The world has become more efficient and convenient than ever, and consumers expect user-friendly platforms and quick processes wherever they go. Many of the world's largest corporate names helped materialise this trend, with the likes of Amazon and Uber Eats restructuring our buying behaviours to focus on convenience. Then along came COVID19, the final allurement to eCommerce in the absence of brick and mortar stores, forcing the final few to jump onto online retail.
We've seen unprecedented spikes in eCommerce competition and consumer adoption since the pandemic began, with five years of growth in a mere three months. While this growth means more competitors, it also provides a ripe opportunity to ride the wave and grow your business with more online consumers backing you. With robust and proactive eCommerce marketing strategies and techniques to incorporate, there's never been an easier time to capitalise on online retail market growth.
The end goal of eCommerce marketing strategies is to increase converted sales, and you can get there by building trust, streamlining the customer experience, and maintaining a consistent loveable brand. Below we look at the best practice techniques of 2023 to help you accomplish this:
Good design encompasses the entire user journey, from your very first contact with them to a re-engagement strategy. Your marketing ads, copywriting, website design and functionality and sales process are highly influential to both how customers perceive you and their experience. As your interaction is entirely online, Good design drives eCommerce performance because it’s how your customers know you – which means it has the power to improve the bottom line when it’s optimised.
ASOS and Hello Fresh gave the world some teachable lessons in their user design. By studying their customers and audiences, they could intimately understand their needs and desires and create a seamless user experience that influences human behaviour and drives sales. Essentially, good design translates into being transparent, not pushing customers too hard (or prompting action at the appropriate times), maintaining a consistent brand, and providing supply chain visibility – helping consumers trust you as a brand. The key is in understanding your customer demographic and tailoring their experience to their preferences.
With an ocean of online options and a busy consumer, convenience is critical to move your buyers through your site towards a purchase before friction points send them elsewhere.
Shoppers want a smooth, fluid and frictionless experience, where they can easily find what they want and complete their purchase, and your website navigation is key to achieving this. Navigation cues should guide your customers from A to B, with intuitive actions and options that are relevant to your store and industry. Set up your navigation structure to support the types of products you sell and your inventory levels. For example, clothing stores with countless SKUs need a search function, but a boutique furniture store with select items would benefit more from a category filter.
Without knowing your customers and their behaviour, it's hard to know where to aim. Arming yourself with informed knowledge about your customers can lead you into powerful navigation that delivers convenience at every step of the customer journey. Below we provide some website navigation tips:
Logical information hierarchy outlines preferred orders of information principles to help streamline the customer journey and avoid friction points. Elements on web pages should flow logically to provide a particular outcome – when customers feel that they're led in a straightforward manner, it can help them build trust with you and have the confidence to make purchases.
Consider how you categorise your items, for example. If you're a clothing store, you might have men's and women's categories, which lead into particular items like trousers or jackets and then into brands or directly displaying the products. Information hierarchies help customers follow along the journey in their minds and makes your site neat and understandable.
Simplicity is the safe haven for online consumers bombarded by complex websites, overloads of information and endless options. Simplicity in the design and navigation is always a great idea to help your customers maintain focus and understand how to follow through with a purchase. You'll still want to incorporate your brand personality throughout your website but always prioritise functionality over aesthetics.
Simplicity can leave as much of an impact on aesthetics and impression than details. It's tempting to cram more items, text, and panels into a web page because you want customers to easily access everything you sell. But more choice is sometimes a deterrent to purchasing decisions; how can customers know they've stumbled upon their favourite item with so many others competing for their love? So while simplicity is excellent for functionality, it can also be advantageous to marketing goals and help your customers feel secure in their purchases.
When designing your site layout, ask yourself, is there more you can remove while still being functional and easy to understand? If so, it probably isn't necessary to include, and you can sacrifice it in the name of simplicity.
Mobile consumerism makes up a remarkable 72.9 percent of the eCommerce market, so if you haven't built your site to cater for mobile users, you're missing out on this massive slice of the pie. Mobile ties into the balance of eCommerce and convenience. Buyers want to shop wherever they are, and more importantly, whenever a purchasing idea strikes them. We get a lot of our consumer inspiration out in the wild, where we only have our phones handy.
Building and optimising your mobile-friendly site only requires some simple restructuring based on your web design, which is great considering it's pretty much a necessity at this point with mobile purchases only growing. Once you've done the hard work of understanding your customers and behaviours and deciding on navigation and design goals, applying it to mobile design is an easy but essential step.
The boundaries of the internet are both dissolving and growing in endless ways. The link has strengthened social media and eCommerce to become its own combined consumer channel, making it a powerful marketing strategy for 2023. You can cultivate your social media personality, post specific product pages or categories, and incorporate a 'Buy' button, leading your readers straight to a purchase. There are some great additional benefits stitched into social commerce, like analysing the engagement with your posts, what your readers are interested in, and what sort of content converts sales.
As an eCommerce store, your marketing can only really be as good as your products. You can create exceptional branding, great storytelling and aim for an admirable purpose that customers want to support – but customers are still shopping for themselves and want quality products. Aim to be consistently on the lookout for products that match your business and its style, and don't be afraid to swap products in and out as you learn more about the market.
With loveable products, marketing strategies have the power to highlight their value and encourage customers to purchase from you. Ensure you use professional (or professional looking) product photography to capture your items at appealing angles – it's one of the only things your online customers have to base their decision off!
eCommerce marketing strategies evolve as new technologies become available and as trends in the market progress. Each part of a strategy exists to increase conversions, whether through building customer trust, streamlining the process, or making a loveable impression that keeps customers coming back for more.
Creating a perfect website that constantly optimises sales is a bit of an illusion, but placing your efforts on continuous learning and iterating your strategy until you find success is a great goal. Simpl. helps businesses create powerful websites and marketing strategies using the most informed design, technology and storytelling, and we're here to help eCommerce businesses around Australia succeed in online retailing.