Chloe speaks with five eCommerce experts on the top ways to grow an eCommerce business in 2018.
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The Number One Thing Businesses in eCommerce Should Do to Grow in 2018
Simon Bell, the founder and managing director of Diligent, advises eCommerce business owners to focus on the 98% or 99% of customers who are not yet buying from your website. Work out why they’re not buying. It’s probably not a simple fix, but rather has to do with your brand. Think about how better to engage the visitors who aren’t buying. Think about how to get them into your brand, rather than just buying a single product. You want them to be loyalists to your cores and to be brand advocates. To accomplish this goal, you must think about your brand, not just your products, to get the customer to engage with you emotionally. Sell the brand, not just the item.
Alex O’Byrne, one of the founders of We Make Websites, believes that eCommerce business owners should be focusing on designing the customer experience. Have a beautiful website that is a pleasure to use. Make intelligent use of design on the homepage, and use boxes and bright colors to draw attention to offers. Use impressive video and photography, not just for good consistent product photos, but to inspire a lifestyle around the products that you’re selling. Make sure that all the emails and follow-ups that happen in the background are also in line with the brand and the high level of quality.
Check out a blog on Alex’s site for more 2018 eCommerce design trends.
Matt Warren, the founder of Veeqo, advises eCommerce business owners to look at selling on a variety of different channels. Whether you love or hate Amazon, 50% of all online sales start there. They are dominating retail. Retailers need to accept that, adapt to it, and try to leverage it for their best use, even if they’re only using it as a loss leader or lead generation tool. Sell on other marketplaces that make sense, as well. Look at some of the newer mobile-only apps to get more eyes on your products. Test different marketplaces and social media platforms to see what works for you. Find people who are doing well on Instagram and Pinterest, see what they are doing, and replicate it.
Listen to learn why even if you are selling on multiple marketplaces, you still need to have a strong brand for yourself.
Ciaran Bollard, the managing director of Kooomo, also recommends looking at other marketplaces. In particular, he recommends looking at category-driven marketplaces instead of pure-play marketplaces. They are less crowded, provide you with a much better brand equity experience for your consumer, and help grow and develop your brand. Also, with omni-channel and click-and-collect becoming more prevalent in the UK markets, you can connect those sales to ensure that you’re driving more sales both online and in-store.
Chris Dawson of Tamebay believes that the number one thing retailers need to consider for 2018 to grow their business is their product data. This will be absolutely key as voice and image searching becomes more popular. Have your key product attributes in a structured format. Use smart search from GS1 instead of having a bullet point of lists hidden in your html on your website. Then the data can be relayed to the global trade identification number in a search engine-friendly manner to make it easy for search engines to find that data.
This will be important because as people start to search via voice and image searching, it will be harder for search engines to find the result. A Google search currently may bring up around ten results after the paid advertising, but with voice search, it will have to narrow that down to one result, and that one result has to be the best-matching product. For retailers to win the sale, they’ll need to make sure that their result absolutely matches the search, and the only way to do that is by having that product data in a structured format.
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