With so much competition in the world of eCommerce, how can you get an edge over your competitors? How can you set yourself apart, grow your business and take advantage of the growing number of people choosing to shop online?
The key to eCommerce success lies in understanding the behaviour of your customers and optimising your website to take advantage of this knowledge. Luckily, this doesn’t require you to gaze into a crystal ball or play an elaborate guessing game (however fun they might be!).
Using a range of tools and techniques, it’s not that hard to get to know your customers and see how they move along your sales process. With this knowledge, you can optimise your website to encourage repeat sales, create raving fans and seriously grow your eCommerce store.
Get to know your customers and their motivations
To understand behaviour, you first need to understand who your customers are and what motivates them to do what they do. This means getting deep into demographics, motivations and expectations for a clear picture of your audience and how you can better meet their needs.
Do you know who your customers are? Demographic details like their age, gender, location and income status can help you build a customer avatar that describes them in detail, clearly identifying who you want to target. This will assist you to improve your messaging as well as ensure that your product or service meets the needs of your ideal audience.
Often, there are similarities between the motivations of people in the same demographic. For example, younger people are usually more price-conscious while older people often value quality. Do you know why your customers choose you? Is it because you are cheaper, offer fast delivery, make it easy to pay, have great customer service or something else entirely?
TIP: Find out what motivates your customers by sending out a survey, reviewing their most frequently asked questions or asking them directly via direct message.
Over the last few years, expectations have grown and evolved in the eCommerce space as we’ve come in and out of lockdown. Free shipping, regular discounts and fast response times are now expected by most customers. If you don’t understand the expectations of your audience, it will be impossible to deliver a positive customer experience, let alone one that sets you apart.
TIP: Look at what your competitors are doing to see if there’s a trend towards meeting a specific expectation in your industry (i.e instant messaging, post-purchase follow-up, etc).
Map the customer journey
Do your customers follow a familiar pattern when they interact with you? Mapping the customer journey from awareness to consideration and conversion can go a long way to explaining their behaviour and help identify how you can better support them throughout the process.
You most likely spend a lot of time on this stage, especially when it comes to digital marketing. In the awareness stage, the customer is introduced to your brand, product or service. This might be through paid ads, social media posts or a link shared to your website. The key is to not expect a sale right away. You need to get customers to know, like and trust you first.
TIP: Harness the power of organic marketing to connect with your ideal customers via social media and your website to increase brand awareness.
The next stage in the customer journey is considering your product or service. Your customers may have visited your site a few times and are actively comparing you to other offerings in the market. This is where you want to reassure them about the quality, reliability and value of your offering through online reviews, useful blog posts and email marketing.
TIP: Create amazing content to get customers on your email list so you can talk to them directly and show them how good your product or service really is.
In this final stage, the customer makes their decision and you get the sale – hooray! Except, your work is not done yet. To get repeat sales and encourage your customers to share their positive experiences with others, you need to provide a great experience post-sale. This includes having flexible payment options, easy return policies and responsive communication.
TIP: Make customers feel special by adding a personal note with delivery, following up to see how they are going or giving them exclusive discounts on future purchases.
Stop relying on paid advertising to bring traffic back to your website.
Our handy guide contains actionable tips you can implement so that you don’t have to rely solely on paid advertising. Download the Organic Marketing Essentials Workbook and enjoy!
Optimise your website
Now you understand who your customers are and how they behave during the buying process, it’s time to optimise your website to ensure they receive a positive experience. The most successful eCommerce stores have 3 things in common – their websites can be used on any device, customers can easily find what they need and they don’t take ages to load.
More people are buying products via their mobile phones or tablets. Known as mCommerce, it’s estimated that global mCommerce sales now make up 53.9% of all eCommerce sales. This means that your eCommerce website needs to look as good on a mobile phone as it does on a desktop as chances are, that’s how your customers are interacting with your site.
Easy to navigate
Last year, 9 million Australian households (82% of all households) shopped online. With more customers and more competitors in the market, you need to ensure your site is user-friendly and easy to navigate. If your customers can’t find what they need straight away, they won’t stick around to wait. Try to make your menu navigation and categories simple and easy to follow.
Quick to load
There’s nothing more irritating than a slow website. That’s why you need to ensure your eCommerce store is quick to load. 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds before abandoning a site. If your website is weighed down by large images, redirects and complex scripts, you’ll struggle to get people to stick around to check out your products.