Most business owners know. Do you? Your competition is constantly nipping at your heels. You need to stay on top. But, how? Every day, it seems like there’s a new platform, a new sales method, a new social networking trick, a new ad control piece that’s dominating, a new product or service angle that’s outcompeting.
Here are ways you can stay one step ahead of everything and everyone else.
Get A Handle On Your Shopping Experience
Your ecommerce shopping experience is where it all starts, in terms of revenue. Mess this up, and you don’t have a business. Spend some time on this – compare ecommerce platforms here.
Look for solutions that simplify the process both on laptops and on mobile. Solutions that are “one click” work best. More and more people are buying through their smartphones and tablets, but the shopping interfaces haven’t caught up. Some companies, like Braintree, are changing and innovating in this area. But, for the most part, shopping cart tech behind the times.
Do business with platforms that can integrate with the latest in payment processing technology so you don’t get left behind with them.
Difficult and lengthy checkout processes are what kill sales. Amazon.com provides the perfect model for this: let the customer enter his or her details once, and then let them pay with “one click” options.
How To Use Context Intelligently
Data-based personalized shopping suggestions are going to be big in 2016. As many ecommerce sites are already discovering, people will spend more money when you make intelligent suggestions to them. Visitors are annoyed, however, when they view one product, and that product keeps following them around on Facebook, and other sites, for weeks and months on end, regardless of their interest level.
Retargeting is effective, but you have to take context into account.
That means, only showing ads in the proper context. if someone views a piece of fitness equipment on Amazon, for example, then they probably will be more receptive to seeing the same piece of equipment on fitness sites, but not on Twitter or Facebook.
Use Real-Time Analytics
Real time data lets you watch customer behavior, as it happens. You can see where you’re losing people, where people drop off your sales page, and thus where you need to make adjustments to that sales page.
Traditional analytics doesn’t allow you to do this. Yet, because time is of the essence during the selling process, you need that real-time data to avoid leaving opportunities, and money, on the table.
You shouldn’t completely discount traditional analytics, however. There are still many great insights to be uncovered by using a heat map tool, for example.
Use Video Marketing
Customers are still used to the retail shopping experience where they can look at, smell, touch, and possibly taste the product before buying. But, online, none of that is possible. Even the visual representations aren’t always convincing.
This is where video marketing comes in handy. If you can shoot video of your products, or give demonstrations on how they work, you’ll be a step ahead of the competition. Real reviews by customers and independent testers also helps.
Many businesses are taking this to the next level by introducing branded custom videos. These videos focus on education and entertainment, being both informative and entertaining to the viewer. Some of these videos, for example, consist of “behind the scenes” looks at demonstrations, product development, and marketing. 360-degree product rotations can sometimes partially or completely replace the need to see it in person.
Having the products your customers want is good. Letting your customer customize it to their liking is another. This is the next generation in product development, and it’s why sites like Etsy are so popular.
If you can incorporate this into your ecommerce store, you won’t have to guess at what people want. They’ll tell you. Better yet, they’ll make it themselves.
Going forward, this kind of customization is expected to take over the fashion and jewelry industries, where customization is already possible and scalable. But, it can easily ease its way into other industries, especially where 3D printing is a viable alternative to mass production.
Bailey Green has been involved in the business world all his working life, and has seen many changes as the industry shifts and grows with new tech trends becoming mainstream. He shares his expertise online by writing for business blogs.