The competition in e-commerce will be much stronger this coming year and you have no time to waste, falling behind. It is 2011 and with the New Year comes newer and better ways to integrate e-commerce into your online presence. See, it’s not about just having a checkout process that is streamlined for customer convenience and safety. It’s not about just including search engine optimization tactics in every section of your online business. To truly stand-out from this year and in the future, e-commerce must permeate every aspect of your company’s online identity. In a nutshell, e-commerce must become one with everything the business does online or, at least, head in that general direction.
Look to these 5 things to help maximize your success with e-commerce for 2011:
- Simplify Checkout. More and more people are converted to online shopping each day. The checkout process is now one of the most important aspects of your e-commerce store. Once you have gotten a shopper to add a product or two to their shopping cart, you have a reasonable chance of converting them into a buyer. Let your checkout process work for you by removing unwanted and unneeded steps. Innovation and creativity have combined to make the one step checkout process a reality for your e-commerce designs. Customers will expect your online store to be as simple as possible for them to navigate and make purchases. Live up to that expectation.
- Reinvigorate Email Marketing. No longer are email marketers just sending out standard emails to everyone on their list. Full personalization is possible and you should grab it with both hands. More than just targeting previous purchases, the data is available to you for each email to be personalized using buy, browsing, and click behavior. Send out emails that give your subscribers immediate options to buy items they have shown an interest for.
- Go Mobile. Now, more retailers than ever are creating mobile applications and optimized mobile websites. Mobile is all about content being accessed anywhere, in a quick and simple way – from SMS loan applications to the latest e-book. Marketers and developers should consider how users are going to use your mobile website. They do not want to sift through hundreds of products, clicking pages upon pages of categories. They want to find what they want through search and product filters, even more so than on a normal computer (Mobile surfing is time consuming). Think about how behavioral merchandising and personalized site experiences can help you to make the most out of your visitors.
- Overlap E-commerce and Social Media. After last year, everyone in the business of making money online should have a pretty good idea of how important it is to create a strong presence in social media. The next step is to use that presence more directly in product and service promotion. Watch for new options, applications and upgrades to current social media platforms to include e-commerce aspects. Social media will not be delegated to just talking about your business for long.
- Deeper Analysis. The number of tools and software out there is growing, to help any owner find the statistics that matter about their website. For 2011, it is time to dig much deeper into this available resource, like Google Analytics. Successful websites are tested over and over again in order to make the small improvements that data has shown will make a difference. Check your bounce rate and see what page, in your checkout process, do visitors leave on the most? Showing tax and shipping charges, pre-checkout, helps reduce ‘sticker-shock’, a leading reason for cart abandonment. Make sure the shopping cart on your e-commerce website does this. Find these minute areas for improvement and get started. Many small changes add up to one very big difference.