eCommerce merchants need to continually grow revenue to add stability to their businesses and to cover the rising operating costs. They need to discover new ways to increase sales, scale their business, and stay ahead of the competition. The primitive business model is slowly losing value, and digital technologies are becoming more popular.
eCommerce has redefined itself in the last decade. The dependence on a single channel to market and sell goods is losing steam. Merchants are looking to diversify their presence. In the process, they also wish to overcome many barriers. The new-age eCommerce will help merchants to overcome the challenge of logistics, fewer conversions, returns, customer support, and much more.
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Merchants want to find ways to implement new strategies and acquire more orders. Retaining customers and nurturing a relationship is equally important to extend the customer lifetime value. Companies want to embrace digital solutions by lining up operations, people, and technology. Doing this will help them remain viable, unlock new efficiencies, and build value for both customers and the business.
eCommerce companies have started assessing all business functions. They have determined areas for cost savings and identified ways to improve the customer experience. Retailers, manufacturers, or distributors realize that the path to profitability goes through digital solutions. Not only that, they may even need to embrace a holistic approach that balances their human elements as well.
Address the needs of stakeholders, employees, operators, partners, and customers to achieve a definite increase in revenue. Furthermore, unlock omnichannel potential, improve inventory management, integrate AI, and automate various internal processes. In this era, where competition is stiff, eCommerce merchants cannot implement run-of-the-mill practices to take top place in their industry.
The Current State of eCommerce Businesses
Today, businesses are unable to outpace an enterprise company's growth, who are innovating way ahead. Such companies have already embraced digital transformation. Corporates are already using the latest, most advanced tools to advance.
They use AI in analytics to extract useful metrics and improve business performance. The metrics and datasets help them in their decision-making process. But, many businesses are still relying on legacy solutions. Such companies don't make informed decisions about their business. As a result, they find it hard to cope and sustain.
Neither are these businesses aligning their strategies with buyer behavior. They are rarely focused on delivering innovative service experiences. No thought has gone into providing experiences that their customers crave. In B2B, especially, the sales reps are chasing leads mindlessly. They do not realize that modern B2B buyers need more than just a sales representative to close deals.
Today, the buying journey is no longer as linear as it used to be. Today buyers research across several touchpoints before making a purchase. As such, you'd need to understand such customer goals to stimulate your sales figures. A proper understanding of your buyer's purchase journey will help to deliver the ideal eCommerce experience. From there on, an increase in conversions and revenue is inevitable.
How Do You Stand Out?
Businesses must differentiate themselves from the competition. It's essential to convey your unique value proposition. Make your customers see the worth in buying products from you. It could be fast shipping, extensive promotions, best payment solutions, quality products, or anything else that separates you from your competitors.
In B2B, build a competitive advantage with a powerful, personalized, and complete self-service portal. Deliver a level of service that improves customer retention and brand reputation. Improve the way you market products. Utilize rich multimedia to convey more details about your products and mesmerize your viewers.
Offer compelling, unique service experiences that improve customer satisfaction and retention. Give quick resolution of issues, make mobile eCommerce possible, start selling via social channels, and be available on marketplaces. Show useful product recommendations - to assist with upselling and cross-selling.
Integrate Internet of Things (IoT) into the mix, and use voice search on your eCommerce website to give your customers a fun hands-free shopping experience. If manufacturers were to embrace Smart Manufacturing tactics in full force, they could even go Direct-to-customer (D2C) soon. Not only that, but they'd also streamline various internal processes. Smart manufacturing and eCommerce 4.0 will revolutionise your internal ecosystem and change the way you interact and deal with your consumers.
Retailers with an eCommerce presence can even start showrooming. Using this, you'd allow customers to view products in an offline store before purchasing them online. Augmented Reality (AR) is another big thing that is catching up. AR lets consumers view their favorite products in their surroundings. Not only this, but you'd need a vast amount of informative content as well.
eCommerce owners need a holistic makeover of their website. As per this, they'd focus on every single attribute of their webshop. From fast loading themes, hosting provider, to search wizard, shipping options, and filtering options. Furthermore, pay attention to their product listing page, banners, social sharing and login, product comparison, security, wishlist creation, proper CTA's, internal links, 404 error pages, URL consistency, and so on.
As you can see, no eCommerce website is complete till you attend to every single component in the ecosystem. An excessive focus on one area could see a gradual decline in other areas. As such, merchants would need to divide their interests equally between all components. Every bit of your eCommerce store plays a vital role in helping you achieve your true growth and topline revenue.
10 Ways to Increase Revenue for eCommerce Merchants
It is essential that you plan your eCommerce business after taking into account the market trends and contemporary practices before you can optimize it for maximum revenue generation. It is also vital that you equip your store with the latest and advanced capabilities to deliver optimal results. Let's take a detailed look into the top ten tactics that eCommerce business owners need to incorporate to stand out from their competitors and to increase their revenue going ahead.
