eCommerce has been steadily increasing its market share over the past two decades but with the Covid pandemic making people stay indoors more and the traditional market practices breaking down this last year, there has been an extraordinary growth in eCommerce practices.
The majority of this increase came from the sale of food and drinks shifting to be sold online but they weren’t the only sectors that saw rapid eCommerce growth. The startling factor of this is new growth was that it was not the younger generations that spurred it but the growth could be seen spread overall demographics. More and more older people were starting to embrace eCommerce, becoming more comfortable with it.
Researchers have predicted that this growth will continue into the future and the global eCommerce market will grow by around 8% and the UK market itself will grow by around 5%.
Unique challenges of the growth in eCommerce as a sales channel
what eCommerce retailers need to do to overcome these challenges
The Strategies for Customer Acquisition
The backbone of all effective customer acquisition, when it comes to online retailers, stems from good SEO strategies and smart PPC advertising. There are various aspects that you should look at when doing SEO on your online sales website.
During the last decade, Google introduced its mobile-first approach when it came to ranking websites. This means that websites that have been optimized to mobile device screens sizes will gain a huge advantage over those which weren’t. So make sure that your website is mobile responsive.
The loading time of your website directly affects the Google search rankings. Typically a website should load in less than 2 seconds. You can test the loading page of your website using Google’s own PageSpeed Insights tool.
The content of the website is very important when you are trying to attract customers to purchase your product. Because that copy is what usually gets stored by Google when they crawl your website. So make sure that your website copy is fully SEO optimized.
Having bad URLs with unintelligible text can affect your SEO performance very badly. Make sure that your URLs are readable and understandable so that both customers and web crawlers can easily follow them.
Make sure that you maintain a blog within your website and regularly update it with relevant articles. This is an important feature for eCommerce websites as well as normal websites.
Make sure that you include all your product information within your product feeds. This will ensure that your products will show up on the Google Shopping catalog complete with all information.
When you remove products due to unavailability or discontinuation don’t let those dead pages fill up your site with bad links. Make use of 301 redirects to lead customers to other similar products and make use of that web traffic.
Shopping via various social media streams such as Instagram, Facebook &Pinterest has been rising steadily. Customers comfortable with a certain platform might want to do their shopping on one of them. To connect your CMS to these platforms as not to lose that advantage.
Shopping Ads directly grab your potential customers when their buying mindset is most active. Making sure that your product feed is properly set up and your products listed on ads can take full advantage of that situation.
Remarketing is used when retailers market their products to potential customers who have once visited their websites and left. These customers have a huge potential to become a successful conversion later and marketing to such individuals is a very cost-effective marketing method.
Do research to find out what are the platforms that your potential customers are most active on. Where are they most active? Where do they go to the shop? This information will be critical when planning your marketing & advertising strategies.
The Top Strategies for Retaining Customers
When it comes to eCommerce businesses, customer retention is just as important as customer acquisition. These customers have already visited your website and made a purchase and are familiar with the service you provide. So what you should concentrate on is not letting one of your competitors poach them.
Customer retention is dependent on two main aspects: Customer Insight or the understanding of customer behavior, and Customer Experience, some that depend on giving the customer great service.
To gain customer insight you can use software tools to find a host of information. Free tools like Google Analytics give away a lot of such information.
Once you have gained this data about your customer, you can ensure their retention by focusing on:
When it comes to eCommerce retailers there is a whole host of things to do when trying to increase our sales. When trying to do this, you must get a good idea of where you are right now, what are your strengths and weaknesses and what are the gaps in your marketing & customer strategies. What is the best strategy forward to gain more customers and to retain customers? The most important thing is to address the main concerns in your business but keeping an eye on the bigger picture consisting of the market environment and customer behaviors. That way you can take advantage of them to achieve success.