So you have your own online retail site. Great stuff! You have selected a killer range of merchandise to sell, spent many dollars in creating a stunning website, ensured that payments are kept safe and secure, and done your best to market your site through friends, family, and social media. Your number of customers is slowly creeping up but how do you improve the traffic to an online store?
Here are five things that you should investigate to help drive those numbers.
The cost in hard currency, time and effort to attract new customers to your online presence is extremely high. Research has shown that it can take over a year of return visits and repeat purchases for the on-line retailer to recover the cost of attracting a customer in the first place. You then have to ensure that every customer that frequents your online store is viewed as a potential return customer and building that elusive concept of trust and loyalty should be close to the top of every online retailer’s to do list.
Repeat customers who are loyal are more likely to be understanding if something goes wrong, they are more likely to recommend you to their circle of friends and family, and they are more likely to be prepared to pay a premium price.
There are several areas that the online retailer must take cognisance of to ensure that a first-time buyer is converted into a return customer and loyalty and trust is built between the retailer and the customer. These repeat customers are your golden geese, so do everything to retain them. This is the high-quality traffic to an online store
In a bricks and mortar environment, this would be the quality of the shop, the staff, their dress, and mannerisms. Obviously, in the online environment, the interface the customer has, is a machine, so your website becomes tangible in this environment. It cannot be stressed enough that a well-designed, easy to use website is key, and no corners should be cut when designing and building a website. Ensure that it is well tested and that it does not break under any circumstances.
This refers to providing a service, on time, every time as the customer expects. Goods ordered and paid for must be delivered on time, so the customer starts to trust the online presence.
This is a difficult area for the online retailer, and this will depend on your behind the scenes staff. They will deal with issues such as ensuring customers are accurately told when goods will be delivered and providing helpful assistance when the customer has a complaint. An online chat would be a good example of responsiveness, providing the staff with access to all the customer’s information and the ability to resolve problems in real-time.
This can be another difficult area for online retailers, but personalized greetings, personalized e-mails, and customized content can go a long way in creating a feeling of empathy.
Omni-channel sales are defined as a multichannel approach to selling goods. Simply put, it means that it should make no difference where your customer is interacting with your retail environment, whether it is in your high street store, via your website on a computer or tablet or a mobile phone, the purchase of goods should be almost seamless. Technology to facilitate this is rapidly maturing, and it is important that the retailer takes advantage of this to blur the lines between the on-line and real-life experience.
Think of a store where a lady is trying to select wool for a jersey or cloth for a sewing project, but there is an insufficient stock of the particular item or the wrong color on the shelf. Imagine then that she can look at the online e-commerce website of the retailer and place an order for the additional wool or cloth either via an application on her phone or the website and get an exact date when the remainder of her order will be delivered. This will guarantee a seamless, efficient and a very happy customer.
Remember that this experience must be seamless to make it omnichannel. The customer must have only one account that is used in the store, on the phone or the website and they must all interact to provide the customer with an end-to-end, consistent service.
3. Personalised Marketing
Personalized marketing is also known as one-on-one marketing or individual marketing, and it can be an immensely powerful tool, but it can also seriously backfire if handled incorrectly. Every human will respond if he is made to feel special and if the content is customized specifically for him.
To achieve this, you must carefully look for the correct data, analyze it properly and then use that information to provide customized content to your customer. This amounts to a great deal of fairly specialized work, and people are very wary of their data being collected and stored, so be very sure that you get their consent before you do anything.
Tread lightly in this area. Treat your customers as important and show them that you understand their wants and needs without scaring them away.
4. Personalisation of Customer Service
Online customers are already used to personalized customer service as it is used very successfully by many of the large retailers such as Amazon. The tech-savvy millennial will expect you to personalize their service and when done well, this can lead to loyalty and repeat purchases by customers.
The basis of personalizing a service is to know your customers, and once again we return to the collection of personal data. Make sure your customers know that you are collecting data about their browsing habits, items they have looked at and obviously you have all their prior purchases information. Personalized advertisements can be created using this data and analytical software. These personalized adverts are used to draw your customer in to make purchases.
Younger customers will expect this type of service and will not balk at the collection of their data as much as an older person would, who is still a little leery of the Internet. Understand how the different demographic groups work and what they will be expecting from you.
Use your website to great advantage by placing items that will interest a particular consumer, front and center, so they see them first. Don’t take the lazy route by having a one size fits all approach; those days are rapidly fading away.
5. Integrated Commerce
Integrated commerce is the process that will seamlessly integrate traditional business processes with electronic commerce capability. For example, should you have an automated invoicing and payments system, your business processes surrounding accounts receivable are streamlined into a simple process that cuts your overheads significantly and provides a superior service to your customers? Easing the complexity of these processes will ensure that your commercial customers return and again as the process of doing business with you is painless and accurate leading to fewer queried invoices.
Getting customers to your online environment is expensive, but if you are remiss and do not make every attempt to retain each one of those customers, you will soon discover that the cost of tempting them to return can be significantly higher.
If you would like to discover how analytics could boost your business, talk to the Analytics Expert at ComTec. Find out where to start and get access to analytics capabilities. Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org