Imagine a grocery store where only 20% of the people who put items into a cart actually end up buying those items at the checkout line. This is exactly the situation that online retailers face–it’s no wonder that cart abandonment is high on their list of concerns. Nonetheless, there are other challenges online shop owners face, and as important as cart reclamation is, they cannot afford to ignore all the other factors that make for a successful ecommerce business.
There is indeed great potential in the ecommerce industry, considering it saw profits of $263 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach an astounding $400 billion by 2017. However, to ensure your ecommerce site takes full advantage of this online sales boom, there are at least three challenges that you must successfully face and overcome.
1. Driving Traffic to Your Website
Unless you use effective marketing strategies to enhance “brand awareness” and give potential customers a chance to evaluate your products, your site will become like a small grocery store hidden down some dark alley, with no signs to help you find it, and with few shoppers who ever visit it. This is, perhaps, an even worse state than the store mentioned above that had abandoned shopping carts strewn all over it.
Content marketing is generally regarded as the key to growing visitor volume, and yet, only 42% of B2B marketers believe that their efforts are paying off in the way they had hoped. Making the right connections with customers through high-quality content they are already interested in reading is often the best approach, and this is typically done through blogs, newsletters, social media presence, and interactive features like short audio and video clips.
The best way to “get people into the store” will vary from business to business, but quality, relevant, and well-positioned content are always superior. Beyond that, it is only a matter of linking and following up.
2. Making Your Website Attractive
To carry our analogy forward, consider a store that used excellent advertising campaigns to bring in great crowds of visitors but that gave those same visitors a disappointing experience upon arrival. The aisles were narrow and hard to navigate, the products were oddly arranged and hard to find, and the checkout line was always so slow that it took an hour to buy even one small item.
In the ecommerce world, poorly designed websites dwindle traffic by making it short-lived and by giving one-time visitors a reason to avoid coming back. A layout that is appealing and uncluttered, buttons and tabs that work quickly, an organization that is “intuitive” and easy to navigate, and clear, informative product descriptions should all be part of the visitor’s experience. By making the first impression a pleasant one, you avoid driving away the traffic your marketing strategies drove in.
3. Analyzing Visitor Behavior
A good grocery store manager can glean insights on how to improve his store by simply watching his customers, noting their problems, and finding ways to improve. “Big data” helps ecommerce store managers do the same. Tools that allow you to monitor client purchasing habits and gauge their time spent at your site and the particular pages viewed empower you to respond and improve. You can personalize shopping experiences, track customer browsing habits, and win new sales through targeted loyalty programs.
Preventing shoppers from abandoning carts is undoubtedly a key factor in a successful e-commerce. Fortunately, there are companies, like yours truly, that can help you combat shopping cart abandonment, and turn 17% reclamation rates into 27% ones. However, before we can help you with that, you need to face the other challenges of being an online business; you need to bring visitors to your site, keep them there, and understand their behavior. Fortunately, as detailed above, there’s much you can do to achieve those goals, and strengthen your online company.