You’re not selling…
Most e-commerce sites today offer a reasonable user experience: customers can get into the site, understand what you sell, find their way around and buy products with relative ease. It’s the equivalent of a well laid-out retail store with all the products in the right place, clearly priced and labelled and with efficient checkout staff. Orders may be ticking along nicely, but they could always be better.
Whether online or offline, a customer requires some basic information before they will purchase – ‘What am I getting?’, ‘What does it look like?’, ‘How much does it cost?’, ‘When will I get it?’, ‘How much is delivery?’, ‘What can I do if I don’t like it?’ and ‘Can I trust this retailer?’ – are all questions that customers need answers to from your product pages.
What’s missing from this picture still is the sales aspect: how do you get customers to place (more) products in their basket, place higher value products in their basket and up-sell them to increase their order value? These are all expectations of a good retail sales person and ideas that can be implemented online with a little bit of thought.
Some tactics worth considering:
- Offering a Live Chat facility – allow customers to speak with a sales person should they need to and pro-actively chat with customers to encourage sales;
- Bundle your products – by packaging related products together and offering a slight discount you will quickly increase order values;
- Clearly promote up-sells – if a customer is looking at one product, make it really easy for them to see the next model up and clearly explain the benefits and reasons to buy; and
- Offer free delivery and free returns – free returns within seven days is a legal requirement of the Distance Selling Regulations but many customers don’t realise this and it will help increase sales.
…what they’re looking for
This doesn’t mean you don’t stock what your customer wants to buy. It’s more often a case of retailers making the process of finding what a customer wants more complicated than it needs to be.
When planning your digital marketing and your e-commerce store, make sure you consider the following:
- Send traffic to the most relevant place – don’t run campaigns such as “Blue Widgets for £9.99” and send traffic to your homepage. Make sure the traffic goes straight to the Blue Widgets page on your site as this will shorten the customer journey and increase sales;
- Structure your website navigation clearly – don’t think about how you want to categorise your products, think about how your customers will categorise them;
- Use filtered navigation – allow users to filter products in your categories by size, colour, specification, price etc. This is a hybrid between navigating and searching and allows customers to find what they want quickly and easily; and
- Monitor what people search for on your site – this can really help you identify where your customers are struggling and where you need to improve.
In summary, learn from traditional retail concepts and keep your customer journey short and simple. Take your customers to the right place, show them the information they need and sell to them – your sales are bound to increase.
Andrew Banks is founder of Squeeze Digital Marketing a digital strategy and online marketing agency.
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