Due to COVID-19, the “new normal” is something that businesses and people have had to adapt to, fast. This means that there hasn’t always been time to do proper research and get your ducks in a row before entering the ecommerce world. The good news is that doesn’t mean you can’t hit pause for just a second and get those little ducks sorted out now – even if your business has been around for a while.
You have your new ecommerce channel up and running – that’s great. Now it’s time to refine it and make sure you get the most out of what it can offer. Your customers will certainly adapt in this age of self-isolation and social distancing, but you still need to let them know you’ve gone digital and make sure you do it right.
These five tips will get you from just having an ecommerce channel to that channel being your top earner:
1) Show Off Your Product To Its Full Advantage
The main element missing from online shopping is the ability to really see the product. It’s up to you to make sure you give your customers as much information as possible to help them to visualize the product on them or in their home. This applies to both the images you use and the description you write.
Start by showing off the product from every angle. Don’t forget to have close ups of details that are major selling points – great buttons on a coat or a handy latch on a lunch box – whatever makes the product more appealing. You can even consider doing product videos to show it off properly. A video will give you all angles and a comparison to a person if you want to show height or overall size.
2) Offer Great Filtering And Search Functionality
Almost nothing is more frustrating to a consumer than not being able to search for exactly what they want. By offering plenty of onsite filtering and search options, you can ensure that no matter how the customer wants to look for their product, they can find it.
It’s up to you to divide your products by category, size, color, shape, brand, price, new arrivals, sales, popularity, and other relevant factors. This gives your customer the option to pick the options that best suit their needs and wants, and only look at the products that fall into that category for them.
A search functionality that can automatically work out what products and categories your customers are looking for is great. This adds another layer of functionality that gives customers control over their shopping experience.
3) Up Your Marketing Game
Just because you’ve moved into the online world of e-commerce doesn’t mean that your customers know this. You need to reach out to them with a message that tells them where to find you, and what benefits they can enjoy.
The first step is to touch base with your regulars. You can do this via direct marketing channels such as email or SMS marketing. It’s a quick and effective way to let them know about your new e-commerce platform. You can even consider offering your loyal customers a special deal or savings on their first shop on your e-commerce channel.
After that, it’s time to bring in new customers through some paid advertising. Using Google Ads or social media boosted posts will allow you to target consumers who fit your general audience. These methods are also highly effective when it comes to boosting your ecommerce channel up the rankings on the search engines.
4) Deploy A Chatbot Or Live Chat
Instant communication is a critical part of ecommerce. Customers may need to speak to a consultant – the same way they would speak to a shop assistant for more information on sizes or availability of products. Chatbots have become a major trend and are an excellent, cost-effective alternative to having a support team online 24/7.
A chatbot is essentially AI software that has been programmed to respond to specific commands or questions thanks to keywords that you give it. The bot simulates a conversation with a human being – the more advanced they are, the more like a real conversation it’ll be for your customers. However, even a basic chatbot can improve the ecommerce support experience by helping to field simple questions. This frees you up to focus on the more complex queries or complaints.
5) Give Customers Options For Payment And Delivery
Customers like options when it comes to their online shopping. They will all have their own preferences for payment methods and delivery options. For example, people who are out on the road a lot for work usually prefer to click and collect, while those in offices or working from home prefer courier or postal service to their door. Having both of these options will allow you to appeal to a wider audience.
On the subject of payment, everyone is different. Some consumers love to use the newest and latest technology like Bitcoin. Others prefer payment gateways such as PayPal or PaySimple that can keep the money in escrow while the full transaction is taking place. Then there are more old-school or traditional options like credit cards, debit cards and electronic funds transfers. By having several options for payment, you’re putting your customers at ease by allowing them to use the option that makes them the most comfortable.
Build Your eCommerce Business
The world has changed forever in the last few months. We may see restrictions ease and social distancing become a thing of the past, but online shopping habits may also be forming quite solidly in this time. By building your ecommerce channel correctly now, you could be reaping the rewards for many years to come – even if we do go back to something resembling the “normal” we knew before the coronavirus.
Take some time now to fix any mistakes you may have made in the rush to get things online, and to settle into your new role as an ecommerce supplier. The effort you put in will pay off.
Further Reading: Cord Cutting