Do you know how much eCommerce sales have grown since the start of the coronavirus pandemic? Going by current industry estimates, online shopping represented as much as 21.3% of total retail sales for the year 2020
As the eCommerce sector has become more crucial, it has become more competitive. Retailers and brands are constantly going through digital transformation and rolling out innovations to differentiate themselves and engage customers.
But is your eCommerce platform optimized for digital transformation? Are you meeting your goals and objectives? If you suspect that the answer to these questions is no, then your eCommerce strategy may be falling short. But how can you know for sure this is the case?
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Here are five signs your eCommerce strategy might be falling short.
1. Poor Customer Experience (CX)
Do your online shoppers feel less than thrilled about their entire shopping experience in your eCommerce store? Low online conversion rate, high churn rate, increased return rate – these are only a few of the vital metrics that point to a deeper malaise in the customer experience (CX) you’re delivering.
A recent study by American Express found that 86% of customers are willing to pay more for a better online experience. On a similar note, a PwC research study concludes consumers are willing to pay up to a premium price of 13% for luxury items and services – provided they have a great online experience. That’s the upside of providing a great CX. The downside of not doing so is high too. 50% of potential buyers will not return to your store if it is not optimized for their mobile phones. An example of the business impact of CX is that of the online grocery retailer, Albertsons which lowered its bounce rates by improving its basket size and building speed by 25%. This is how crucial a good CX solution is for your business success.
2. Lack of SEO Optimization
Do your customers find it difficult to find your online store – or their desired products in your store? That is due to a lack of SEO optimization.
In today’s digitally connected world, search engine optimization (or SEO) is a crucial part of any eCommerce platform. Why? Because at least 35% of consumers start their search for any product or service from search engines like Google. According to Serpwatch, nearly 40% of the eCommerce traffic globally comes from search engines – with Google still dominating this space with 79% of the organic traffic.
No matter whether you are new to eCommerce or not, good SEO practices like focusing on enriched and relevant product descriptions, using the right keywords, internal linking, and optimizing images and videos can maximize your “searchability”. Do you want to improve your product listing on Google? Google Shopping can be the answer for showing better organic results.
3. Lack of integration with third-party solutions
Are a growing number of customers seeing the dreaded “out of stock” notice for the products they need? Are they not able to efficiently track their orders? Are they unable to get any information about product availability? On a related note, is your high shipping or delivery costs a hindrance? That apart, are your business executives or employees complaining about having limited access to vital business data that is crucial for taking proper decisions?
These issues could primarily arise due to the lack of meaningful integration between your eCommerce store solution and the third-party solutions the rest of the business relies on. Business solutions like your ERP, inventory management, order management, contain crucial information that must be tapped to provide more transparent visibility to customers and employees alike for impact and efficiency. For instance, poor inventory management could lead to either under-stocking (leading to out-of-stock products) or over-stocking (impacting your cash flow in sunk inventory). Online sunglasses retailer, Shady Rays, implemented an efficient inventory system that could deliver 10,000 orders in a single day in 2019 – up from just 20 daily deliveries in 2012.
4. Poor marketing and customer acquisition
Are you finding it hard or more expensive to get more customers and grow your user volumes? Well, you’re not alone.
Customer acquisition is hard and costly – 31% of companies report that their acquisition costs are increasing. Also, there is the problem of marketing budgets going to waste due to a lack of nuance and careful consideration. A common mistake is that retailers and brands apply the same marketing and communication strategies that worked for them in the offline world to their online strategy to, not surprisingly, no effect. According to this CMSWire article, 80% of marketing spending in the eCommerce sector is wasted by companies in an attempt to increase their market reach or encourage repeat purchases.
eCommerce platforms need to find innovative ways of acquiring and retaining customers to improve their marketing ROI. Be it effective SEO marketing or through content marketing, an efficient online marketing strategy is the backbone for any eCommerce platform. For instance, customer analytics can drive better personalization and targeted marketing. Becoming visible to new customers and convincing them to make the trip to your eCommerce site depends on your ability to connect with them and resonate with the value propositions they care about. That’s where “knowing” the customer can go a long way in improving your marketing ROI. In that context, with more online consumers moving towards unified commerce – involving multiple touchpoints, eCommerce marketing also needs to evolve to cater to changing buyer behavior. For example, home improvement retailers have increased their conversion rate by implementing a unified omnichannel experience for their consumers based on an understanding of the complex research and buying journey they undertake.
5. Lack of quality product information
Are you seeing more abandoned shopping carts? Are your buyers spending a long time, perhaps too long, on the product pages? This could be because the product information is inadequate or ineffective.
The eCommerce sector has long understood the value of good content on their online stores attracting new visitors, reducing abandoned shopping carts and bounce rates, and driving buying decisions forward. Detailed product information that empowers easy product searches or proactively addresses queries is key. Quality content also allows your users to learn about your business and make them feel comfortable shopping with you. An interesting case study is that of popular American retailer, Torrid, who was able to win their customer trust by simplifying the search experience on their store.
For success in the eCommerce domain, online retailers need to be mindful of several critical factors but also crucial is the ability to see the signs of trouble early so fixes can be applied. Getting the eCommerce platform right is a big part of the strategy, as are several other significant areas. As an eCommerce expert, Ignitiv has enabled its customers to revolutionize their online business model.
Looking to revamp and transform your eCommerce platform digitally or build a powerful future-focused strategy? Contact us now.