The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every corner of the globe, and brands and businesses must adapt quickly, in this digital era. It feels like one of these Darwinian moments, where one has to adapt to survive.
With most shops closed (or restricted) at some point, consumers have had to move online to search for products or services. The big online giants have benefited immensely from this.
However, this does not mean that small businesses can not thrive in a digital age and embrace e-commerce.
Building e-commerce websites – for both products and services – doesn’t have to be daunting. And the VISU.AL team is here to help.
Platforms such as Shopify offer great flexibility and ease of use. They can be built fairly quickly and have stock management, marketing and a lot of different other functions included.
Having an e-commerce website can also cut out the middle man (or middle platform ) and the excessive fees that go with it. Furthermore, it also ensures that the client has a direct relationship with your shop; this will create brand loyalty if the client is happy with the service and recognised as an individual person (very important if you are selling to Millennials or Gen Z).
In a nutshell, Shopify can be a very important tool and lead to real success if done properly. The team at VISU.AL has a wealth of experience in this domain, don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a discussion (or virtual coffee!), to help you navigate the setup process, wherever you are.
Here are 5 useful tips on how to grow your e-commerce business once it has been launched:
1. Sell More Products
This is a simple but extremely powerful tip on how to grow your Shopify store. You should offer a wider range of products in order to attract a wider range of customers and hence make more sales.
Start with your main products – unique offerings/combinations which defines your business locally or internationally. Once you gain traction, start figuring out which complimentary products you can offer along with it. You can get ideas by checking out the top sellers in your category on sites like Amazon, or simply other countries.
The key thing is to carefully research and test your options to make sure your product range is flexible but with everything you offer staying highly relevant to the consumers. For example, if you start out selling makeup on your Shopify site, you can organically add skincare products since they appeal to the same kind of customer. Eventually, you can branch into hair products and fashion accessories such as ear rings and necklaces. In that respect, Gibraltar is a perfect testing ground before going Europe or worldwide.
This is known as the long-tail strategy and Amazon is the most famous example of how to succeed with it. This e-commerce giant started out in the books niche but now retails just about everything.
2. Focus on Retaining Your Existing Customers
Studies have found that on average, 65 percent of sales come from previous customers and that improving customer retention by just 5 percent can increase profitability by 75 percent. This is why it makes sense to spend more time retaining your existing customers than chasing new ones. This is especially true when you have an existing customer relationship with your brick and mortar store.
Attracting new customers requires way more hard work than retaining existing ones. Just consider how much more likely you are, even in the brick and mortar world, to buy from a store you have shopped from before than you are to try out a new one.
Consistent communication is one of the most effective ways to improve your retention customer retention. Send out regular e-mails to keep them engaged such that your Shopify e-commerce store is their mind’s first stop as soon as they think of shopping online. These emails can be:
- Store alerts such as new product notifications and special sale offers
- Personal messages such as birthday wishes and holiday greetings
- Loyalty offers such as repeat buyer discounts and referral coupons
- Helpful tips such as curated product reviews and advice blog posts
However, the communication can’t be a one-way street because customers don’t like to be ignored. You should be very responsive to your customers’ questions and/or complaints via email and social media.
3. Create a Compelling Shopify Cart Abandonment Email
This is closely related to the previous point because automating emails to shoppers who left your store after filling up a cart is crucial to streamlining your customer retention and sales recovery strategy. The best part is that it’s an almost entirely hands-off marketing tactic that delivers remarkable results.
Although roughly 60 to 80 percent of online shopping carts are abandoned before the customer completes a sale, nearly half of all abandoned cart emails are opened and over a third of clicks lead to purchases back on site. This is especially true if this reminder email comes with a discount coupon.
If the shopper simply got distracted, a cart abandonment email can help build brand loyalty by showing them how much you care about them completing their purchase. If they are a bargain hunter, the discount coupon (or even free shipping offer) makes completing their purchase much more attractive.
There are a few vital elements a Shopify abandoned cart email should include the following:
- A catchy, compelling subject line that will stand out in a crowded inbox.
- It should include the customer’s name (if you already have it in your records) and a clear hint of the special offer e.g. “Karen, your items are still waiting. Complete your order now and get 10% off!”
- Great copy that gets the customer fired up again about their abandoned cart.
- Your copy should remind them why they liked the items enough to put them in the cart. This is where you also include the discount you have to offer them as well as high-quality images of what they chose.
- A clear call to action (CTA) that leads them back to exactly where they stopped.
- Your CTA should be prominent, compelling (for example, “Complete my order” or “Resume shopping”) and contain a direct link to the checkout page so that they can complete the purchase right away.
- An opportunity for feedback on why they abandoned the sale in the first place.
- This a valuable opportunity to hear from your (potential) customers. This can help you uncover technical issues in your checkout process that you were unaware of or even highlight issues with your pricing.
4. Sharpen Your Content Marketing With Storytelling
Well-written, SEO friendly blog posts have been a content marketing must-have for a while now but in 2020, videos and podcasts are very important to have too, in order to supplement text-based content. Infographics have also become quite popular as they blend both visual and text elements in one format.
Keep in mind that the purpose of content marketing isn’t to explicitly promote your Shopify store, but rather to generate interest in your brand as a problem solver and position it as a thought leader.
High-quality content marketing isn’t just writing about the products you sell. It’s about figuring out how to add value to the customer experience at different stages in their journey. For example, if you sell swimwear, you could publish an article or produce a video about the best beaches to visit in the world.
Whatever format you choose, you should make sure that the content:
- Is relevant to your target audience’s interests such that they are inspired to share it, and;
- Shows how your products can help solve their problems so that they are inspired to buy.
- Furthermore, all your content marketing efforts should be infused with the power of storytelling. Studies have found that consumers seek personal connections with the brands they buy from and that the human brain is a lot more engaged by storytelling than by facts and numbers.
In short, people want to buy from someone they know and trust. In the absence of physical interaction, telling a story is the best way to achieve this in e-commerce.
You should also prepare a content calendar to ensure consistency because without it, you will lose your audience.
5. Embrace Social Media Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing became one of the most popular forms of marketing in the last half of the last decade and is still going strong in 2020. The key is to identify influencers who have engaged audiences that represent your target market and share the same values with your brand. You should also ask about what other brands they have worked with and proof of the results they managed to achieve for them.
Bringing out the best in influencer marketing requires creativity or else it can come off as tacky and too obvious. This is where interactive content such as quizzes, contests and challenges come in handy. For example, musicians these days pay influencers to start dance challenges to promote their songs. You should sit down with your influencer of choice to figure out which option best fits your target audience.
All in all, it takes hard work and dedication to succeed in e-commerce but with a great visual layout/ theme and the above practical tips, you can grow your Shopify store to the next level. We’re busy helping brands activate their e-commerce environment so please contact us to discuss any of your Shopify or e-commerce requirements.