Statistics are showing that e-commerce sales are beginning to match, and in some cases, surpass brick and mortar retail store sales. However, even with these statistics, many online retailers are still struggling to remain competitive with online sales while still earning a profit on their products. Though online price wars are nothing new, many larger online retailers are hiring companies to implement dynamic pricing into their sales strategy. That means that a price you see online for a specific product can change as much as 27 times in just one day.
According to Mike Fridge, CEO of Decide.com, a Seattle-based price comparison website, “In the age of the internet, a fixed price is a thing of the past and that’s just the reality.”
So how are small or new online businesses able to compete and keep up with the fluctuating costs of daily price wars?
It’s not enough to just have an e-commerce website
If you are one of the online retailers struggling to remain competitive, or are having a hard time making sales with a higher profit margin because of constant price slashing, read on. There are ways to attract customers through online user experience that can keep them coming back.
We’ve curated a simple list of strategies that can help your e-commerce business boost sales and give those potential customers that are always scouring the internet for the best prices an experience they won’t receive from other online retailers.
1. Simplify, Design & Test
There is nothing worse than trying to navigate a site for several minutes just to purchase and browse through a few items. More often than not, e-commerce sites, especially those newly launched are cluttered, mismatched, and even glitch. Having a website that isn’t easy to use gives reasons for customers to find their items elsewhere. After all, it’s probably easier to just click the ‘x’ button and move on to the next website then to navigate an inefficient website. It is vitally important to spend time designing your website, testing it, and making sure that your customer has a user-friendly experience. Think of how your customer will be looking at your website. Is it mobile? Have you actually tested from numerous smart phones and browsers to make sure that it’s as easy to use as you think? Have others test your website as well. Look for feedback and make continuous improvements.
2. Invest in a Professional, Commercial Photographer
One major reason why some shoppers prefer the in-store experience is because you can actually touch, examine and compare items. With an online store, photos are everything. Invest your time and resources into making this portion perfect. Far too often, we’ve seen photos on websites that aren’t consistent, contain camera flashes reflecting on surfaces of the product or packaging, and have image poor resolution. The photos are the pinnacles of your business, and if they are sub-par, chances are the customer will not buy and may not return in the future.
3. Reviews, Recommendations and Related Products
Reviews and recommendations are great to have on a website. These give buyers a chance to rave about your products and provide feedback. Most companies are hesitant to put reviews on their website. However, being transparent and having the confidence to display them on your site shows buyers that you believe in what you’re selling. When customers are searching your website, it’s also nice to show them what related products are available using their search history. This is a great way to up-sell your customer while they are already on your website.
4. Social Media Presence
If your business is online, you should also be on social media; it’s just common sense. It is the easiest way to market and spread the word about your products and promotions, along with being able to access and build a loyal following. Proceed with caution, however. Do research and understand exactly who your target audience is and what platforms they utilize. For example, if you are a clothing company, chances are your customers are on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram, but they may not be on LinkedIn and Google Plus. Be sure to build your buyer personas and formulate all of your marketing to your specified audience.
5. Perks & Exclusives
Implementing a way to reward your frequent shoppers is a wide-open opportunity to give back and keep your customers happy and loyal. E-commerce is extremely competitive, especially when your produ cts are similar to other sites. Even if your prices aren’t the lowest online, you can be assured that your frequent customers, if rewarded with free shipping or 10% off around the holidays, will keep coming back.
As the retail world becomes more digitalized and businesses begin to strategically build their online e-commerce websites, the need to innovate and market becomes increasingly important. These tips and tricks are some of the many strategies that your business can implement without having a large budget. Remember, the importance of constantly improving your online business for your customer is vitally important to keep on top of your competitors and help combat the constant need for price slashing. Continuously build your following, reward your frequent shoppers, and keep refining their online experience.