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- Define Your Sales Cycle
Every business is unique. How long does it take before a customer makes a purchase on your site? Knowing how customers move through your sales process can be helpful so that you can create the bestÂ ecommerce marketing strategiesÂ possible.
If you donât know how long it takes a customer to complete your sales cycle it will be difficult to pinpoint which platforms you should be advertising on, when you should be aggressively retargeting or sending emails. Does your customer convert in a week, a month, a year? Defining your sales cycle will require some research as well as testing. Once you have this down you can move on to our nextÂ ecommerce marketing strategies.
- Optimize Your Checkout Process
Decrease cart abandonment by optimizing your checkout process. This is one of those ecommerce marketing strategiesÂ that is often neglected by businesses but it is possibly the most important one! You spend so much time building trust with potential customers to get them to purchase from you and you need to continue building that trust throughout your checkout process. If your checkout process is smooth and trustworthy from start to finish, you will increase conversion rates and decrease cart abandonment. The next fiveÂ ecommerce marketing strategiesÂ are helpful when optimizing your checkout page.
- Make your checkout process as easy as possible
Try to get everything on one page. If you have to have several pages, consider showing a progress bar at the bottom of each page so that your customers can visualize how much longer your checkout process will take. Make buttons easy to find â the more time a customer spends looking for the next button or the checkout button the quicker they can become frustrated with your site.
Francescaâs is a clothing store that has an easy checkout process. They have three sections all on one secure checkout page. The first section is for shipping information, the next for billing and finally you can review your purchase. They include a photo of the product or products you are purchasing and break down your total amount so that you can see how much you are paying for shipping. You can also easily see all of the information you have entered and go back to make corrections without hitting the back button.
Give customers (and search engines) helpful product descriptions
If you are selling any type of clothing or accessory, provide a size guide. Not only will this help customers but it will cut back on returns for your business. You may want to include customer reviews or testimonials as well. Make sure you have a page dedicated to frequently asked questions. This can also be beneficial to your SEO if you write quality descriptions that include keywords. Brush up onÂ what SEO isÂ and how it works before you dive in. Optimizing your descriptions will help you move up in search rankings which means more visibility for your business which can leads to more sales.
Asos has killer product descriptions for every single one of their products (and they have a ton!). Each one is helpful for customers and includes keywords for search engines. These details tell customers what the product is made out of, the size, fit and fabric, how to clean it and even tells customers the height of the model in the photo. You donât have to go all out like Asos, but the more effort you put in to your descriptions, the easier it will be for your customers. Not only will they be able to easily find your products, but it will also be easier for them to make a purchase decision. Â
- Show shipping costs.
No one likes to go through the process of typing all of their information in to your site and get all the way to the end only to find out that there is a huge shipping cost. Be upfront with customers. If you can, let them know how much they will be paying at the beginning of your check out process. Or charge a flat rate shipping if this is an option for your products.
In addition to being upfront about your shipping costs, give customers an idea of when their products will arrive or if there are any other shipping details, they need to be aware of.
Francescaâs also shows shipping costs before you go to purchase your items and they offer the option to checkout with PayPal which is a trusted platform that many shoppers already use. If shoppers already have a PayPal account this expedites their checkout.Â
Another handy thing that PayPal and many other ecommerce brands are doing now is sending receipts through Facebook messenger. This makes it so easy for customers to keep track of their purchases. The easier you can make it for customers to purchase or return products, the more likely they are to return to your online store.
Give customers the option to keep shopping.
If customers are given the option to keep shopping before they check out, they might consider it and continue checking out. But a lot of the time customers will continue to browse your site just to make sure they didnât miss anything.Â Ecommerce marketing strategies like this are easy to incorporate into your checkout process. Simply add a âkeep shoppingâ button next to your âcontinue checkoutâ button. Make sure they are both easy to find on your web page.
- Let customers know what forms of payment you accept.
You can add the logos of what types of credit cards your store accepts. This helps build trust with shoppers and makes them feel safe when they are entering their credit card information. Add popular security seals to increase trust as well. If customers recognize a security logo, they will feel at ease knowing their credit card information is in good hands.
Francescaâs shows this popular security seal during their checkout process. It is easy to see and appears above the fold of the page. This can be a game changer for your checkout process.
98% of users do not convert on their first visit to a website. If you want to capture those sales you will need to have retargetingÂ ecommerce marketing strategiesÂ in place. There are several ways you can retarget customers so that they return to your site to purchase your product. One of the most popular ways is toÂ run retargeting ads on other websites. When a customer comes to your site and leaves without buying, you can use other sites that they are visiting to show your products. Pretty cool right? You can also retarget customers with email campaigns. Have you ever added items to your cart in an online store without purchasing and then received an email a few days later that looked something like this?
If so, you have just been retargeted. These emails may entice you to purchase items you have left behind or to shop for other similar/complementing items on the same site. This will increase traffic to your site which can get you more conversions aka more sales.
- Email Marketing and Automation
Email marketing has a median return on investment of 122% which is 4 times higher than channels like social media, direct mail and paid search. Building an email list is as easy as enticing users to give you their emails when they make a purchase. You can also collect emails through social media campaigns and on your website in exchange for coupons or discounts.
Creating an email marketing strategy can involve standalone emails as well as automations. Read up on how to improve your B2CÂ email marketing campaign.Â You can even set up email automations like cart abandonment, welcome automations, and order automations.
Cart abandonment emails retarget customers when they leave something in their carts. You have probably received one before reminding you to go back and purchase the items in your cart. Itâs one of those âfriendly reminderâÂ ecommerce marketing strategiesÂ that will help your business regain those lost sales.
Welcome automations are great so that customers automatically receive an email when the first sign up to get your emails. You can include a short message about your brand and how you are happy to have them on board. If you want you can even include a coupon to entice them to purchase from your store.
