10 Ecommerce Strategies Every Merchant Should Make As New Year's Resolutions

By Team AmeriCommerce Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy New Year folks! We sincerely hope you've enjoyed the holidays and you're fresh-faced and ready to get your teeth stuck into a productive year.

If like us you've already given up on some of your more ludicrous resolutions then we don't blame you. We never really saw ourselves as the six pack, bungee jumping, lion taming types anyway.

But what about the ones that really matter? The ones that will shape us as Ecommerce pros? That's what we really should be focused on.

So we've put together 10 Ecommerce New Year's resolutions that you really need to stick to if you want to rise to success in 2015....

1. Make way for omni-channel

We're a big fan of omni-channel, so much so that we've already predicted it to be one of the hottest trends for 2015. You need to start making sure that your entire shopping experience is streamlined - and available - across all channels. From your website, in store, your social channels and beyond, every point of contact with the customer needs to be consistent with your brand.

The fact is, there's plenty of channels that your customers will look to shop on now – and it doesn’t have to be your website. Making it as easy as possible for your customers to close the sale is the name of the game and savvy platforms, including ours, will give the tools you need to offer shopping across all channels including email and social.

2. Have a 24-hour response policy

Great customer service is a sure-fire way to succeeding in Ecommerce, and that includes being responsive to your customers. When a customer contacts with a query, you need to reach out quickly. We'd suggest automating an email away to let them know you are looking into their inquiry. Then it should take you no longer than 24-hours to resolve the issue. If it takes a little longer, make sure you keep them posted.

Integrating with a platform such as LiveChat can also help as it lets your customers reach you instantly. That way you can offer them the help they need and provide exceptional customer service right from the start.

3. Be clear with costs

Why do online shoppers leave without paying? Well this study shows that 56% of people will abandon their carts if they are presented with unexpected costs. This tends to be either shipping costs, or tax on the product that doesn’t get added on until the very end. Although you may want to make your price as attractive as you can, there's nothing more annoying for a customer than hidden costs.

What do we suggest? Be clear right from the start. Show them what the tax will be before they reach the very end of their cart journey. It may also be beneficial for your store if you sell your products at a slightly higher price and then offer customers free shipping.

4. Keep creating high-quality content

Content marketing has really taken off over the past few years and it doesn’t look like it's going anywhere in 2015. With an impressive 93% of companies using it just last year, this number only looks set to rise. If you want to help push your brand, increase your leads and boost your sales, then you should definitely add content marketing to your New Year's resolutions.

What you need to do is first put a strategy in place to find out who your customers are, what they like to share – and then start creating content that is tailored to them. Your content needs to be authoritative, actionable and educational so you can stand apart as a thought-leader in your niche.

5. Start using email drip campaigns

Drip campaigns are a great method to bring customers through your sales funnel with ease. The idea is that you automate a series of emails to 'drip' information to the customer, depending on where they are in the funnel. For example, if a customer leaves some products in their cart, you can send them an email at the right time to encourage them to go back and buy.

The most successful email drip campaigns include; educational - to inform a customer about your products; promotional – to send customers offers and exclusive deals; training – to teach the customer how to use your product; and reengagement – to invite a customer back who hasn’t shopped with you in 6 months.

6. Get responsive

With 7 out of 10 consumers preferring to use a mobile-optimized site, there's no denying that mobile is the future. If your site isn’t responsive then this needs to be a top priority, as it can seriously harm your reputation in the Ecommerce world. Not only should your website be responsive, but you should also make sure that the emails you're sending out are fully optimized for mobile too.

Don't worry, we don't let you do all the hard work by yourself. Our platform provides you with plenty of tools to help you create a responsive website without the need for any coding skills.

7. Stay up to date with SEO

With new updates released, hot trends to follow and fresh strategies to develop, you should always stay on top of your SEO game. There are already talks of what the latest focus will be in 2015, and the most popular predictions are that content and keyword optimization will go hand-in-hand.

As we mentioned above, it's so important to produce high-quality content and we definitely don't promote keyword stuffing. However, it's still important to do your research and optimize your store with the right meta-tags, indexing and keywords. And instead of trying to build loads of links around your site, focus your efforts on earning links – again it's all about producing high-quality content that people would want to link back to.

8. Segment your audience

When it comes to marketing, If you think that a 'one-size-fits-all' will work for your businesses then you're seriously mistaken. You need to ensure that you're segmenting your audience and targeting them with the promotions that are specifically tailored to their customer journey with you.

Smart store owners are starting to realize that personalization is the key to success, so whether it's your email campaigns, landing pages, or your ads, you need to make sure that each point of contact is personalized to cater to that customer. Segment your promotions to target different customers and direct them to the right page on your site, depending on their journey.

9. Freshen up your design

We're not saying you should change your brand, especially if it's working for you, but design trends will always evolve – and you should evolve with it. So what's hot for 2015?

Well we believe large product images will help to increase sales; long scrolling sites have become popular amongst many sites; CTA buttons that are a different shade or color help to close the sale; and of course making sure that your navigation provides a great user experience all-round.

10. Never stop testing

The final resolution that has to be on your list is to test, measure and learn. By analyzing everything on your website, you'll be able to build the perfect relationship with your customers. With platforms such as Google analytics you'll be able to do keyword research, plan ad campaigns, and monitor your web traffic. Using an analytics tool like Kissmetrics, you can track the entire user journey, from the first visit to a placed order and beyond.

In addition to analytics tools, have you ever considered a/b testing? This is a great way for you to test various features on your site including the design, so you can see what your customers like, and what they don't like.

Happy selling!

So there you have it – 10 New Year's resolutions that you need to make, and keep, if you want to run a successful store in 2015. Keep checking in with our blog for plenty more posts on all the latest trends and remember, if you're looking for an Ecommerce platform this year then why don't you start your free trial with us?

Here's to a great year!

About the Author

Team AmeriCommerce

AmeriCommerce is an ecommerce software platform serving over 5,000 merchants since 2005. Whether you need one online store or multiple stores, AmeriCommerce has the tools to help you Sell Stuff! By staying passionate about selling stuff online and fostering a loving and deep partnership with our customers, AmeriCommerce is the ecommerce software that simply cares more. Learn more about AmeriCommerce at www.AmeriCommerce.com

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Comments
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Geanie Kehr Roake
January 26, 2015 3:59 PM
I'm always pleasantly surprised if a website or e-business gets right back to me when I leave a message or have questions. This shows they care about having me as a customer, and are really interested in customer service. Another thing you mentioned was hidden costs. Yes – I totally agree, when I get into a site and discover they have added weird taxes or fees etc, that’s the end of the transaction. This happened to me not long ago, and even though the product was still reasonably priced after the added charges, I refused to buy it out of principle. Tell me what it costs up front so I can make an informed decision, and feel good about dealing with an honest businessperson.

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