the checkout process for the shopper might very well be the most lucrative one. There are many effective ways you can do this, but the end goal is the same – inspire and motivate the shopper to buy from your site through the flexibility of your payment options, and the simplicity of checkout design.
Firstly, allow your customers to pay on their own terms. Flexibility will be the key here, which is why forward-looking Ecommerce companies are increasingly using finance for business solutions that give shoppers the freedom to delay their payment while the company still gets the money it’s owed. This is also a great way to retain a positive relationship with your customer base.
Next, aim to simplify the actual design of the checkout process as much as possible. You can do this by reducing the number of fields the customer has to fill out to the bare minimum required to complete the purchase. Also, be sure to eliminate any distractions from the checkout page that might entice the shopper to leave it. And finally, add useful features to the page such as a FAQ section, and display your badges and certifications in prominent positions to boost credibility.
Don’t forget about customer acquisition either
Even thought customer retention is the main driving force of sales in the modern Ecommerce market, that doesn’t mean that you should forgo your customer acquisition strategy. Quite the contrary, the two should work in unison to bring you new customers you can quickly convert into loyal brand followers, advocated, and devoted shoppers. Luckily, there are many financially-sensible and effective ways you can acquire new leads and nurture them to fruition.
You can invest in content creation and marketing (we’ll touch on that in a bit), social media management and marketing to boost engagement and broaden your brand’s reach, social media influencers, search engine marketing to drive people to your site through tailored advertisements, and of course, email marketing to reach out to and nurture potential customers. Combine these tactics to create a fool-proof customer acquisition strategy, one that will also work as a fine retention strategy as well.
Leverage content marketing to boost conversions
It’s often said that content is king in the online world, but somehow Ecommerce leaders regularly fail to realize that this applies to their field as well. Not only that it applies, but Ecommerce brands have the unique opportunity to use amazing content to separate themselves from numerous competitors, and actually get the customers to give a damn about their brand and their products.
This is your unique opportunity to craft compelling stories about your products and make them unique, even if uniqueness is not one of their inherent attributes. With that in mind, be sure to invest in content creation and dissemination in the following months, so that you can boost your SEO score, and get people to care about your brand. In turn, this will inspire them to take positive action and not only buy from you, but keep coming back no matter what.
Ecommerce is one of the most competitive industries in the world, so it only stands to reason that you should try to find new, better ways to boost your sales. Well, the strategies themselves might not have changed, but their tactics sure have, so be sure to use these tips to make 2019 the best year for your Ecommerce brand.