Getting inside the head of an e-commerce shopper can be a daunting task. There are many variables when it comes to the question of conversions; including product cost, professionalism of your website, shipping factors, payment options and much more. With the rise of e-commerce comes increased competition. Don’t think that your customers won’t search out your exact same product on your competitor’s site to find the lowest cost. With seemingly endless availability, how can you ensure your business gets the attention and the customers it needs to survive?
Here are some tips for your customers to ask for more.
Create an attractive design and layout
No one likes to go into a messy shop. This ruins the customer experience. The same concept applies to online shops. Customers want to be able to navigate through an attractive website that allows them to easily find what they are looking for. Investing time and money in a well-designed website will report since customers will come back regularly.
The seconds may seem an eternity for customers who browse through a site. Difficult to believe, but something as simple as the speed of your site can have repercussions on your sales. If your site stalls for a second too many, you could lose revenue. According to this KISSmetrics infographic, if a virtual store makes £83,000 a day, a one-second delay in loading a page could cut over £2 million in sales per year. If the speed of your site needs to be improved, consider investing in a content delivery network (CDN) that will increase the availability and performance of the content you offer to your customers.
A balance between too many and too few products
Offering a wide selection of products can do more harm than good. You should strike a balance between offering the products your customers desire and offering so many options that they will not be able to easily find what they are looking for. Make your clients’ tasks as easy as possible by providing them with a powerful search tool that can deliver results quickly.
Your products page as a sales pitch
Customers want the detail of the products now. Proper use of visual elements such as photos and videos also helps to attract their attention. See your product page as a sales pitch. You benefit from the attention of your clients only for a short time, which is why you have to stir up their interest from the start and keep it all during their visit.
You have applied the above steps and your customer is ready to proceed to checkout. Do not yet breathe a sigh of relief! To avoid abandonment in the final stages of the purchase process, be sure to highlight the shipping charges on your homepage or the product page. There is nothing worse for a customer than learning at the checkout that he will pay more for shipping than for the products he buys. In addition, customers appreciate sites that offer a variety of payment methods, as well as sites that do not need to create an account after placing an order.
Benefits of understanding your customers
Understanding your customers helps you sell more. The more you know about them and their needs, the easier it is to identify opportunities to sell them new products and target them through appropriate offers.
Establishing the profile of existing clients also facilitates the discovery of new clients. You can search for similar potential customers and close sales to them similarly.
However you must ensure that you comply with data protection regulations regarding personal information about existing or potential customers that you collect, store and use. There are special rules for electronic commerce.
You can use the information you have about clients to improve efficiency. Keeping a central file containing customer and sales information reduces errors and accelerates transactions.
You can also improve customer service. Better access to information helps you serve customers faster. You can customise product offers and offer customised treatment. Good information facilitates the identification and resolution of any problem.
Finally understanding your customers helps your planning. You can predict what they will buy and estimate the volume of stock you need.
Establishing a link between customer management and purchasing can improve profitability significantly.
Know your customers
Your clients are a valuable source of information and you should aim to collect data that allows you to identify your clients and how they behave. This will vary depending on the profile of your customers. If the customers you sell are individuals, it would be helpful if you knew their age, gender, income, and so on. For companies, it would be useful to know in which industry they operate and their size.
You should also try to discover what customers think of you and your products and services. For example, learn what they like and dislike and why they choose you.
If you only have a few important customers, it’s worth getting detailed feedback from them. Companies that sell to individuals sometimes conduct customer surveys. If you are selling online, you can use your website to enter certain information automatically.
Obviously, you must not only collect the information but also store it. The most effective way is to use a central database.
However, you must ensure that you comply with data protection regulations for any personal information about existing and potential customers that you collect, store and use. There are specific rules for electronic commerce.
Make customer information available
Making client information available to employees can make them more productive. For example, you could give sales staff access to financial systems so that they can verify order and payments. You must decide what information is needed for different employees, and how to make them available.
Technology can be useful. For example you can share mail and other information on the computer network. By using a caller recognition system, staff can view caller information and purchase history before answering the phone.
Integrated information technology systems help different parts of your business share knowledge.
It is important that the information is accurate. It is best to update the folders periodically, taking care to delete multiple entries. You can also consider giving clients online access so that they can update their information on their own.
You must endure that any confidential or important information is protected against misuse or accidental deletion.
Remember that you must also respect the data protection rules regarding any personal information about existing or potential customers that you collect, store and use. This can affect your IT systems and the choice of who has access to information.
What makes your clients valuable?
Analysing your customers allow you to identify the ones that best fit your company’s priorities. These will depend on your strategy. For example, if you are launching a new product, your goal could be to conclude sales as quickly as possible, while if you know of cash problems, you could give more value to customers who pay quickly.
By analysing your records, you can access the profitability of each customers. In some companies, only a few customers are responsible for almost all the profits. Some of your biggest customers might be among your least profitable customers. You may even discover that there are some customers that harm you.
You should also try to anticipate. For example, the client of a growing company might become more profitable for you in the future. It is important to anticipate the changes and how they might affect different clients.
Enhance customer experience
Taking care of your customers helps establish their loyalty. Selling more to existing customers can be much more economical and profitable than finding new ones. However, you will still need to divide your time between finding new customers and selling more to existing customers depending on your business.
Concentrate on your most profitable customers
- Customise your products and services to meet their specific requirements. If a customer prefers to have his deliveries before noon, organise your delivery schedule accordingly.
- Do not allow too little room for maneuver. Make sure you have enough time to manage each of your key accounts.
- Identify and resolve problems quickly. It is better to promise less, but deliver more, but make sure always to keep your promises.
- Keep in touch. Let them know when service contracts need to be renewed or when better terms become available.
- Establish personal relationships with key decision makers.
- Consider offering preferential arrangements, eg. a bulk discount.
Technology can help you improve the service you offer. For example, you might be able to let customers track deliveries through the company’s website that ensures your deliveries. You may use your website to provide useful information, such as product information or instruction manuals. Also, make sure that the staff has sufficient training in customer service; They can make or break your reputation with customers.
Find new customers
Understanding who your customers are most profitable helps you focus your efforts to find new customers. Often the most effective approach is to look for similar potential customers.
But diversification is also important. It is risky to reply too heavily on a few key clients. Even if you have a large number of clients, it is risky that they are too similar. A change in circumstances could mean that they reduce all their purchases at the same time. For example if your three largest customers are based in Europe, a change in the exchange rate could cause them to dramatically reduce their orders.
As markets change, you should regularly review your marketing strategy. Specific market segments may become less profitable due to increased competition. Client requirements may change, for example, as individual clients become older.
Constantly review the value of your existing customers. Over time, customers who were highly profitable could charge lower prices. Other clients could increase their turnover rate with you as part of their growth.
Keep an eye on the future potential of customers. It may be worthwhile to develop relationships with a small client with high potential for growth. Working with your customers can also help you identify ways to develop new and improved products.