As more entrepreneurs move into the ecommerce space, it’s more important than ever to remain competitive. If you want to win the game, it’s time to level up! It is no longer enough to show up. And sadly, even the best products and nicest online stores may not stand out in the crowd.
To supercharge your online business, you’ll need a two-fold approach to ecommerce: technology and strategy. Here’s how to optimize your ecommerce site’s efficiency, revenue, and sustainability in 2022.
Leverage the Power of A.I.
Artificial intelligence (AI) used to be science fiction, but now, it’s not only commonplace but also relatively affordable. AI and its machine-learning capabilities can unlock new potential for your marketing, sales, and service needs.
Most consumers need multiple touchpoints with messages that resonate strongly with them. That can be hard to achieve in today’s crowded digital landscape.
Thankfully, AI-powered marketing automation delivers highly specific content to your leads and customers. From personalized product recommendations to dynamic landing pages to retargeting ads on social media, there are many options to improve your ROI and conversion rate.
AI can also automatically update your CRM and give your sales team valuable insights on making sales and recapturing past customers. Instead of relying on email blasts or generic pitches, your ecommerce business’s sales team can leverage behavioral data to improve their tactics.
AI also appears in the form of chatbots, which can answer common customer queries. This not only saves your team time and warms up your leads, but also improves your customers’ overall experience.
Prioritize Your Customer Experience
You may have spent a lot of energy optimizing your User Experience (UX). The complementary aspect of UX is Customer Experience (CX). This describes all the pages, content, and agents/bots that people encounter after making a purchase.
CX is arguably more important — and more difficult — than UX. It’s one thing to attract new customers. Creating a meaningful, efficient post-purchase flow is another, and it’s the key to building customer loyalty. From there, you can boost your average Customer Lifetime Value (LTV) and gain more traffic from referrals. These are both essential to achieving momentum and keeping your business booming in a saturated market.
When optimizing your CX, consider:
- How to keep your customers engaged and informed with both transactional and highly personalized marketing emails
- Easy access to order support, return requests, complaint resolution, and other customer service needs (more than 80% of customers prefer self-service)
- The simplicity and convenience of finding products, placing orders, managing shopping carts, etc.
These days, consumers want to feel like a VIP. They’re eager to shop from brands that tend to their needs and affirm their preferences. The more you can optimize and streamline your CX, the better you can serve your customers.
Build Your Brand Reputation with Storytelling
Despite the advanced AI and automation tools that allow you to fine-tune your targeting, nothing beats a good story. That’s especially true for ecommerce brands, whose customers are already inundated by ads and promotions. By focusing on a compelling story, you’ll immediately set yourself apart.
Consider investing in influencer marketing, which offers a one-two punch of storytelling and word-of-mouth advertising. Both methods drive more conversions, higher LTV, and greater brand loyalty. And given that influencer-led platforms such as TikTok are gaining the lion’s share of online traffic, this strategy can do much for your discoverability and reputation.
Choose influencers whose followers align with your target audience. Ideally, you’ll partner with someone who can actually use one of your products. That will allow them to authentically share their experience with their followers. (People can easily sniff out paid-to-play content!)
Before partnering with an influencer, be sure that your brand is optimized for social commerce, i.e. people can purchase through the platform. On Instagram, for example, you can make shoppable posts that instantly capture new orders.
Above all else, focus on the benefits you uniquely offer your customers. Today’s skeptical, savvy consumers are tired of the overt sales tactics that most ecommerce brands use. By emphasizing your and your customers’ stories, you can supercharge your brand reputation.
Growing your ecommerce business takes more than fancy tools and hacks. At the end of the day, you need a strong, omnichannel strategy backed by a firm understanding of your audience. Then, leverage automation and AI technology to save time and optimize your sales, marketing, and support. Remember, the customer comes first, and by prioritizing their experience and needs, you will already be far ahead of many online businesses!