You have a beautiful website. But you need it to drive sales, not be admired.
So, how do you turn a visitor into a customer?
How well do you know your customer?
Whatever you’re selling you need to understand your customer and what they expect from you. We exist in an age where music and movies are instantly streamed or downloaded, taxis pick-up customers from their exact mobile location, and restaurants deliver to your door.
Everything is immediate, convenient and accessible from the palm of your hand. Do consumers marvel in this revolution? No. They want more.
Technology has enabled a global marketplace, with e-tailers now shipping to more countries than ever before. High street stores face global competition, and being local is no longer beneficial as customers have a wealth of options and prices to choose from.
E-commerce is king
Your e-commerce platform doesn’t just need to inspire, it needs to empower.
As Alex O’Byrne, from e-commerce designers We Make Websites, observes:
“Our clients know that a poorly functioning website, or clunky mobile experience can mean the end for even established brands. Customers revel in market disruptors that save them time and money, so the online experience needs to optimise sales and conversion at every opportunity".
The first step it to understand your customers. Ask yourself:
- Where are they? This is not just about physical location. Think about where they are when they order. Are they using a mobile or tablet, 4g or wifi? Design your store with a mobile first approach to cater for these consumers and see an automatic uplift in conversions.
- When do they want it? The answer will be immediately. And not just immediately; conveniently and preferably for free. The demand for immediate gratification applies to online purchases too, with market shakers such as Shuttle and others now offering same day delivery.
- Who are they? Think e-commerce personalisation. Deductions can be made from purchase history data and the correct recommendation at the right moment can result in significant increases in AOV and revenue. Is it a birthday or other special occasion? Have they increased or decreased their spend over the last few orders and should you be offering a reward or an incentive?
- Who are you to you customers? Your customers count on you to be the expert. From fashion advice to healthy eating, a store is no longer just a shop. Smart brands accompany their product offering with blog, tutorials, lookbooks and style guides, anything to set them apart from an overcrowded online marketplace.
- How do they feel about you? Reviews and social proofing are just as valuable as personal recommendations. Good reviews, and especially bad, sway consumers. Ask for feedback regularly and act on any areas of concern. Hire professional customer service personnel to act as your front line.
So, with customers expecting the world and quick to jump ship if they find something cheaper or faster elsewhere, businesses can’t afford to stand still. E-commerce platforms are seeing massive investment and online shopping will continue to disrupt the retail market for many years to come.
What do you think? How has your eCommerce strategy evolved? How is technology affecting the way you do business?
Email us your thoughts.
Image by Hamza Butt.