Technology – Ready or not, here it comes (Part 3)
With ever-progressing technology, e-commerce is here to stay. In part because many brick and mortar businesses transitioned to an e-commerce platform to stay alive. This meant changing business and marketing strategies and developing new procedures and practices.
In the competitive world of online shopping, a business must make a mark. You have to learn to keep customers loyal and coming back to your site. How is this accomplished? There are many factors in establishing your presence online.
1. Website: Make sure your site is user-friendly. Easy to use, search, add to cart, and a seamless checkout process. Be mindful that customers don't want to have to provide the same information multiple times throughout the purchasing process.
2. Shipping: Providing numerous shipping options for your customers is ideal. This allows your customer to control their shipping speeds, while also sticking to their budget.
3. Rewards programs: Offering a rewards program is an easy way to increase customer loyalty and increase sales as well. This will also allow you to send marketing pieces via email to your customers, inviting them to come back to your site. It also provides an incentive for them to purchase more from your website to earn rewards.
4. Branding: Building a powerful brand is crucial for your business' identity. Your brand is made up of many things: a logo, color pallet, theme, and your unique selling proposition. Developing the right combination and sticking to it helps set you apart and makes your business recognizable. Utilize your branding throughout your website, marketing, emails, advertising, and customer experience.
5. Customer Experience: Not only is your website essential to provide excellent customer experience, so is the packaging and shipping of your products. When your customer receives their package, what will it look like? Will the package be branded? Are their products packed neatly or thrown together? What about their order? Will there be an invoice, packing slip, or both? These are all things to consider. You want your customer to buy more from you, and these are all opportunities to increase those chances of a bonus sale and gain a loyal customer who comes back time and again.
6. Marketing: Make sure you have a marketing strategy that won't break the bank. There are many ways to market to your customer without spending a lot of cash. One way to do so is to utilize your rewards program to gather email addresses so that you can send out an email blast. Personalize offers for birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, etc. Another way to market to your customer is in or on every package delivered. When your customer receives their order, right when they open that package – they are YOUR captive audience. What better time to market to them? Why not utilize something on your package to market straight to that customer? You're already paying for shipping, why not include marketing in that cost?
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