Yet that same opportunity also comes with an increasingly competitive playing field. Everyday, millions of brands and their online storefronts compete for the rapidly-shrinking attention span of the average consumer.
In this article, we will show you the best ways to get the most out of your online storefront and boost sales like never before.
Acquire and Retain Consumer Attention with Engaging Design
We’ve mentioned above that today’s consumers have shorter-than-ever attention spans. There are figures to back it up as research from Nielsen Norman Group finds that viewers of a website will typically leave within just 10-20 seconds. Thus, this short window of time is all that your online storefront has to make a good impression and potentially drive a consumer to a sale.
That’s why it’s important that as much as possible, your online storefront is designed with captivating full-width images and minimal text. Keeping text concise ensures that consumers get only the most important and relevant information. Additionally, although you can code your own online storefront with the help of pre-existing e commerce store templates, enlisting the help of a professional with a background in graphic design and web development often proves to be a worthwhile investment.
Build a Comprehensive Product Catalog
A product catalog on your online storefront is the primary way for consumers to get to know the product you’re selling. Not only is this key for sales, but this is also crucial for winning over one-time purchasers and then converting them into loyal customers. For example, catalogs can be sent out to previous customers showing them recommendations based on their purchasing history. This can be a great tool for building a relationship that keeps them coming back.
A product catalog can even double up as an inventory management system, a data mine for determining which products are most in-demand, and an avenue for consumers to give feedback.
When creating a product catalog, take the following into consideration: how many different categories can you split your products into (shirts, pants, shoes, shorts, etc.)? What variants do these have (size, color, weight, etc.)? You should also decide from the onset whether you want to show how much stock is available through your catalog. All of these have an impact on the way your catalog will be programmed.
Finally, the images in your product catalog should be pleasing to the customer’s eye. Humans are visual creatures and quality images can make or break your business in ecommerce. Quality images help instantly convey information about your product and give customers an idea about the caliber of the product. Furthermore, images are also shareable- and give your brand more exposure. But if a picture is worth a thousand words, imagine the worth of a video. Catalog videos are paramount to increasing conversion and customers who view a video can be up to 144% likelier to make a purchase than those who did not. Thus, good product catalog production is paramount.
A good online storefront should be able to support all of these (taking into consideration loading times, ease of use, etc.). Present it in a way that’s digestible for the consumer and it’ll be that much easier to make a sale.
Utilize Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Tools to Personalize Relationships
Of course, an online storefront can get personal beyond just using product catalogs. CRM tools centralize customer data like which conversations and posts can be associated with potential purchases, making it easier for your sales and marketing teams to meaningfully interact with them. CRM can then be implemented in a number of ways. Some of the top e-commerce websites, for example, frequently email out personalized newsletters and blog posts to their subscribers.
This strategy works not only to keep constant contact with those who have already made a purchase, but it can even help nurture a potential customer through their buyer’s journey. Not everyone is a fan of being pitched at right off the bat. Implementing CRM is a good way to slowly introduce your brand to someone without being overbearing.
One notable example of a brand using CRM is ZARA. ZARA was responsible for pioneering the use of personal digital assistants to capture real-time customer data, not just on transactions but customer preferences and habits. This data is then used when the brand needs to conceptualize discounts and marketing campaigns.
Institute Measurable Indicators of Success
To maximize all the potential traffic, it pays to have a metric that your business can track. When you run a blog, for instance, Search Engine Optimization metrics like organic traffic to your site, bounce rate (people who leave your site without doing anything) and pages viewed per session provide valuable insights.
Inserting SEO keywords in your articles can also help. Posts containing certain SEO keywords have a better chance of ranking in search engine results. The better your blog ranks, the more favorable the impression consumers will have of your online storefront. This is because organic search results have more credibility and get more clicks than paid advertisements. Furthermore, there are many SEO tools available to measure the monthly search volume and search difficulty of terms. Some of the best ones include SEMrush, Google Keyword Planner and Authority Labs. The transparency here will let you know whether your target demographic is really reaching your online storefront.
Finally, it’s important to be able to track sales conversion rates. Though you can find conversion rate manually by dividing the number of people who bought a product by the total number of visitors, this won’t tell you anything about the micro-conversions that eventually do lead to a purchase (a consumer clicking on a certain product category, for example). For a more worm’s-eye view of these things, check out tools such as Google Analytics and Hubspot.
Brands can take the data they get from the tools above and make better, data-driven decisions. Periodically tracking your metrics and putting a comprehensive analytics strategy in place to figure out what works and what doesn’t saves your business time and money in the long run.
Get Active on Social Media
Social media and e-commerce basically go hand in hand. Brands that engage with consumers via social media reportedly enjoy 20-40% more revenue per customer when compared against brands who do not. In many ways, social media is actually the next retail storefront. Outdoor gear brand REI launched a hashtag-focused campaign to encourage word-of-mouth engagement and eyewear brand Warby Parker has been known to partner with Instagram influencers. Both of these brands realize the power that user-generated content has: 86% of millenials believe user-generated content indicates the quality of a brand and 68% of social media users aged 18 to 24 take into account information about the brand they’ve seen on social media.
Zilingo can help engineer your online storefront to boost sales. Our team of 80+ designers, videographers, and producers can ensure that your storefront will have customers coming back for more. This includes engaging SEO content writing for higher conversions, merchant banners and even outright storefront design.
As for product catalogs, previous clients like Disney Indonesia and Middle Eastern e commerce giant Noon have subscribed to our cataloging services and can attest to our fast, 4-day turnaround time and stylish, hi-res product photography. We can even give you video catalogs, which are proven to increase conversion by 5%. Furthermore, up to 74% of people who watch a video about a product subsequently end up buying it.
Zilingo Studio also offers services to produce your content and boost your social media presence. Ranging from social media posts, lookbooks, product reviews, founder profiles, and even specially tailored WhatsApp content, we can thoroughly take care of your online presence while management sits back and relax.
When your business can be assured that the ongoings of their online storefront is taken care of, this frees up time and money to focus on other things such as design and quality control . In the cutthroat world of e-commerce, this is especially an edge.
Zilingo Studio is the perfect investment for any business looking to adopt a more proactive approach for their online storefront. If that seems like a fit for your business, follow the link below to learn more about how Zilingo Studio can revolutionize your online storefront and boost sales in no time!