The exponential growth rate of E-Commerce presents an immeasurable number of opportunities for retailers seeking to utilize the vast outreach of online mediums, however, getting started can be a little bit daunting. Not only this, but it is highly likely that you average consumer will decided to change his/her mind before purchase – Think about it, how many times have you abandoned your bottle of ginger beer in place of cola? Like the tangible form of shopping, the same thing also happen within cyberspace! That’s why we’ve provided a few tips that form the crux of what you need to know about E-Commerce before beginning your online marketing campaign that help refine the dreaded consumer decision making process:
1. Understand your target demographic – Make your E-Commerce campaign as specific as possible. Sites such as Quantcast.com specialize in quantitative demographical research allowing you to divide data and present it in a simple, yet informative and comparable format.
2. Analyse Purchasing Patterns – A common tactic for many E-commerce vendors is to explore buyer purchasing patterns, and most importantly what drives the intent of a sale online. Websites such as 7bpeople.com monitor customer click paths and the content of each click, painting a vital portrait of consumer preference online. Such information allows you to tailor your website to appeal to common consumer trends, and in turn increase your level of sales.
3. Build Reputation: Trust and Reputation leads to a greater response – Naturally, a vivid sales allure is always inherent in an attractive website, however it is extremely important that you also convey a positive online reputation when attempting to generate sales. You want the customer to keep coming back. This takes time, of course, but maintaining a high reputation paints a positive picture of your business and you will reap the benefits online in the long run. Think longevity.
4. Monitor your Reputation – Know where you stand on the internet amongst both competitors and consumers. There are multiple tools online that can help you ascertain the existing positive and negative elements of feedback on the internet. Register with Google or Yahoo! News alerts. These are free services that help you track news, web groups and blogs. Also check out sites such as forumfinder.com to assist in unearthing your reputation across the ‘forumsphere’.
5. Provide Proof – In order to instill consumer confidence, a proven to be popular e-Commerce tactic is to provide customer/client testimonials on business websites. When you have established some excellent client testimonials, be sure to register them with feedback verification websites to show potential customers that you are honest and un-aggrandizing.
6. Use of video media – According to industry research by Cisco Systems, video will account for half of all consumer internet traffic by 2012, so why not get started early? Gain the competitive advantage over your other e-Commerce rivals. Video content does take more effort to create, however the end result will heighten user experience, dramatically increase the chance of sales and place you well above the traditional text and image mediums of your competitors.
7. Shopping Cart abandonment – According to a PayPal 2008 survey, shopping cart abandonment will occur with every two out of three customers. Factor this into your e-Commerce strategy and presentation. The best way to avoid this is to not leave anything out. If everything is conveyed before the transaction, there is no incentive to abandon a shopping cart click through.