With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, most, if not all, industries embraced the virtual world. Retail, food, education, and other business industries have been directly affected. Consumer behavior and buying preference changed more than ever. Positively, the pandemic forced the shift of industries to online platforms as remediation to the absence of physical store goers brought about by everyone’s efforts for social distancing. The role of e-commerce has been given more emphasis in these trying times.
According to Gennaro (2020), e-commerce accounts for 12 to 24 million sites on the internet with more and more created each day. A portion of this is all over social media. Estay (2020) mentioned that 43% of global shoppers research a product through their social networks before making a purchase. This is why including social media in your digital marketing strategy is a wise decision to make. With more buyers in the online platform, businesses strive and innovate ways to keep up with the competitive marketplace. They are fully committed to improving their branding and customer buying experience. Here are a few tips you might want to consider in facilitating a more convenient way of online shopping and potentially increase your ROI:
Make a quick research on where your potential customers are, it could be your website or your social media sites. Eighty-five percent of orders from social media come from Facebook (Shopify, 2020). Determine where and the time they are most active and capitalize on that information. Your promotional materials should always be up and released when most of them are online and on their phones so that your campaign efforts will not be left unseen or just scrolled down.
A person who wants to get the same item another person has would definitely search it through the hashtags. Hashtags are labels used on a post that allows access to a specific theme or a pool of related content. You can elevate your online presence and be directed to your potential buyers through them.
In Patel (2018), posts with product photos get 53% more likes, 104% more comments, and 84% higher click-through interaction rates. This is because photos spark interest and influence buying decisions. Ensure that these photos cover all the angles of your products together with the other necessary details including the size, dimensions, colors available, and the make. With this, you are avoiding too many responses that only ask these questions, eating most of your response time. The goal is to maintain an inbox-buy rate in which most of your customers only reach out to you because they already want to make a purchase.
Colors are make-or-break in terms of consumer purchasing behavior. Be it the color scheme of your promotional materials or the layout of your e-commerce site interface, make an effort to organize them according to visually accepted colors. The colors you choose can directly have an impact on the emotions of the visitors and buyers. This can also provide product recall when they forget your name. Think of how you associate Coca-Cola with the color red.
Promos and freebies attract clients and this can usually compensate for a little mishap that went their way buying your products so there can still be a next time for purchases. You might also want to check your site for reviews and ratings as these are highly effective when nudging prospective customers to make a purchase. Encourage your customers to rate and leave a review in exchange for a freebie. They can also make positive purchase decisions and provide more worth for their money just because they can get a freebie.
Your website must have convenient payment options (card and mobile payments) so that your customers will not have a hard time checking out their carts. Additionally, partner with a trustworthy shipping courier, customers would go to your e-commerce site in a heartbeat if you have shipping discounts or even cover free shipping. If you can absorb the cost, do it. Most online sellers do this as a strategy to stay competitive in the online marketplace.
Make sure you warmly respond to all your customers’ questions, inquiries, answers, or comments and at an acceptable response rate. This gives them the reassurance that you are helping them make a purchase and are simply there in times of confusion or frustration. When you are unresponsive, it is not just crucial for your sales but also for your brand. People can immediately narrate their experiences on your review and rating page. This can smear your brand’s reputation. Also, find the time to simply update them about your current promos and advocacies through email marketing or by snail mail. This personalized approach can reap good sales and boost customer engagement. Dish out a few thank-you notes to your preferred customers and take advantage of online stamps, the good ole fashion way of sending letters. Customers love receiving anything for free and addressed to them.
Always put yourself in the shoes of the buying customer then determine what aspects influence and assist your buying decision. Pamper both buying or windowshopping customers as they will always have their own impression about your brand and can share the experience. It is bad publicity if you do not attend to their needs.
“Communication is at the heart of ecommerce and community” Meg Whitman Hewlett-Packard CEO. Improve your connection with your visitors and customers with enhanced omnichannel communication, Drop us a line for a free consultation call on how to bring more traffic and sales to your website.
About the Author:
Bash Sarmiento is a writer and an educator from Manila. He writes laconic pieces in the education, lifestyle, and health realms. His academic background and extensive experience in teaching, textbook evaluation, business management, and traveling are translated into his works.