It’s 2016 and I’m not sure if anyone ever imagined 20 years ago that we’d be able to buy stuff and have it shipped directly to our doorstep from a computer, let alone a telephone. It’s amazing how far technology has come since the days of landlines and giant computer monitors.
Most of us who use computers daily and/or own cell phones have probably ordered something online. I know I have. We ordered pizza for dinner just last night from a smartphone. Food, clothes, shoes, cars, and even mortgages can now be purchased online and delivered right to us, anywhere we are, anytime. I still find our technical capabilities as humans absolutely fascinating. Anyway, I digress.
Ordering online is convenient for everyone; the busy mom who doesn’t have time to physically shop with kids in tow, the impulse buyer who has to have it now, the browser who's just looking, and the e-window shopping employee. The most important thing to know about us, as consumers, is that we LOVE to shop and we love to shop online even more.
Americans spent over $304 Billion dollars online in 2014 and that number is only increasing. Our economy is definitely not hurting when it comes to buying online and business retailers must make every conscious effort to make the consumer online buying experience easy.
Ecommerce has come a long way since its first debut sometime around 1994 and retailers have to be smart with marketing and advertising tactics to sell more.
So what does this mean for businesses that may or may not already be in the Ecommerce game? The goal is to get and keep your customers engaged so they continue to buy from you. You have to determine the amount of investment you are willing to put into your advertising effort. Follow some of these helpful tips for Ecommerce to get started:
It’s important for every clerk, cashier, and manager to ask consumers for their email addresses upon checkout. Most customers will be eager to dish out their email address knowing they will be getting discounts, deals, and sale notifications just by logging onto their email account. For consumers who hate getting flooded with too many messages, it’s possible to give the user control of how often and when they receive their messages. It’s a conscious effort that unconsciously works on most consumers.
2. Sales and deals!
Who doesn’t love a great sale or deal. Online retailers can easily promote and advertise their sales or deals with the click of a button. It’s so easy to tell consumers about a sale just by sending advertisements through cell phones, emails, and text messages. I get a text every Friday from our local pizza joint with coupons-what can I say, I love pizza! But it helps to remind me that, 1. Buy from them, and 2. I might be hungry. A great sales ad intrigues spenders and when it’s coupled with an easy and seamless online experience, they might spend money just because it was on sale.
75% of online shoppers use a coupon upon checking out. If you aren't luring your future customers in with some form of sale ads you could be missing out on a lot of online orders. If you want suggestions on an online marketing strategy, ask a question in the comments below.
3. FREE SHIPPING!
What’s better than a sale? FREE! When free shipping is offered on a site where I may potentially make a purchase, I’m in. An e-retailer who understands the importance of how consumers feel when they are getting more for their money is the e-retailer that is going to have a lot of online sales. It’s so important that consumers will buy more just to get something for free. Yep, we all know it. Just place a few more items in your cart and voila!-the shipping charge disappears from the cart. It’s amazing, and better yet, it works.
No one loses when the buyer and seller are getting more in return.
Just like offering free shipping if customers add more to their cart, this tactic creates an opportunity to buy better based on what they’ve put in their cart. When consumers opt to check out online, there is a high probability that they might not be fully satisfied with the item(s) they’ve chosen. This is the perfect opportunity to show products similar to what they are buying by offering them a chance to change their choice and go with the better product.
5. Cross Selling.
The box retailers do this all of the time. Customers get in line to check out and there is a sea of offerings; candy, chocolate, drinks, chapstick and an array of other goodies that can easily be thrown into the cart before completely cashing out. This strategy works on almost everyone. The same goes for checking out online. Offering consumers more options and products to buy before they sincerely check out affords them the opportunity to throw it in their cart as a last minute impulse buy.
Ah, the dreaded return process everyone has experienced at some point in our lives. BUT there is reprieve. As an e-retailer, you have to know how to remedy consumer sadness (maybe anger, but I’ll use sadness). The remedy is FREE returns! Yep, offering another free option in big bold font on the front page of the website makes customers happy. It’s amazing how much I’ll buy when I see free shipping and free returns together on an Ecommerce site. And no, I’ve never returned my pizza-I love pizza. But I also love free. So when your online promotion include free shipping AND returns, your company can assume that its name will be showing up on the consumer's next credit card statement.
7. Price Comparison.
Price comparison is a favorite for those savvy online price comparison shoppers. This strategy makes them feel in control of their purchase power and when they feel in control, they spend more. There are many ways consumers can comparison shop online; google shopping, individual site search and shop, keyword search, etc. Once they find the item they want, the price is compared for them right there on the computer screen. If they’ve found a deal, you’ve just made a sale. You have to make the consumer feel satisfied with their purchase so they are comfortable buying from you again.
Marketing strategies work and when the right advertising is focused on the right person it’s an online experience that creates happy customers and happy retailers. If we’re spending over $300 billion dollars a year shopping online, we all better be happy with our purchases and our sales.
If you know someone that can benefit from these tips, share them out - or send them the article!