Regardless of the business type (B2B/B2C), your customers are likely to come across issues, queries, inconsistencies, errors, and so much more. Often they'd be able to resolve it on their own. However, in instances they are unable to do so, they'll need your support. This is when immediate customer support matters so much.
Customers want a quick resolution to their problems. If they reach out to the helpdesk and are made to go through a ton of steps to submit their ticket, then they'd expect the response to come sooner. As such, having a 24/7, 365-day response team can make a difference. Some businesses even go as far as integrating an AI chatbot for this purpose.
Be available on the phone, email, messenger apps, live chat, and social media to address your customers' growing concerns. Buyers should be able to reach out to you anywhere. Ensure you show urgency and attend to their problems at the earliest. If that is not possible, send a message that someone will get back to them. Don't leave them hanging and confused.
Having a presence on multiple sales channels is inevitable in this era. The physical one-dimensional trade model is quite obsolete and is making way for the new and advanced digital framework. As per this, every touchpoint is consolidated and controlled from a single interface. eCommerce plays a significant role in facilitating this.
An eCommerce platform can give the owner complete visibility and access to every facet of their business. The owner will be able to view the stock count and replenish the stock automatically. Besides, being able to track orders, locate nearest delivery warehouses, know shipping status, and much more. The merchant could automate all the internal-backend processes.
Everywhere commerce is the objective of all businesses going forward. The idea is to spread your footprint across every possible sales portal. Sell on marketplaces, social channels, and more. Go so far as to be present on your buyer's favorite sales channel. Improve your visibility, sales, and revenue as more people discover your brand.
More importantly, give customers a unified experience across all channels. Allow them to transition from one medium to another seamlessly. Create a mobile-friendly website or a native mobile application to boost your omnichannel strength. In the age of digital advancement, it'd be unwise to stay away from the omnichannel model.
eCommerce SEO is one of the most economical and impactful techniques to elevate revenue and profits. The tactics used in eCommerce SEO are known to boost the ranking of your company on search engines. SEO results in more people viewing your website on the first page of any search engine. As a result, your Click-through Rate (CTR) goes up.
An increase in CTR results in more traffic to your website. Higher traffic will result in more engagement and possibly more retention. In turn, this traffic will create more sales. An increase in sales will improve your conversion rate and revenue. The higher ranking also elevates the credibility of your company. It makes you come across as the leader in your industry.
If that were not the case, Google wouldn't have ranked you on top. Your site meets the expertise and authoritativeness demanded by Google. Even optimize your content for local searches. Ensure your business gets as much traction as possible from "near me" searches. Use high-volume long-tail and short-tail keywords to appear higher for all organic searches.
eCommerce merchants, whether in B2B or B2C, must aim to deliver personalized experiences on websites. They can do so by dynamically showing content, product recommendations, and specific offers based on previous actions, browsing behavior, past purchases, demographics, and other personal data.
Tailor-made recommendations are essential to engage shoppers and stimulate repeat purchases. It comes in many different forms — from product recommendations on a homepage to cart-abandonment emails. Understand customer needs and personalize experiences for them. Recognize patterns in the visitor's activity on your site and show suggestions based on that.
Use A/B testing, CRM tools, Analytics, and machine learning to build the most effective personalization campaign. Many customers may even be willing to share personal information for more exclusivity and increased personalization. Recognize shoppers in varying degrees of detail and give them a personalized one on one experience.
Generalizations and assumptions are unable to detect the expectations of your target audience. This is why merchants rely on accurate metrics to finalize anything about their business or SKUs. Measure and extract intuitive data about your business and customers before taking any action. Owners want to understand customer behavior first.
Using Google Analytics, Google Search Console, HotJar, Optimizely, Conversific, and more merchants are looking to extract buyer info. Furthermore, they visualize, document, and interpret the data to understand their users. Data-driven analytics helps to build a better understanding of buyers, so you can target them in a more personalized manner.
Build a robust data collection hub and create detailed reports to serve customers better. Use the information you gather to make critical business decisions. Instead of attempting random uninformed changes, you are now relying on informative insights for your decision-making process. Numbers reveal more about your business and customers.
Whether you are just a retailer or a manufacturer, you'll need robust analytics to survive, thrive, and make better decisions. Review social media, website, email interactions, marketplaces, and offline activity to gauge your customers. Accurately assess, measure, and leverage insights to improve the way you operate your business.
Any eCommerce store, no matter what it sells, cannot afford to compromise on the performance. The page speed, image loads, hosting issues, and much more will dictate whether a visitor stays or abandons your website. Customers avoid websites that crash or suffer from constant downtime. Customers expect sellers to use advanced accelerated technologies to offer the smoothest and fastest shopping experience.
Optimize your website for mobile devices, improve your hosting provider, and utilize in-built caching or use an external plugin to eliminate caching issues. Furthermore, minimize the code size as much as possible. Fewer lines of code will speed up delivering the website's files to the customer's browsers. Remove too many redirects. Excessive redirects tend to increase the number of server requests.
