By 2019, eCommerce in the U.S. is expected to generate more than $425 billion—and $485 billion by 2021. This robust growth is driven by continued improvements in digital consumer experience, as well as by the proliferation of mobile devices and anywhere, anytime buying. But, for all its growth, eCommerce is difficult to predict. Unexpectedly, for example, the 2016 holiday season saw better Black Friday brick-and-mortar numbers than Cyber Monday sales. Consumers are fickle creatures; the right offer or branding can tip their preference between channels or retailers. If you’re hoping to win buyers over and increase your share of that $400+ billion in eCommerce conversions, here are four tips to make it happen:
- Prepare Your Team: Not all eCommerce is completed online. Consumers need support and, because they’re shopping after hours, your customer service team needs to be available after hours to help troubleshoot, convert, and finalize deals. But being there isn’t enough. Your after-hours team should be more than cookie-cutter phone agents. Well-trained reps with branded scripts can keep callers from hanging up, and employing a call intelligence and telephony platform like that from CallTrackingMetrics to provide background info on the caller and how they found you can help your reps seal the deal.
- Gather Customer Data: The more you know about your customers and prospects, the better you’re able to target them with marketing, pitch the sale, and meet their needs. A solid data-focused CRM or call intelligence platform can connect the dots between your customers’ offline and online sales journey, telling you which marketing or ad channel your leads are coming from, why, and how to convert. The lower overhead of your digital vs. your brick-and-mortar presence won’t pay off if you’re investing in untargeted marketing that doesn’t yield results.
- Put another m in Commerce: The mobile consumers of mCommerce have become a powerful consumer bloc. They’re browsing online, transacting business via apps, and calling your store directly from click-throughs in your advertising. mCommerce is expected to grow as much as 65 percent this year, and mobile revenues are predicted to hit more than $330 billion by 2020. Make sure your mobile app and the mobile version of your site are easy to navigate through, buy with, and call from. Sending mobile users notifications is also a great way to follow up on recent purchases and build awareness of upcoming deals and events.
- Keep Your Competition in Mind: If you’re selling online, you’re competing with Amazon—even if you also have a brick-and-mortar storefront. This is a tough lift for small retailers who can’t afford to take a loss on introductory items or offer free shipping. What you can do, though, is offer an experience that rivals your in-store experience and reflects the uniqueness of your brand. With product scarcity becoming a thing of the past, it’s critical to set yourself apart with rewards programs, personalized products and services, and a valuable brand that reflects more than simply the availability of goods and services.
Take Nothing for Granted
mCommerce and eCommerce and are both relatively new entities, making them harder to predict than traditional retail—though, arguably, that’s never been easy either. Seasonal swings, economic downturns, the advent of new tech trends, regulations, disruptive startups—the list goes on. You simply can’t build an accurate prediction by looking at last year, or even by looking at the last ten years. But if you build an eCommerce strategy that employs data-gathering technology and creates a seamless experience from storefront to online to mobile to calls, you have a better chance at connecting with customers and driving your share of the coming year’s digital sales.
Want to learn more about how CallTrackingMetrics can help you support eCommerce and mCommerce efforts and drive conversions? Request a product demo today.