New Republique CEO and co-founder Nima Yassini discusses why now is the time to invest in your website.
‘If everyone is shopping online anyway because of lockdown, why should I invest in my website?’
It’s a question I often hear when I ask businesses about their eCommerce strategy.
It is because everyone is shopping online that you should invest in your website.
The space is more competitive than ever, so when you pay for marketing to attract people to your site, you convert them.
Aligning marketing with sales
A lot of brands have started to invest heavily in search engine marketing (SEM), spending a large chunk of their budget on buying keywords and terms to land visitors.
This money is wasted if you haven’t developed a sales funnel that works to convert these visitors to customers.
Simply: if people leave your website because it is crap, what was the point of the SEM?
You are much better off investing in research to confirm what your visitors want and how you can give it to them to encourage conversion.
Set aside a portion of your budget for experimentation to find out what works and what is most profitable, then keep investing in the areas of high benefit.
Maybe you’ve discovered people would rather pay $10 for same-day delivery than have free delivery that takes longer – or vice versa.
Experiment and confirm, then use what you’ve learnt to improve.
Optimise cost per click
You can also reduce your cost per click from SEM by increasing your relevancy.
Instead of paying more for keywords or terms, invest in making the landing page more aligned with visitors’ interests by increasing time on site, engagement and conversions.
A simple way to do this is to use symmetric messaging, where the messaging in your SEM matches the image or copy on your landing page, to reduce bounce and exit rates.
Reduce operational costs
The other area where experimentation can help is with analysing customer behaviour.
An increase in sales can often mean an increase in returns, so to maximise profit you can also reduce these costs.
There are some key customer behaviours that can indicate a higher potential of returns, for example customers who put the same item in two sizes in their cart.
Look at ways of mitigating this, for example by offering a sizing chart or guides to make customers more confident in choosing one size.
This may seem like a small tweak, but Brooks Shoes reduced their product returns by 80% by activating its chat channel when a user added two sizes or more of the same item in the cart.
Once you’ve won over a customer, it’s easier to retain them than to constantly seek new customers, so use tools like email to re-engage them.
Beware that flooding this communication channel turns into spam, however, so be careful with how often you contact your database and make sure you’re offering value every time.
Most importantly, connect your journeys.
One of the biggest mistakes we see retailers make is all the focus and effort on the eDM design rather than its role, which is to bring people to the site.
Remember, users may see the email for a few minutes but they buy onsite, so the journey from eDM to site is critical to secure a purchase.
Finally, take a longer-term view of your customers.
SEM is designed to help you acquire new visitors, but that’s not beneficial to you if you don’t convert and keep them.
Investing in user experience and their journey pays dividends through customer loyalty.
For Ragtrader readers we’re offering a complimentary copy of our Top 5 Tips for eCommerce Conversion booklet, which is packed with advice for retailers looking to maximise their online traffic. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org