Global B2C e-commerce sales are set to hit $1.5 trillion this year. This massive figure illustrates the growth of e-commerce and the fact that online is where your business must be, if it wants to be profitable. But businesses plying their trade online will tell you that generating online revenue and increasing ROI is not easy. The competition is tough and it is getting tougher by the day. Also, online shoppers have become more demanding and do not settle for anything less than a personalized shopping experience.
In spite of the challenges faced by merchants to up their online revenue, more and more businesses are opening shop online. Some survive, others don’t. Darwin’s theory of ‘Survival of the Fittest’ is what works in the cut throat world of e-commerce. Your ‘fitness’ is measured by your business reach, reputation, online marketing success and nature of brand engagement with your target customers; but the real test of an e-commerce company’s survival skills is its ability to increase its ROI through increased revenue generation.
So how do you go about increasing the ROI of your e-commerce company?
Here are five great tips:
1. It Begins with your Web Property
Clutter is what kills an e-commerce site. The problem is that a typical e-commerce site sells numerous products with associated product information, recommends products for purchase, offers a range of deals and a whole lot more. This is a scenario tailor made for clutter. Everywhere the user turns there is some information screaming for his/her attention. Rather than being informed, there is a chance that clutter leads to misinformation leading to confusion and an inability to take the right decision. This usually means visitors see very little sense in buying something from the site.
With so much content vying for user attention, the UX of the site leaves a lot to be desired. Also, users may find it difficult to find anything on the site and perform key tasks.
A good e-commerce site doesn’t overwhelm visitors with content and has a simplified UI and UX. The idea is to avoid the unnecessary design elements and information and focus on what is absolutely necessary to help prospective buyers make an informed decision.
The key to an effective e-commerce site is visitors getting access to product information quickly and a convenient shopping cycle that helps them buy a product of their choice easily. This is the kind of site that is able to come good on the expectations of an online shopper; the kind of site that doesn’t make them wonder what to do or where to go next. It is self-explanatory and brings the easy familiarity of the offline shopping experience, online.
With the amount of competition out there, your e-commerce brand will find it hard to stand up and be counted; but, not if you are able to create and implement a marketing campaign that is better than your competition at multiple levels.
The key to boosting ROI of your e-commerce company is running a successful inbound marketing campaign.
An inbound marketing campaign ensures customers come to your site while searching for products you are selling, rather than you going to them and asking them to take a look at your products.
An essential component of this campaign is SEO which helps your site rank on SERPs for specific keywords related to your domain. While SEO is a critical component of any inbound marketing campaign, its foundation rests on the creation of quality content and sharing it across social media. This not only helps build links and create social signals but also generates brand awareness. Creating high quality content pieces also improves the reputation of your e-commerce brand, which in turn improves trust and credibility of the e-commerce site.
Everything taken together helps your brand stand out from the crowd and ensures more and more people come across the products sold on your site, when they actually need them.
3. Leverage The Power of your Product Pages
What many online businesses can’t seem to take advantage of are their product pages. Every ounce of sales potential that your products have needs to be leveraged through your product pages. Making use of large high resolution product images are the least you can do to boost their sales figures. You also need a product description that gives an extensive idea of the product and all the benefits it brings to table. But remember, this description must have a high degree of interest quotient attached to it. Make a prospective shopper fall in love with the product with your description. Sound’s difficult? Yes, it is, and you might not get an engaging product description out the first time you try, but keep trying.
Something else that works big time for generating customer interest in your products is product videos. Creating videos about a product’s usage, features, or benefits is a great way of grabbing customer attention. The use of videos on your product pages also improves its engagement levels and by association improves its UX as well. All this will help increase conversion on these pages, which will increase your ROI.
4. Tap Multiple Sources for Lead Generation
We’ve talked about SEO earlier as a means of attracting organic traffic to your e-commerce site. But what if your SEO strategy doesn’t work? With the arrival of the Penguin and Panda updates, the focus of SEO is veering more towards quality than ever before; getting a high ranking on SERPs has become tougher. So, relying on just SEO or even social media for lead generation doesn’t make sense. You’ll need to explore other options for generating leads. Diversification helps your business stay afloat and prosper even if a particular channel fails to deliver returns.
So, use email marketing, PPC, Google Merchant and other methods as a means of diversified lead generation. There are some methods that will outperform others while a few might not suit your business needs at all. You live and learn. As you go along, make use of the tactics that seem to be working and discard the rest.
5. Track Results
Whether it’s an AdWords campaign or email marketing or social media marketing, monitor each and every activity with an eagle eye. You will need to measure the results of every activity you are using to boost business growth. The performance of your sales and marketing campaigns will tell you whether your e-commerce business is on the right track or you need to do something more to take its revenue northwards. The good part is – there are plenty of tools available on the market that will help you take charge of these campaigns and ensure you have a very clear idea of the ROI delivered by them. The idea is to take corrective action if and when required so that your efforts keep delivering the returns you are looking for.
Your e-commerce business needs to be nurtured with all the care and attention at your disposal. You also need to invest sufficient effort to differentiate it from your competitors. This might just give you the necessary head start you require against them. But it is necessary that you buck up for the long haul when it comes to experiencing high ROI from your e-commerce company. Returns might not come in a hurry. You will have to work for it. But when you do, they will come and they will come aplenty.Tags: B2C, eCommerce, SEM, SEO