The average adult spends around 10 hours a day online, glued to screens across multiple devices – we are constantly connected, and we conduct the majority of our lives online. From social media, catching up on global news, paying bills, banking and shopping – there’s a diminishing limit to what we can’t get done online.
With that fact in mind, it’s no wonder then that the e-commerce business grows at a rate of around 13% each year. But, the flip side to this is that 80% of online e-commerce businesses fail with 2 years. But if there is such as great demand for online shopping facilities, why aren’t more businesses cashing in on the demand?
I suppose that much of it comes down to the day to day demands of running a business, it’s easy to get caught up in the menial tasks and begin to overlook the bigger picture.
As a business owner within an extremely competitive industry (promotional products) I can understand how easy it is to fall into this trap; but as an e-commerce business owner, I can also fill you in on some of the strategies that I have implemented to secure maximum conversion and a competitive edge in your industry.
Ad remarketing, or retargeting is an area in which I have had tremendous success with, and I class it as one of the best tools in our marketing arsenal. We implement a range of digital strategies,and remarketing converts higher than our other paid traffic.
The strategy is simple; your ads are displayed on other sites to visitors that have previously looked at your website. This doesn’t sound like anything special, but the theory behind it makes more sense.
It’s common knowledge that prospects need to come into contact with a brand on several occasions before they convert to a paying customer; this gives them the amount of time they need to build trust in the brand.
Remarketing allows you to present your business to your prospects on multiple occasions, building their trust and recognition in your business. Ignoring this strategy simply doesn’t make good business sense.
There are some impressive statistics to support the implementation of remarketing; the click-through rate of remarketed ads is ten times higher than that of display ads at .70% and .07% respectively. Further to this, remarketing is claimed to boost ad response by 400%, and they are also 70% more likely to convert.
As a small business, it’s us that has the upper hand when it comes to adapting to user demands. While large corporations can be stagnated as they clamour about for sign off on the smallest of changes, the SME’s have the speed and flexibility to make changes almost instantly.
However, on the other side of the argument – as a small business you compete against companies that have far greater resources. A website that is well-designed, as well as possessing a great user experience will go a long way to convert visitors into paying customers.
Your website is effectively your shop front, and in the same way customers avoid tatty, unkempt and overcrowded shops – they will also avoid your website and ultimately, business.
Every visit to your website should be a positive experience for the user – you are using it to entice them to purchase your offering. A well-designed site that looks attractive and welcoming is a great start. But the website has to work; clear call-to-actions or instructions, fast load times and it has to cater to the fact that we as people are habitual.
Don’t try to re-create the wheel, keep your logo in the same position on your site as your competitors (is it top left/top right?), make sure your logo takes visitors to the homepage, make sure any filters you use are at the top and ensure users can add items to their basket with great ease.
Simple changes can make enormous differences; for instance, Hubspot increased click-through conversions on their site by 21% by changing the colour of a button from green to red. In a similar field, when Expedia reduced their form fields on their checkout process, they increased revenue by £12 million.
As well as improving the overall UI and UX that your site offers users – you also need to focus on the shopping cart. Let’s be honest, customers aren’t operating on our time schedule, theyare operating on theirs which means sometimes you get left with abandoned carts.
55% of customers add items to theircarts with the sole intention of saving to purchase for another time. Of this 55%, 28% return within 48 hours, 21% within three days and 16% take longer than a week.
It’s clear from this behaviour that shopping carts are used as wish lists, and while you are unable to prevent visitors from leaving, what you can do to increase your conversions is make sure that they return to a cart that is intact so that they don’t have to begin the process again.
By using persistent cookies, you are able to do this. While session cookies disappear once the visitor leaves your website, persistent cookies begin once a visitor comes to the site and remain there for an average of 60 days, so that they can return to their intact cart.
Despite this making sense for those of us who run e-commerce businesses, its reported that less than 25% use persistent cookies and 39% of the persistent cookies that are being used, expire within a few hours.
As I mentioned, the industry of promotional items that USBMakers operate in is a vastly competitive arena; but by optimising our site and learning about future strategies that we can implement to increase our conversions, it will only aid us in maintaining the competitive edge.