Increased server requests will then trigger slow page loads. Avoid redundant redirects, reduce chain redirects, and clean-up old redirects that conflict with new URLs. Aside from this, fix broken links, fix redirect loops, 301 and 302 redirects, and 404 error pages. If possible, remove bloated third-party plugins with buggy code as well. Such plugins tend to add an overwhelming amount of load on the server resources.
Fast delivery, easy access, one-page checkout, and one-click reordering further warrants the need for convenience. Convenience is another reason why eCommerce prevailed during the pandemic. Customers could order everything from their comfort zone with ease. Some customers are even willing to pay higher for getting to pick their delivery slots.
Many retailers even introduced BOPIS and COPIS into their eCommerce services. As per this, customers could easily pick up their delivery from a nearby retailer at a time of their choosing. Customers also expect many other options like, online sizing, product configurators, augmented reality, and free returns.
Even the ability to shop online from their favorite touchpoint can make a significant difference. Customers sometimes want to continue to buy from Amazon. Thus, your presence here will create convenience for them and increased sales for you. An advanced product search wizard with multiple filters can help to find products faster.
B2B buyers wish to get a self-service portal to manage and track everything by themselves. This way, they wouldn't need to contact a customer representative every single time. RFQ forms, personalization, extensive payment solutions, shipping options are some of the other things they demand. It takes more than price and quality to beat competitors. Thus, you'd need to make shopping as easy and convenient as possible.
Marketing to New Territories
Acquiring new customers is just as crucial as retaining older ones. Business owners must continuously search for new customers. First mover advantage matters, so test your offering in several different markets. With eCommerce, the cost of entry is much lower compared to traditional retail stores. This allows eCommerce players to internationalize more quickly.
Analyze market data to prioritize potential territories where your products or services will appeal most. Find out your customer's expectations and try to exceed them. Use data analytics tools to understand consumer behavior. Understand how consumers use the internet in their path to purchase and then adapt your business strategies accordingly.
Get more insights about local preferences of different markets. Try to localize your website for other languages and currencies. Adopt a "digital-first" model for new markets, even if you use an omnichannel strategy for your operations. Use digital marketing channels to target your audience. Marketing is equally vital for scaling, testing, and expanding globally. Always try to target new regions and broaden your customer base.
No matter whether you are a distributor, manufacturer, or general retailer, you need to create credibility, trustworthiness and elevate your integrity. Besides relying on certifications, businesses would need to utilize content to convey your familiarity with the industry and products. Content heavy informative sites invoke more credibility.
A brand's ability to shift the momentum in the industry and introduce any changes will create a stronger perception around it. Even blogs, case studies, and research thesis suggesting changes and predicting newer beginnings will up your business's credibility. A reliable content repository tells the audience that your business is way more informed and aware than your competition.
Being the leader, pioneer, or industry expert will change the way customers perceive your brand. If you come across as an expert in your field, you'll find more customers preferring your products and services. Your ability to set trends or changes will create more confidence around your brand. Thus, companies must try to be "first to market" on anything.
Also, use influencers and critics to establish your expertise. A positive word of mouth from reliable sources will elevate your credibility and market value. People may not trust your messaging, but they'll believe every word from an influencer they trust. Even hire consumers (non-influencers) to endorse your brand.
It's hard to imagine a business not utilizing social channels to promote their business. But, believe it or not, there are still many companies that make the mistake of ignoring the power of social media. Then, there are those that have a social profile, but it is vague, incomplete, or outdated.
It seems that social channels are still restricted to personal usage and businesses do not view them as a platform for growth and opportunities. Many businesses do not realize the reach and penetration they can acquire through social channels. Ultimately, they end up devaluing the investment on social media. Even Facebook PPC isn't a fully explored area for acquiring new leads. Businesses could also sell via Facebook shops.
Many businesses don't have a dedicated social media strategist. As a result, their social pages lack activity and visibility. Their customers aren't even aware of their existence on such channels. No tweets, videos, carousels, posts, etc. leaves your brand inconspicuous to the target audience.
The fact remains that, be it a small time retailer or an enterprise level B2B manufacturer, you cannot afford to overlook social media. If you wish to remain relevant and recognizable, then step up your efforts around social media. Share and spread the word about your brand, products and services.
Growing any business isn't easy. It is a daunting task if you want to achieve the desired business revenue. To achieve the expected revenue growth, every aspect of your business needs to click in tandem. Ultimately, any business's success depends on the valiant efforts that it undertakes to grow the profits and revenue.
Rapid growth will likely not happen overnight, but there are several measures that businesses can take to keep moving forward. These efforts will put business owners on the path to increased revenue. Be it a retailer or a quintessential B2B manufacturer, you'd need to invest in all the strategies discussed above.
Only with the best practices, accurate global insights, and a robust omnichannel build will companies achieve their top line revenue growth. However, not just this, businesses will also need to undertake automation to simplify the way they handle tasks. Besides, satisfying every human involved in their ecosystem for proper holistic growth.