Starting an online business is easy – anyone with $50 bucks can make an account on an e-commerce platform. The hard part is making money, and sustaining the business long-term. Having a competitive edge over other players in the industry is key to success. In today’s blog, we’ll talk about e-commerce strategies and best practices that will give your e-commerce company that extra leg-up over competitors.
Here we go.
1. Start by Defining Target Personas
Before we get into any more detail about how to run your e-commerce site, let’s spend some time talking about target personas. A target persona outlines a typical member of your target audience. These personas are developed over time based on feedback and analytics from past marketing initiatives. They ensure e-commerce stores are optimized for the right kind of customer.
This is the type of information you’ll need to establish about the audience to build these personas:
• Where do they live? • How old are they? • What is their average income? (Can they afford your product or service?) • What is their native language? How many languages do they speak? • What motivates them to buy? • What are their interests?
With these personas in mind, you will be able to launch much more targeted marketing efforts, reaching the right customers at the right time, and with the right message.
2. Focus on User Experience
Providing a positive user experience is key to the success of any e-commerce store. It helps build trust with the audience, increases organic rankings, and boosts conversion rate. Here are a few strategies and best practices for improving UX for your e-commerce site:
Use breadcrumbs. Just like in the fairytales you read as a kid, breadcrumbs in the context of UX help lead the main character back home. On e-commerce sites, breadcrumbs show users exactly where they are on the site at any given time, and provide clickable links to navigate back and forth between these pages. Not only is using breadcrumbs great for user experience, it helps with organic SEO, putting you in Google’s good books.
Check site speed. If your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, you might as well kiss your e-commerce dreams goodbye. Site speed is an integral part of any e-commerce strategy, and often requires the help of a web developer to fix. Site speed can be increased by reducing image size, removing any add-ons or plugins you don’t use, or finding a faster hosting provider.
Ensure navigation is clear. Structure is key when it comes to building an e-commerce site. You should always build the site with customers in mind. Site navigation should be thought of beforehand and brainstormed with the team – we recommend taking a good ol’ pen and paper and drawing out a sitemap before publishing anything on the web.
3. Optimize Email Marketing Processes
SEO is one way to bring new users to your site. Once those users are in the system, it’s up to you to keep them interested and engaged. The most effective way to do this is through email marketing. Your email subscriber list is one of your most valuable assets. Here are a few ways you can optimize email marketing for your e-commerce business.
Set goals. Email marketing is all about execution. To do it effectively requires a strategy. Before launching an email marketing campaign for your e-commerce site, be sure to answer the following questions: - What is the anticipated outcome of this campaign? - Which personas are we targeting? - What type of metrics will be put in place for defining the campaign’s success?
Put opt-in forms in the right places. The only way to capture the information required to add a contact to a subscriber list is through an opt-in form. These forms must appear as natural, unobtrusive elements on the page. A few great places for opt-in forms include in footers, blog posts, on the “about us” page, on check-out pages, and as pop-ups.
Segment lists according to different audiences. Not all customers are the same. It’s likely that within your customer base, there are several sub-groups – those who only buy the most expensive products, those who buy in bulk, those who buy exclusively during holidays…etc. By segmenting lists according to elements like interests, location, and behaviour, your emails will have a much higher success rate, and bring in more traffic to the e-commerce site. There are many moving parts to an e-commerce store. Follow our e-commerce strategies and best practices and you’ll be one step ahead of competitors. To learn more tips and tricks for operating your e-commerce store, contact one of our team members today.