The New Year is upon us, and there's really no better time to assess your eCommerce goals for your business. The market for online goods and services has greatly increased with the COVID-19 pandemic along with the rise of consumers' growing needs and expectations. With the right set of eCommerce goals and tactics to support these goals, you can greatly scale your online business.These are the common goals that we see every day when we work with companies such as yours, along with some suggestions on how to achieve them:
1. Increase Sales
Everyone wants to increase sales, but they don’t always know how to do it. Some of the easiest ways to do so might be right in front of you.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) - As more and more people engage online and utilize eCommerce as part of their daily routines, it’s becoming more urgent for brands to invest in SEO or search engine optimization. Having the right optimizations in place, especially on your product pages, makes it easier for search engines to find your store and show it in relevant search results. Ultimately, this will lead potential buyers to your store and help establish its name in the niche it falls under.
Gaining organic rankings offers long-term value. However, there’s a quicker way for your store to show up on the search results, and that is via paid ads. For a price, your store can get a high placement on search results and get a quick traffic boost — a great complement to your long term, organic SEO efforts.
Reduce Abandoned Cart Rate - It’s common knowledge that most eCommerce store visitors are there simply to look around and click away. That’s why it’s not surprising that abandoned carts are a common problem for ecommerce. You must assess what could be stopping shoppers from completing their transaction. It could be due to a complicated checkout page, limited payment methods, lack of trust badges or insufficient product information.
According to Nudgify:
"In 2019, the average conversion rate for a Shopify store was just 1.5%. So, with a Shopify Conversion Rate of over 2% and a cart abandonment rate below 50%, your store would be performing above the industry benchmark."
Our own experience has shown that 25% of all abandoned shopping carts are caused by insufficient product information. Customers need to trust what they are buying, so they need a complete set of images and/or videos, a detailed description, accurate pricing and available quantity. Storing product information in a centralized system such as a PIM or an ERP system can further ensure that the quality of product information is accurate and complete.
You can minimize potential checkout problems by displaying trusted badging and logos that shoppers can easily recognize--like the Norton and McAfee logos, and other "safe/secure" checkout company logos. Also, by offering multiple payment options on your checkout page you can be more accommodating to your shopper's preferences. You might want to consider using PayPal, Apple Pay, Google Pay and credit card options like Visa and MasterCard within your checkout experience.
Upselling and cross-selling - These are both are powerful tools you can use to increase the value of a customer’s purchase. Plus, they could help customers know more about your offers even if they don’t immediately buy.
Upselling is when you create an offer for a better and more expensive product than what the customer is looking at on your product page or checkout page. Meanwhile, cross-selling is when you suggest an additional product that can improve the customer’s experience with the product they have in their cart.
Let’s say you’re selling consumer packaged goods. On every product page of your store, you can try to offer upsells by displaying one or two more expensive items that are close to the item type that the user is looking at. This way, shoppers will have more options and could decide whether to go for the cheapest item or the one with the best features.
For cross-selling, an example is offering related items, or items that connect to the item the user is interested in. Let's say you have an item like a book, you can cross-sell items like bookmarks, additional books outside the genre by the same author, or even merchandise related to the book. These are all great ways to cross-sell items right within the checkout process.
2. Reduce Costs
Legacy Systems can cost you - Many companies are operating inefficiently and are spending more time and therefore money than necessary. Perhaps it's time to replace your home-grown, customized eCommerce solution with a full featured SaaS solution.
Also, it's essential to setup the right processes, systems, data and people so that you not only have a better customer experience, but you lower your operating costs and increase your operational efficiencies. Centralizing your data in a PIM and/or ERP system will eliminate working in spreadsheets and help to manage your data properly.
When you are evaluating your eCommerce business (as most companies do each year), you should really dive into how the technology you're using works within the entire business stack. How does your warehouse communicate inventory levels and pricing to your website, and vice-versa? What are some of the hidden costs of using legacy technology? Are you holding too much inventory? Which products are being back-ordered or passed over by customers altogether due to lack of inventory? Having the right inventory management solution that is properly managed will go a long way in providing answers to these questions, and avoid some of these pitfalls in the future.
We have seen many companies struggle with high development costs, high maintenance costs and poor customer experience. We go a bit deeper in our article "The Top 8 eCommerce Challenges."
3. Expand your offerings
Selling in 1 geography through 1 sales channel is a great start, but why limit yourself? For example, if you have an eCommerce site in the US that sells with US dollars, you could expand to online marketplaces such as Amazon, eBay, Walmart etc.---and vice-versa.
Next, you could expand to Europe, Asia and other continents using the localized (translated) product information, and accept payment in their local currency using a payment and tax compliance solution such as Digital River. You can even have a separate eCommerce site and online market for each country, continent and/or language.
Once you start selling in multiple countries, multiple currencies, multiple languages and multiple sales channels, you will definitely want to consider using a PIM to manage all of these variables.
Now is a great time to set eCommerce business goals for the New Year. If you set your goals within an attainable timeframe that are within reason for your business to achieve, you are making great strides toward your overall growth. It does not have to happen all at once. This is a long journey. But you can get started and expand as you see ongoing success.
If you need help with your eCommerce strategy and technology roadmap, reach out to us for a free consultation.