You have generated a lot of traffic to your Ecommerce website. Now what?
Operating and strategically growing a successful Ecommerce business requires several cohesive and dynamic components. With this in mind, there are three primary objectives that every Ecommerce company must strive for: acquiring new customers, converting customers at the shopping cart, and retaining your existing customers for repeat purchase. Each one of these strategic objectives has a multitude of equally important and complex challenges that facilitate the need for creative and innovative marketing programs, but let’s focus on acquiring and converting for now—we’ll talk about loyalty in the next article.
The first objective is ensuring steady acquisition, which requires successfully driving qualified traffic to a client’s site. While this “foot traffic” is essential for the success of any Ecommerce site, the ability to nurture it is just as necessary. Once customers arrive on a site, what steps must an Ecommerce business take to convert this traffic into engaged, satisfied, and paying customers and advocates of your brand?
In order to convert customers in the digital space, a business needs to utilize digital marketing tools that work both in-store and online, delivering a seamless user experience by making the shopping and checkout process less complicated.
Shopping carts are abandoned due to a variety of reasons that range from a lack of valuable information about the product to distractions and difficulties during the checkout process. Some shoppers may be just starting their shopping process, researching products, comparing prices, and gathering information. Others might be impulsive buyers who abandon their carts when they are forced into a lengthy account creation and checkout process. Meanwhile, some shoppers may have gone elsewhere in search of more product information, product images, and customer reviews and feedback.
Luckily, with the right tools, nearly 60 percent of the $4 trillion lost in abandoned shopping carts can be recovered.
The Impulse Buyer
One of the biggest reasons impulse shoppers abandon their online shopping carts is that they get distracted during a lengthy checkout process that forces them to create an account before they can complete the purchase. Impulse shoppers are by nature not just invested in the product they want and need, they are impatient and despise lengthy complicated buying processes. So, the more barriers they face—namely lengthy account creation requirements—the more likely they are to drop out of the checkout process, even if they have developed some interest in buying the product. So, how do you make the checkout process fast enough in order to convert your impulse shoppers while still being able to collect valuable customer demographic information and contact details?
Social login gives your customers the option to create an account on the fly using their favorite social media profiles. The ease of registering on any site by using a social media profile increases conversion for new shoppers, while the elimination of password fatigue increases the likelihood of conversion for returning customers. Vision Critical, a market research technology provider, predicts that up to 80 percent of web users will choose social login if the feature is available. Social login increases the likelihood of converting customers while allowing you to collect valuable social graph data.
The Casual Browser
Some people treat online shopping like window shopping. They gather information and check out their options even when they aren’t quite ready to buy. They browse your site because they may have bought something from you in the past and had a good experience, but with so many options, they take their time to research different products, price, manufacturers, and brands. Research has shown that most window shoppers look for inspiration for their next purchase. So, how do you make sure that your website’s shopping and merchandise browsing experience keeps customers engaged and inspires ideas in them so they return to you when they are ready to make a purchase? The answer is visual commerce.
Visual commerce utilizes the power of images and video generated by you and by your customers to engage, inspire, and satisfactorily answer questions to help convert your website visitors to paying customers. Research has shown that 44% of people are more likely to engage with brands online if they post pictures of their products. Visual commerce features such as trending products not only enrich your customers’ online shopping experience, but also allow you to learn more about your customers and how your products fit into their lives. Smart Image Ranking Algorithm (SIRA) uses transactional and social data associated with each picture and video and uses their value to prioritize which pictures and videos to display first in a product gallery.
The Careful Shopper
One of the biggest challenges in retail is to build your customers’ confidence and trust in your company and its products and to reassure them that your brand is worthy of their money. This challenge is further amplified in the online world because consumers do not have the opportunity to experience the products in real life. Consumers don’t get to evaluate the product quality by touching it, or trying it out. Having trust in your product goes a long way and this trust comes from learning about experiences that other shoppers had with your products and services.
User generated content gives consumers a clearer and more trusted view of the products they are looking to purchase. Whether it’s through Ratings & Reviews or Questions & Answers, this type of content provides unadulterated opinions by fellow shoppers, which is much more credible to customers than product information provided by brands and manufacturers. A Better Business Bureau report showed that 75 percent of reviews posted on websites are positive, and the same report showed that 82 percent of consumers considered user generated reviews valuable. So customers advocating for your brand in the form of Ratings & Reviews is proven to be a powerful, low-cost form of advertising that deepens the trust in consumers’ minds. Lastly, since ratings & reviews are considered real-time content that gets added to your website, your site gains SEO points in the search engine results pages.
Complete Social Commerce Solutions
As Ecommerce companies have rushed to adopt social commerce tools to respond to market demand, they end up implementing tools from multiple vendors and platforms. This creates silos of data, raises issues typically associated with integrating products from multiple vendors, and results in sparse business intelligence; in other words, this lack of cohesion is a nightmare. However, savvy Ecommerce companies should strongly consider using a single vendor whose services cover all the aspects of social commerce in order to produce concrete ROI results.