ECommerce has become an unstoppable trend, especially during the Covid-19 outbreak, many people are taking the importance of eCommerce more seriously. According to Digital Commerce 360, customers in the United States spent nearly $900 billion online in 2020 alone, the largest growth in the past 20 years. Having an eCommerce store can be incredibly profitable, and it also has a lower barrier to entry than other entrepreneurial approaches, as many people can sign up for eCommerce platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, BigCommerce, etc. and start selling as soon as products are listed.
However, the next step to becoming a long-lasting eCommerce business is to sustain sales growth, build up members and loyal customers, and enhance brand awareness. The 4 must-dos shared below are often overlooked but are the key to business success. Following these proven tactics will help you increase sales and take your business to another level.
Must-Do 1: Improve site speed and uptime
Do you know that 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less?
How important is a 1-second delay?
You must think it’s not a big deal since 1 second doesn’t feel long enough to impact anything. Yet statistics show that a 1-second delay in page load time can cause a low conversion rate, fewer page views, and unhappy customers.
People are getting more impatient and there are a lot of competitors who provide the same product or service as you do, so if you cannot offer a smooth shopping experience, these potential consumers would turn around and leave. In addition, if your site is too slow and causes visitors to leave without doing anything, it will also increase your bounce rate, which is not good for Google's ranking.
Okay. So what to do next?
First, check your website speed with PageSpeed Insights developed by Google, so you will know your current status and what efforts should be made.
While there are many ways to improve site speed, we introduce some common ones that do not require engineering or coding skills for you to begin with as follows.
Choose reliable hosts or platforms
It is critical for website speed. Choose a well-known, reputable, worldwide host or an eCommerce platform to avoid problems with their servers and affecting your website. This may not apply if you are using a hosted service like Shopify or BigCommerce.
Reduce image size
ECommerce websites usually contain a large number of product images, and these photos are one of the main reasons that slow down the website speed. The larger the file, the longer the load time, so by reducing the image size but keeping the clarity, site speed can be increased. Another common technique is deferring loading images until they are within view of the page.
Cut out some plugins or apps
All major eCommerce platforms have useful plugins or apps, which can also overload your website and slow it down. Install only the necessary ones to speed up your website!
Must-Do 2: Establish impeccable customer service
No matter if it's before, during, or after selling a product to your customer, professional and competent customer service is mandatory, as more than 50% of customers will abandon a purchase or brand due to a bad experience with customer service.
In general, customer service staff are expected to have thorough and sufficient knowledge about the business and products. They have to fully understand all the checkout processes and have the ability in listening to needs and providing solutions. Customers, whether they are in need or unsatisfied, would like to talk to someone who is kind, patient, and enthusiastic. If the customer service can provide timely assistance, it will certainly be a big plus for customers too, because when they phone in or message, they usually want to get an immediate answer about the problem they are facing such as sizing, product damage, shipping status, payment problems, etc.
Here are 5 tips to establish impeccable customer service:
- Listen carefully to what a customer is trying to say, and then provide solutions or answers accordingly. Don’t assume anything.
- Do not make excuses or blame others, including the boss, any colleague, and especially your customers.
- Do not take it personally. The customer might be frustrated or angry, but it’s not about you but the product or situation.
- Go beyond the minimum but don’t promise things that are not in your authority to decide.
- Remember to follow up. Check if the customer gets the product/answer/refund he/she looks for and see if he/she is happy with the final result.
Must-Do 3: Reduce Cart Abandonment
With a 72% cart abandonment rate, it's definitely a nightmare for eCommerce owners. Imagine that you can turn these abandoned carts into revenue and generate up to $2-4 trillion more per year. How do you not want to resolve this issue ASAP?
There are many reasons why cart abandonment occurs, including price comparison with other sites, shoppers getting distracted, concerns of security or payment, lack of preferred payment methods, incomplete sizing information, complicated and long checkout process, website errors, and more.
As long as these problems can be solved, there will be a chance to avoid these losses. The first step is to have a data tracking system on the website to identify the stage at which customers leave and abandon the shopping cart, and test different solutions to fix those problems.
Here are some ways to reduce cart abandonment and increase sales:
- Present a trustworthy brand image by showing all the possible costs upfront, presenting security badges and trusted logos, and not asking for personal information if not necessary.
- Offer a smooth and simple checkout process with a mobile-friendly website and guest checkout option.
- Provide several payment and shipping methods.
- Show clear return & refund policy and access to customer service
- Have clear & informative size charts
Must-Do 4: Build All-Rounded Marketing Strategies
For an eCommerce business to be successful, it is far from enough to just throw products and websites on the Internet. Instead, we need to use all kinds of marketing methods flexibly to drive traffic, then from traffic to orders, and finally to build up a loyal customer base. Only in this way will a complete positive cycle be established, and business growth will be achieved continuously.
Marketing is a big subject, not something that can be fully covered in a few words. There are many marketing-related articles in Kiwi Sizing's Blog, giving you tips on how to use marketing methods to increase sales.
Below we list a few common eCommerce marketing strategies for reference:
- Engage your target audiences regularly on multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest based on your product characteristics
- Create a blog with thorough content which not only shows your credibility but also improves search ranking
- Interact with existing customers by using the newsletter to build a relationship and encourage them to purchase repeatedly
- Reach more people and potential customers with online advertising
There is no guaranteed way to succeed, but by experimenting and adjusting your approaches, you will be able to figure out which ways work better. When developing strategies, it is also important to have a clear idea of the goals of using these strategies to help evaluate performance.
There are many details to pay attention to in the eCommerce business, and more importantly, with the progress of technology nowadays, constantly learning and optimizing practices and ideas is the most suitable mindset to run an online business. The 4 key points shared today including improving site speed and uptime, establishing impeccable customer service, reducing Cart Abandonment, and building all-rounded marketing strategies are to help eCommerce owners find their own direction and increase sales most effectively.
If you are an eCommerce newbie, please check 5 Things Need to Consider Before Starting an E-Commerce Business; and if you want to know more about marketing, please refer to: Digital Marketing Tips for more useful information!
To reduce the return rate after a successful sale, we also recommend that you can create a size chart with unit conversion to make your customers pick the unit they are most comfortable to think in to make a purchase decision.
Or use Kiwi Sizing AI Size Recommender as a size chart tool. It will recommend the most suitable size of products for customers to reduce return rate, help you decrease the cost of the return, and to create a positive cycle of your e-commerce business.
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