Having an eCommerce channel is a great idea for just about any business selling any type of product, but an eCommerce site is only as good as its conversion rates. The wrong types of digital experiences for your product or industry can slow the ROI of your eCommerce investment—or worse, drive your audience straight to your competitors.
So, when it comes to your eCommerce strategy, the key to success is understanding what drives your customers and their buying preferences.
Understanding what drives your customers
eCommerce customer behavior can sometimes vary across industries. Are you in a B2B or B2C industry? Are your products easy to purchase, or do they require more complex planning and control? It’s important to develop a thorough understanding of your customers’ actual purchasing requirements and how those can be addressed by a digital solution. Whether your solution is going to be intuitive or frustrating all depends on this step.
If you sell to consumers in a B2C industry like retail, then your audience is likely shopping in their free time (outside of work) in a relatively relaxed or recreational context. Generally, these customers are more likely to respond to emotionally-driven messaging, visual experiences, and classic checkout experiences like a shopping cart.
B2B industries, like wholesale, are increasingly modeling their eCommerce experiences around that of B2C, effectively piggybacking off the well-established best practices of retail eCommerce. Other industries, however, like manufacturing, might be better suited for self-service portals, product configurators, and more sophisticated payment methods.
At the end of the day, all customers are people. And these 9 strategies can help you boost conversions on your eCommerce site, regardless of your industry.
9 strategies to boost your eCommerce website conversions
1. Dynamic promotions
Promotions are great, but dynamic promotions are even better. Rather than giving away a discount to everyone who comes to your site, use dynamic promotions that only appear to those who have exhibited certain website behaviors or purchased certain products. This strategy not only boosts conversions by personalizing the offer, but also optimizes your losses by targeting only those who need the offer.
2. Flexible payment methods
In B2C scenarios, consider a guest checkout feature. Although you may not collect as much immediate data, it’s an easy way to improve conversion rates and remove roadblocks that may otherwise cause your visitors to bounce.
In many B2B scenarios, transactions exceed typical credit card spending limits. Business transactions often have unique accounting requirements, are associated with a PO or contract, require customer credit, etc. Be sure to offer the type of self-service payment method that meets your customers’ business requirements, such as ACH payments or eChecks.
3. Loyalty programs
Loyalty programs are a time-tested, proven method to build loyalty and retain more customers. By rewarding your customers visibly and tangibly, you’re providing them with a powerful incentive to choose you over your competitors in a way that truly benefits them. And that benefits you!
There are numerous types of loyalty programs to consider, like:
- Free shipping on orders over X amount
- Discount on every X orders (E.g., every tenth order)
- Redeemable points (E.g., 1,000 points = $100)
- Customer tiers (E.g., silver, gold, platinum status)
- Charity partnerships (E.g., X donation per amount spent)
4. Rich, detailed product pages
The more a customer can learn about your product to make an informed purchase, the more likely they are to convert. Providing all your product details, images, recommendations, and peer reviews in a way that’s easy and intuitive for your visitors to understand is critical for any eCommerce site. Rich media like videos, PDFs, and technical documentation can also help build trust with your customers, especially for more complex products. Integrated Product Information Management (PIM) solutions let you centrally manage and distribute all of this information and media and easily publish it to your eCommerce site, third-party marketplaces, and content.
5. Abandoned shopping cart campaigns
Across industries, the average shopping cart abandonment rate is 69.57%. That means nearly 7 out of 10 potential buyers, or $18 billion annually, are being missed!
Think of how often you get sidetracked while on the internet or at your job. A harmless reminder that you’ve left some items in your shopping cart or order is sometimes all you need to make the purchase.
6. Hyper-focused marketing and A/B testing
In the hands of your marketing department, your eCommerce data becomes actionable. Armed with a clear view of customer preferences and behaviors, your marketing team can craft campaigns that keep customers engaged with your brand and encourage additional behavior.
Some crafty campaigns can include:
- User community campaigns: Tips, tricks, and real-world examples of how to better use the products customers have purchased
- Cross-sell and upsell campaigns: Showcasing what’s possible when complementary products are used together
- Targeted promotions: Offering discounts to website visitors or customers who have exhibited certain behaviors, like a previous purchase or interest in certain webpages
- Influencer campaigns: Providing exclusive offers to your most valuable customers and product segments, encouraging further advocacy for your brand
- Contests: Holding a contest or giveaway that encourages customers to share or post about your products
And don’t forget to test! The road to success is paved with A/B tests. For every one of your landing pages and product pages, be sure to test key factors like overall layout, headlines, hero images, button colors, etc. Using a set-it-and-forget-it-style A/B test, you can easily launch tests and move on with your life with the peace of mind knowing that the winning options will automatically be chosen.
7. Live website chat or chatbot
69% of customers prefer chatbots because they can provide quick replies to easy questions. Not only are chatbots a huge time-saver for your staff, but they’re a huge benefit in B2B industries, where products and purchasing processes may be less straightforward.
Plus, if you design your chatbot and website experiences with the ultimate goal of leading your customers to an informed purchase, your chatbot can actually single-handedly help you boost sales!
The best types of customer experiences are personalized (and we don’t just mean email communications). Imagine walking into your nearest superstore and seeing all the aisles rearrange themselves based on what you’re most likely there to buy. That’s the power of real-time web content personalization, and it’s surprisingly simple with an integrated CMS and eCommerce platform. And your customers don’t even need to leave their chair!
9. User experience: Selling your products the right way
No customer is going to use your eCommerce store if it doesn’t make their life easier. Don’t try to fit a complex B2B product into a simple shopping cart experience. And conversely, if it can be purchased through a simple shopping cart, don’t complicate it any further! At the end of the day, you may need to implement best practices that overlap both B2B and B2C to get the experience just right for your customers.
It’s time to get optimized!
eCommerce is a digital strategy that rewards continuous optimization and innovation, and the victors are those who are committed to their customers. If you’d like to learn more strategies to optimize your conversion rates, get the free whitepaper, 7 Keys to Deliver the Best Online Customer Experience.
Century Business Solutions is your expert in eCommerce and digital purchasing solutions. With the right digital selling strategy, your business can accelerate its revenue growth, exceed customer expectations, and stay ahead of your competition. Contact Century Business Solutions to get started!