October 2, 2019
4 problems that every e-commerce business faces (and how to fix them)
In 2018, the e-commerce industry grew by 20%, according to new research by Kantar. Additionally, the study also found that 96% of FMCG growth happened outside hyper and supermarkets. In Australia alone, three-quarters of households shopped online last year driven by what Australia Post called “the year of the sale.”
The Australia Post study found that consumers are more likely to be shopping later in the day. According to the study, Australians make 32% of purchases between 7–10 pm and 21% between 2–5 pm — and this is a trend seen worldwide. But regardless of the time of day, consumers expect a seamless and secure experience. So, as omnichannel marketing continues to grow and as the e-commerce landscape heats up, the fact that online retailers never close can be a hindrance but also presents valuable opportunities to grow.
It all comes down to how your e-commerce business manages the customer experience 24/7, and this can only be achieved by adopting the right software with automated processes that deliver those experiences. Being proactive and preparing for all scenarios is important, especially when it comes to the following 4 issues that every e-commerce business faces.
1. Abandoned carts
The e-commerce marketplace affords even the smallest retailer a global presence, yet the vast choice and blurring between online and offline experiences makes the buying process for the customer much more complicated. As it is essentially your sales funnel, understanding the exact process that a customer goes through when they’re researching, deciding, and purchasing is key to knowing which buttons you may need to push along the way.
Rather than thinking of them as negatives, consider abandoned carts as a smart (and often lucrative) use of your marketing automation software — they are an instant way to potentially lure back and convert the browsing or researching customer. Create a series of timed emails to guide these users to purchase, from a simple ‘don’t forget’ or ‘hurry, stocks are low’ reminder to a final incentive such as a discount or a free shipping offer.
2. Lack of repeat purchases
In the pursuit of growth, encouraging previous shoppers to buy again should be a no brainer, but many get it wrong. Was their purchase a necessity? Did they have a good experience? How do you know?
Consider a membership or club offers with discounts, rewards, free delivery and incentives to buy. This will drive loyalty, encourage feedback and make the user feel like they are getting some extra love — and hopefully, you’ll be rewarded with a repeat purchase from them.
A lead nurturing email journey is an effective way to retain your e-commerce customers because it will allow you to successfully communicate and stay top-of-mind. From recipes following cooking appliance purchases to stylist tips for homewares, insightful (and useful) emails opened will increase lead scores and help you target more effectively.
3. Poorly designed images and website
Looks mean everything in the world of e-commerce. According to a survey by Marketingsignals.com, 61% of respondents said insufficient or poor-quality product imagery puts them off making a purchase.
It pays to spend a reasonable amount of time and effort into making your images (and website) look good. After all, you want to portray your products and brand in the best light possible. Also, consider going beyond static images. Videos are an effective way to put the product in place and AI is providing solutions like virtual changerooms.
Whatever you decide to do, it pays to remember that the customer is, ultimately, always right. Therefore, you must be transparent and give them channels to let you know if they are happy with their purchase and experience engaging with all the elements on your website. Pop-ups, chatbots, and simple feedback forms are all effective in-the-moment ways for them to let them know what they think about their experience with your brand.
4. Not communicating with customers
From weather patterns affecting package delivery times to suppliers falling behind in their orders, things don’t always run to plan.
In the era of instant gratification, timely communication of good and bad news is critical. Autopilot allows you to easily let your customers know of any changes to their orders via follow-up emails and SMS reminders. Remember, a proactive approach to customer retention efforts are most effective and easier to set customers up for success. Learn more about how you can seamlessly notify your customers of changes here.
The road to e-commerce success
The Kantar report reminds us “not only is e-commerce the biggest contributor to growth, it is also the channel with the most untapped potential… [with] the highest spend per shopper of any other channel—at $37.2 per trip.” Essentially, e-commerce businesses that marry automation with experience are the ones that will stand out from the clutter and capture the better share of wallet. Optimize the experience of those navigating your e-commerce site by addressing these 4 problems and you’ll be on a fast-track to more sustainable and successful growth.