Ecommerce is a new and exciting realm of business that has opened doors for small businesses and entrepreneurs. There are millions of online buyers in the United States alone, and ecommerce businesses can offer the potential to reach customers all over the world. With an expected growth of over 40 percent by 2018 and no signs of slowing down, setting up an ecommerce business offers exciting opportunities for lucrative success.
Actionable Ecommerce Tips
The process of setting up an ecommerce business model involves a lot of steps and planning, but there are four simple tactics you can do to ensure your ecommerce company’s success.
Place Focus on Upsells and Cross-sells
Upselling and cross-selling your products is one of the simplest ways to make more money per order. An upsell is fairly straightforward: when a customer looks at one product, the website or salesperson suggests they also check out the better and more expensive model. Including options on your website like “Customers Also Bought” or “Other Products You Might Like” is a great way to display upsells to your customers. In fact, customers are twenty times more likely to purchase an upsell as compared to a cross-sell.
Don’t let that last fact deter you from cross-selling — it’s still a great way to sell more products. Cross-selling is the reason grocery stores place candy bars and magazines in the check-out isles and why your internet provider talked you into adding the cable TV package to your monthly plan. A cross-sell is an add-on item you were not planning on purchasing, but that you decided you want or may need. Ecommerce is a wonderful platform to easily include cross-sells by asking the customer if they want to purchase a related item as well or showing what other customers also bought.
Studies have found that the best placement for a cross-sell item is on the checkout page, resulting in a 3% increase in sales.
Dabble with Predictive Analytics
Utilize the power of sophisticated software and algorithms to determine what your customers want and what they will buy. Predictive analytics compiles information based on customer buying habits, satisfaction, and pricing trends to provide valuable insight that can mean increased revenue.
Today, the power of predictive analytics is no longer limited to the enterprise or large companies with huge budgets. For example, a solution like Forecastly lets small businesses that piggyback on Amazon to improve supply chain efficiency while holding onto a minimum credible inventory. It does this by gathering advanced product-market insights, forecasting future demand, and analyzing historical sales.
At the very least, predictive analytics software can also ensure you never run out of inventory during a surge in purchases; many programs are designed to track orders and determine if demand is increasing and increase or decrease inventory accordingly.
Incorporate Live Chat
Because ecommerce is done entirely online, one of the biggest challenges businesses face is the lost human element. Incorporating a live chat option into your website is a great way to answer a customer’s questions or concerns, leading to sales boost.
According to a survey 62 percent customers were found to be more likely to purchase from a site that incorporated live chat. A further 38% of respondents said they had made their purchase due to the chat session itself. All these attitudes were even more prevalent among respondents who bought online at least weekly.
Live chat is easier and less expensive to set up than a call center, and more convenient than e-mailing customers back and forth. You can even outsource your live chat representatives through programs like Livezilla, which is an open-source chat system that runs on any web server, works without cookies, and supports 70 languages with real-time translation. Having an option for live chat gives your business a competitive advantage, increases the likelihood of sales, and draws repeat customers.
Always Follow Up
Setting up a plan to follow up with customers to ask about their buying experience is vital for an ecommerce business. Follow ups can be done through email or social media, and they are an easy and inexpensive way to increase repeat customers.
Asking a customer to rate their experience and write a short review about their purchase provides both insight to possible changes to make to improve customer satisfaction and also gives great content to use. In fact, 92 percent of customers check out reviews before purchasing, so including positive reviews can relate directly to increase sales.
Sending a follow up email is also a great way to increase repeat customers, who in turn spend nearly 70 percent more than first time customers on average. Personalizing an email with the purchaser’s name or including a special offer or coupon helps to ensure that a customer opens the email and makes a repeat trip to your site.
Little touches can make all the difference in the ecommerce business, leading ultimately to increased sales and buyer retention. Adding in a human element through live chatting and personalized e-mails increases repeat customers, offering more purchase options, and investing in predictive analytical software can really make all the difference in the growth and success for your company.