Is 2022 Your Year for Online Retail Success?
No one can say the travails of the past couple of years have not boosted the e-commerce business. More and more people have been exposed to the concept of an e-commerce online store. In many cases, they turned to e-business because they have been in lockdown and were not able to do their regular shopping in stores. While this has helped push the e-business commerce laggards across the line, it has also meant that there is probably an appetite for brick-and-mortar personal shopping.
Tips for your e-commerce business success
- Expand your reach
- Be customer-centric
- Offer stellar customer service
- Have a higher purpose
- Test & learn
- Engage with customers online
- Safeguard your e-commerce business
As more brands are starting an e-commerce business and the environment becomes even more competitive, successful e-commerce stores will need to evolve to maintain their business performance.
Tip 1: Expand your reach
Consider expanding your reach by looking at a retail aggregating platform. When you are starting an e-commerce store, they are an easy way to access the e-commerce functionality you require. However, they do not tend to provide compelling brand stories. Today, it has become much easier to create your own e commerce store online, which offers the opportunity to make meaningful brand connections.
Tip 2: Be customer-centric
Focus on your core customers. Understand what they want from your e-commerce online store. If you can create meaningful connections with your target customer, you can enjoy e-commerce success. Create meaningful connections by constantly referring to the customer’s environment. What problem are you solving for that customer? What tone is suitable for this group? What are their barriers to purchasing? The same principle applies to both consumers and business to business e-commerce.
Tip 3: Offer stellar customer service
A purchase online involves a leap of faith from your customers. They make a payment and await delivery. They must be assured that if anything goes awry that you will rectify problems. You are trying to build a long term relationship with your customer, just like a regular in a bricks and mortar shop. If your customer service does not meet expectations, they will not return.
Tip 4: Have a higher purpose
“Customers want businesses to stand for something bigger than the products they sell. The recent pandemic has only sharpened consumer preference for purpose-driven organisations.”
Future of Retail – Transitioning from “retail” to “consumer commerce”, KPMG Australia, January 2021
Tip 5: Test and learn
For an e-commerce start-up testing and learning from the tests will build success. Many tests will indeed fail, but the knowledge gained even from the failed test can be significant. The beauty of an e-commerce business is that you have stacks of data to interrogate. Learn what data is available and start using it. You should test everything you can, including:
- Promotion reminders
- Communication timings
- Language styles
- Bundle pricing
- Visual layouts
- Website design features
Over time you will better understand what works and what should be avoided. Testing is by no means a one-off exercise, and you should always seek and test opportunities to better understand how your customer is likely to behave.
Tip 6: Engage with customers online
If your customers are already engaged with your social media platforms, make it easier for them to purchase directly without returning to your website. The fewer clicks involved, the less chance customers may change their minds.
Tip 7: Safeguard your e-commerce business from cyber attacks
The pandemic has accelerated the changes that were already emerging in the retail sector. When bricks and mortar stores closed, consumers and e-commerce businesses rapidly embraced online options, touch-free payments and contactless deliveries. These changes have increased cyber security risks and the potential for fraud. In 2022 retailers will need to be steadfastly focused on reducing the risk of a cyber breach. They must protect their website. Retailers need to build security into their design to protect their brand, reputation and customers.
Cyber security fraudsters are constantly looking at different ways to break down your defences. You must remain dedicated to keeping your e-business safe from such attacks.
- Has your online environment been security tested? Has a penetration test been performed to ensure no vulnerabilities before going online?
- Have you ensured that you are running the correct encryption standard, that you are defaulting to HTTPS and handling your customers’ data safely?
- Ensure that you publish your privacy and data handling policy on your website. This policy will give your customers clarity about how you handle their data.
Learn more about how you can secure your online business here.
Start planning to grow and evolve your e-business
If you are not already operating an online store, now is the time to be starting an e-commerce business. 2022 promises to be a year where the growth of the online economy continues as it has during the past two years. If you want some advice on how to get your share of the online market – read here – we can help.