With more consumers than ever choosing online retailers over conventional brick-and-mortar stores, e-commerce sales grew to $349.1 billion in the United States in 2015. Selling products online provides your customers with a range of benefits, allowing consumers to shop 24 hours a day, seven days a week without any geographical limitations. However, if you want to boost sales and generate loyal customers, you need to invest in e-commerce marketing — the practice of guiding prospects to your online store. Here are four ways to improve your e-commerce business.
1. BUILD CUSTOMER LOYALTY WITH EMAIL LISTS
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to increase traffic to your e-commerce store. In fact, 44 percent of email recipients have made at least one online purchase as a result of a promotional email. When customers place an order from your store, ask them to provide an email address. Not only will you be able to confirm transactions digitally, but you can slowly build loyalty by sending targeted marketing messages to these customers. You can use this data to influence your future marketing campaigns, too.
2. MAKE SMALL CHANGES
Making big changes to your e-commerce store can be expensive. Instead, focus on small adjustments and monitor these changes over time. For example, you might want to place a few products on a landing page and see which items generate the most interest. Alternatively, post a link to several products on your social media profiles and see which pages perform the best. Making small changes — and tracking them over time — can provide you with deeper insights into your e-commerce business.
"Before, during and after you launch any e-commerce business, you should invest in testing and analytics," says digital marketing strategist Samuel Edwards. "Think like the customer and figure out what’s working, what’s not, and the why behind those answers."
3. FOCUS ON SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of boosting inbound traffic to your eCommerce store from search engines like Google. Having your online store appear in a prominent position on the search engine results page for desirable keywords could send your e-commerce sales into the stratosphere, so it's always a good idea to have an effective SEO strategy.
SEO best practices for e-commerce include accurate product descriptions and headers, which make it easier for search engines to crawl your store pages. A regular SEO audit — a process where you check your website's search engine results — is also a great idea. Using web analytics tools can help, too. These programs provide you with accurate insights into your e-commerce store, such as the number of people who are visiting your pages and where they have come from.
4. SET UP A GUEST CHECKOUT OPTION
Customers want to purchase products from your e-commerce store without any fuss. Requiring new prospects to set up a user account before they can pay for their items could hinder sales and increase your abandonment rate.
Research shows that 23 percent of consumers will abandon their shopping cart if they are prompted to create a new user account on e-commerce websites. Setting up a guest checkout option solves this problem and lets customers pay for their items in a speedy timeframe. Eight out of the top 10 retailers in the United States let their customers complete their transaction without registering for a new account.
E-commerce marketing lets you turn more prospects into bona fide customers by making changes to your online store. You could accelerate sales through email lists, search engine optimization and a guest checkout option, and make small adjustments to your website.
The best method for applying incremental, high impact changes to your e-commerce site is the Growth-Driven Design (GDD) methodology. Download our FREE Introduction to Growth-Driven Design below!