There was a cool post on Mashable with 5 tips for improving your ecommerce revenues, and they are as follows:
- Blur the line between real and virtual worlds
- Target the right consumer with the right products
- Dig into data, stay on top of technology
- Go mobile
- Make customization a priority
Those are all good tips, and it’s great to be reminded of them regularly. But you got to admit- they also sound kinda cliché– at least, if you’ve been reading ecommerce tips for a few months or so.
After all, every sensible person knows that you need to go mobile (though strangely, there are still ecommerce retailers out there who don’t have a mobile-optimized site. Why?!).
But if you dig deeper into the Mashable post, there are some real gems to be unearthed, so I thought we’d focus on those:
1: Utilize seamless and manageable consumer profiles.
The tactics need to go beyond “pushing coupons and quick offers in the aisle,” Ginsberg says. Rather, companies must strive for “seamless and manageable consumer profiles that will help translate the personalized online experience to the physical. Businesses have to go further into shopping behaviors.”
Every consumer has a lifetime value.
Think about how much money you’ve spent at the supermarket that you frequent most! If they like you, they’ll buy stuff from you more regularly. They’ll tell their friends about you. And yet different consumers will want different things, so it’s helpful to approach them differently. That’s where profiling comes in.
Simply thinking about customers with this “segmented consumer profile” approach is a step in the right direction.
2: Help the consumer with guided discovery.
The goal is to help the consumer wade through the vast amounts of products available and get to the heart of the matter. Busy customers want to browse less and find more, which is where “guided discovery” and thoughtful, relevant recommendations come in.
Information overload is a problem worth solving.
This is one of the greatest challenges of the modern era, and it isn’t (in my naive opinion) incredibly difficult to solve. All you really need to do is to think about things from the consumer’s point of view. What questions do they have that they need answered, and how can your site help to answer these questions, quickly, simply?
There’s a short little video of a speech by Clayton Christensen that captures this quite nicely.
(PS: I sincerely believe that the information overload problem will be solved via aggregated word-of-mouth.)
3: Use transaction history and social data to serve your customers better.
Study up on geoconquesting, where location-based technology will tell you where your shopper is and enable you to send her an attractive offer while she’s still mulling another retailer’s goods. Use transaction history and social data to tailor offers to specific consumers, a la Amazon’s model.
“The beauty of technology, when it’s applied best, is that the user doesn’t know that his experience is being driven by it. All he knows is that it’s an enhanced, smooth, painless experience.” – West Stringfellow, Bigcommerce CPO and veteran exec of PayPal and Amazon
Relevant data is killer.
(The key word is relevant. There’s no point having access to tonnes of data if it’s all just noise to you.)
The coolest thing about the digital age is how everything is searchable. If you’re selling hair products, you can do a Twitter search for “frizzy hair” and reach out to thousands of potential customers!
But beyond that, the most valuable information you have is information about your own customers. Who are they? Where are they from? What do they buy? Pay careful attention to all this information, because it’ll help you make decisions that increase your revenue.
4: Create snackable content to suit consumers’ fleeting attention spans.
Stringfellow says, to come up with optimal designs that consumers can view on any device, and soon: Smartwatches. “In general, these are small screens that people look at for a few seconds and then bail,” he adds. “Because it’s so ephemeral, it needs to have a high level of utility or engagement.”
Smack them in the face with the takeaway.
We live in an age where attention-minutes are more precious than ever. None of us can expect anybody else’s attention. We have to earn it.
If you’re running an ecommerce store, you’re going to have to state the value of your products as loudly and clearly as you can. Why should anybody buy your products? What will your products help them do? The value of your content has to be self-evident.
5: Convert better by matching conversations to consumer profiles.
A trip to the Burberry store in London, for instance, could reveal to iPad-wielding sales associates that Matts is a longtime fan of the brand. She can skip those conversations about what she’s bought in the past because the store already knows, and she can dive right into what she might want to add to her wardrobe now.
“If I’m a huge Burberry buyer, the last thing they should do is treat me like a total stranger when I walk in. They have more information, based on a customer’s permission, and they can get down that purchase funnel much faster.”
Relevant data + consumer profiles = “Wow, this is helpful!”
This is the natural progression of the points mentioned earlier. In the future, we’re going to look back on the days of conventional, blunt “knock-you-over-the-head” advertising as incredibly primitive. Today we store our files in the cloud and expect to be able to access them on any device, anywhere. Similarly, we’re going to expect our shopping experiences to be tailored for us. The retailers who do that successfully are going to win, and win big.