eCommerce Tip: Think Like Your Shopper

As technology has evolved over the year, shopping has changed. For many shoppers, making a purchase is as simple as pushing a button. The growing change in the business landscape has forced business owners to shift focus to an online presence in the eCommerce world.

This can be a difficult adjustment, trying to put together the best website for your business and be in the best position to have success in the digital space. One way to put yourself on the path to success as a merchant is to put yourself in the shoes of your buyer, to get a better understanding of what an online shopper wants.

The human element in the shopping process is of great importance. A customer needs to be completely convinced by your products or services and base their decision on many factors.

One way to get this perspective is to look at the analytics for your website. What is the age and gender of the visitors to your site? Can you adjust your content to better attract this audience? How many visitors are repeat customers? What are people searching – is it a specific category or product? How much are customers spending on average?

It may seem like a lot to digest, but this information can help give an understanding as to who is coming to your website and why they are coming to you. Knowing your customers and adhering to their needs or listening to their feedback creates a connection between merchant and customer and therefore a trust in your business and products. Having a strong customer relationship breeds better results.

So how can you apply this to creating the best eCommerce website? By understanding your customer or putting yourself in their shoes, you can have a better sense of what will be attractive to customers in a digital space.

Your website should be clean and easy to navigate so that customers can easily find items. Customers want to see crisp, detailed, high-quality images of products. Provide as much information about your products on product pages to try to answer any and all questions the customer may have.

With the development of the eCommerce space, systems are able to assist in everything from inventory management to indexing. Automated indexing is helping to take optimization to the next level. Not only does this indexing help with placement on search engines, these systems can also sort through customer data and customize pages to each individual customer.

Above all, the goal for any business owner is to sell more. With all of these trends and technologies come a new way to achieve that. The personalization of pages on an eCommerce website tailor shopping to the individual, not the mass audience. The individual focus creates a connection with customers, providing a better experience.

This technology also helps with customers who may not complete a purchase immediately. Through the data, the system can recognize when a customer has spent a notable amount of time viewing a certain product. It takes that information, stores it, and retargets customers so that they are reminded of the product.

As the eCommerce space grows, the need for human interaction becomes lesser. Creating a connection through the digital space for the growing population of online shoppers is becoming more and more important. Simply having an understanding of how a digital shopper thinks and feels and knowing the ways to have your store be able to recognize the data and cater to individual customers will go a long way in your success in eCommerce.

6 Ways You Can Boost eCommerce Sales Through Digital Marketing

Once you have an eCommerce store set up, you want to spread the word about your business, your online presence and your products. Utilizing the services of digital marketing will allow you to get the message out and draw in potential customers.

But what can you say that will draw customers and boost your sales? Here are a few things you can do that will help your eCommerce store stand out and be even more attractive to prospective customers through digital marketing.

Reducing Abandoned Carts – A common practice of online shoppers is to start adding items to their cart only to get distracted with something else and ultimately leave the website. Using an abandoned cart strategy can help these shoppers remain engaged. If you have a customer’s email, send them a reminder to complete their order and offer them a discount or coupon code as a courtesy. You can also have your website prompt customers with a “don’t leave” message to entice them to complete the purchase now instead of later.

Quality Keywords – SEO is obviously important to every website and the digital marketing process, especially in the eCommerce industry. In many cases, businesses will set up a strategy that involves a high number of keywords. It is important to remember quality, not quantity, when it comes to keywords. Having a large number of keywords doesn’t make an impact on your website’s performance if they are not ranking. Instead of creating a massive list of keywords and trying to rank them all, research the most popular search terms for your business and focus on these targeted terms.

Competitive Pricing – Competing with other direct-to-consumer marketplaces can be difficult when it comes to planning a pricing strategy. Research some pricing comparisons so that you are staying within relative pricing. You can also use flash sales to drive customers to your eCommerce site. From there, focus on turning new customers into long-term customers by maintaining relative pricing and sticking to your strategy.

Value Your Customers – There are more ways to provide value than just in your pricing strategy. While it is certainly important to show value through discounts, special offers and sales, it is equally as important to showcase the value of customer service, special products, newsletters, loyalty programs, interactions, and any personalization that can be offered for products. The best brands value these things as much as their pricing model.

Conversion Funnel Leaks – Consider the customer’s purchasing experience. Are there a number of steps in completing a transaction that can be eliminated? For example, eliminating the need to fill out a form for both billing and shipping information or requiring an account to complete a purchase are two things that can be adjusted. Removing non-required fields from forms can speed up the process and allowing potential customers to use a guest account to check out also goes a long way.

Embrace Global Promotional Calendars – Every business owner probably knows the impact that local holidays can have on the economy and business. But what about the impact of holidays from a global standpoint? On one hand, recognizing global holidays that may not be native to the United States shows value in the way a brand is embracing global culture. Additionally, there are consumers in other countries that may view a US website expecting to receive the same kind of sales and deals that shoppers come to expect on major shopping days like Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

Stay up to date on all of the latest eCommerce news, trends and updates with the experts at Genius eCommerce. Our goal is to keep you informed on everything in the eCommerce industry.

