Is having your eCommerce store enough?
I recently read an article that stated the reason your eCommerce website is failing falls into one of two simple reasons; you’re not getting the right traffic and you’re not converting. That’s a simplistic way to look at it and here at NuEthic, we think that your business could improve by expanding your thinking to include marketing, logistics, speed, and scalability.
One of the most common mistakes we see at NuEthic from some of our customers is not having an effective content marketing strategy which makes getting organic and social traffic difficult, especially if you have a niche market.
The key is to do content marketing based on your customer and not your product. When you create a persona of your customer, it is easier to understand what other likes they may have. A specific example would be if you sell 100% fair trade organic shirts. Chances are that the people buying these are environmentally conscious. Perhaps the same people buying these shirts would be interested in creating a sustainable garden out of compost from garbage; thus leading to a blog post idea. It is an initial hunch but following that thought process will lead to the creation of your content marketing strategy.
By using your customer instead of your product as the basis for your content marketing you have more to write about and more importantly, you have the opportunity to connect in a meaningful way with your customers. Make your eCommerce website an experience your customer will enjoy and this will give them a reason to come back.
People go onto Amazon when they want to buy a product; but when you connect through content marketing with your customer in a way that is different than just selling the product they buy you develop repeat customers through brand loyalty.
Stop wasting time with menial tasks
Time equals money. We have all heard that and it is especially true in eCommerce. The concept of opportunity cost states that the cost when you choose to pursue an opportunity is removing your ability to pursue any other opportunities. So, the cost of an opportunity is every other opportunity that you may have had.
If you are doing everything yourself for your online store we commend you. It is difficult to update products, change your layout, write all product descriptions and market those products. More importantly, it is very time-consuming to do everything yourself. When you automate or outsource these projects you enable more time to spend on other things like other aspects of the business. Automating certain tasks can not only free up your time but can lower your overhead. Recently we automated a customer service team, lowering the number of employees needed from 10 to 2 all while the company experienced exponential growth.
Unnecessary menial tasks have to be eliminated. Spending too much time adjusting your site logo, messing with a few pixels on images, or going into details about a button color are all seemingly meaningless in the grand scheme of your eCommerce website. You can spend two hours feeling like you have accomplished a lot by adjusting the colors in your logo but those two hours could have been spent in better places like creating content for your marketing strategy or making sure your shipping logistics are up to par.
Logistics are the management of the way resources are obtained, stored and shipped. The planning and execution of the movement of goods will vary greatly based on industry and business size but as an eCommerce business owner; you need to familiarize yourself with the logistics of your business. Back end logistics are especially important in eCommerce since you may not have a brick and mortar location to store and track inventory. Often eCommerce stores rely on third party providers for inventory management.
The logistics of your business can be the most complex and expensive part of your business.
The headache and frustration can be saved if you automate the process of inventory management. We recommend Acumatica for your inventory management needs. It is easy to connect to any platform, with a very user-friendly interface and excellent inventory tracking capabilities.
Once a customer completes the transaction a trigger in your inventory software will be activated. After the trigger in your inventory is activated, it now falls onto you for shipping. Depending on the size of your business, the next steps could vary quite a bit. We suggest that if you are thinking about outsourcing shipping then you should consider ShipperHQ. Shipper HQ allows the customers to see the real-time cost for delivery, which is important as discussed here. ShipperHQ has pricing options that range from $50 to $400. Even though this hands-off approach to shipping is more costly than handling it yourself; the ease that shipping automation provides is almost always worth that cost.
Of course, no matter how you choose to distribute your goods, it is imperative that your customers can track their orders and be kept up to date on package progress.
Route offers real-time visualization, covers theft, and integrates one-click refunds and reorders. Route has also beautifully designed the experience for the customer post-purchase; giving you a distinct advantage over those who have not developed their post-purchase user experience. Best of all Route is free for merchants and only costs about 1% of the carts value for customers to add.
All of these applications and plug-ins are designed to give your customers the best experience with shipping they can have while making it easier and more streamlined for you to run your business. However, even if shipping is perfect, speed and scalability are still very important in your eCommerce website success.
Customers expect a fast and pleasant experience in eCommerce stores. While you might think the resolution to slow speeds is to increase your network speeds and acquire faster devices if your eCommerce platform isn’t optimized then you won’t benefit from great speed.
Along with having the appropriate server, ensure that you have partnered with developers who can optimize your site to get the most out of your eCommerce website. Aside from having a positive customer experience, site speed directly affects your Google ranking. The fastest way to counterbalance slow speed times is by optimizing your content. Lower those image sizes and convert them to a .jpeg file format. For a more complete look about website optimization, visit our blog here.
If your platform doesn’t scale, it is time to consider a new platform. Ecommerce sales rise consistently on a year to year basis. Start believing that your eCommerce store will be so successful that you will need to scale sooner rather than later.
Depending on the needs of your company this could be CRM or accounting. Consider how products will be tracked and shipped as well. Start thinking about distributing the transaction process load across servers to maintain the performance as site traffic grows.
Working with a team that understands eCommerce website development means a lot when it comes to scaling your current website. At NuEthic, we improve SEO and website speed allowing your Google rank to increase and drive more traffic to your website. We also do an infrastructure check to make sure your hosting option and server selection is adequate to handle the newly generated traffic. Scaling this way not only increases product sales but can also eliminate overhead, as we have encountered in the past companies paying for more server speed than they need. The goal in all of our developments is to increase user experience and to help drive your sales up.
While no one can predict the future for your business some things have consistently worked to produce positive results:
Research your niche to find out the demand.
Find your target audience and bring them content that they would enjoy. We discuss this more in-depth in this blog about brand identity.
Try finding a gap in the market.
Start a marketing plan today.
Limit menial tasks.
Have a nice clean design that requires minimal adjustment.
Stick with it. Adjust your plan on how to run your business but stick with your business.
If you are considering switching platforms, need eCommerce automation or want to upgrade your eCommerce store, reach out today and talk to an expert.