E-commerce is making huge inroads and is fast becoming the medium of choice for most buyers in the U.S. According to a U.S Department of Commerce report, the e-commerce market is witnessing a steady incline since 2014. The overall e-commerce industry is continuously growing and outpacing its retail counterpart quarter after quarter, while the retail sector is growing around 2.2% year on year basis with overall sales reaching $1.02 trillion by Q4 2016.
Gerald Mathews, Co-founder of CouponBend, explains that the US e-commerce industry stands at around $262.3 billion at the moment and will likely cross the $500 billion mark before 2018. Chances are that these figures will likely be achieved well before 2018.
Compared to the retail sector, the e-commerce sector continues to increase its market share. One wonders as to why so many shoppers prefer to buy through e-commerce instead of conventional retail stores. Simply put, it is more about consumer satisfaction. Now with mobile apps abounding, shopping online has become even easier. You buy a product and pay for it online. You get it shipped to your place in a day or two. However, to get a quality e-commerce program running, you need to keep an eye on several factors. Here is a checklist of 7 steps you must look into for your e-commerce business:
Word Of Mouth Matters
Word of mouth sounds too old school but it works. Massive word of mouth marketing is as relevant today as it ever was; all you need is to know how to do it, and do it right. Threadless is a widely popular t-shirt brand that got her first customer through word of mouth campaigning.
Founder Jack Nickell takes pride in being the owner to one of the first companies to take benefit from Crowdfunding platform. The company makes great use of its word of mouth marketing techniques that helps it grow more customers. With 2 million customers and counting, Nickell is keen on expanding Threadless further.
Provide Incentives To Customers
People love incentives no matter how they come. The same rule is applicable to the e-commerce industry. You’ll find several cases where e-commerce companies lured customers into buying by providing incentives. E-commerce entrepreneurs know that promotion is a powerful tool if played right.
The problem occurs when some entrepreneurs take time in deciding which products to promote in a sales event. For this reason, it becomes crucial to do your homework before proceeding with your e-commerce promotion. Combine fundamental tricks to make the most out of your e-commerce promotion.
Your e-commerce promotion will work best when mixed with hype. All you need is to draw their attention to sales promotions on different platforms. These may include email and social media marketing campaigns. Doing so will likely result in people taking note of your campaign and will soon get interested. You can engage users through several ways including developing user generated content.
Keep in mind that a single interested shopper will lead others to your brand. In fact, shoppers turning to your brand is a testament to the authenticity of your brand. Dan Wang, content specialist at Shopify urges that persistent campaigning will result in more buyers gathering around to buy your brand. Your hype should include quality content, videos and images to actively promote your products.
Focus On Your Brand, Not the Discount
In e-commerce promotion, the idea is to promote your brand in a way that it takes the center stage. In other words, the whole theme of your promotion should revolve around the product. Developing a promotional email in large bold font will not help your brand’s promotion. Here, Apple does it better than most. They don’t mention discount in bold, rather they mention the offer, the season for which the offer is valid, and give specs. Importantly, more space is reserved for the graphics. There is no better way than making a promotion by putting your brand in the center and mention specs and other details in a subsequent text.
Make Your Promotion Rhythmic
When your brand becomes the cornerstone of the promotion, it is time to move to the next step – searching for the perfect time to send promotional emails. The purpose here is to connect the audience with the promotion.
Tell a Story That Works
E-commerce business is all about telling your customer an intriguing story that works. Storytelling is more about telling the customer how they can make good use of the company. Zendesk is one such success story that makes good use of success stories and use a strong storyline to a good extent. The company’s story uses an innovative mix of situation, problem, solution and the outcome. Eventually, connecting them together to print a fine story and lure visitors into customers.
Make It Responsive
You’ll find a number of e-commerce businesses that made great use of responsive design and increased profits. A responsive design essentially allows different platforms like smartphones, smart watches, tablet PCs, desktop and laptop computers to browse your site without compromising on image quality. The picture, navigation, content will always appears as it was in reality.
For instance, Harvestoun is a company that operated a non-responsive website and had difficulties handling customers browsing the site through smartphones. Since going responsive, the company now claims to have improved their mobile traffic up to 28% in the last 6 months. Naturally, more traffic results in more business. Similarly, Career Builder is another company that previously operated a non-responsive design. Since going responsive, the company claims to have received up to 20% more click through rates from customers.
Keep these tricks in mind before venturing into your next e-commerce promotion. Doing so will likely bring plenty of business to your site.
Author: Usman Raza is a marketing specialist at Keeva Organics and Zensleep.com. Aside from doing SEO, when not working he enjoys spending time with his family.. Follow him on Facebook @usmanraza40 and Twitter @usmanintrotech.