BigCommerce vs. Shopify: Choosing the Right eCommerce Store for You

Which eCommerce platform is right for you? There is no correct answer, it all depends on your unique, individual needs. But before you commit to an eCommerce platform, you want to make sure you are choosing the best option.

BigCommerce and Shopify are the two leading eCommerce platforms in the industry. Both platforms offer complete eCommerce solutions, customization of your store and management services. However, both platforms do have their differences, which is why you should take into consideration the features of each platform before choosing one to start your eCommerce store.

We’ve put together a comparison of the two platforms, their features and more:

Shopify puts the focus on the design of your eCommerce store, offering a great user experience and a diverse amount of themes to choose from within their library. Shopify’s user experience is very similar to WordPress, good for users who have used web-based tools in the past.

Users can also build stores around custom themes by piecing together Shopify’s themes or using a free theme within the platform. There are also premium themes available for purchase. Many of Shopify’s themes are created by third-party designers, giving the platform a strong ecosystem of designers and developers.

Shopify comes with the essential tools for managing an eCommerce store, including the ability to manage inventory, set pricing and taxes, customize shipping settings and showcase specific products. There are also additional features that will deepen marketing functions, SEO, and analytics tools. All of these features are available through the Shopify App Store, home to more than 500 apps to help add additional functions to any store.

BigCommerce, however, also puts an emphasis on store design with their platform. BigCommerce is a slightly newer platform – launched in 2009 as compared to Shopify which launched in 2006 – and has taken a more unique approach to the user experience within their platform. While Shopify is based on many of the web tools that users are typically familiar with, BigCommerce expands on this by adding more customization to basic tasks. For example, a user may have to go through a more detailed process to add a product to their store, but this process will include additional advanced options for users who want more detail and customization. One example of this more detailed customization is adding multiple, different images that change when customers select specific options.

Like Shopify, BigCommerce has an extensive theme library with free and premium options. While BigCommerce does not have as many themes as Shopify, the quality of the themes stands out and include the capabilities of responsive design and mobile browsing.

BigCommerce’s customization features stand out over Shopify’s more standard theme setup. Additional features with BigCommerce themes include built-in shipping quotes, gift certificates, product reviews and basic email marketing tools. Like Shopify, BigCommerce also has additional capabilities that can be added through an App Store; however, Shopify’s App Store is larger and provides more options.

So which platform is the better choice? Again, there is no correct answer. Both platforms have similar features and customization options to fit merchants’ needs.

If you are looking for a platform that has a great support system built around designers and developers, Shopify is probably the choice for you. With a greater range of themes, apps and a team of designers and developers, Shopify also has a simpler user interface that makes it easy for merchants to add products and set up options.

If you are looking for more detailed customization and to be heavily involved in the fine details of your store, BigCommerce is probably the better option. BigCommerce is a newer platform with more advanced features and functionality that users can get without having to utilize an App Store. BigCommerce also has a support system of designers and developers, like Shopify, but the platform is not as mature as Shopify and puts a greater focus on coding rather than a basic user interface.

Whether you are looking for a simple user experience or more customization, both Shopify and BigCommerce are leading eCommerce platforms because of their many features, themes and support.

Looking for more information about BigCommerce, Shopify and other eCommerce platforms? Continue reading the Genius eCommerce blog for updates, trends and news.

5 eCommerce Trends in 2018 You Should Know

The online space is constantly evolving with technology trends on a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly basis. Every new year brings on new trends and things you can do to position yourself for more success in the online and digital space.

eCommerce continues to grow as more people shift to an online buying experience. Even consumers who are still making purchases in-store are using online resources to research products before completing the purchase, making an online presence that much more important.

Here are 5 eCommerce trends in 2018 that you should know:

Social Media Optimization – Social media holds great importance in marketing in 2018. For eCommerce, many people get introduced to new products through social media, particularly Instagram and Pinterest posts. To get the most out of social media profiles and have them reach a larger audience to generate more traffic, ensure they are optimized.

Voice Search – With the creation of digital products such as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant, voice recognition is a more widespread phenomenon. These devices allow people to search for almost anything by just saying it out loud. With this new revolution in technology, eCommerce stores are able to take advantage. Optimizing your store for voice search is a popular trend that will drive additional traffic.

Chatbots – There are 1.3 billion users of Facebook Messenger, which tells you that the reach of online chatbots is at an all-time high. It is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of these features for marketing and promotion. For some larger companies, chatbots have not only been a way to promote a business or communicate with customers, but it has also been an additional way to complete orders. In the future, this will also become a more popular use of chatbots, so getting started and familiarized with these features now is advisable.

Easy Checkout – In today’s world, people want things to be quick and easy. In eCommerce, one way to do this is to make payment a seamless process. Payment options have opened the door to short-form checkout, slowing replacing the lengthy checkout process. Moving to one-click checkout options will make the process quick and easy for users.

ROPO – ROPO stands for research online, purchase offline. What this tool does for business owners is help them get an understanding of how well their digital advertising is helping with offline sales and activity within a store. This growing trend of the eCommerce industry helps track information from social media, geolocation details, mobile payments, in-store inventory and more to show how well digital advertising is working so business owners can create more targeted campaigns.

For more information on eCommerce trends, continue reading the Genius eCommerce blog for more updates. Our goal is to keep you informed and up to date on the latest eCommerce news.