SMEs are realising the benefits of adopting an eCommerce strategy, from international brand exposure to increased customer satisfaction and retention. While eCommerce is an easy and affordable way to sell and advertise, SME owners must ensure they regularly review and update their eCommerce strategy if they are to make the most of it.
In this article, we outline some key tips for ensuring your SME’s eCommerce strategy is maintaining its effectiveness to ensure maximum customer satisfaction and reach its revenue potential.
Consistency between channels
For SMEs that sell online and at a brick-and-mortar store, directors need to ensure that there is consistency between the two. As Tim McLain, manager of segment marketing at Netsertive suggests, “Shoppers want to have a unified experience both online and in-store, and retailers need to seamlessly bridge the gap between the two to be successful.”
While online shopping has been touted as paramount for customer experience, it is vital that SME owners ensure the same customer experience in physical stores as in online stores. One thing to consider when working to create a consistent customer experience, for example, is to sync your online and offline inventory.
If your online store allows customers to buy online and pick up in-store, for example, it is critical that the items listed on your website and advertised in your digital marketing campaign match what is available today. Failing to synthesise online and offline stock can lead to disgruntled customers, lower customer retention and even damaging online reviews.
Additionally, consistency is also paramount if you use a multichannel eCommerce strategy where customers can access, view and purchase your products and services through multiple avenues such as the home website and social media pages. Ensure that the digital marketing campaigns are the same on each platform to encourage a seamless user experience.
Website Navigation and Purchasing Process
Research shows that customers only spend a mere 59 seconds on any given website to decide whether they will stick around or continue to the purchasing stage. Further, according to the Baymard Institute, 69.89% of online shoppers visit a website, select products and then abandon their shopping cart full of items, without completing the order.
From existing research, we know that one of the top reasons why online shoppers do this is because of the complexities involved in navigating the website or because the checkout process is too long. Accordingly, SME owners need to ensure that their eCommerce strategies take this into account – ensure that your website is easy to navigate, and that the purchasing process is as efficient and transparent as possible.
According to Nick Eubanks of SEO Nick, the most effective ways of ensuring these processes are as simple as possible include eliminating the need for account creation, reducing the number of screens the customer has to go through, and making sure the default shipping option is the cheapest, unless there is a faster option for the same price.
If you want to sell more products, you must ensure that your visitors aren’t getting frustrated, abandoning their carts and leaving your site to find another store and purchase a competitor’s product.
Article by Melanie Chan in collaboration with our team of Unleashed Software inventory and business specialists. Melanie has been writing about inventory management for the past three years. When not writing about inventory management, you can find her eating her way through Auckland.