4 Steps Every Online Retailer Can Take Right Now to Drive Sales
The e-commerce landscape is shifting so quickly that keeping an online retail site updated and accessible has become a time-consuming and costly task for companies of all sizes. With tablets, touchscreens and an increase in mobile browsing, improving a company’s site can mean adding a multitude of new features and upgrades.
However, there are some steps that all online retailers should consider absolutely essential for staying competitive. Here are four strategies every retailer can and should implement now to improve their e-commerce platform and boost sales:
1. Leverage a mobile-ready e-commerce platform. If your company is among the 95 percent of online retailers that don’t offer a mobile-specific website, separate yourself from the pack by building an accessible mobile platform. Consider employing a mobile-ready e-commerce platform. According to Displaybank, one in three mobile phones in 2011 and one in two in 2014 will be equipped with a touch interface. Your mobile site should display large, easily selected text, hyperlinks and search bars.
2. Encourage customers’ social media participation. Incentivize your customers to participate in the social media conversation about your brand. Engage those customers that “Like” your Facebook page in one-on-one discussions. For example, offer special deals to your company's fans or use Facebook to announce new products and giveaways. According to recent statistics, the average Facebook user has 130 friends and spends 700 minutes on the site per month. It’s a networking opportunity no online retailer can afford to miss.
3. Streamline your checkout. Make sure your checkout process requires as few steps as possible. More user clicks at this stage increases the chances of an abandoned cart. Does your site allow for third-party or guest checkout? Options are also important. Offer different shipping options for each item and consider a floating shopping cart to keep consumers engaged with your products.
4. Follow up on abandoned shopping carts. Don’t forget about abandoned shopping carts. It’s important to pursue shoppers who drift away, as studies have shown that they're often simply out comparing prices. Does your shopping cart save a consumer’s order should they wish to return at a later time or do they have to start over? You can even consider sweetening the deal with a promotion. Send a thank-you email that includes personal details about the transaction and suggested accessories or upgrades. Email marketing platforms can combine and automate all of these services.