As the internet has grown, so has the market of e-commerce, to the point it’s undeniably the driving force behind a sizeable amount of the world’s most profitable companies- some even carving a path with it exclusively. Out of the 7.7 billion making up the world’s population, 4.1 billion are internet users as of last year, and that number is guaranteed to rise. Basically, it seems like a good time to really start putting effort into e-commerce.
However, the market is becoming oversaturated, and for every online store, there are a million more. You need to be ahead of the curve to stand out, and that’s what we’re going to discuss today. Here are the ways you can make your business more enticing to consumers:
Collaborate With Delivery Companies
The vast majority of e-commerce sales are delivered, so it is definitely beneficial to find ways to optimise this avenue. Personally collaborating with the delivery company is a good start as it creates a working relationship, meaning more reliability, easier communication channels to fix problems, and the chance of better deals through loyalty.
A common method of collaboration is a cash on delivery system. This bypasses the mistrust of consumers (for new stores) and the need for a debit card.
Another benefit of the Cash on Delivery system is customer satisfaction. A customer may refuse to pay for an incorrect item/damaged packaging of an item, in which case it is sent back to the manufacturer. The lack of mistakes will definitely improve the customer’s image of your brand, and it gives you a chance to amend any errors before the customer has paid- cutting down negative reviews.
Form Bonds For Affiliate Marketing
Having someone else recommend or advertise your product to others can be something very convenient and highly effective as a marketing tactic. Websites specialising in e-commerce should try to entice their customers to promote their products through worthwhile rewards. For instance, many sites offer discounts to returning customers for recommending the site or product to a friend.
As an example of this, look no further than the e-commerce giant Amazon. Their system, Amazon Associates, is an affiliate marketing program that allows website owners and bloggers to create links and earn referral fees when customers click through and buy products. This can convince a lot of influencers to take part, growing Amazon’s brand.
They also offer incentives to new members, namely a free month of Amazon Prime and Video, giving those trying to refer people some selling points, and creating a cycle of happy customers.
Web Market Support have gathered some statistics showing the scale and effectiveness of affiliate marketing:
- 81% of brands and 84% of publishers use affiliate marketing, with the percentage increasing each year in the United States.
- The United States have a 10.1% increase each year in affiliate marketing spending, with estimates showing the total amount in 2020 will be $6.8 billion.
- Content marketing- including blogs of influencers- made up 62% of traditional marketing schemes in 2018 and generated triple the leads of traditional methods.
- 16% of all online orders were influenced by affiliate marketing.
- Jason Stone’s affiliate marketing earned him $7 billion in retailer sales from June to July of 2017.
This will also be a sure-fire way in creating brand loyalty and giving your customers a reason to commit to your brand.
Work With Manufacturers
In order to further promote your products, and cut out competitors, it can be good to form an exclusive partnership with the manufacturer.
PlayStation and Xbox do this quite often. They’re both in a constant battle to make games exclusive to their platform, giving fans of the games no choice but to buy their product.
If you have a supplier that you work with often, it would be a good idea to look into getting more for your partnership. Even if you can’t make a product exclusive to your store, discounts and freebies are still a certain way to bring more of their fans to you.
Tailor the Interface To The User
In the current age, there is a lot of competition and not a lot of patience. A business will fail if their interface isn’t easy to navigate, good-looking or fast enough for the customer to be satisfied.
How easy it is to search for a product? People often don’t put up with a site not loading when there’s another 20 selling the same thing for the same price on the same Google page, so it’s important to make sure everything is working perfectly. The key to a strong online store is a good first impression.
The key areas to take into consideration are things such as giving your site a clean and easily to look at design, improving the loading speed of your pages, having clear and engaging descriptions of your products and being sure to keep your site open to as many payment methods as possible.
Having a customer support section to report bugs will allow you to fix problems without having to notice them yourself (after many lost customers). Though failure is to be avoided, a few bumps in the road now and then can be a great teacher in improving your business.
Do More Research
Staying up-to-date with how competitors are doing, and changes they are making can come in handy. This, as well as looking at general trends in the field you’re in, can make your online store look fresh and ahead of the curve.
One such current change in e-commerce is the introduction of voice search in its various platforms. Over time, stores will have to implement this or be seen as outdated.
Make sure to update your site to keep up with competitors (or, even better, be ahead of them), add whatever new features are popular and read about features customers are asking for, or like from other websites.
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