Research is now showing that the typical Australian digital shopper currently favours electronic purchases with 67% of all sales in the electronic category being made online. Following online purchases in the electronics sector, the next largest category is entertainment with 38% of ecommerce sales in Australia coming from the entertainment category and 24% in the health sector. Further, the research indicates that 31% of all retail purchases in Australia now involve some level of online or mobile activity.
Up to 50% of all people online are actively discussing brands and products in their online social networks and this is influencing their purchase decisions. Research by google shows that in 2012 thus far, up to 94% of people have researched a product or service from their smart phone or ipad and for 65% of them this lead to a purchase outcome, with 59% making at least one mobile purchase per month! What percentage of your monthly purchases are coming from mobile?
If you already know all of these statistics and have factored them into your online ecommerce shopping strategies then there is probably little value in you reading anymore of this blog. The point to be made here is that the market is changing rapidly and if you are going to be a savvy online retailer you need to stay close to your numbers and also the numbers floating around in the market place.
The neto ecommerce consulting division is constantly researching the latest trends in online retailing and we work with a number of neto clients to help them expand their online shopping empires. Our neto philosophy is “What you measure you can manage!”. As part of this blog we will attempt to impart some strategies that you can consider that have been proven to strengthen your online sales.
10 key strategies for online retailers:
1. Progressive responsive design – ensure your website architecture has been designed to allow your site to automatically re-size itself depending upon what device is accessing your site. For example, the screen size will adjust depending upon if a desktop, smart phone or ipad accesses your site. Progressive response design is eliminating the need for many online retailers to develop a mobile app.
2. Multi-Channel your online efforts – you need to have much more reach than just your website shopping cart. A listing on eBay and Facebook are essential. www.neto.com.au/shop/ecommerce-software/integrations/1108 will explain more about how these listing can be achieved.
3. Be Social and engaging with your customers – plan to have a conversation with your customers. Retailers that preach to their customers through traditional advertising methods are dinosaurs. Almost all consumers these days are looking for social engagement and social reinforcement. Make it easy for your consumers to post photos of themselves with your products on your online platforms and theirs alike.
4. Run intelligence gathering e-marketing campaigns – Who are you using to run your e-marketing campaigns? Neto is currently working with an e-marketing solution that is achieving open rates in excess of 45% for many clients. To find out more go to www.neto.com.au/shop/ecommerce-services/email-marketing/1204.
5. Log into the neto dashboard on a daily basis – monitor your sales performance and map it against the campaigns you run. www.neto.com.au.
6. Support google and goolge will support you – Don’t allow your SEO to mess with any black hat tricks because this will just result in you losing your google ranking but remember google also owns google + and YouTube so make sure you are listed on them. Make sure you are also on the other major sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.
7. Walk though the Customer journey – When was the last time you did a ‘walk through’ of your site and checked each step that a customer has to follow? When was the last time you tried to find your ecommerce shopping store by a google, bing or Yahoo? What are the online comparison shopping sites, review sites and social media saying about your business and the level of service it offers? You need to be familiar with your Klout score,www.klout.com, are you monitoring when your business is in the media with www.google.com.au/alerts?hl=en or www.hootsuite.com?
8. Create a frictionless experience – moving along from point 7, how ‘frictionless’ is your customers experience? Are you pushing out notifications of where their purchase is in transit? Have you fully configured your online shopping cart so that all of the information is at hand for the customer, they only have to check out once, they are not double entering information fields and are you responding to their experiences within 60 minutes or are they having to find a phone number and call your team, send your team a second or third email?
9. Gamification – the new trend hitting the online space. We all love to play and recent research is showing that brands that build an element of ‘play’ or ‘games’ into their marketing and customer experience are becoming much more successful online retailers.
10. Data is the new Oil - Manage your numbers – unless your online shopping cart is fully integrated with your accounting system you are setting yourself up for failure. It used to be that businesses visited their accountants once a year to get their figures, then came monthly accounts, now with online you should be getting your profit and loss report daily. Make sure your ecommerce shopping cart software is writing your transactions in real time to your accounting software, there should be no need for manual intervention to post batch files or anything of the sort.
Forrester Research shows that up to 75% of online retailers are operating on a platform that is not suitable to their operations and they are looking to change in the next 12 months. These statistics are really frightening. The reality is that in the past too many people looking to get into online retailing have either rushed in or chosen the cheapest option. In life you get what you pay for and just because an online ecommerce company shows it has a huge number of ‘Likes’ on its face book page or claims to have over 10,000 customers does not mean it is the best solution for you.
Online retailing is making many people millionaires however it is also causing grief for many as they rush to embrace online retailing without properly understanding the space. The neto team certainly support getting into online now so you start to understand the space but at the same time we strongly urge existing online retailers and start up online retailers to do their homework and don’t get mislead by the ‘hype’ of many of the larger online ecommerce solutions, which may not in fact suite your online store.