How to Create an eCommerce Strategy
The buying world has changed. You don’t need us to tell you that. Consumers think and act differently than they did even just 10 years ago. Humans are a constantly evolving species that develop new trends — and ride them. Currently, online shopping is the way of the foreseeable future. eCommerce sites are providing a new shopping experience that can’t be matched by in-person stores. The power of the web has allowed these sites to play to numerous strengthens, which have caused the downfall of the “American mall.”
Today, eCommerce sites are putting brick and mortar stores out of business because they provide a 21st-century shopping experience. Now customers can:
- Shop remotely
- Have full access to a store’s inventory
- See product reviews and information
Just these three elements alone, have changed how shopping is done by the average American consumer. It is estimated that 80 percent of Americans have made an online purchase in the last 30 days. This stat underscores two things:
- Americans like shopping online
- Competition in the eCommerce world is intense
The Strategy For Your eCommerce Site
In order to create an effective strategy, you need to break it down into phases.
- Product Care
- User Experience
- Consumer Nurturing
What makes a successful eCommerce site is consistent traffic, followed by consistent sales. This process isn’t always linear, and it will require continued readjustment as you test out your finalized strategy.
An eCommerce site needs to have their target audience nailed down. The only way to make sales is to connect with the right people. During this phase, market analysis needs to be conducted on what your ideal customer looks like, thinks like, and acts like. Other evidence that needs to be found includes:
- Who are your competitors targeting?
- How are other websites providing a good user experience?
- What are our key selling propositions?
This phase is critical to truly understanding who your business is, and who you’re trying to sell to. Don’t just assume you know your audience, because, without serious hyper-targeting of the right people, you’re going to blow your marketing budget.
Product Care Phase
Something a lot of eCommerce stores get wrong is that they try and do too much too quickly. It is important to do one thing really well first — then move onto the next. In this phase, you need to decide what product you want to run with and then iron out any wrinkles. Ultimately, your product is what people are looking for and will judge you upon (if they buy). Therefore, know your market and plan to get traction with one product line before you diversify. In the meantime, be thinking about how you will deploy and support your future products as you see positive results.
User Experience Phase
An eCommerce site won’t stay afloat if page visitors hate it. From navigation to content — your site needs to be tailored to stimulate your audience from the second they arrive on your domain. It’s going to be hard to convert visitors into customers if your website doesn’t provide them with a favorable shopping experience.
- Easy and fast navigation
- High-quality product images/videos
- Quick and simple checkout process
Now is the time to get the word out — your site is up and running, you’re ready to sell. But how? Initially, it might be best to put all your eggs in one basket with advertising your product(s). Typically, you’re going to want visual aids to accompany your ads if you’re a new, up and coming business. Facebook ads might be a good place to start. It allows for good target filtering in order to funnel in the right type of audience member, and is offers a large starting pool of consumers to draw from.
In addition, this phase needs to highlight your key selling propositions. There are a million and one clothing companies, why do you deserve someone’s business? Your ads need to quickly and succinctly catch and motivate a viewer’s attention. This boils down to good copywriting and design/product imagery.
Consumer Nurturing Phase
So let’s assume you got someone to your site, and they like your product(s). They want to buy. How can you push them over the top? It is important to not just assume that your product is going to “wow” every potential buyer and that’s enough to close the deal. You need to be conscious of nurturing your buyer into believing that purchasing this product is indeed a good decision.
Ways you can continue to support a consumer’s buying decision:
- Checkout add-ins (free shipping, additional goodie, next sale discount, etc.)
- Newsletter sign-ups
- Social media links
- Customer review pop-ups
- Chatbot functionality