Order automations are perfect for keeping customers up to date on their purchases. There are several emails that can be a part of this automation including a confirmation email letting the customers know you have received their orders, a shipping email confirming that the items have shipped and an email saying their products have been delivered. You can even send a fourth email asking how they like their products.
Asking for feedback or reviews is one of thoseÂ ecommerce marketing strategiesÂ that is really easy to incorporate into any automation you may already have. After your customers receive your product ask for feedback! You can ask customers to simply rate your product or to leave a review. This is helpful for other customers when they are shopping for your products and itâs helpful for your business so that you can continue growing and improving.Optimize your emails for mobile devices. Just like optimizing your website to be mobile friendly, your emails should also be easy to interact with on various devices. Donât lose subscribers because they canât view your emails on their smartphones. Most email APIs like Mail Chimp or Active Campaign already optimize your campaigns for mobile but it doesnât hurt to double check to see if all of your photos, text and logos look good before you send.
- Update Your Website
If your business has been around for a while, you may want toÂ consider a site update. Older sites tend to look spammy. People trust things that are familiar so if your site is similar to other sites with regards to design, your customers will feel safe and comfortable. If you donât believe us, which site would you trust?
This is the Apple website in 1998. If you saw something like this on the web today, you probably would be weary of making a purchase but 20 years ago this was the norm.
Today Apple has a clean and sleek site that is aesthetically pleasing. Their up to date design puts users at ease and comes off as trustworthy.
Design is constantly changing so make sure you are up to date on the latest trends. Check out ourÂ ecommerce website design tipsÂ that build trust and increase sales!
- Social Media Advertising
Social media is one of the most cost-effective platforms to advertise on! If you already have accounts on all major social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter you have already taken the first step! Having accounts and posting every so often isnât enough to grow your business especially in todayâs competitive market. You will need to build anÂ ecommerceÂ social media marketing campaign.
Once you have a strategy in place you can begin advertising. A great starting point is Facebook. You can target specific audiences and link to specific pages on your site. One of the best ecommerce marketing strategies you can use withÂ Facebook advertisingÂ is creating landing pages.
A landing page is a standalone web page used for advertising campaigns. This is where users are directed to after they click on an ad from social media or Google. For example, say you are advertising one of your products and you donât have a page on your site for that specific product. You can create a landing page for that product so it is more in line with the advertisement you are showing on Facebook. It is so important to make sure your ads and landing pages are congruent. This means they need to have the same or similar information and have a consistent look.
Another one of our favouriteÂ ecommerce marketing strategiesÂ is toÂ incorporate video into your advertisements. Showing a short video to potential customers of how your product can improve their lives will get your point across quickly and efficiently. Customers are looking for instant gratification. If you have an advertisement with a lot of text, chances are it will go unread. With video you can capture potential customers and draw them in. Show them how your product works with a short demonstration. If users can see your product in action, they will be more likely to try it out.
Social media ecommerceÂ marketing strategies require research, skill and time in order for them to run smoothly. If you think you are unequipped to run your own social media campaign, let our social media experts on staff give you a hand!
- Personalize the Buying Experience for Customers
If customers feel like your store is dedicated to helping them pick out the perfect product, then your store will rise above the rest. Use nameÂ personalization in your emailsÂ or on your website, recommend products based on previous purchases, or up your marketing game with a personalized quiz. This is a great way to connect with customers. Take them on a unique buying journey that is aligned with their personal tastes and styles.
Amazon does a great job of personalizing everything for customers. They show customers related products and recommendations of products they might like to purchase. Every customer dashboard looks different. Itâs almost liked every Amazon shopper has their own personalized Amazon store.
Another company who is making personalization a big part of their buying experience is Stitch fix, a clothing subscription box. They start out with a get to know you style quiz. This can make customers feel special and it shows that the brand cares about making each personâs buying journey individualized. Taking the time to learn about your customersâ needs may seem like a huge feat but in the long run you can increase sales as well as customer engagement.Â
13. Humanize Your Brand
People trust people so take some steps to make sure customers see the faces behind your brand. Send out videos showing how your products are made and testimonials and images of loyal customers. Communicate with customers, respond to tweets, reviews and comments. Monitor what customers are saying and donât just reply to the bad comments or reviews. Taking the time to send out longer, helpful responses will let your customers know that you care and that there are people behind your brand that are working hard to make sure customers have the best experience possible. Â
- Invest in Mobile
When Facebook put out the mobile version of their site, they invested tons of money into a complete revamp because they knew that mobile was the next big thing. A complete site overhaul is probably unnecessary for you, but you will want to check your mobile site to make sure it is functioning properly. You always want customers to have a good shopping experience. There are ways to build your site so that certain elements appear on desktop that do not appear on mobile and vice versa. You can make elements appear differently on different devices as well.
- Build a Mobile App
How many times have you been browsing a site on your phone and then had to switch to a computer to order your product? If you want to take mobile one step further, consider building your own ecommerce app for iPhone and Android. There are several benefits to having an app for your ecommerce business. Apps tend to load more quickly that websites so that users can shop more efficiently. If you have an app customer are one tap away from viewing your products. You can also send push notifications through apps to notify customers when you are having a sale or when their favourite item is back in stock. If your business is already established and you are looking for ways to continue to develop your brand, building an app is an excellent way to boost sales and drive growth.
Amazonâs app is intuitive and user friendly. The design mimics their desktop site with a few differences but is more convenient for mobile users. Here is an example of a search for âk cupsâ. The desktop version shows several options before showing the bestselling k cup and more options that are not sponsored. The mobile version still includes the Solimo coffee pods as well as one sponsored coffee pod and although it shows less than the desktop version, the user does not feel as if anything is missing.Â Â