In 2017, mobile sales continue to thrive. As more and more people put down the mouse and pick up the smartphone, savvy eCommerce leaders are doing more than just scaling their websites. Unique offerings, segmented research and more personalised journeys are helping to make buying online a breeze for consumers.
If your eCommerce platform isn’t performing as it should, maybe it’s time for a change. Drive more sales through mobile and the web with these 16 handy tips for improving your eCommerce platform.
1. Ramp up investment in mobile
Mobile eCommerce continues to grow to the tune of over 130% year on year. Businesses that aren’t investing in mobile apps and technology are likely to fall behind as this space becomes a dominant paradigm for many eCommerce industries. Being mobile ready is more than just an app. Necessary is the integration of key features like:
- Tap to call
- Delivery status
- Real time maps and notifications
- Product information
Mobile needs to be more than just a watered down version of your full site. Many future customers will engage with your business solely through their smartphone. Catering to this demand reaps rewards in both sales and customer loyalty.
2. Seamless across all channels
Branding and marketing campaigns should work seamlessly across all channels. Campaigns aren’t coordinated just for YouTube or Facebook, but in concept with each other.
Multi-channel marketing extends out from the internet as well. For example, traditional television advertisements can engage viewers who are also on their phones or have their mobile device handy, starting the customer journey on the television, and continuing it through their smartphone.
Whether online, instore or on a mobile device, ensure that:
- Product availability is consistent across all channels
- Promotional strategies tell a story that works at every level
- Brand experience is cohesive
In 2017, brands that provide a seamless journey regardless of the channel will continue to thrive. You can start by identifying areas in your current sales funnel that aren’t as smooth as they should be, and then work from there.
3. Offer subscription eCommerce on mobile
One way to leverage the small screen of mobile devices and apps is to offer a mobile subscription service. This eschews the traditional product gallery in exchange for either:
- Replenishment model
- Discovery model
The replenishment model is simply enough. Think the runaway success of The Dollar Shave Club. The customer purchases a monthly package (a set of razors) and it is replenished every month for an ongoing fee.
The discovery model is a bit more exciting. It offers a curated experience for a subscription fee. Customers are sent an item or box of items monthly (or weekly) that are curated by your company. HelloFresh and LootCrate are two exciting examples of this flourishing eCommerce model.
Subscription services will continue to rise with mobile eCommerce usage. By taking advantage of the small screen to offer a simple, enticing and uncluttered package, businesses will take the hassle of shopping away for customers, and provide them with a more user friendly shopping experience.
4. Nailing mobile usability is key
User Experience and Information Architecture (the way information is planned and structured) are becoming increasingly important to the success of eCommerce sales. Knowing which parts of your site to scale and which to make mobile requires skill, patience and the willingness to test results. A commitment to providing the absolute best UX to your customers across all devices, such is the case with EB Pearls projects, will drive engagement and sales both now and in the future, so nailing mobile usability is key.
5. Know your logistics and deliver
Mobile and online eCommerce demands accurate logistics with built in fail-safes to ensure packages are traceable and delivered on time. Finding the right mix of third party logistics companies to accommodate your sales delivery can make the difference between a positive user experience and a terrible one.
Discovering innovative methods for delivery (like drones) and same day delivery in certain areas can give your company a competitive advantage. Offering a seamless returns process, like popular fashion store The Iconic, is another way to grow brand loyalty and keep your buyers coming back for more.
6. Research and target segments
Knowing your audience will give your marketing and advertising budgets a better return on investment. Conduct post sale surveys, collect user data and segment information to provide better visibility over what customers want (and don’t want). At the end of the day, research is about providing a better experience for your customers, who will be delighted with how much more personalised their journey is when browsing and purchasing products.
7. Walk buyers through the journey
Starting at the top of the conversion funnel right to the point of sale, you always want to walk your customers through their purchase journey and make each step as simple and clear as possible.
Bring in stakeholders from marketing, web, IT and front of house to make sure there’s a step by step process that is intuitive and meets the customer’s needs.
You can also track where customers are leaving the journey and remarket on those channels to bring customers back for more.
8. Offer content that’s mobile friendly
Mobile friendly content is king. That means clear headings, readable fonts and fast loading elements that scale perfectly for both mobile and desktop. You should also have:
- A storefront that looks great on a mobile web page
- An app that’s designed for both iOS and Android
- Content that is structured to be easily read on a phone or tablet
Prioritising the mobile experience in content creation will keep you on the pulse, providing cutting edge content that’s irresistible to your targeted segments.
9. Clear calls to action
For the longest time, the call to action has been one of the simplest and most effective marketing strategies for successful eCommerce services. With the rising mobile purchases, CTAs become even more important, offering clear suggestions on what to do next. The simple ‘buy now’ statement is still effective. Clear and concise, a sense of urgency helps buyers make the right decision when making their purchase.
10. Quick checkout
The folly of desktop orientated eCommerce platforms is often a long, drawn-out checkout component. On mobile, businesses can’t afford to take their customer’s time for granted. Through mobile applications, autoforms and intelligent UX-successful sales platforms make their checkout experience smooth, quick and user friendly at all times.
11. Click friendly URLs
Friendly URLs give a website legitimacy, make them easier to share and provide better information to your customers. Consider the difference between:
One gives a clear indication of the destination of the URL. The other, in truth, could be anything. One is more appealing to the average customer, and provides a better online shopping experience.
12. Improve product recommendations
Product recommendations are a great way to up your sales, but getting them right can be tricky. Hubspot marketing points out that many recommendations are based off what previous customers have purchased, rather than personalised information for that buyer. Since customers have their own wants and needs, a more personalised and intuitive set or product recommendations could help your sales skyrocket.
13. Micro-target your advertisements
Services like Facebook advertising and Google AdWords offer highly granular segmentation technologies that allow you to curate personalised advertisements to highly specific custom personas.
14. Customise niche product sites
If you’re a smaller brand that focuses on a specific niche, like ornamental vases or men’s ties, don’t be afraid to heavily customise your site to suit your target audience.
Big sites with wide product ranges often go for a pared back, minimal expression to attract a wide audience. Smaller, more focused eCommerce websites can afford to be bolder and more bespoke in their delivery. If your product range is small, focus on your strengths, rather than mimicking the style of larger websites.
15. Don’t stop blogging
Content remains one of the best ways to market your brand online. Mobile consumption has forced websites to adapt their layout and text to be more readable, and hasn’t changed the consumer’s desire to read and watch interesting content. Whether it’s interviews with influencers, style guides, top ten lists or curated content, your audience is always hungry for more interesting, informative and humorous content.
16. Play to your strengths
Unlocking eCommerce success can seem like a rubik’s cube puzzle at times, as one thing falls into place only to lose ground elsewhere. But selling online doesn’t have to be a mystery. The secret to boosting E-Commerce sales is to play to your strengths. With a smart combination of diligence and creative thinking, you’ll soon see your sales soar. Contact us at EB Pearls today to discuss optimising your business for online eCommerce success.