When was the last time you took a good hard look at your eCommerce strategy? If it's been more than a few months, it's time to reevaluate. After all, eCommerce is constantly evolving and there's always room to improve. Dust off your eCommerce strategy and get ready to take your business to the next level.
- Pretend You're a Customer - Have you ever placed an order on your own eCommerce site? If not, you may be surprised at how difficult it is to find a given item, how clumsy your shopping cart is to use, or how many steps are required to place an order. Write down your likes and dislikes and then correct anything you encounter that turns you off as a customer.
- Speak with Real Customers - While pretending you're a customer is an eye-opening experience, nothing compares to actual customer feedback. As the eCommerce shop owner, you may have a lot of preconceptions and bias that filter your perception of what your customers want. Find out for sure by asking your customers directly. Find out what types of problems they have, both in general as well as in navigating and using your site, and work to solve them. Not only does customer feedback help you to fine-tune your business so that it better serves your customers, it also has a potential side effect that can build customer loyalty: your customers feel important and cared for when their feedback is actively sought.
- Get on Social Media - You are on Facebook or Twitter, right? How about Pinterest? If you are not on social media at all, it's time to jump on the bandwagon. It's not necessary to be on every single social network. Again, ask your customers which social media sites they use and consider going where they go. For example, if your customers prefer Pinterest to Facebook, then you'd probably do well getting on Pinterest. That said, don't put all of your eggs into the social media basket. You'll want to take advantage of social media, but not rely on it exclusively.
- Equip your eCommerce site for Mobile Users - Did you know that most smartphone users use their mobile phones to shop. In fact, "show rooming" has become a real problem for brick and mortar stores as consumers regularly use their smartphones in-store to find a better deal online (Source: https://www.doba.com/hot-products/). Though screen sizes have increased, websites need to be optimized for mobile devices.
- Use Incentives - Promotions, discounts, free shipping, loyalty and other incentives work. Use them to your advantage to build your customer base and drive sales. Starbucks uses rewards to keep customers coming back; Amazon offers free two-day shipping and free streaming movies through its paid Amazon Prime program. Think of creative ways to reward your customers and prompt them to share your promotions with others and you'll soon see that incentives can make a positive difference for you and your customers alike.
Incorporate these five tips into your eCommerce strategy today and revisit your strategy a few more times before the year's end. By constantly improving, your eCommerce business is sure to stay fresh and continue to grow.