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Maximising eCommerce Potential

By Max Bellotto

For most businesses running an online store or for those considering eCommerce, there is always and I mean always the opportunity to improve.

The fact is that launching eCommerce the right way is not easy and once this hurdle has been overcome, we find that SA business sit back purely focusing on generating traffic in the hope it’s enough to deliver a return on investment.

Simply relying on trying to continue to generate more traffic is not enough. In fact, it will continue to become more costly as your market becomes more competitive. The average spend on Google Adwords is between R2 -R5 per click and highly contested keywords are much higher than that so it stands to reason that it is important to focus on continuously improving the sales from existing traffic. This is called conversion optimisation.

By continuously being able to increase your ecommerce conversion rate (That is number of sales versus number of visits) , you will experience significant exponential growth with the same number of visits.

As the graph below shows, a 10% lift in conversions results in a 800% increase in sales with the same volume of traffic.

An Improvement Strategy

There are so many options in creating an improvement strategy and it often is a case of lots of small improvements contributing to the whole. Essentially though, in order to make improvements, you have to understand what to improve and avoid guess work. This means collecting loads of data on every aspect of your online store. The more data you have, the less guessing you will do. In fact, the most experienced conversion optimisation specialists around the world are continually proven wrong about what they think will work. The data often proves them wrong!

Some Setup Advice to get Started

  • Google Analytics:
    Ensure you have Google Analytics setup correctly with clearly defined goals and funnels and the data is accurate.
  • Surveys:
    Often your best intel will come from your customers directly. Asking questions to those who purchased and those who didn’t will give you loads of insight.
  • Know who your best customers are and treat them differently:
    It is far less costly to retain an existing customer than to acquire a new one so know who your best customers are and aim to make them your brand ambassadors. The Banks actually do this very well and an online store should be no different. Find a way to reward them or make them feel special. It could be as simple as exclusive offers for them or pricing or coupon/discount codes.
  • Email Automation:
    Invest in an effective marketing automation tool that is able to collect and segment behaviour and data. The more you are able to provide offers to your customers that is based on their interest, the more successful your marketing will become.

Don’t stop Improving

Adopt a philosophy of attempting to continuously delight your customers and apply this to all aspects of your online store from the front end user experience to all other touch points such as customer service and logistics.

Some changes will have a positive impact and some won’t but there will always be an opportunity to improve so what is important is to start and don’t stop improving, innovating and trying to increase conversions.

Ultimately, you will give your online store the opportunity to maximise ecommerce potential and deliver returns on investment.