39Shops has made Starting and managing online store extremely easy and fast. However, your job is not yet done. As a store owner you must put persistent efforts to achieve e-commerce success. Here are few tips that can help achieve success.
Have e-commerce manager
If you are established retailer or a start-up just cooking up the online business idea, get e-commerce manager. He is someone who pilots your e-commerce initiative and plays key role in e-commerce success. While taking up this role, he/she is fully responsible to run your e-commerce store. Small business owners with little technology skills can even wear this hat. Responsibilities of e-commerce manager are:
- Regularly update website content and inventory
- Customer service and support (Email, live chat and phone support)
- Order processing and shipping
- Writing product content
- Photo editing and uploading
Plan your marketing strategy
You have the online store from your favourite shopping cart software. Here are few tactics you can adopt in order to attract visitors to your e-commerce store.
- Have your online store address print in all the brand communication channels such as print catalog, paper adverts, business cards etc.
- Send mailer and SMS alerts to your existing customers informing them about your new online store.
- Encourage existing customers and first time online buyers by giving away incentives such as assured cash back, assured gift. Remember, if they have great experience shopping online for the first time, they will come back again for more and even tell their friends.
- Plan your digital marketing strategy along with an expert and lay out goals and budget. Your digital marketing strategy should have right mix of SEO, Social media campaigns, Banner adverts, Online PR, PPC campaign.
- Calculating cost of customer acquistion is vital to budget your digital marketing campaign. Before you determine the cost of customer acquistion, you need to calculate customer life time value.
- Facebook and twitter are great tools to spread message and attract new customers. Included facebook and twitter as integral part of your digital marketing campaigns.
Email marketing is great way to keep your customers engaged with your brand. If you are starting up, you can send monthly newsletters about new products and special offers. You can always increase the frequency as you have interesting things to share with your audience. (Caution: don’t bombard your customer with unnecessary and uninteresting email just because you want to get noticed, this will put off many customers)
Develop content strategy
Internet is all about information and communication. Developing a right mix of content strategy can not only have your website indexed by leading search engines, but give an opportunity to share quality content with internet community and customers.
Decide what type of content your audience is searching on internet. Is it entertainment, informational, inspirational? Once you decide what users are looking for, you can develop content in the form of Audio, Video or written format and share it on your blog, twitter, and facebook fan page. Your chances are high being found on search engines and social networks by your potential customer.
Develop ongoing content development plan to keep your website updated and fresh so that the customer has reason to come back to your online store. Content should be fresh and updated daily. Here are some tips to keep your website Fresh
- Many of your customers would come back to your online store to look for discounted products. Have dedicated section for discounted items.
- Dedicate a space on home page for New products and mark the newly added product as ‘new’
- Have a section for ‘Top selling products’ or ‘hot products’ on the home page
- Instead of removing a product once it is sold out, insert it in the product catalogue and mark it as ‘sold’ for brief period. This will encourage impulsive purchase.
- Lay out criteria when and how a product should be marked as new, hot selling, discounted
Remember, the objective is to keep your website content fresh all the time. This will give a purpose for a potential customer to come back again to your website.
Packaging is vital in e-commerce. To deliver quality service, the product you ship should be packaged and handled well. To delight customers, you can even attach thank you note, greeting card, or a souvenir. For instance, a very well known women retail brand inserts chocolate for the customers who shop from its e-commerce store for the very first time. Remember, people need something to discuss and chat about and if you delight your customer with exceptional customer service, they will bring more customers to your online store.
Most of the time, a customer who shops online from your e-commerce store is miles away and expects you to solve his problem immediately. There is some level of trust deficit when the customer shops for the first time. A potential customer would want to ask questions or contact support staff before making any purchase for the first time. The quality of response can bridge the trust. On the other hand, if the queries are not solved promptly, chances are high that customer won’t return to your online store next time. Here are some more points you must keep in mind to provide exceptional customer service.
- Use direct and friendly language while solving customer query, avoid using unnecessary jargons and formal language. Make customers your best friend
- Reply fast, the response time shouldn’t be more than 6 working hours, the faster you reply, they better reputation you create. Best e-commerce companies respond within two hours. Strive to achieve faster customer service by having right set of tools.
- Be responsive. There are chances that you do not have solution to customers problem on the fly, still reply the email and explain that you will get back with appropriate answer soon.
E-commerce is no different to the business done in physical world, its just the medium to communicate and serve has changed. Even replicating some of the idea’s and tactics that happens in physical stores can increase the chances of being successful.